First, Jeff Woods says:
“The sky’s the limit for how crazy they want to be,” says Rep. Henry Fincher, a Democrat from Cookeville, who helpfully offered advice to the Republicans in a Scene interview.
Fincher points out that Democrats lost the legislature—ironically enough for the first time since the Civil War—because white voters thronged to the polls to vote against the black guy running for president, and they happened to vote for all the Republicans on the ballot while they were at it.
Then Pesky Fly says:
Ironically, [Kurita’s] dramatic expulsion was meant to prevent a Republican from becoming Senate speaker. How’d that work out, guys?
And Vibinc says:
This is, perhaps, the single greatest failing of the TNDP in the last election cycle. More than anything else, the TNDP did a crappy job of communicating a plan. I don’t put this responsibility on Communications Director Wade Munday as it was his job to communicate the message, not craft it from the bottom up. I put it on the entire governing apparatus of the TNDP, and the general belief in old school “Trickle Down” politicking.
“Trickle Down” or “Top Down” politicking is just like it sounds; people at the top make decisions, those decisions “trickle down” through the ranks to the people. Just like “Trickle Down Economics”, few at the bottom of the information stream ever get wet. At some point, the information gets soaked up closer to the top and never makes it to the rest of the people.
Elected officials and political parties have used this method for years, and to a certain degree it’s worked. It can work, as long as people never age, have any personal crisis, or organized opposition. The problem with “top down” is that you never build any bench players to step in should the starter have to step out. The people at the top hold all the cards. When that person leaves, he/she leaves a vacuum in their wake, a prime target to be exploited by the opposition, which is exactly what happened.
(The whole post is so brilliant it about brings me to my knees, but that part is especially important to me.)
I think it’s just the day, which has, for reasons completely unassociated with the Democratic party, turned into a little clusterfuck, but I’m feeling a little despondant about the state of the Party and the potential for the Party to pull its head out of its butt.
I have a lot of thoughts. I keep floundering as I try to pull them together into something meaningful. But I feel like smart people are giving the Democrats a roadmap for how to turn things around and I feel certain that they aren’t going to listen.
We are going to have to do this without them.
You’re way too kind. Thanks so much!
And you’re right, if they won’t we must.
“We are going to have to do this without them.” If you’ve ever worked in a political campaign, you have heard this dramatic conclusion word for word, and it seared in your mind as a life lesson.
When our 2005 campaign for a first time progressive candidate in Virginia’s 13th District concluded this, it was tough. We understood a first time candidate couldn’t expect the state and local party to support an unknown candidate. But then we did it without them. We were told we’d be lucky to raise $25,000. We raised $250,000 and all the volunteers and energy that made that happen. The state and local party eventually came around, and we helped deliver a Tim Kaine victory for Democrats.
Candidates with no real record conclude we are going to have to do this without them. Obama concluded this. Campaigns that cannot get a dime from their state party conclude this. Churches conclude this. Non-profits conclude this. Leaders conclude this, and then something remarkable happens.
The passion it takes to “do this without them” inspires others who give time and money. They sweat with you. They cry with you, and then the “them” comes knocking because they realize they need you more than you need them, and you change the world.
The one hope I have for fellow TN Democrats is that we don’t wait to learn this life lesson the hard way through the failures of others. My hope is we do it without them and build a people powered party that wins.
You are right.
It’s up to us.