Wednesday, February 08, 2023

North Carolina Democrats Will Decide Their Future This Weekend


Paige Masten put together a good article focusing on the current fight for the leadership of the NC Democratic Party, "After string of losses, some NC Democrats are seeking a new direction," to which a chorus in my immediate vicinity said, "No kidding!" The vote by the Democratic State Executive Committee (SEC) will be this Saturday in a virtual meeting.

Masten's article highlighted the insurgent challenge for the chairmanship of a badly damaged party by Anderson Clayton, about whom I've already written (and cheered) and for whom I feel some grasping hope for the future of the NCDP. The race between Clayton and current chair Bobbie Richardson has certainly turned into Establishment vs. Grassroots Activist, with all the big establishment dogs lining up behind Richardson -- Gov. Cooper, Josh Stein, Cheri Beasley, Jeff Jackson (a particularly disappointing endorsement, because it signals that the congressman is very comfortable with how elections are currently managed in North Carolina, off-brand for Jackson). I wrote it earlier: Richardson has shown little discernible introspection about what's not working in the Party's current iteration. When asked at the Progressive Dems candidate forum what ideas she found useful coming from her competitors, she couldn't think of a thing.

Late yesterday, Indy Week editor Jane Porter announced her publication's endorsement of Clayton, and Carolina Forward director Blair Reeves published an editorial, "Are NC Democrats Ready for a Reckoning?" in which he complains about "the party’s low-energy, battleplan-by-faculty-committee approach." It's all an implicit attack on Bobbie Richardson's administration, though he never mentions her name, and he never comes out and endorses Anderson Clayton (maybe he supports one of the other candidates. There are now four, I believe. There had been five. One of them, Eva Lee of Raleigh, ran as an insurgent progressive with bold ideas for reform but announced on Facebook on January 31 that she was dropping out and endorsing Richardson. Lee included a lengthy explanation for her change of heart in which she admits that she was conclusively swayed by Roy Cooper and the other bigwigs. So much for The Crusade. That Facebook post appears to have disappeared.

I'm clearly a partisan in this race, though I have no vote. Watauga County as a whole has four SEC votes. But it's the big counties of Wake and Mecklenburg and Forsyth and Guilford that have the majority of the 800 SEC votes, because county allotments are made on the basis of total number of votes for governor in the last election. (You see how this pie is baked.) In other words, if delegates are unwilling to buck the Establishment, like Eva Lee, Richardson wins.

Anderson Clayton deserves to win. She's traveled to county parties all over the state, gathering intel on what the more rural counties think and what they want and what they've learned, and through very effective social media she's energized Gen Z with a fire for doing the hard work. I worry actively about where all that new energy goes if Clayton doesn't win. Who wants the same old thing, the top-down (and trickle-down) distribution of party assets? Who wants more of the same? We stand to lose volunteers. Without volunteers, there's no ground game. People will leave not out of spite and anger (oh some will be spiteful and angry) but out of depressive hopelessness that anything is gonna come from the effort.


Wolf's Head said...

It's not the leadership, it's your message.

It's not that you didn't get your message out, you did, and people thought it was crap.

Dave said...

From my experience running in 16 of NC's 100 counties, largely rural, over two elections, I can attest that the state party desperately needs to reinvest in our rural county parties. We must work hard to reframe the argument for those in rural counties to vote FOR Democrats. We need a statewide re-branding and we need to fight the insidious methods NCGOP uses to surpress votes. A rising tide lifts all boats and we have to help get Democrats out to vote and empower county parties to grow their rolls of registered Democrats.
In short, something's gotta change.

Wolf's Head said...

"We must work hard to reframe the argument for those in rural counties to vote FOR Democrats. "
Sounds like you want to disguise the policies you have to deceive rural voters, who aren't buying what you're selling, which is happening across the country, not just here in NC.

Why do you think rural voters are rural? We don't want urban politics/society/control/meddling. So why would we vote for those policies?

" A rising tide lifts all boats..." I miss Reagan.

Red Hornet said...

Liz Truss in England found out that being 45 years behind the current reality is not viable. People in a rural setting do value the few choices that remain, but they would also like to see some services and programs for their bucks. It might come down from Roy Cooper, or it might come down from Joe Biden, that contributions override public needs, but stability is not even working in the short term. Stability is suicide as a policy when the economic model doesn't work, resources are squandered on war and corporate power and climate is acting up. If anticipatory actions continue to be delayed we'll be up to our necks in inflation, empty supermarket shelves, new pandemics and hopeless debt. Jerry has the intuition that reframing is needed but a new fundraising chairperson will hardly be enough. But it's hilarious how hound dog is lonely for the stiff-legged zombie.

Wolf's Head said...

For all of his achievements and faults, at least Reagan had a sense of humor and could tell a joke.

Wolf's Head said...

Anonymous said...

" People in a rural setting do value the few choices that remain, but they would also like to see some services and programs for their bucks." RH

Or, they would rather not have the meddling, controlling government taking their money so they can pay $8 for a dozen eggs, or $8 for a pound for butter or $3.29 for gas, thanks to Biden's economic policies.

Wolf's Head said...

I doubt many watched the video I linked to, but it might be instructive for you.

Thirty-five years ago, Reagon could joke about rural residents who had never seen a Republican. I remember those times when you could walk down a country road, throw a rock and hit 4 generations of Democrats.

So why isn't it that way now? Reagan himself was once a Democrat but left the party when it turned to the left. Those rural and urban workers who were betrayed by the Democrat Party's leftism supported Reagan in both of his elections by landslide victories. His second opponent, Walter Mondale only won his home state, the other 49 went for Reagan.

I'm not concerned with political parties; they are more concerned with their own power rather than the people.

And now you all are worried about how to get the rural voters back.

JW has stated he doesn't know why I post here when I profess to just wanting to be alone.

And that's the problem, you can ignore politics, but politics won't ignore you. With the government assuming power to control everything it doesn't matter what you do but the control freaks who want more power will affect everything around you, from food and fuel prices to whether your kids can go to school and not be transitioned, that is indoctrinated and mutilated without your knowledge or consent.

Maybe Anderson Clayton can fix your lack of rural support, but I believe the problem is your message, what you want to do. Taking people's money and freedom then doling it back to them is not a winning message.

Taking people's money and giving it to others for political support is what you're best at.