2 cents…

Greetings to everyone, Democrat and Republican alike. I’ve been watching and reading the Pundit on occasion for the last several weeks, and finally acquiesced to the requests that I become a contributor. I will admit up front that I jolly well have no intention of endorsing any candidates, or encouraging or participating in any further vitriolic street fights. It seems to me that the very thing that tears Republicans apart is this in fighting and posturing during primary season. Republicans have the aforementioned peculiar tendency to eat their own. This cannibalistic practice is what weakens what would, in my humble opinion, otherwise be our nation’s strongest party by a long shot. The purpose of forums such as these is not to air dirty laundry. Is our purpose to build up, or tear down? Incidentally, the absence of certain topics seems to have caused quite the lack of participation in the last week or so. We’ve seen only the occasional post with substantive candor. Do Republicans, as a whole, only have something to discuss if you’re in a contest of wills between two good men? Is the only Republican conversation and fiery conversation fueled by hatred of another, rather than passion and conviction towards a common cause?

“[T]he Governor should be much further ahead, especially if it’s a Republican poll.”

I chose the name Silence Dogood because it represents the character and will of a man who, in my opinion, was one of the most wisely pragmatic government leaders in our nation’s history. Far from the sold out evangelical, Benjamin Franklin nonetheless was one of the most articulate architects of our constitutional republic, and its conservative principles, that history gives us. I believe it would do us well to look back to those principles, and practices, upon which those Republican principles are built.

Am I Democrat? No. Am I a Republican? No. Conservative? No, I rather doubt this society presents us with much I’d want to “conserve.� Traditionalist? The idea of traditionalism doesn’t suite us well in a modern society driven by progressive ideals. However, traditional principles, both of politics, society, and culture suit us well when viewed in a pragmatic, progressive light.

What am I saying? I suppose I’m advocating that we address our concerns not towards men who may, or may not, have the ability to solve the problems we face. Our energies would be better directed, in a unified fashion, towards the problems we face, through building coalitions, and then turning a unified aggression on defeating those problems.

What if we took money out of politics? What would be left? There was no money in politics in the day of Benjamin Franklin. Of course, this is an ideal that’s just short of silly, more along the lines of idealistic at best. There’s no way that we could achieve a “money – less� political system. Think about it, however, and consider what would be left to motivate people to “politic� if there was no money involved. Honor, nationalism, patriotism, sacrifice…the ideals that allowed us to rabidly, unabashedly attack another politician, and his personal affairs, without shame. What would happen if we went back to those ideals, those principles?

With that, I’ll address, in brief, some of the more practical items that have been mentioned over the last couple of days.

First, I’m rather taken aback that no – one mentioned the possibility that Georgia’s United States Senator Saxby Chambliss could very well end up on the next Presidential ticket. Not since Former President Jimmy Carter has a native son of Georgia ended up in such a prestigious position. His name, of course in rumor and conjecture, has been mentioned as the perfect compliment to a certain New York Mayor, with his white hair, and wise, rolling Southern voice. From a policy angle, his experience and expertise on matters of defense and foreign policy fit him perfectly to address problem the U.S. faces in an international society.

It sounds as though things in Middle Georgia are heating up quickly as both incumbent Representatives Robert Ray and David Graces have drawn challengers in the 2006 election cycle. Can Meg Nichols present a viable, well funded challenge to a man well liked by his colleagues, widely considered to be a conservative supporter of the Speaker? It’s a difficult undertaking. Will Rep. Grave’s transgressions, so to speak, catch up with him? A lack of professional and ethical responsibility can be remarkably damaging in a campaign, or, if the voters so choose, can be largely ignored. I think more poignant and dangerous for him at this point is the simple fact that he’s not had a challenger in many years: does he still know how to campaign? Will the press crucify him for his “sins,� or will they leave him alone, so as not to support a challenger who may be much more conservative than he.

From the perspective of the Governor: everyone has been toasting and re-toasting the results of the Republican polling that came out last week. Incidentally, the polling was done by a largely Republican polling firm. The governor has $5 million more than Cathy Cox. Had many months more to raise it. Cathy Cox is pulling against another powerful Democratic politician, while the Governor has no opposition. And he’s only six points ahead? Rejoice as you will, but all the factors say that the Governor should be MUCH further ahead, especially if it’s a REPUBLICAN poll. Circle the wagons, boys, it’s going to be a fight to the death. My suggestion? Forget Reed, Cagle, Handel, Stephens, McGuire…help your Governor!! On that same note, to the folks talking about attendance in Perry this weekend. I wasn’t there, so I can’t speak from personal experience, but one would assume, based on conventional wisdom, that it matters not how many legislators or other candidates are there. What matters is how many blood – and – sweat – producing volunteers and community activists were in attendance, and even further, how intense the energy and spirit was. Any input on this?

Just my two cents…


  1. Bull Moose says:

    I agree with so many of your assessments that it is frightening. Republicans do have the reputation for eating their own and that is most perplexing.

    As to the discussion of duelling campaigns — ideology is best played out when it has candidates to espouse its virtues. Unfortunately, in the race that you are discussing, ideology has taken a back seat to personality. There are those (and I admit, I am one of them) that feel very strongly that we should not tolerate a candidate who brings ethical baggage from years and years as an inside the beltway Washington lobbyist embroiled in a gambling scandal as a candidate for Georgia office. I’m sorry, I’ve got my standards.

    You know the greatest thing about Franklin, was, I believe, that he never actually ran for political office, but rather was sought out for his wisdom. Where are leaders of this caliber today? You can’t tell me that they don’t exist anymore.

    It is interesting, as a state, we have a tendancy to overlook those who are brightest amongst us, especially if they happen to serve in Washington, DC. Senator Chambliss is not only a very capable and talented legislator, he is personable and genuine man who cares about our state and country. I was too young for when Jimmy Carter was a rising star on the national stage, but I think that Georgia is a “must have” state for any national campaign and who better to help in that effort than our own Saxby. Though, I have to wonder, can a campaign use his first name instead of his last? Part of his appeal is that he’s just Saxby!

    As for middle Georgia, I don’t know anything about those people so I’m not going to pretend to.

    As for the Governor’s race, I agree with your conclusion. Part of the problem is that the Governor hasn’t articulated very well what he’s done for our state. We’ve weathered some rough waters and are now turning the corner financially. The steady hand guiding the ship was Sonny Perdue. That is a message his campaign has got to get out there. Unfortunately, they’ve ticked off so many of the Republicans by being rude and arrogant they have to start from scratch a little. You’d think that a Governor that essentially won because he wasn’t Roy Barnes would told his staff to play nice.

    As for the other campaigns, as a majority party, we’re having a family feud as to the direction of where we go as a state party. Part of the problem is that there is no overwhelming favorite for any race and so everyone is squabbling. On some levels, people are blown away at the audacity of some people even running given their backgrounds on certain issues or what have you…

    Either way, you are right, I think that we need to be talking about ideas and how to champion those ideas and move them forward. I’m all for that. So to get things started here are a few…

    1. Establish Community Development Districts to address economic development — we can’t have a one size fits all economic development strategy — let it be community based.

    2. Elect the state board of education by Congressional Districts and allow the Board to appoint a State Education Superintendent.

    3. Abolish the job of Insurance Commissioner and make this a position appointed by the Governor.

    4. Abolish the job of Labor Commissioner and make this a position appointed by the Governor.

    5. Reward and encourage teacher continuing education — better more motivated teachers will get better results out of their students

    6. Reduce classroom sizes for K-5 — this is common sense — you can’t expect a classroom of 30 to learn as well as a classroom of 15.

    7. Allow districts to bid out food services, transportation, and janitorial services. Focus on education and only education.

    8. Encourage private/public partnership in “fast tracking” school construction projects — if we reduce classroom sizes we’re going to need more classrooms and quickly…

    9. Evaluate where state money is spent — we need to see what’s working and what’s not. Where can we improve, where do we need to cut bait, and what do we need to do more of…

    10. Get government out of Atlanta — with a part time legislator meeting only 40 days, state agencies need to pack up and be spread out over Georgia. There fancy downtown Atlanta offices can be sold at quite a profit to our state.

    That’s all I’ve got…

  2. Benjamin Gates says:

    I think Mr. Dogood is very right. I don’t think the rebublican party is helping their own while they sit around and fight amoungst themselves. A lot of people have complained about the job that the Governor has done. HELP HIM OUT A LITTLE. Thats part of the reason that he is floundering around. But personally I would rather have him than another Roy Barnes.
    We as a party need to support our leaders espeacially within our own party. If we don’t we will blow apart from the inside out. And take the rest of America with us. The republican party is what is keeping America and its government togather and by the way we act down at the the Hill you’d think we didn’t care at all about the people. Lets get it togather and start working by the people and for the people again.

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