Just on May 20 of 2009, I have read that Republicans have voted on a petty resolution that calls on the Democratic Party to be permanently renamed as the "Democratic-Socialist Party", a move Michael Steele says will have his party "look outward instead of inward". Do you believe this name-calling will truly help the GOP at all, or will it further damage the party? To those who are reading this, please share your thoughts and opinions in the comment section of this page. (My personal answer will be written therein.)
Democrats' leader hammers both parties
By RANDY KREHBIEL World Staff Writer
Published: 3/1/2009 2:33 AM
Last Modified: 3/1/2009 3:36 AM
State Democratic Party Chairman Ivan Holmes has a Ph.D. in communications and he's not afraid to use it. Friday he hammered the Republican Legislature and tight-fisted Democrats about the head and shoulders for an hour at the Democratic Luncheon Club in downtown Tulsa.
"There is no democracy going on at the Capitol in Oklahoma City," Holmes said. "Our House and Senate people are getting so beaten down, the Republicans are almost dictatorial. They're blatant about it and they don't care."
The GOP, he said, is "ruthless, organized and they've got money."
But Holmes was also critical of fellow Democrats.
He said that two years ago, when he became chairman, only 17 individuals gave as much as $1,000 a year to the party. That's up to 150 now, but isn't nearly enough to compete with the Republicans or to compensate for the money the state received from the national party under former national chairman Howard Dean.
"Our party has no money," he said, noting that the Democratic Senate caucus' political action committee ended the last election cycle $25,000 in debt and the House PAC is almost broke, too.
And, he said, the trial lawyers say they'll no longer contribute to the legislative PACs because of last year's poor election results.
"We have to raise $750,000 by 2010 to be viable," Holmes said. "You can't run a party like we have."
Holmes said President Obama's organization appears to be concentrating national party resources on "target states" -
which Oklahoma, after giving Obama only 34 percent of the vote, is not.
"What we've got to do is convince the Obama people we ought to be targeted," Holmes said
Holmes is not seeking a second two-year term but said he will continue to work for the state party as a volunteer.
DNC Announces Clyde Williams as New Political Director
Democratic National Committee
For Immediate Release
February 20, 2009
Washington, DC – The Democratic National Committee today announced the appointment of Clyde Williams as DNC political director. Williams -- who previously served as a senior policy advisor at the Clinton Foundation, Vice President of State and Local Government Affairs at the Center for American Progress, and deputy chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Agriculture -- brings a unique combination of policy and political background to the position.
"We’re thrilled that someone with Clyde’s immense skill and unique combination of experience with domestic policy issues and grassroots political organizing will be joining the DNC’s leadership team," said DNC Executive Director Jen O’Malley Dillon. "Governor Kaine has stated his goals of helping advance the President’s agenda and promoting broader participation in the civic dialogue. Having Clyde serve as our political director is an important part of our effort to engage more Americans in our effort to implement practical solutions to the challenges facing our country."
"I look forward to a great opportunity to work with Governor Kaine, Jen O’Malley Dillon, and of course the White House to advance the President’s agenda and continue to strengthen our Party," said Williams. "These challenging times demand real leadership from Washington and a renewed commitment to truly engaging the American people in the effort to move our country forward. I am honored by the opportunity to help Governor Kaine with this historic effort."
Clyde Williams, Democratic National Committee Political Director
Clyde Williams joins the DNC after four years as founder and president of his own business development firm, Certus Advisors based in New York City. Williams served as a top domestic policy advisor at the Clinton Foundation from 2001 to 2005, advising President Clinton on the development of programs targeting underserved communities. Williams also served as Vice President of State and Local Government Affairs at the Center for American Progress and as deputy chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the second term of the Clinton Administration. Prior to entering national politics, Williams worked for District of Columbia City Council Chairman John A. Wilson.
For Democrats, Barack Obama's stunning victory last night over John McCain brought a seemingly endless and often bitter presidential campaign battle to a welcome end. Obama's victory came as cause for relief and for celebration, as did Democratic gains in the Senate and the House of Representatives. When our first African American president takes office in January, Democrats will enjoy a position of authority in Washington we have not held since a brief period from 1992 to 1994. Many progressives are saying now that the era of conservative dominance in America beginning with the rise of the "New Right" in the 1970s and the Reagan victory in 1980 has now come at last to an end, that the long Republican nightmare is over, and I too am hopeful that this is so. While we celebrate and look ahead to the Obama Era, however, we should also remember that just as power can be won so it can also be lost, as it was in 1980, 1994, and 2000.
Each end is also a beginning; and so the end of Campaign 2008 and the end of Republican rule is also the beginning of something, but of what? Are we at the doorstep of a bold new progressive age that begins with Obama and extends into infinity, or of another brief Democratic reign to end again with a bitter Republican resurgence? Now that we have successfully driven the Republicans from power, how do we keep them from coming back, as we know we must if we are to avoid a repeat of the past eight years? A Republican resurgence would be a disaster, not only for Democrats and progressives, but for America and the world. The Karl Roves and Dick Cheneys of the world are not going anywhere. They will simply retreat to their think tanks and begin cooking up plans to retake power, just as they did during the Clinton years. Their success must be prevented by any and all means at our disposal.
While progressives will surely have a place at the table in the new administration, we cannot expect that the Left will or should dominate the Obama agenda at least in the near term. I would consider myself to be well on the Left of the Democratic Party, and I'm happy that progressives will have a voice in the new administration, but I feel pretty certain that Obama will have to govern more-or-less from the center if he is to avoid creating a whole new generation of "Reagan Democrats." I am hopeful that it may now be possible for progressives not simply to move the government to the left but to actually move the country to the left, and to create a new progressive America free of the politics of Reagan and Bush. In order for this to happen, however, Democrats in Washington will first have to prove themselves capable of governing the country effectively and satisfactorily in the eyes of their constituents. Once conservative-leaning, "soft" Democrats see that liberals aren't so bad after all, they will be much more likely to elect Democrats to Congress in 2010, to re-elect President Obama in 2012, to put another Democrat in the White House in 2016, and to listen to progressive ideas in the meantime with an open mind. While Democrats in Washington focus on effective governance, they and Democratic activists including us in the netroots must also focus on maintaining the gains we have made and on making further gains in election cycles to come. We cannot afford a repeat of 1980, 1994, or 2000.
Meanwhile, a whole new generation of first-time Democratic voters has been brought into the electorate, and this new Democratic base must be maintained and built at a grassroots level. Because of a far less reliable base of Democratic voters in previous elections, a hardcore Republican base of social conservatives, neo-cons, bigots, and xenophobes was allowed to dominate American politics for the better part of thirty years. This can never be allowed to happen again. Republicans who cannot be persuaded to go Democratic must be isolated and outvoted. In the immediate term, this means building a broad new Democratic base that includes centrists and even moderate conservatives in addition to progressives and the Left: not an easy task. The brilliant success of the Obama campaign in doing precisely that, however, can be credited in great part to Obama's experience as a community organizer in Chicago - experience that will serve the Democratic Party's organizing efforts well in the years to come.
Indeed if anyone is up the difficult tasks which surely lie ahead, I think it is our new president-elect. Throughout his campaign, he has shown himself to be a steady, focused, and disciplined political leader: not bad traits if one wishes to be an effective and successful president. More importantly, Obama possesses clear vision and a spirit of idealism that could not contrast more with the cynicism of the era that has just ended. He also possesses a strong, committed base of grassroots support that is ready for the battles to come. I for one look forward with hope and confidence to the road ahead.