Your morning jolt: Can women stop Democratic bleeding?

Three white rural Democrats in the House have switched party loyalty in the last 48 hours. And we understand that three more are being courted by House Republicans.

So by the time the House Democratic caucus assembles at 1 p.m. today to elect new leadership, the group could be down to 65 members – barely more than the third of the chamber needed to block a constitutional amendment.

State Rep. Virgil Fludd, a Democrat from Tyrone. File

State Rep. Virgil Fludd, a Democrat from Tyrone. File

Two candidates have presented themselves for House minority leader, to replace the departing DuBose Porter of Dublin: Stacey Abrams of Atlanta and Virgil Fludd of Tyrone. Calvin Smyre of Columbus, former chairman of the state Democratic party, had been urged into the contest by some — but has decided to stay on the sidelines.

Abrams and I happened to be at the same Georgia State University event last night – which looked at the aftereffects of the Nov. 2 vote.

I asked her how Democrats intended to climb out of their hole. The 36-year-old tax lawyer said to think of politics as a product. “You can try to steal support, or you can create a new market. I think you have to create a new market,” she said.

State Rep. Stacey Abrams, a Democrat from Atlanta. File

State Rep. Stacey Abrams, a Democrat from Atlanta. File

So what does that mean? The racial segregation of Georgia vote is devastating to Democrats, who depend on a biracial coalition for success. Breaking out of the box means moving the topic off race – a difficult proposition in the South.

Gender may be the answer, Abrams and others think. The Republican party has become the party of the white male Georgian. White female voters have become the decision-makers in elections – the swing voters.

To climb out of the black-versus-white box, Democrats will need to create a different, male-versus-female box – with education and economic security as the primary issues.

At that same GSU event was state Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur). She agreed. “It’s very important that the gender gap be understood by the Democratic party now,” she said.

A woman, by the way, has never been named leader of a House or Senate caucus.

Fludd has sent a letter to members of the House Democratic caucus that includes this:

Our troubles as a party and as a caucus pale in comparison with the very real troubles of our fellow citizens. Unemployment is still high; our poverty rate grows. Our schools are struggling. …

Our new caucus should be smarter, better at communicating, more forceful at times, and at others, willing to work across party lines on sound policy for the betterment of our fellow Georgians. Most importantly, we should be what we’ve always been – true to our ideals and our principles.

He has more posted here.

***

Another tidbit from the GSU event: I asked the lawmakers there if they would be willing to pledge allegiance to the state flag of Georgia as part of the daily opening ritual when the Legislature convenes in January.

Abrams said she could not. She pledges allegiance to the American flag – and allegiance, she argued, isn’t something that can be pledged twice. Not if it’s to mean anything. State Sen. Emanuel Jones (D-Decatur), chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus, said he’ll abstain as well. “That’s when I head for the anteroom,” he quipped.

***

Carol Porter, the former candidate for lieutenant governor, has also jumped into the whither-Democrats discussion with this post on her Facebook page:

“Alan Powell, Bob Hanner & Gerald Greene switched parties for a reason. The “Democratic Tent” in GA has become so small it can not cover even those in it. Harsh yes, but someone has to say it.

“Many wavering Dems feel excluded by the narrow message. If elected officials feel comfortable switching, imagine how easy it will be for voters. It is called political science for a reason and it is time for wholesale change in the DPG.”

***

Over at PeachPundit.com, Chris Huttman says switching parties may not save Bob Hanner or Gerald Greene when it comes to redistricting. Here’s just a taste:

“According to 2009 census estimates (which tend to undercount urban areas, which means the numbers will actually be even worse) Hanner and Greene’s districts have a population of approximately 44,000 people each. Well here’s the problem – Georgia’s population is estimated to be 9.8 million, and 1/180th of that is 54,606.

“That means that each one of these districts will go into redistricting at about 80% of the population needed to make a district, meaning that they’ll each need to come up with an additional 15% or so (under Roy rules) or 19% (under Larios rules).”

***

Newly re-elected U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop was one of those attending a retirement event for state Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin. Upon approaching the podium, he said, “I’m Lazarus and I’m proud to be standing.”

Bishop also read a letter of congratulations to Irvin from President Barack Obama, which was received with polite applause.

***

The state GOP has a new executive director – or at least an acting one. Kevin Harris, a former chairman of the 9th District GOP, will replace Toby Carr, who has joined Gov.-elect Nathan Deal’s transition team.

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

49 comments Add your comment

SpaceyG

November 10th, 2010
9:43 am

Good Lordy Awmighty. Contrary to popular belief, women cannot save the entire world… without help. Send Dem Georgia to Grady ER. STAT! Give it some kinda Emory, Arthur, whomever, cash infusion… whatever it takes. It’s that bad.

to heck with it

November 10th, 2010
9:57 am

If the democrats would simply get on with the business of improving this country without trying to gain new entitlements for their constituents, their party will grow once more. As a former dem turned independent, I continue to vote for the candidate that at least appears to be interested in advancing this country without harming others in the process. Neither party is doing a good job. The democrats have chosen to align themselves as “progressives”, which to many in this country means socialist. Push the reset button and focus on the business at hand without pandering, people will see the difference.

SpaceyG

November 10th, 2010
9:57 am

And I’d rather go have a root canal than wade through the murk of a Chris Huttman post on Peach Pundit. Jeez, Jim, your linking suggestions need work.

steve

November 10th, 2010
9:59 am

The GOP House speaker Pro Tem is a WOMAN! And the GOP is the party of only white men? Please.

td

November 10th, 2010
10:18 am

The Democrats have been gripping for years that the Republicans are the ones creating wedge issues to separate the classes and races and to gain power. Looks like the Dems are now saying they want to divide white men for white women to come back to power.

Tommy Maddox

November 10th, 2010
10:18 am

Here we go with the race element again…

SpaceyG

November 10th, 2010
10:19 am

Been griping too.

Last Man Standing

November 10th, 2010
10:27 am

to heck with it:

” without trying to gain new entitlements for their constituents”

The democrats have for years “bought” votes with the money of taxpayers through the “entitlement programs”. I don’t believe they know any other way to function.

“The democrats have chosen to align themselves as “progressives”, which to many in this country means socialist”

What else could it mean? The electorate recognized it and wanted nothing to do with it. The democrats just don’t understand that the American public isn’t buying what they are selling.

Lum

November 10th, 2010
11:01 am

Blacks vote black. How can that be stopped?

DannyX

November 10th, 2010
11:05 am

Entitlements?

President Reagan signed a bill that greatly expanded Medicare.

George W Bush signed the socialist Medicare Part D drug benefit bill. Gov-elect Nathan Deal voted YES. Republicans are responsible for some of the most expensive entitlement programs the past 50 years.

Now the modern Tea Party has joined the act. Did you hear Sen Elect Rand Paul’s comments concerning Congressional earmarks? No, not the comments he made right up until the day of the election vowing to all in his most demanding Tea Party tone…. “NO MORE EARMARKS!”

It took the Tea Party idol one whole week to back away from his no earmarks pledge. He wants his entitlement.

td

November 10th, 2010
11:12 am

DannyX

November 10th, 2010
11:05 am
Entitlements?

President Reagan signed a bill that greatly expanded Medicare.

George W Bush signed the socialist Medicare Part D drug benefit bill. Gov-elect Nathan Deal voted YES. Republicans are responsible for some of the most expensive entitlement programs the past 50 years

Most conservatives believe that the role of the Federal government is to provide a military, protect our boarders, Foreign policy, take care of our veterans and protect the senior citizens. The rest of the Federal government can be dismantled. If you took Medicaid out of Medicare then Medicare would be viable for many years to come.

RGB

November 10th, 2010
11:15 am

“To climb out of the black-versus-white box, Democrats will need to create a different, male-versus-female box – with education and economic security as the primary issues.”

“Economic security” is a Democrat code word for government intervention in things such as setting wages, establishing HR policies, and adding additional workplace regulations that, collectively, distort the market for labor.

As has been demonstrated ad nauseum for decades, government distortion of markets results in bad outcomes for citizens in terms of peoples’ ability to get and hold a job and in terms of their quality of life.

Recently, government mega-distorted the financial services, housing, mortgage, student loan, and automobile markets. We will be paying heavy consequences for generations to come.

Democrats–and Republicans–should stand up for economic opportunity rather than seek guaranteed outcomes.

DannyX

November 10th, 2010
11:19 am

“Most conservatives believe that the role of the Federal government is to provide a military, protect our boarders, Foreign policy, take care of our veterans and protect the senior citizens. The rest of the Federal government can be dismantled. If you took Medicaid out of Medicare then Medicare would be viable for many years to come.”

Most conservatives in Georgia make sure they protect one of their dearest entitlements of all, the building of unnecessary military aircraft that provide billions in entitlement dollars to entitlement loving Cobb County.

td

November 10th, 2010
11:30 am

DannyX

November 10th, 2010
11:19 am

” the building of unnecessary military aircraft ”

There is no such thing. It is just the opposite. Lockheed needed to build many more F-22’s and start replacing the outdated F-16, F-15 and F-18’s. BTW: Lockheed provides many democratic union jobs.

Big Pharma

November 10th, 2010
11:34 am

I understand there is a pill that reduces the bleeding to only 4 times per year. I would think that some women might be interested in that one.

RGB

November 10th, 2010
11:38 am

I’d go for that.

Scrap the non-job creating stimulus plan that guarantees perpetual indebtedness and is now causing the Fed to monetize the debt which will result in super inflation–and instead build some more F-22s that provide for our physical security.

One has to have his priorities straight.

I’m not sure that “most conservatives” wake up in the morning thinking of the F-22 aircraft, but many of us do think of freedom–especially after having our freedoms rolled back in the last couple of years.

Thanks to our veterans and current military personnel in all services including the skilled and brave pilots who fly the F-22 and also the folks who maintain, design, and build them.

God Bless You.

SPSU

November 10th, 2010
11:42 am

Democrats in Fulton county keep dumping on the North Fulton residents. No way in hades will I ever vote the democratic slime maggots in this state.

Bullwinkle

November 10th, 2010
11:44 am

If an official changes parties after being elected or re-elected, the post should be vacated and a new election held. Voters need to know the candidates position up front. Jim Marshall would’ve changed parties if he hab been re-elected. If I choose to vote for you as a Dem or Rep, I deserve for you to remain with my chosen party until the next election!!!

SallyForth

November 10th, 2010
11:46 am

Get a grip, people! What brainiac came up with the idea to change from a “black vs white” to a “women vs men” strategy? Both are plenty stupid. How about focusing on basic life issues of importance to all Georgians, regardless of race or gender?

DannyX

November 10th, 2010
11:53 am

“Democrats in Fulton county keep dumping on the North Fulton residents. No way in hades will I ever vote the democratic slime maggots in this state.”

Right on. It reminds me of Georgia Republicans. The slime maggots in the Statehouse feed rural Georgia their big heaping pile of Atlanta entitlement dollars every year. 35% of metro-Atlanta tax dollars are diverted to other parts of the state, it’s an entitlement frenzy.

Its highway robbery, literally.

GaBlue

November 10th, 2010
11:59 am

The problem with the Georgia Democratic party is simply this: You cannot win in modern times unless you’re willing to trash your ideals and go “all Rovian” on your opponent’s behind. (Those rape ads were a lame attempt, too little, too late, and ignored the real achielles heel that should have been attacked without mercy.) The political landscape has changed in the past 20 years. The rules have changed. If you’re not willing to fight nasty, you lose. Those who fight the nastiest always win.

The Dems mistakenly appeal to the voters’ better natures. Helloooo? The voters don’t HAVE better natures. Appeal to their sins and call them virtues, and win their loyalty forever. “Your greed is healthy. Your prejudice is valid. Your hatred is justified. Selfish is how God intended you to be.”

That’s what the GOP does every single day. You cannot disprove what is true, and the Dems in this state need to wake the *bleep* up and face the ugly truth.

MY QUESTIONS TO THE TEA PARTY

November 10th, 2010
12:06 pm

After the 8 Years Of The Bush/Cheney Disaster, Now You Get Mad?
You didn’t get mad when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President.
You didn’t get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate Energy policy and push us to invade Iraq .
You didn’t get mad when a covert CIA operative got outed.
You didn’t get mad when the Patriot Act got passed.
You didn’t get mad when we illegally invaded a country that posed no threat to us. You didn’t get mad when we spent over 800 billion (and counting) on said illegal war.
You didn’t get mad when Bush borrowed more money from foreign sources than the previous 42 Presidents combined.
You didn’t get mad when over 10 billion dollars in cash just disappeared in Iraq .
You didn’t get mad when you found out we were torturing people.
You didn’t get mad when Bush embraced trade and outsourcing policies that shipped 6 million American jobs out of the country.
You didn’t get mad when the government was illegally wiretapping Americans.
You didn’t get mad when we didn’t catch Bin Laden.
You didn’t get mad when Bush rang up 10 trillion dollars in combined budget and current account deficits.
You didn’t get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed.
You didn’t get mad when we let a major US city, New Orleans drown.
You didn’t get mad when we gave people who had more money than they could spend, the filthy rich, over a trillion dollars in taxbreaks. You didn’t get mad with the worst 8 years of job creations in several decades.
You didn’t get mad when over 200,000 US Citizens lost their lives because they had no health insurance.
You didn’t get mad when lack of oversight and regulations from the Bush Administration caused US Citizens to lose 12 trillion dollars in investments, retirement, and home values.
No…..You finally got mad
When a black man was elected President and decided that people in America deserved the right to see a doctor if they are sick.
Yes, illegal wars, lies, corruption, torture, job losses by the millions, stealing your tax dollars to make the rich richer, and the worst economic disaster since 1929 are all okay with you, but helping fellow Americans who are sick…Oh, Hell No!!

Kimmy

November 10th, 2010
12:11 pm

So…you vote for a person/party only to have them change affiliation at some point during their term. Really?

Darwin

November 10th, 2010
12:14 pm

For all you Repubs dumping on the Democrats, get a grip. The politicians don’t support programs that aren’t dear to the majority of votes – white people. Social Security, Medicare, and Defense spending make up the majority of government spending. I am waiting for the day when you idiots actually start doing something instead of borrowing and spending. Republicans are the same “socialists” as the Democrats. You tax and spend. Police, fire, educators, , military, etc all receive your socialist tax dollars. You are either too stupid to realize what you are talking about, or just plain stupid. Either way, grow up little boys and go play outside.

The Centrist

November 10th, 2010
12:19 pm

The Georgia Republicans are great. They cut our taxes, increased-then-cut spending, got all these corporation to create all these new jobs that has kept unemployment low, refused federal stimulus funds, improved the healthcare delivery system, improved transportion and logistics, greatly improved education by cutting budgets, giving tax breaks to fund private and charter schools, and insured that the federal government did not create any private sector jobs through the military industrial complex.

td

November 10th, 2010
12:20 pm

GaBlue

November 10th, 2010
11:59 am

I think I heard that same rant made by either Rachel Meadows of Keith Olbermann(sp?) the day after the election. It was false then and it is false now. I can guarantee you Barnes spent way much more money on opposition research then Deal did in this election cycle. He just did not have to pay for getting it out because this paper was a very willing participant.

GaBlue

November 10th, 2010
12:26 pm

td,

If I’m wrong, then why do I hear Republicans every day touting those sins as virtues? Deny it all you want. I’m not wrong. (BTW, I did not watch Olbermann, Maddow, or ANY news the day after the election. If they made those observations, it validates what I see with my own eyes, and hear with my own ears.) The truth isn’t always pretty, but at least I have the balls to face it.

Silent Jay

November 10th, 2010
12:35 pm

The giant ferris wheel will fix all of this.

The Centrist

November 10th, 2010
12:38 pm

Some people that think the federal government cannot create jobs and are against wasteful government spending. However, the same people want a private company to get a government contract to build more out-dated and excessively expensive F-22′’s. These same people don’t know that the US has committed to building 183 of them at a cost of $62 BILLION, and probably can’t understand why there is a federal law barring the export sale of the F-22’s.

DannyX

November 10th, 2010
12:41 pm

Republican spending helped create our deficit. I can’t wait to see how they plan to fix all of their recent mistakes when they take back the House in January.

Finally we’ll know the answers.

How do we fund it?

Medicare Part D?
Two wars?
The gigantic tax cuts?
The Dept. of Homeland Security?

We will know the answers won’t we?

REPEAL MEDICARE PART D !?!?!?!?!?!

Reality

November 10th, 2010
12:47 pm

How about these two boxes: honest and dishonest!

The Centrist

November 10th, 2010
12:49 pm

td. Come on man. How many people really read or can read the ajc or ajc.com or listen to PBS and 1380, let alone watch MSNBC? On the other hand, how many people listen to the “willing participants” such as 640, 750, 920, 1040, or watch Fox, Fox Business, CBN, and TBN in the Atlanta market that promoted the values and ethics of the Republian Party candidates.

Alabama Communist

November 10th, 2010
12:51 pm

“And a Black women crossdressing Democrat Jesus shall lead them out of the Republican Darkness and bring peace to Earth or South Georgia” * 1 st Rosebird, chapter 2, verse 14

Nemesis

November 10th, 2010
12:55 pm

Oh goodie what this means is that instead of playing the race care our politicians will play the gender card. And if THAT does not work maybe they can play BOTH of them. Until the Politicians start listening to what the people they are supposed to represent instead of the The Powers That Be. Both of our major political Parties will be hemorrhaging voters. Just because you are the party in power does NOT give you a mandate to spend the taxpayers money like it grows on trees for your pet projects. Balance the Budget, bring down the deficit, Close up the Borders where illegals and terrorist are not streaming through it like a raging river. And You just may keep your jobs. failure to do these things will result in your unemployment. Listen to the voices of the silent Majority instead of the squeaky minority. Because WE the majority are finding our voices and are beginning to Roar.

The Centrist

November 10th, 2010
1:00 pm

Alabama Communist. We already have an example of a Black Woman successfully leading folks out of the darkness, because her name was Harriet Tubman. On the other hand, a “crossdressing democrat Jesus” might have a problem getting pass homphobic conservatives. Book of Reality Chapter One, page 36.

Douglas

November 10th, 2010
1:14 pm

When the Dems realize that the only color that matters is GREEN (as in money, not environmentalism), then they will begine to succeed. As long as they think “Oh, we should play the gender card, now!” or any other card, they will FAIL. And if Nancy Pelosi is made the minority leader, I predict more and more failure. The Democrats will do to themselves what the GOP could only dream of doing to them.

RGB

November 10th, 2010
1:29 pm

Nancy Pelosi. MINORITY leader.

Has a nice ring to it.

Thanks

Reality

November 10th, 2010
1:46 pm

MY QUESTIONS TO THE TEA PARTY

And we didn’t get mad when you post 20 lines of dribble, most without proof.

Dose of Reality

November 10th, 2010
1:51 pm

Ahhhh, DannyX returns with his Medicare Part D, etc. Get some new material Danny boy.

Conservative Girl

November 10th, 2010
1:57 pm

Not this woman.

GaBlue

November 10th, 2010
2:03 pm

Reality: Bull. My Questions to the Tea Party’s question was not answered because the answer is embarrassing to the Pekoe Heads. Proof abounds. Bush/Cheney era: no video of them being mad. Obama gets elected: hundreds of rallies so mad they can’t speak without spewing angry spittle. YouTube. Proof.

Eric

November 10th, 2010
2:05 pm

Democratic party is dead … here and everywhere people want freedom.
Evidence: as stated above .. the idiots are going to keep Pelosi as the “face” of their dwindling party. … talk about haven’t got a clue.

shirley

November 10th, 2010
2:13 pm

Women voters have been determining the outcome of elections for more than a few years now. The Democratic Party of Georgia has represented and attracted a cross section of voters and candidates in recent years. The Democratic statewide slate was diverse and qualified. Campaigning for Democratic votes has changed and the DPG has just started making the adjustments to reach the cross section of voters needed to win. Every woman elected offical I have spoken with during election cycle knew women – young, old, white, black, Latino, Asian- would decide the election either by voting or staying at home. My father and mother belonged to different parties but often voted for the same candidates based on the candidates’ positions on various issues. Party affiliation is but one factor in a voter’s decision to vote for a candidate or to stay home. Having reliable, timely, information about election issues from media is another.
Some voters got tired of the negative campaigining; others didn’t think their vote counted and some didn’t find much difference between the candidates. I understand the latter group since the television ads for some of the candidates were as far from the truth as you could get. One candidate ran on business savy and experience when his personal and business finances are a mess. Another ran on a platform of making investments in education, when the state under his leaership has cut nearly $4 billion in public education funding in the last 8 years. Some candidates ran their campaigns against the President, while begging for federal Stimulus funding to balance the state’s budget for the last 2 years. The State of Georgia budget, planning and operations (mental health, transportation, education, wateri, trauma care to name a few) are in dismal condition today. Yet voters had little reliable information from the media or the candidates to judge the abilities of the candidates to tackle the tough problems we face.

The Centrist

November 10th, 2010
3:32 pm

John Boehner, Speaker of the House has a tinkerbell ring to it. I can’t wait to see him downsize the Speaker’s jet, reduce his tee times in order to keep the four-day work sessions, require that all bills to be read before voting, have open hearings on real policy issues, present a budget (with numbers) that eliminates $1.8 trillion in spending within the next two years, make the tax cuts permanent even for the bailed out bankers, eliminate the stimulus package funds, cry more to keep our troops in the Middle East, over turn all of those liberal laws passed like equal pay for women, and foward the new 48-page healthcare bill. What do you want to bet that he will do any of these things?

Why I voted Democrat this year

November 10th, 2010
4:21 pm

I did my research into what the republicans voted for if they were in office. Every time their votes benefitted those making $250,000 or better and hurt those making less. Also, I had a problem with a Government Agency and contacted my Republican Senators and my Democratic Congressman. Not even a form letter from the Republicans, but I got an immediate call from my Congressman’s office and they got right on it–AMAZING! A public servant ACTUALLY SERVED THE PUBLIC! So you will never see me vote Republican again until I see that they are benefitting my demographic–a husband out of work for a year after steadily working for 35 years, a disabled sister and elderly father to care, all on my secretary’s pay. Count me in as a woman who LEAPS willingly from the Republican side to the Democrats.

Sally

November 10th, 2010
5:37 pm

Some of you seem to have taken this discussion away from the original question of whether women can stop Democratic bleeding. It dawned on me that the chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia and the person who has been running the state party for the last 4 years IS a woman! And Democrats are much worse off than they were 4 years ago, so it seems the answer to the question is “no.”

Which makes one wonder whether Jane Kidd, Matt Weyendt, et. al., are back from the expense-paid trip to the DNC winter meeting in Washington, DC, that began this past Friday evening? Partying with Democrats from across the country, many of whom had decent results in their states, seems like fiddling while Rome burns.

With Democrats on the front line here in Georgia trying to figure out where to from here, Jane, Matt and GA’s DNC representatives went to Washington to find out how to” put lipstick on that pig” we called an election last week. Now they will come back and do the old blame-shift routine – “Don’t blame us – we just run the Democratic Party of Georgia!”

Selah

November 10th, 2010
7:22 pm

Is it the white, republican portions of Georiga where you need to have your pictures on political signs so folks will know who it’s ok to vote for?
I didn’t think so.

Bobby Anthony

November 10th, 2010
8:06 pm

Roy Barnes is the one who needs to accept the blame.

missmollie

November 13th, 2010
9:27 am

Many want to know who is going to pay the $2M debt coming due in less than 3 months???