Monday, September 07, 2015

My FaceBook letter to Georgia's Democratic Chair, Rebecca Dehart

The last President who was not ashamed to be a "liberal" Democrat

Miss. Dehart:

My inbox seems to be filling up with e-mails from you- but the problem I have is that the Democratic Party- in Georgia, and nationally- simply refuses to learn from mistakes. I ran for public office in 2004, and I did so on a specific platform of practical solutions to real problems: getting us out of Iraq, reforming the health care system-- the financing part-- in general and medical malpractice cases in particular, restoring civil rights, and so on. My observation, having campaigned around the State in 2004, was that the Democrats were afraid to say the word "liberal" and worse, were letting Republicans define them, and never vice versa. More often that not Democrats ran trying to be Republican lite (Jim Marshall and John Barrow ran campaigns that were right down the center of Republican platform principles). I was on debate platforms and forums with a number of candidates, both Republican and Democrat; I sat next to Johnny Isakson at one due to alphabetic seating- he ended up winning the race, which was highly predictable, because we fielded the worst possible candidate, and it was pretty hard to tell the Democratic candidate from the Republican in most races. So, my suggestion to you, and to the party: #1: don't be afraid of who you are and what you stand for. Michelle Nunn actually refused to run the word "Democrat" in her primary ads, and failed to show up for almost every primary debate, including one I moderated in Albany at ASU. #2 run competitive races in every Congressional district and every State house and senate race. Recruit and groom potential candidates for the next election. #3 pay attention to what you did when you lose and don't repeat mistakes. Have an institutional memory on what worked and what failed miserably. If we are going to lose, let's at least lose not being afraid of who we are and what we believe.