Having attended the Shelby GOP convention Sunday, then later reading different reports on it, I was curious about the Democrat convention.
According to Jackson Baker of The Flyer, it was held a day before ours. There, too, a woman took the chairmanship. Baker noted winner Randa Spears “became the first white female to head the local Democratic Party in history.” He continued, “it was a nod to the longstanding prominence of women in party affairs (as in local social and civic life generally).”
Interesting, because there was no such acknowledgement when Mary Wagner won the election for our side. Instead, he saw it as “a reassertion of the local GOP establishment’s control of the Shelby County Republican organization.” He didn’t see it as a victory for women or a recognition that our side views women as competent, skilled contributors to our city, too. Logically, you’d have to then conclude that it is the norm for us to choose women for high offices; an idea that strays from the Democrat “war on women” mantra they use against us.
It was also interesting how undemocratic the Democrat process was. In their election, a 29 executive committee was used to narrow the ballot until Spears won on the second ballot from a total of four candidates. In ours, delegates were elected at our earlier caucus by Republicans in each precinct. After a check on their voting credentials, delegates then attended the convention where each voted. That meant we had hundreds of delegates casting their votes, not just a small committee. That seems a much fairer and egalitarian process then the panel, doesn’t it?
And as the tallies came up, they were displayed on a screen in the Bartlett hall and could be accessed online at ShelbyGOP.org. Each precinct’s vote could easily be seen. Talk about transparency!
Baker says “For the fact is, American politics is all about constituent groups (or blocs, if you choose). The more different ones your party can address satisfactorily, the more broadly based – and successful – your party is likely to be.”
That says a lot about the difference between Republicans and Democrats. Dems tag people as black, Latino, gay, male/female, Asian; anything they can peg you with. Republicans see people as individuals who share a common belief in what our country is and is supposed to be. When we see people of color in our midst it isn’t really important because that’s not the standard by which we judge them. I’ve never seen a local Republican have anything but admiration for a fellow Republican who might be black, Hispanic, Asian, whatever. They are admired because of the kind of people they are. We are one. By the way, aren’t we also the party with the big tent?
The Democrat chairwoman is also a lot older than ours. Yet, we’re supposed to be the ones who turn off young people. Go figure.
Also, Baker says the Dem runner up was only five points behind Spears. Their process led him to “put up something of a fuss at meeting’s end about a procedural issue regarding the validity of the new committee’s voice vote to continue the party’s bylaws in lieu of a full review of them.” Sounds like the old Dem trick of if I can’t win, then I challenge/change the rules, doesn’t it?
Evidently Spears dismissed it and Baker concludes “it remained to be seen whether she can impose an effective measure of unity on a committee composed in large part of members potentially sympathetic to Gill’s dissident outlook.”
Maybe some of their rules and procedures are hurting them. The last Democrat chairman left under a cloud of money issues.
Democrat Steve Ross of vibinc blog says, “one of the (many) things the Shelby County Democratic Party lacks is a robust party leadership structure. I’m not talking about the folks who will be on the Executive Committee (though they definitely need some help), but leadership all the way down to the precinct level.”
He may be right. But, shhhh! Let them fumble and fail even more in 2016 and 2018.