Thursday, May 15, 2014

I have to say it...

The public endorsement of former US Congressman Travis Childers over Bill Marcy by Mississippi Democratc Party Chairman/Executive Director Rickey Cole before the June 3rd Democratic Primary was wrong.

I have known all three gentlemen for a number of years, having known Chairman Cole the longest. So what I am writing is not a personal attack on any of them, it is just my opinion of where this Democratic Primary stands. 

Travis Childers served one term in Congress representing Mississippi's 1st congressional district. He was elected in 2008 and defeated in 2010. When Travis campaigned with me and former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, he boldly showed his support of Barack Obama. He also promised to open a congressional office in Holly Springs. Once elected, Travis voted against the Affordable Health Care Act and failed to open that Holly Springs office. Two years later, despite the appeals of the Congressional Black Caucus, the black electorate in the 1st District abstained from voting, contributing to Childers' defeat.

Bill Marcy is a retired law enforcement officer, and an African-American. Bill ran for Congress twice, against US Congressman Bennie Thompson, as a Republican. Bill called me before he made his decision to run, primarily to make sure I wasn't running, and I told him that it is a tough battle for African-American to win without TOTAL Democratic Party support, not to mention that he will have to overcome the fact that you ran against the most powerful Democrat in the state twice, as a member of the opposition party. Bill decided to run anyway, fully aware of how the deck was stacked.

So now, here we are. Rickey subtly endorses Travis, Bill cries racism. Mr. Chairman, did we really need that scenario to play out? 

For those who follow college football and understood the old BCS system, the Mississippi Democratic Party is the old Big East Conference and the Mississippi Republican Party is the SEC. The Big East champion had an automatic bid to be considered for the national championship, but it was clearly expected that the SEC champion would win it. Underdogs don't need to be mired in perceived racism. Underdogs don't need to convey the message that somebody from the African-American demographic can't win a statewide election in Mississippi. Underdogs can't be passive if they want to beat the champion.

Democrats have to do better than this. This state is too poor to be totally dominated by one political party, because neither party single handedly has changed that demographic. So when opportunity knocks, you cannot squander it with small minded, non-visionary thinking. You have a candidate who is African-American, but was a member of a political party that, whether fairly or not, the majority of African-Americans do not trust, file to run. The party accepted his paperwork and filing fee. Then the party recruits a white man who when elected to office, fairly or not, lost the trust of his African-American constituents, to counter the African-American former Republican.

And some wonder why more people are focused on the race between the "Old Man and the Tea Party".

If you didn't want Marcy to run, Mr. Chairman, you should not have taken his money. Is Childers the best Democrat to publicly endorse considering his perception in the black electorate? Probably not, but the challenge of finding a candidate that 90 percent of blacks and 25 of whites in Mississippi trust is daunting. So since Childers will get traction with white voters for voting against Obamacare, and it figures that blacks have no choice but to vote for the Democratic nominee if he is chosen, then that is the best possible Democratic scenario to re-capture that Senate seat.

Question: How did that work in 2010?

I have been the Democratic nominee for the United States Senate in Mississippi twice. I know what that lonely feeling is like to be twisting in the wind or to be treated as the sacrificial lamb for "the greater good". For once, I just wish the Democratic Party in Mississippi would just give a damn about winning. And you can't win playing the game in fear. 

Ok, I'm done venting. It is what it is. I'll get over it. Rickey you shouldn't have publicly endorsed Travis over Bill, because either way, we have put lipstick on the pig. Good luck and if I have offended those involved I apologize. I respect each of you and I wish you well.