The Young Democrats

The AJC has a profile of the Young Democrats in Georgia.

After Berlon’s appearance at the retreat, Young Dem Christopher Benson Manica, a 26-year-old computer programmer known as “angry Benson,” blogged on the YD of Atlanta site that “Young Democrats, particularly our own Atlanta chapter, have been working to shed the image of cute little kids who drink and complain.

”We’re adorable kids who drink, complain and work hard like nobody’s business, and we’re finally getting our props!“

Manica calls the state’s Republican leadership ”the Christian supremacist Taliban.“

”I like to speak the truth,“ he said, ”as much as I can get away with.“

Yes, we’re Tailban alright. Tomorrow we’re taking Manica out to the Georgia Dome, lobbing off his head, and playing futball with it while his torso covers the field in blood — just like the Taliban. Oh wait, how did he get in the paper anyway? We’re Taliban. We don’t allow freedom of speech. How the hell did we even allow the AJC to stay in business?



  1. bird says:

    And Jimmy Carter is one of the greatest monsters of all time Erick, as you recently said. Stalin, Pot Pol, Hitler, 9/11 bombers, Ted Bundy, Mao Zedong and the Baptist Sunday school teacher from Plains, Ga.

    Hyperbole. Hope you enjoy what you serve.

  2. SpaceyG says:

    That Manica! Badly hungover, he must have wandered into one of your Republican Praise Jesus rallies/HB1 hearings recently. Bless his heart, he just thought all that psychotic religious ranting, raving and howling and emotional manipualtions and gnashing of teeth and cheap tricks/tears on display there at OUR State Capitol building (not a church in other words) was a lot like other kinds of religious extremism he’d no doubt been exposed to in The Media.

  3. SkylerA says:

    I cannot believe he would say such a thing, personally.

    I think the GOP does need to stop forcing Christianity on the people of Georgia, but I would never call them the Taliban.

    YDG is otherwise a productive, professional organization working to get Democrats elected in Georgia. Despite what a few of our members say sometimes, We are hard working and smart people.

    Not all of us think the GOP Is the Christian Taliban.

  4. SpaceyG says:

    Skyler: No, but their most ardent, media-laden supp0rts sure could be thought of as such. Some of those fringers are as obsessed, and oft-times as goulishly and twistedly so, with (other) women’s body parts as I hear tell of over at Taliban County.

  5. jsm says:

    GOP forcing Christianity on the people of Georgia? Come on. There are those in society who want to demean anyone with Christian beliefs and attack them as mean and overpowering. This is ridiculous. Nothing has been said about previous Democrat-controlled governments that have held up blue laws, etc., for decades. Why can’t the people’s business be done without name-calling and smearing one’s opponent personally?

  6. shep1975 says:

    What shocked me the most, more than the Taliban comment, was when Kevin Duffey told me during our interview for the story that the Georgia YDs just got a $250,000 donation to recruit in Georgia. I have trouble getting people to give the YRs 50 bucks!

    That’s going to even things up REALLY fast!

  7. Rusty says:

    Hyperbolic? Sure. But not any more so than calling the whole lot of Democrats socialists. Somehow I’m not surprised when I find out a Republican has a glass jaw.

  8. GeorgiaProgressive says:

    Geez, that’s the YDs of ATL for you…I mean what a loss of a story opportunity. And of course, our ‘friends’ at blogfordemocracy think they are just the best and probably forgive it as “cute”. There are problems with both parties in their wings, but sometimes it makes me frustrated when stuff like this not only comes out, but hits the press like the AJC.

    Honestly, I don’t think highly of the YDs of ATL, from what I know you don’t have to pay dues or show up to meetings and they count you as a member to up their numbers. On the other hand, many YD groups are very active, actually volunteer for campaigns and do hard work (aka not show up and drink and talk about how they think they’re better than everyone) and conduct business as an organization; specifically in GA, I think of the YDs of UGA.

    Comments like that don’t belong anywhere and make the YDs sound ridiculous and immature. Yeah it happens in both parties, but that doesn’t make them seem any worse than the YDs.

  9. griftdrift says:

    And sometimes people not familiar with the press say things off the cuff not knowing that dealing with a reporter should be treated as if you are trying to walk around a stalking tiger.

  10. bird says:

    Fair point. But your blog is widely read.

    Still, the AJC shouldn’t have printed it. It was similar to Fox airing someone’s accusation that Obama went to a Madrassa. Irresponsible journalism.

  11. griftdrift says:

    Well he DID say it bird. There are rules dealing with the press. If’n you don’t know em, you shouldn’t talk to them.

    Now that I’ve said this karma is going to assure I will say something really stupid to a reporter.

  12. shelbinator says:

    GeorgiaProg, you’ve got it entirely backwards. As I understand it, that 6000 figure touted by YRs include unpaid mailing list subscribers. We’ve got over 100 *paid* members in YDAtl alone; add to that number the sizeable membership of your favorite UGAYDs, it’s not that hard for the other 25 chapters to make up the difference to about 1000 real, credentialed, paid members.

    I’ll agree with you that too often this kind of remark gets coddled as being “cute,” but you have no idea what you’re talking about in terms of the work we actually do. We canvassed, lit-dropped, and phone banked thousands of households in North Fulton; put on a major fundraiser with Congressman Lewis in the middle of an election season; and we lobby several times every legislative session. YDG wasn’t hitting the hashpipe when they named us Chapter of the Year in 2006. Do me a favor, why don’t you actually come see what we do before you just start making stuff up? You won’t have to sit near Angry Benson if you don’t want. Wednesday the 7th at Manuel’s, 6:30pm.

  13. Jmac says:

    That story does seem like a wasted opportunity.

    I don’t know what was more out-of-touch … the Daft Punks soundtrack mention or the reference to friggin’ Knute Rockne.

    Dude … this is Georgia.

  14. LymanHall says:

    Amen GeorgiaProgressive! As a young Democrat in this state, I can promise you I dont want Georgia to become like Conn.

  15. Jmac says:

    Can I recommend not giving $250,000 to a student political organization, regardless of its stripes, and perhaps giving that money to a charity?

  16. nrallen says:

    While I cannot speak to the Young Republicans exact make up, the Young Democrats are not just a “student political organization”. The age limit for the Young Democrats of Georiga goes all the way up to 40 (36 nation wide). Highschool and College Democrats only make up a portion of the Young Democrats. For example, the Young Democrats of Atlanta chapter is primarily working professionals in their late 20’s, early 30’s. Personally, as a 25 year old working professional (I am a consultant), I am actually one of YDAtl’s younger members.

  17. shep1975 says:

    Notice, my comments in the article were mature. I didn’t call them the left-winged socialist wackos they are.


    Georgia Federation of Young Republicans
    c/o Jason Shepherd
    3605 Creekmill Drive
    Kennesaw, GA 30152


  18. shelbinator says:

    Oops, sorry Jmac, I didn’t realize anti-Catholic bigotry was still that hip in Georgia. I guess to appeal to the conservative base you have to be a pureblood WASP, eh? I’ll try to think of a different underdog hero for my next quote.

  19. shep1975 says:

    Unlike the YDs, the GOP is seperated into college (College Republicans) and young professionals (Young Republicans). The average age of the YRs is 32. Most of us are professionals, small business owners, attorneys, doctors, etc.

    I’m 31 and married. My executive officers consist of two college students, a doctor, three attorneys, an insurance claims adjuster, a pharm. sales rep. and a commercial real estate developer.

    Most of the YD leadership isn’t much different in backgrounds. I think they can wisely handle $250K…although I can hope otherwise.

  20. shep1975 says:


    The 6000 figure was combining the CR and YR membership, so it would be a proper comparison to the YD structure. Without including the college portion, the YRs have about 500 dues paid in about a dozen clubs across Georgia including Atlanta, Buckhead, Gwinnett, Hall, DeKalb, Savannah, Macon, Columbus, Walker, Forsyth, Glynn County, and Camden County. We have new clubs developing in Cobb, Pickins, Glimer, Douglas, Henry, Fayette-Coweta, and Walton.

    All of these without college campus clubs, which we do work with.

    And we do all of it without attacking people’s faith. We do it without the extra help of MTV, Rock the Vote, Move On, or $250,000 of Progressive Insurance dollars. The Young Dems will be the first to knock insurance companies, but you don’t have any quams when they come to you with big, fat checks.

    At least maybe with the money you can buy nice uniforms for when you finally accept our invitation to clean your clocks in a friendly softball game.

    By the way, pointing out the ridiculousness of bringing up a Notre Dame football player from almost 100 years ago (who because of Hollywood will always be connected to Ronald Reagan) is not anti-Catholic.

    But using phrases like “Christian Taliban” is.

    Most Catholics are more conservative than your average WASP. It just goes to show the YDs have about as much understanding of religion as they do about political targeting (calls in North Fulton?) and the state of Georgia (where UGA football history, not Notre Dame football history, would connect to more of the people you are trying to reach).

  21. shep1975 says:

    Attempts by Young Repubs to set up a debate and a softball game with the Dems have failed, [Shepherd] said which is a shame because “I don’t think there’s too much difference, except party allegiance, between the two groups.”

    I’m glad I don’t see a need to treat the YDs with the same contempt that some of their leadership feels a need to treat us with.

  22. gatormathis says:

    GOPeach // Jan 25, 2007 at 11:47 pm


    Where do I send a CHECK for the
    give you $250k –

    I am serious!


    Surely this is either a Peach Pundit First, or a possible record donation offer of any kind, posted on here.

    It sure impresses me anyway. That is some real cabbage.

    Shepster, you procur that, surely some good will come out of it.

    Anybody know where ole Andre is about now?

    I remember a few months ago, he had all kinds of ideas about how money ought to be spent.

    Then again, I never have saw much trouble gathering up a crowd when it comes to “spending” money.

  23. shep1975 says:

    Shows NPR, as usual, doesn’t know what they’re talking about. When Reed and Abramoff where running the College Republican organization, it was after the point that the two groups had parted ways. They worked closely together in that the headquarters of the CRNC (College Republican National Committee) and the YRNF (Young Republican National Federation) were two doors down from each other.

    The YRNF closed their office space in 2002 and there is little work or coordination between the CRs and YRs nationally or in Georgia (though in GA, that’s something we have been trying to change).

    Reed has not been very supportive of the GFYRC and I don’t expect him to be any time soon. He is supportive of his old organization, the College Republicans.

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