I truly think Californian Democratic “operative” David O Atkins needs to listen to this song:-
If he’s a good boy, drinks his milk and goes to bed early and reads his history, he’ll find that song applied to all but two Democratic Presidents in the 20th Century and the Vice-Presidents serving the Democrats who were from the North. It was a Southern Democrat who presided at Richard Nixon’s Watergate hearings. Twenty years ago, when Derval Patrick was still a schoolboy, a Southern state elected the first African-American governor, who today is still respected and revered as the elder statesman of our party in Virginia. The Democratic candidate for Governor of Mississippi is an African-American. Whether he wins the race or not, in a state like Mississippi, that’s a landmark achievement.
David O Atkins loves to remind people that he’s been a “long-term” Democratic operative – long-term in his case, having been 2004, when he first worked on Governor Howard Dean’s campaign. I can accept his version of “long-term.” David O Atkins is still a very young man. A boy. A cucciolo, as the Italians would say; and so, he may not remember that Dr Dean devised the Fifty State Strategy, wanting the Democratic party’s candidate to campaign in all fifty states, no matter how Right, no matter how Red those states were.
Yet David O Atkins must disregard that strategy as insignificant, because in his recent blog on Digby’s Hullabaloo site, he literally wipes my demographic off the electoral map – nay, out of the ballpark, out of the country even – as totally irrelevant and insignificant. Too pigshit thick ignorant even to comprehend a simple message, even when the Warren Buffett of bumpkins, Toby Keith delivers a broadside against the wealthy and corporations and calls for higher taxes in the name of patriotism.
If David O Atkins bothered to cast his mind back to 2008, I’ll bet, initially, he, like most Progressive voters and starfuckers, supported the candidacy of one John Edwards, born Johnny Reid Edwards, to poor hard-working hayseeds in South Carolina. Johnny Reid originally was a straight-shootin’ triangulated Clinton Southern Democrat, when he ran in the Vice-Presidential spot with ueber Liberal Northeastern Brahmin, John Kerry (another effort to capture the Southern vote). Johnny Reid talked slow and pronounced the slang word for defecation with two syllables, instead of one (read: sheee-at). But in 2008, with Hillary Clinton, centrist, certain to run for President, Johnny Reid re-invented himself as a Progressive and became the EmoProgs’ darlin’.
But David O Atkins selectively chooses not to rememeber that Edwards hailed from such a beknighted and insignificant place as the South, not even worth registering on the Democrats’ electoral barometer.
Speaking effusively on how well Elizabeth Warren’s common sense message of how no one in this country got rich on their own, initially, he – quite rightly assumes that this should be the real rhetoric with meaning which drives the Democratic Party.
(Hint: It’s exactly what the President is promoting, but no one in the press or the media is going with that. They’d rather spin and interpret his remarks as though he were speaking a language foreign to the lot of us.)
At first, Atkins seems to understand the task at hand for Democrats:-
Changing the system will come from voting people like Elizabeth Warren into office all across the country, proving that they can win using this sort of rhetoric, and then holding them accountable to their campaign promises.
Absolutely. I’ve always said that if you want a more liberal/progressive Presidential Administraton, the first order of the day is electing more progressive legislators.
But then, David O Atkins qualifies his message in a way that’s totally and unmitigatingly anti everything the Democratic party ever represented. (Again, the emphasis is mine, albeit the italics are the author’s).:-
And here’s the little secret the Democratic consultant class either doesn’t understand or willfully refuses to understand: this sort of rhetoric won’t just win in Massachusetts. It will win in Omaha, too. It will win the day from Annapolis to Anchorage, from Kalamazoo to Kailua-Kona.
Will there be places this message won’t win, and voters whose heartstrings it won’t touch? Yes, of course. Most of those places will be heavily rural or bastions of the Bible Belt and the Deep South.But those places were unwinnable and those people unreachable anyway without destroying everything the Democratic Party is supposed to stand for.
The amount of contortion necessary for Democrats to win in places Warren’s message won’t work means those places aren’t worth winning in the first place.
The Democratic Party would be far, far better off maximizing voter turnout in places where this message does work, than in weakening its message so much that its support becomes a mile wide but an inch deep.
Wow, good to know that I come from a place so stultifyingly stupid that my demographic simply isn’t worth the outreach. I take exception to that, but even more, I take exception to the fact that by reaching out to the rural South and its voters, this will destroy everything the Democratic Party represents.
This boy, this snotty child of white, Texan – yes, he’s from Texas – privilege reckons that reaching out and engaging with the working class and the working poor is contrary to Democratic Party principles.
The Democratic Party isn’t the stuff of the Left Coast or the Northeast Coast. It’s not the stuff of Los Angeles or Ventura County or Eugene, Oregon or Chappaqua, New York. It’s not latte-drinking people who are appreciative of fine wine and the opera – hell, the Koch Brothers own the damned Lincoln Centre in New York City!
If he’s nasty nice about interacting with the Southern working poor, black and white, he’d do well to remember that these were the people for whom Johnny Reid Edwards worked, purely on a pro bono basis.
If he’s pushing the myth that all Southerners are Boss Hogg racists, then maybe he should check out the vast numbers of sundown towns prevalent in his own adopted state of California.
The fact that this man, this boy who’s barely out of his twenties, is an elected official at county level and aspires to be an influential operative in the Democratic party enough to present himself as such, is not only willfully seeking to write off a significant demographic which used to be an important part of the Democratic party and could be again, because Democratic principles are what they need to re-learn and re-apprise again; but they can’t until they engage with people who have been systematically demonised by people promoting a sinister agenda.
Maybe David O Atkins should speak with his parents more. They might remember a time when Republicans were demonised in the Democratic heartlands of the rural South and Midwest. But then, I suppose David O Atkins is one of those sophisticated Progressives, who are just bored to tears by stories of the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
Because people like David O Atkins are bored to tears and embarrassed by people like Lily Ledbetter, to the point where they’d abandon her ilk as unreachable and unimportant to the Democratic Party’s goals.
Well, that’s not my Democratic Party, and I’ll bet it’s not the Democratic Party of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Bill Clinton or the Roosevelts and the Kennedys.
David O Atkins needs to know that three swing states in the 2012 electoral agenda are Southern states – Virginia, North Carolina and Florida; and if David O Atkins is a delegate to the Democratic National Convention next year, David O Atkins will have to experience the Southern hospitality of Charlotte, North Carolina.
And I hope they’re so nice to him, they shame that little Scallywag.
So just to emphasize my message with a repetition of the song unto which David O Atkins should harken, here’s a different version, by the man who wrote it, himself. I’d like David O Atkins to listen to the words, but more important than that, I’d like David O Atkins, co-chair of the Ventura County, California, Democratic Party to know that he can kiss my rural Southern BLUE Virginia Democratic ass. The Democrats where I come from are solidly behind the President of the United States and want him to succeed. Unlike David O Atkins.
Maybe the California Democratic Party had best be looking at the operatives they put in positions of influence out there.