Joe Reed and the Democrats are no better: It’s time for an independent third party to emerge.
The Big Picture –
By Glynn Wilson –
Little Jeffry Beauregard Sessions of Alabama has made the big time.
No, it’s not just because a Republican majority in the U.S. Senate held their noses and confirmed him as new President Donald J. Trump’s attorney general.
Sessions was depicted as a national joke in the opening skit of Saturday Night Live.
Thanks, Mr. Sessions, for confirming what people all over the country and the world think of people from Alabama: Of course we are all a bunch of barefooted, uneducated, racist white trash.
Way down in Montgomery, in the old capital of the Confederacy, conservative Christian tourism officials under our joke of a Governor Robert Bentley must be gearing up to host the national Ku Klux Klan convention. I mean who else would want to visit here? Maybe some old Nazi’s from Germany?
Bentley is so openly corrupt that he named as Sessions replacement in the U.S. Senate the likes of state Attorney General Luther Strange, who had already stalled a legislative investigation of the governor claiming his office would conduct its own investigation and deal with the governor’s alleged sexual affair and financial shenanigans to cover it up.
Things are definitely strange in Montgomery, where Bentley appointed former U.S. Attorney Alice Martin as acting attorney general. You may recall her name as the federal prosecutor in Birmingham who was appointed to office by President George W. Bush. She brought the first cases against former Governor Don Siegelman and HealthSouth’s Richard Scrushy. She lost both cases. Some great prosecutor, eh? Bentley is counting on her incompetence and conservative Republican Federalist Society loyalty to let him off the hook too.
Unfortunately the Republicans are not the only joke in Montgomery. The Democrats, which should be celebrating a major resurgence with people so mad at the election of Trump, with the governor considered a boob and a joke, the former Speaker of the House on his way to prison for corruption and the Ten Commandments Judge kicked out as Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court, again, are tragically funny too.
In a recent meeting in Birmingham when a large number of Democrats showed up to see how the party was planning on capitalizing politically from all the Republican troubles, things went downhill fast when the scrappy little dictator of the Alabama Education Association and the Alabama Democratic Caucus, Joe Reed, told the crowd of people who were there to make a difference: “People are free to disagree, but they’re not free to disobey.”
What the f___?
Clearly Mr. Reed has been in charge of a dying party for way too long. His brain must be damaged from feeling like he has all this power, the power to appoint his friends and relatives to the state Democratic Party executive committee to apparently serve only one purpose: Keep him in charge of it, even as his party can’t win any elections.
Many Democrats have been calling for his resignation for many years. He should have stepped aside in 2011 when the Republicans took control of all three branches of government for the first time in more than 100 years. But he clung to his chair like a dying man with dementia clings to his recliner in his home long after he should have been relegated to the old folks home.
What are progressive democrats in Alabama supposed to do at this point?
In his final two press conferences and his farewell address in Chicago, President Barack Obama talked about the need for a free press doing its job of reporting the facts in a democratic society. He also talked about the need for state and local parties to get organized the reach out to the working class voters who put Trump over the top in 2016.
But how are they supposed to do that when the state party will do nothing to help build a better independent press online in Alabama or help local parties who want to work at making things better?
“You asked what the state party has done,” Reed said to local party officials trying to help. “What has the local party done?”
Ann Green, the chairwoman of the Etowah County Democratic Party, stormed out of the meeting during a speech by party chair Nancy Worley.
“We’re the Democratic Party, we’re inclusive,” Green said outside the ballroom. “We don’t need to be told by the state chair we’re recruiting weird people to our committee.”
For the record, back in George Wallace’s day, I argued for a competitive party system and editorialized about the need for a stronger opposition Republican Party in the state. But now that these anti-government Republicans have seized control of everything, the logical thing would be for the Democratic Party to make some changes and figure out how to compete.
But if the state party leadership in Montgomery is going to do nothing but insult people who show up and try to help, perhaps it is time for a third party to be formed where independent candidates might have a chance of winning elections and taking over the state government.
Are the people of my home state not tired of being a national joke? What are you going to do about it?
© 2017, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.