Category Archives: National Politics

Georgia on My Mind

Washington, DC         In politics there is always tomorrow, not necessarily for the same candidate or party, but the people will be served after a fashion, and the positions will be filled.

In this election, the peoples’ favorite wasn’t the reconstruction of the “blue wall” of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, not matter how fragile or temporary, but the sweet smell of Georgia peaches.  Texas faded in the sunset as little more than a mirage, but Georgia emerged as a hint of blue in the red sky of morning where sailors take warning, along with the rest of us.

Now control of the Senate supposedly rests on the two seats in Georgia to be settled in January.  Rev. Rafael Warnock was the top vote getter against the appointed seat holder, but on the Republican side that was an internecine struggle between the wealthy Kelly Loeffler and the hyper-conservative Congressman trying to out-Trump each other.  Warnock is an appealing candidate, but I don’t see how he moves from the low-30s in his election to majority as the conservatives coalesce.  They have already made up for the runoff, and that’s not a good sign for flipping the seat.  Mitch McConnell might come to Georgia to personally door knock in that race.  The other is a tighter race:  upstart Jon Ossoff against an incumbent, Senator David Perdue.  Something might be done there.

People are lining up already who are willing and able to help.

I got a call from Pittsburgh where five people have already signed up to go to Georgia for at least a month to work on GOTV efforts are busy recruiting another ten or more.  They already have their sights on an Airbnb “party house” that would hold fifteen for $200 per night.  They are trying to raise the money to south for the holidays.

On the ground, I woke up to an email that reminded me that we had done home visits with the Voter Purge Project in Riverdale testing the accuracy of the Georgia purge list.  Overall, we had found the list 16.4% inaccurate on almost one-hundred completed visits.  Riverdale, for close readers of every line of the election reports was the late breaking source of the metro Atlanta votes that pushed Biden into the lead.  My correspondent, a senior ACORN veteran with more than a decade on the doors, estimated that there were 5000 to 10,000 unregistered voters in that area that needed to be canvassed and enrolled to vote before the deadline for this election.

There’s a lot of work that needs to be done to make sure that the peoples’ voice and votes are heard and counted, one way or another.  There are also people who are ready and able, if others are willing to come together to put enough gas in their tanks.


A Battle Has Been Won, but the War is Still Raging

New Orleans     Joe Biden is president.  Donald Trump has lost.  Some believe a four-year nightmare has ended.  Perhaps, but Trump will not go quietly into the night.  Maybe he shouldn’t.  Maybe that’s a good thing for the rest of us, hoping and working for social change.

Trump won’t dominate the news cycle in the same way he has, but he will be part of the daily sound and fury.  He has a base.  He received 70 million votes, the 2nd most of any candidate in history.  He has 80 million Twitter followers.  He is an egotistical narcissist.  He won’t be able to help himself, and the media will still seek him out like candy.

A New York Times reporter told me a story last year about how the Times and its reporters couldn’t help themselves from trying to put AOC in a story, almost any story, referrinf to Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, the young, fiery Congresswoman from the Bronx, because the eyeballs on the web soared whenever readers saw her name.  With Trump, different name, same game.  Legacy television and newspapers saw viewers and subscriptions rise thanks to Trump’s riveting, daily circus act and sideshows.  Trump’s their drug, and they are addicted.  We haven’t heard the last of him by a long shot.

I’m actually OK with that.

I read a long piece by Nicholas Lemann in the New Yorker that ended with a couple of paragraphs where we were inflicted to the gymnastic routine of presidential wannabe Florida’s Mark Rubio trying to workshop a new protean, populistic approach where he would pretend to care about the plight of lower income and working people, while not moving one inch off his usual hard right conservatism.  That was scary.  Ross Douthat made an equally frightening case for a new, dominant Republican coalition that would be…

A populism 2.0 that doesn’t alienate as many people with its rhetoric, that promises more support for families and domestic industry, that accepts universal health care and attacks monopolies and keeps low-skilled immigration low, all while confronting China and avoiding Middle East entanglements and fighting elite progressivism tooth and nail — there’s your new Republican majority.

What stands in the way of all of this?  The elephant in the room:  the real Donald Trump.

We saw a different version of this nightmare in New Orleans before Katrina with the election of Ray Nagin as mayor.  We all could see it coming, after the Morials and Barthelemy.  An African-American candidate who was more a mainline businessman than a lawyer or politician, who could get enough of the Black vote, even not winning it, because he was Black, and almost all of the minority white vote could win, and he did.  A toned-down Republican able to stay closer to the hard lines of civic traditions and basic manners with a two-faced appeal to populism, disaffection, and anti-elitism could be a winner on that same basis.  Standing in the way could be Trump, because a candidate would have trouble out Trumping Trump himself, even if he weren’t running.

My vote is letting him blow hard and blow away this faux populism and see if other parties, even the Democrats, can remember when appealing to the people rather than techsters, the rich, and Wall Street was a winning combination.  If not, winter is coming again, and it may last longer.