Hostility To Social Conservative Values Remains Democrats Major Barrier To Majority In Georgia

Today’s Courier Herald Column:

The Democratic National Convention is over, and Georgia’s delegates are making their way home from Charlotte.  They return likely energized to support the re-election of President Obama, but to a state that is most likely going to remain solidly in Republican hands for this election, and likely the next few.  Whether and when Democrats are able to be competitive relies not just on demographic shifts and failure or inaction of the Republican majorities, but on the Democrats becoming able to connect and identify with a majority of Georgians.

The Republicans march to the majority was aided by Georgians’ attitudes and values more closely mirroring that of the national party.  Democrats will not be aided by this. Quite the contrary. While Georgians remain of a conservative mindset in both fiscal and social issues, the national Democratic party is trending away from these ideals.

Most of the openings Democrats will have over policy issues in Georgia could help self-identified fiscal conservatives realign their party ID.  Republicans who are delivering tax cuts only to the well connected are allowing more populist minded voters to question whether current tax and appropriation policies are in the best interests of all Georgians or just the privileged few.  The “no new taxes ever” pledges may eventually give Democrats who create a solid infrastructure or education investment plan to win over pragmatic minded voters who want to see specific improvements.  Demographic shifts may aid these transitions as well.

Social issues, however, are likely to remain a problem that could easily delay a democratic re-emergence for several additional election cycles or more.  While it is true that younger voters are significantly less likely to vote for a conservative social agenda, there are matters of degree that are not likely to be found in a majority of Georgia voters by the time the Governor’s mansion is next open in 6 years.

Voters this week saw a glimpse of true hostility toward religion in Charlotte during a vote to return a reference to God to the Democrats platform.  The result of the voice vote (which appeared actually to fail) generated discernible boos.  Democrats who like to smugly proclaim themselves the party of tolerance and diversity will need to come to grips with their own intolerance toward religion before they will approach statewide Georgian majorities any time soon.

It is one thing to argue for domestic partnerships and rights of same sex couples. It is quite another to equate eating a chicken biscuit from one of the state’s most beloved private employers as an act of hate because you disagree with the charitable gifts of the owner.

It is one thing to argue over what an insurance company is required to cover with regards to contraceptive and reproductive services. It is another giant step to require the Catholic Church to require them to distribute these services.

There are elements within the national Democratic party that have grown quite comfortable with being hostile to religion.  As Georgia’s rural social conservative democrats have disappeared, the majority who remain align much more closely with the national party than at any point in recent memory.

Just two years ago, candidate Roy Barnes avoided President Obama during his visit to Atlanta.  It was part of a time honored tradition of Georgia Dems ducking national party leaders whose images stood to the left of most Georgians.

Today, much to the chagrin of many rural and socially conservative Democrats, the state party is eager to embrace much of the national party’s talking points.  While many of the party’s leaders lecture Republicans about being on the wrong side of history, Democrats actually on the ballot still understand the realities of elective office here.  Barnes not only ducked Obama but also had an immigration reform plan to the right of many Republican plans in 2010.  Mayor Kasim Reed remains silent on President Obama’s “evolution” on the gay marriage issue.

Georgia Democrats like to lecture Georgia Republicans on their need for ideological purity, especially on social issues.  Yet these same operatives call for their peers to denounce Chick Fil A and expect full support for abortion rights – of which the newly adopted Democratic platform calls for taxpayer funding of abortion through the ninth month of pregnancy.

If Democrats want to represent the majority of Georgians, they’re going to need to understand where the majority of Georgians are on social issues.  Even in Pennsylvania, a state with a significantly larger percentage of Democrats and with less social conservatives than Georgia, Rick Santorum wasn’t defeated until pro-life Bob Casey was the challenger.

Republicans, especially at the national level, often have to grapple with the internal struggle over principle versus competitiveness with respect to social issues.  As Democrats eventually get closer to a majority in Georgia, they would do themselves a good service to have an honest debate over where they stand as a party, versus where the average voter stands.


  1. Noway says:

    Well, the God issue alone will likely result in their failure to win more seats. The convention yesterday was truly embarrassing. Booing God? Wow!

  2. Doug Deal says:

    If the Democrats started practicing a little fiscal conservatism, that would go a long way. When your only answer to every problem is more government and higher taxes, you pretty much have little to offer in our $16 trillion debt world.

    • IndyInjun says:

      It isn’t just the $16 trillion official debt. Everything from FDIC insurance to social security is enmeshed in better than $100 trillion of liabilities. Beyond that, there are $trillions in financial sector debt that the government stands behind and it also dwarfs government debt. As the chickens come home to roost, I plan to catch a few and pen them up. Presidential election? Dems? GOP? It is far too late to fret over those guys.

      • “As the chickens come home to roost, I plan to catch a few and pen them up.”

        You don’t live on less than 2 acres in Cobb, do you? Code enforcement will get you. 🙂

      • Doug Deal says:

        Yes, $16 Billion is the best case scenario and was good enough to establish my point. I don’t want to make people suicidal over the gloominess of our fiscal health.

        • Doug Deal says:

          I could claim that I am correct here and say that I am using the European definition of billion ( a million million ) but I actually made a typo. That should read trillion.

    • Lea Thrace says:

      I agree with this statement. But I would like to add that it would be nice to see the Republicans practice the same thing. I dont see where they did that when they were truly in power either. Both sides suck at it. A lot.

      • Doug Deal says:

        The GOP is far from perfect, but they do occasionally propose spending freezes while the Democrats will attack them for reducing the rate of growth to a number that is still greater than inflation.

    • SallyForth says:

      @Doug, actually history shows that Democrats practice fiscal conservatism (especially at the state level) much more of the time than Republicans. R’s always campaign on fiscal conservatism, then spend like a bunch of drunken sailors after they get into office.

      • caroline says:

        Honestly after 8 years of George W. Bush I don’t know why people don’t laugh every time the GOP brings up spending. They always yell about spending but then once in power go over and above what the Dems ever even thought of spending.

        The reason the debt is so high now is because Obama failed to get rid of a bunch of stuff that Bush did. And then the money he took out of Medicare gets attacked. I thought cuts in Medicare is something that the GOP would like if they actually believe what they say.

        The Ryan plan even increases spending and increases the debt. There is always going to spending maybe instead of just talking about spending in general the discussion should be about WHAT the spending is on.

  3. saltycracker says:


    Good observatives. Most Georgians do see themselves as conservative and do not agree with the Republicans that got elected on those principals and then proceed to self-serve, serve the well connected and behave in a way that would embarrass the average lawyer.

    The Southern Democrats may talk a shift to the center but when it gets down to big decisions they get in lock step with the far left.

    • SallyForth says:

      @salty, true Southern Democrats are already in the center – it’s all those who have moved here from everywhere else who brought their left-leaning politics with them that are messing things up.

  4. James says:

    So, to summarize, Democrats will have a hard time in Georgia until they adopt the social values of the 19th century underclass. This is indeed a very perceptive observation.

  5. wicker says:

    I don’t recall Zell Miller, Joe Frank Harris, Wyche Fowler or Sam Nunn angling for the religious right/socially conservative vote. I think that most – if not all – of those guys were pro-abortion and also supported gay rights to a certain degree. So, while I would certainly see social conservatism being welcome again in the Democratic Party as a positive development, I don’t think that it is necessary or sufficient to win in Georgia.

    Instead, maybe the Democrats should run on a pro-business, pro-progress (i.e. in education, transportation, economic development) agenda that avoids any mention of social issues. Also, while social liberalism may be a problem, the real problem is the social welfare thing. They need to distance themselves from being the social welfare party. If they do that, then they can challenge the state GOP on their failed record of trying to rely solely (exclusively) on Reagonomics to grow and attract jobs to this state rather than trying to build a competitive infrastructure and educational system.

    Example: want to win the education debate? Reject both the GOP charter school/voucher agenda and the education “establishment” agenda (higher teacher pay, lower class sizes, more social welfare type programs in public schools) and propose creating a network of merit-based (to distance yourself from the quotas crowd!) magnet schools.

    Zell Miller didn’t get elected by promising to put prayer back in public schools. He won with the Hope Scholarship, being tough on crime, and by avoiding marching with the Human Rights Campaign/NARAL/SCLC types. The blueprint is there, it is just that the DPOG doesn’t want to follow it.

    • James says:

      I wish it were that simple, Wicker. You and I both know that this won’t happen in Georgia. Imagine the following debate:

      Dem: (finishes discussion of high-level pro-business, pro-progress agenda that avoids any mention of social issues)

      Rep: All them big words sound mighty fine, but do you people know that Dem thinks its okay for queers to marry?

      Rep wins in a landslide. Don’t believe me? This stuff already happens!

      • wicker says:

        Hmmm … how difficult is it to just find a Democrat who – gasp! – disagrees with gay marriage? They do exist. One such Democrat is the mayor of Atlanta. You are proof of Charlie’s thesis: that the DPOG doesn’t want candidates that can actually win in Georgia.

        Georgia Democrats are perfectly capable of taking social issues off the table and going after the GOP on other issues, including the very many that they are extremely weak. They just don’t WANT to do it. It is funny … everyone wants the GOP to abandon social issues and focus on real issues that affect everybody, but no one wants the Dems to return the favor.

        • bgsmallz says:


          Single problem with your thesis is that it isn’t factually accurate. Small issue.

          Joe Frank Harris and Zell Miller were pro-life. JFH received much criticism from the left for his declaration each year of Respect of Life Day. Zell received a 0% on his senate voting record.

          Nunn was conservative on abortion, too and only changed his mind on early term abortions late in his career. ( Not to mention he was opposed to allowing openly gay men and women to serve in the military.

          Wyche was liberal and he campaigned on it. He also lost in ’92 in a runoff to Coverdell thanks in large part to anti-abortion support for the moderate on abortion Coverdell in the run-off (in what was an early warning shot of what was to come in ’94).

    • Dave Bearse says:

      That statement caught my attention too. I didn’t bother to investigate on the presumption that the Dem platform allowed a taxpayer-funded procedure medically necessary for the life of the mother, and disputing details would be about about interpretation, word definition and minutia. The link you provided dispelled the notion that the platform calls for taxpayer funded abortion through the 9th month.

      Have you taken note note of how some conservatives are reframing the state of change with respect to abortion (not much so in Charlie’s post however)? It’s unquestionable Dems are pushing the envelope on gay marriage. That’s not the case with abortion, though you wouldn’t know it based on what some pundits say.

      It’s the GOP pushing against the abortion status quo, not Dems pushing liberalization. It’s clear as day in Georgia. What new abortion liberalization has even been proposed, let alone had an ice cube’s chance of serious consideration, in the past decade? There have however been new restrictions imposed with regularity during that time (and there’s ever present additional restrictions, some quite draconian, always in the hopper). Seeking to restrict abortion by mandating unnecessary medical procedures and waiting periods is particularly rich in light of complaints that Dems are interfering with and socializing medicine.

      PS – I disagree that the Catholic Church is required to distribute reproductive and contraceptive services. Public church-affiliated service providers yes. If the Church and a public affiliate are distraught over requirements, the Church can absorb the affiliate, taking it from the public to the religious realm, releasing the absorbed affliliate from most if not all requirements.

      • wicker says:

        David, you are being intellectually dishonest.

        “What new abortion liberalization has even been proposed, let alone had an ice cube’s chance of serious consideration, in the past decade?”

        How can it be liberalized when it is already unrestricted? There are absolutely no limits on abortion on the federal level (unless you call parental notification, which is also required for any minor that wants so much as a tooth extraction, a restriction). America’s abortion laws are more liberal than most European countries, where the procedure is illegal after the second trimester. (Curiously, this fact is never reported in the media, which in other contexts LOVES to talk about how more socially progressive Europe is.) Second, I would call the Clinton administration’s REQUIRING states to cover abortions via MediCaid when no such requirement existed before (it was up to states to determine whether to cover abortions via MediCaid or not) pretty significant, wouldn’t you? After that happened, the abortion rate shot up in the black community in particular (another fact the media doesn’t see fit to print).

        “If the Church and a public affiliate are distraught over requirements, the Church can absorb the affiliate, taking it from the public to the religious realm, releasing the absorbed affliliate from most if not all requirements.”

        Excuse me, but how is that a moderate, middle-of-the-road position that embraces compromise? Pardon me, but I missed it where the Constitution made covering birth control in health insurance plans some sort of inalienable right. And it is an ideological argument, one designed purely to impose beliefs on people. Why? Because birth control is CHEAP. If you have a job that offers insurance benefits, then you make enough to afford birth control. The idea that the debate was somehow about restricting access to birth control and women’s freedom was totally bogus. It was all ideological, plan and simple.

        • Dave Bearse says:

          Abortion federally unrestrictsd in the US? See Roe v. Wade for restrictions, as well as the many dozens if not hundreds of federal court rulings upholding various state laws or portions thereof that restrict, limit or impose requirements on abortion.

          “America’s abortion laws are more liberal than most European countries, where the procedure is illegal after the second trimester.” Taking the liberty of assuming the point was supposed to be that most European countries prohibit or otherwise restrict abortion after the first trimester (and that prohibtion and/or restrictions are closer to the second trimester in the US), I’ll agree that US abortion restrictions are indeed less than those of Europe. Your point in referencing Europe to rebut the point of my comment that it’s the GOP that is seeking to change the American abortion status quo?

          You rebut with a Clinton-era liberalization? Do the math. I said decade. Clinton’s Presidency was over nearly a dozen years ago.

          As to contraceptives, there’s no claim that providing contraceptives is an inalieanble right. Law requiring motorists carry minimum insurance isn’t prohibited by the Constitution either. Law requiring insurance cover contraceptives doesn’t impose a belief. Policy-holders are free to utilize the contraceptive benefit, or not, as they see fit.

          I acknowledge that law can affect belief. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was instrumental in Mormons in 1978 no longer denying salvation to black Mormons. White Mormons didn’t have to allow black Mormons to participate in temple ordinances that Mormons belief are necessary to salvation. They chose to do so.

          It’s well-established that the number of abortions generally decreases with increasing availability of contraceptives. You disdain abortion, but not enough to not express disdain for a requirement that insurance cover contraception. That’s especially noteworthy given your statement that contraception is “cheap”.

    • Napoleon says:

      Okay, let’s dissect the actual statement:

      The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right. Abortion is an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her clergy; there is no place for politicians or government to get in the way.

      The DP “unequivocally supports…woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion” and rejects having “politicians or government to get in the way.”

      un•e•quiv•o•cal•ly  /ˌʌnɪˈkwɪvəkli/ Show Spelled[uhn-i-kwiv-uh-klee]
      2. in a way that is not subject to conditions or exceptions: He offered his forgiveness unequivocally.

      That means the support of the DP has no conditions or exceptions to a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy. Not allowing a woman to choose to have an abortion in the 9th month would be an exception and therefore could not be included in the statement.

      Therefore, given the context of the statement, the DP supports abortions up to and including in the 9th month of pregnancy.

      Furthermore, any restrictions to a woman’s right to have an abortion would have to be made by politicans and government. As the platform rejects political or government involvement, then it must reject any restrictions.

      The next issue is government funding. The DP states, “…including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay.”

      The statement does not say the government must be the funding source, but if a woman chooses to have an abortion, and cannot personally pay for it, cannot find a private third party to pay for it, then, without government as the payee of last resort, the statement is meaningless and false.

      Charlie does not pull a direct quote from the Democrat Party Platform (and yes, I am intently using “Democrat” and not “Democratic” because there is nothing democratic about today’s Democrat Party), but explains the clear context of what the platform says.

      One cannot read the platform any other way without a complete abandonment of intellectual honestly, but as liberals abandoned intellectual honesty a long time ago, we should not be surprised that someone like James would try to pander and propagandize based on the audience the he wishes to sway.

      Generally, on the issue of abortion, the platform is well outside the views of the mainstream American opinion. Looking at numbers from the Gallup organization, only 25% of Americans believe in no restrictions on abortions which isn’t much different from the 20% who believe there should be a complete restriction on abortions.

      What’s more, 50% of Americans call themselves “pro-life” while only 41% call themselves “pro-choice.”

      Unfortunately for Spacey G., since the South (a.k.a. “Crackerstan”) does not contain 50% of the population nor do100% of residents in the South would call themselves “pro-life,” there must be a lot of other Americans who share that view throughout the country.

      The rest, 52%, believe abortion should be legal in only some circumstances, which means 72% of Americans believe in limiting abortion to some degree. That puts the DP platform and its “unequivocally support” well outside the American mainstream.

      I won’t go into the finer details, but a majority of Americans tend to be right of center on this issue while a clear minority tend to me more left. (source:

      The religious issues are potentially even more damaging for the Democrat Party.

      While atheists and agnostics may dominate the DNC (and the posters on this blog), America is still an overwhelmingly religious nation. The Pew survey still holds that as many as 78.4% of Americans consider themselves Christian. Add the other religions that believe in some soprt of Supreme Being, and the VAST majority of Americans believe in some sort of god. Compare that to the only 4% of Americans who consider themselves agnostic or atheist. (source:

      When your party’s delegates “BOOO” the inclusion of someone who an overwhelming majority of Americans believe in, you are going to lose a large percentage of them.

      While the Pew survey does not place the members on the right or the left in terms of their religious beliefs (obviously more than 4% of America is liberal and not all of the 4% of atheists and agnostics are liberal), it was a huge unforced error that the Democrat Party could not afford in this tight election and the Republicans would be prudent to highlight that error.

      Our distinguished founder, Erick-Woods Erickson often says the first rule of politics to have the intellectual honesty to know when you are outside the mainstream. I agree with him. I know on many issues I am outside the mainstream in my views, but I also know better than to hammer them on people I may be tying to win over to my political side. However, most of my political views are dead smack in the middle of what mainstream America believes.

      You can argue against Charlie’s points, but you are arguing from the fringe on this issue, not the mainstream of American thought, and you are making an argument lacking in intellectual honestly trying to say the platform does not say what it, in fact, clearly says.

      I won’t say that your gall in trying that kind of propagandizing is on par with Josef Goebbels, because it is not. Goebbels was as strategic as he was evil. No, the propaganda from those on the left, including our dear James, resembles that of Baghdad Bob, Saddam Hussein’s Information Minister, who claimed the Americans had been defeated in press conferences while the sound of American artillery could be clearly heard in the background.

      It is as lazy as it is ridiculous.

      • Calypso says:

        Napoleon, you say somethings well with which I agree, and you say some things well with which I disagree. There is one fundamental portion of your breakdown you omit, however, and you do it consciously and disingenuously.

        You said, “The DP “unequivocally supports…woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion”. But in fact the statement you misquote says, “The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade…”

        In Roe v. Wade, the Court “affirm[ed] Roe’s central holding that a person has a right to abortion until viability.[1] The Roe decision defined “viable” as being “potentially able to live outside the mother’s womb, albeit with artificial aid”, adding that viability “is usually placed at about seven months (28 weeks) but may occur earlier…”

        The DP plank is unequivocally supporting Roe v. Wade and the restrictions it places on abortion. The DP plank is not unequivocally supporting abortion until or through the ninth month.

        • SallyForth says:

          Exactly, Calypso. I would also point out that this is not a federal issue and has no place in a national campaign – it is a red herring. That pesky thing called the Constitution protects everyone’s right to privacy, be they male or female. (There is nothing more private to a woman than her lady parts and internal organs.) The Constitution also declares separation of church and state: nobody’s religion running government, and no government interference into our religious choices and our churches.

          Abortion is definitely a private matter, and one about which some people have vehement religious beliefs. The Constitution does not allow the federal government to intrude or force one group’s religious views on the entire American population – on this or any other matter.
          This is a religious crusade against women and girls being carried out at the state level, much to the sorrow of many good religious people who believe in separation of church and state, as well as non-religious people. What ever happened to church folks praying for those with whom they disagree, instead of trying to put their opinions into law?

          • saltycracker says:

            C & J,
            Sorry to differ – Napoleon was dead on – reread : “…… unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right……” AND…….they embrace RvW and more……

            • Calypso says:

              salty, I guess we could parse semantics for quite a while, but I stand by my explanation and reject yours and Napoleon’s.

              By the DP statement that they ‘unequivocally support Roe v. Wade’, they are unequivocally supporting the restrictions that accompany it as well.

              • saltycracker says:

                I’m talking a about the written platform & you are talking about reality/actions.
                It isn’t a big deal, neither parties leaders will support their respective extremist platform on social issues. Plus, marriage & abortion in the states is a few trillion down on my prioritie$ list for the Feds.

  6. Rick Day says:

    “Democrats who like to smugly proclaim themselves the party of tolerance and diversity will need to come to grips with their own intolerance toward religion before they will approach statewide Georgian majorities any time soon.”

    I take umbrage to this comment! One can ‘boo’ and have disagreement with something LONG before it can be labeled extremely as ‘intolerance’. Beating up people because they are Muslim or gay is ‘intolerant’.

    Allowing non-believers who find a home (Tell me, Charlie, do non-believers have a home under that big tent? Yeah, probably outside, with the Log Cabin’s) within the DEM, and allowing them to have the freedom to “boo the Big Guy” is something called “protected speech”.

    Kind of like that guy who screamed “LIAR” during the ’09 SOTU speech.

    You guys really need to get off this ‘we are OH SO persecuted’ band wagon. And the rest of GA does too. If I run for office, it is no one’s business what worship building I frequent.

    Oh, and the “9 months” abortion thing? Dude…. it is merely a mirror opposite of the extremism shown in the GOP platform.


    • James says:

      I always chuckle at the “you’re intolerant because you won’t tolerate my crazy religion-fueled intolerance” argument. Instead of lashing out at “intolerance” or attacks on “religious freedom,” I wish religious people would just say what they’re thinking — “my views are superior to yours because they’re straight from the mouth of Baby Jeebus.”

      • wicker says:

        Thank you for illustrating what I am talking about by demonstrating your own hatred. And get this. People like you only attack Christians. Never Jews. Never Buddhists. And only Islam in the context of terrorism.

        And by the way … non-religious folks broadcast their views of their own superiority loudly and often. You just aren’t bothered by it because, well, you agree with them.

  7. saltycracker says:

    The Blue Dog Democrat is going extinct and the wish to begin restoring the pack from Georgia is unlikely as the promised bounty to the others for killing them off is just too enticing.

  8. Dr. Monica Henson says:

    This Blue Dog Democrat CRINGED at much of what was paraded across the teevee screen during the DNC. The national party just doesn’t get that the liberal left doesn’t speak for the rank and file Democrats of this country. There are a lot of us who favor school choice and are disgusted with the unionista mentality in public schools. Let’s hope the state party figures it out eventually.

    • saltycracker says:

      So are you going to rant then fall in line and vote for Obama saying we can change this dude after we renew our vows ?

      • Dr. Monica Henson says:

        I’ll vote for President Obama because I agree with the majority of his agenda, which is actually quite moderate. He has angered the liberal left repeatedly with his refusal to push their agenda. My three main issues that I make my voting choices on are the economy, health care, and education reform. I vote my conscience and my pocketbook.

        My family and I are much better off economically now than I was before President Obama took office, thanks in large part to his administration’s work and policies. My chronically ill adult daughter has become insurable again, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, and she is now working full-time with benefits as a social worker. Previously, she was unable to work full-time without losing Medicaid, which enabled her to afford her medical care and prescription medications. She couldn’t afford to pay out of pocket and make enough money to support herself, and no private insurer would accept her. She had been kicked off her dad’s group health policy when she turned 19 and was no longer a full-time student. Her illness prevented her from enrolling in college immediately after she graduated from high school, which took her an extra semester and homebound study to accomplish. As soon as they legally could drop her, the insurer kicked her off.

        They had already spent a year denying any claims related to her illness, saying that she had exhausted that aspect of her coverage. So we spent a year paying family health insurance premiums for coverage that would no longer pay for her treatment and medication. Out-of pockets expenses piled up monthly on top of health premiums. We also pay taxes to fund Medicaid, which she couldn’t qualify for because our incomes were too high. I tried to add her to my group policy, but they refused to cover anything related to her illness. We tried to purchase her a private individual policy, but we were refused by everyone we applied to. She ended up moving out and declaring herself indigent so she could get Medicaid, which was truly a godsend for her, but staying eligible for it meant she couldn’t work full time. It was a dependency trap until the passage of the ACA.

        I am able to keep my adult son, with a university degree, on my group health insurance–he is employed full-time at a metro Atlanta region parks and recreation department, but on an hourly basis with no benefits. He works a second job to save up for his own place to live.

        Secretary Duncan and President Obama’s championing of charter schools and education reform have helped make possible my employment as a charter school leader, which is allowing me to work to help improve educational opportunities for high schoolers all over Georgia.

        • John Konop says:

          In case people on the PP do not know Dr. Henson she runs a cutting edge online homeschool/charter school. Dr. Henson is very knowledgable about on line education.

          Also you do bring up a good point about issues with healthcare coverage. Irronic how this post is about social conservatives ie pro life. Yet many social conservatives do not care about life issues after the baby is born……..

          • Baker says:

            John: Conservatives care plenty about life issues after the baby is born. Conservatives just believe in a way different solution to that than liberals.

          • saltycracker says:


            You are regularly posting about fixing such matters as Dr. Henson is involved in. Maybe we need to discuss how to fix something that is so emotional to so many. By fix I mean the current situation is not finacially sustainable.

            In my personal case Obamacare is requiring me to pay for things previously provided by my employer. I’m sure they are also considering more steps to put me into an unsustainable plan with less benefits.

            The best ideas I have seen are to have a personal mandate, no denials of coverage and a open competitive market of private health care providers.

            Do the Republicans have such a plan ? Or will they pick around at it and select winners and loosers in all sorts of areas ?

            Until then folks from rich to poor will vote for the candidate that best
            provides them more stuff that improves their lifestyle, whatever level it is.

            It looks like we are going to continue on this path until we can’t and then it will get very painful.

            I will not vote for any candidate who continues to spend an increasingly larger % of our GDP. At least the Republicans want to limit it to 20% and we have to sort it out within some boundaries.

  9. Scott65 says:

    I wouldn’t say social values have much to do with winning…its more mobilization. Ralph Reed was genius in the way he mobilized the far christian right to vote. Those people are a small minority. They wield influence well beyond their numbers because they turn out to vote. I think there would be more to worry about if someone is able to mobilize the 600,000 people that will be without insurance because of Deals refusal to expand medicaid (and no this isnt a discussion on the merits of that decision). Thats a lot of votes for a challenger to harvest

  10. saltycracker says:

    What the Democrats need to do is to go see the movie Obama’s America: 2016.
    And where is Charlie’s review column of this movie or D’Ouza’s book ?

    $20 Trillion by 2016 & bust.

  11. Baker says:

    Quick thoughts on a Saturday morn (I’ll probably reiterate these somewhere else as we go along):

    1) I like Obama’s goals that he laid out in that speech. They sound great. Unfortunately, government just doesn’t fix stuff. The inefficiency and waste overcomes all good intentions.
    2) a policy point: What if we flipped the amount of money going from the Feds to the states? The states should have a way higher percentage of money than the Feds. That whole thing about Red states taking way more Federal money than Blue? That should stop. It’s hypocritical by the Reds. Get off your butts Red states.
    3) Related to #1: Obama’s goals of independent energy, renewables, investing here at home, not going into any more war. Those are good goals. Let’s use Romney/ Ryan methods to get there. We don’t have endless money. Obama seems to think we do.

    • Scott65 says:

      Just a note on your #2…
      I no more trust the state government of GA than a pathological liar. They cant be trusted to spend the money where it was meant to go. Examples: the mortgage relief settlement didn’t go to the people who were meant to receive it. It was “redirected” to “economic development” . The tire clean up fund was totally misused to patch hole in the budget blown out by pet projects and needless studies (ie we will fund studies until we find one we like). Do you really trust the state to take a block grant and “do the right thing”? I dont

      • Baker says:

        I hear ya Scott…except…it’s at least a little easier to keep tabs on money at the state level rather than in D.C. and as clear as the incumbent advantage is on the state level, it’s even more so on the Federal.

        Bottom line is the problems that exist with government are the same everywhere but they only get magnified the further away you get from the people being governed.

  12. sunkawakan says:

    Social conservative values IS religion. It is offensive to those who reject revealed religions (whether you believe in God or not) to see this “church to legislation pipeline” so bloated.

  13. Scott65 says:

    Oh…a little off topic…but I see Bibb Co schools are now mandating all students k-12 start being taught Mandarin Chinese…saw it on NPR. I think thats a pretty forward looking idea (and its not even a charter school system)

    • Calypso says:

      I don’t live there and I’ve not studied the situation, but from what I have read, Bibb County Schools, and its superintendent in particular, is a whole ‘nother can of worms. One which I’m glad I don’t have to deal with directly.

      • Scott65 says:

        probably so…it also said they were on the lower end of the national scale, but I think this one idea is a good one separating from the rest of the situation. I’d say public education in and of itself is a big can of worms…makes me glad I went to private schoools

    • seekingtounderstand says:

      China will be sending those poor uneducated unwanted people to our shores just like Mexico did because we will feed and care for them to our own decline of wages and healthcare.

  14. Jane says:

    A few Democrats, suburban Black, candidates have come out for Charter Schools. While some Republicans, ALA the Gwinnett School board is opposed to Charter Schools. This could open the door for some GOP moderates who care about Charter Schools and home-schooling to vote Democrat in selected racs. It is a begining even if it will not ensure any new victories this year.

    • Harry says:

      What’s your opinion on the record of Mary Kay Murphy? I like her as an individual but bottom line for me is that the school board is presiding over efforts to brainwash kids in the system. My kids toe the politically correct line at school, but then come home and hear the truth from old dad. Mine will be OK, but there are plenty others who are having their heads filled with propaganda mush and don’t know the difference.

  15. Charlie says:

    I’ve been mostly mobile since early Friday morning, so I’ll make a general comment here rather than trying to go point by point above.

    Wicker tends to get the point of this: “You are proof of Charlie’s thesis: that the DPOG doesn’t want candidates that can actually win in Georgia. ” The party has to choose if it wants purity or to win, just like Republicans often have to struggle with as well.

    I don’t pretend that I’m an “average” or middle of the road voter. Many commenting above should understand that you’re not either.

    Comments such as “Crackerstan” and “the social values of the 19th century underclass” indicate true disdain for people that generally are “average” Georgia voters. You can look at every bit of demographic trend data you want, but if you think in 6 years, when Democrats likely should be competitive again, that the average Georgia voter will appreciate this sentement coming from those who are trying to take the majority you’re kidding yourselves. Just because everyone you know in East Atlanta thinks this way doesn’t mean you’re going to get a majority of the roughly 10 million who live here to.

    As for the statement on the Democratic platform, it came from Newt Gingrich on one of last Sunday’s morning network programs (MTP I think). What was striking about it was that no one on the panel, dominated by Democrats, wanted to touch it. He came back to it several times and each very uncomfortably tried to sidestep it. It was striking as traditional talking head talking points wants to paint the Republican position (which is actually silent on exceptions for rape, incest, or life of the mother) as no exceptions/extreme, but wants to ignore the implications of the wording of the Democrats new language (which eliminated the “rare” language) as being the polar opposite extreme.

    Further evidence came from ABC’s This Week’s roundtable this morning from Cokie Roberts. Hardly a conservative and definitely not a Republican, she offered that she was quite troubled by the Democrats constant drumbeat of abortion from all of the headline speakers. She cited a stat that 30% of all Democrats are pro-life, but you no longer see any attempt to include these folks on the national stage. Quite the contrary, the party is hostile to anything pro-life at this point.

    I’ll be hitting the road again early a.m., so won’t be back to this until Tuesday at the earliest. We’ll have another follow up that will help frame the topic a bit more in depth.

    • SallyForth says:

      Good points, Charlie. Some people simply cannot comprehend the fact that a person can be totally anti-abortion (aka, “pro-life”) in their deepest-held religious and personal beliefs, and yet totally against government forcing of their beliefs on every other citizen. I know Democratic women who are anti-abortion personally, but strenuously pro-choice politically, believing that abortions should be “safe, legal and rare” — a personal medical decision, part of their Constitutional right to privacy. Their feelings were expressed by President Bill Clinton in the 90’s, yet in today’s Democratic Party they are afraid to speak out.

      Combined anti-abortion yet pro-choice belief is like the old freedom of speech saying, “I may totally disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the end your right to say it.”

  16. Jane says:

    I have a real problem with the Gwinnett School board officials. I am probably more hostile than I should, but I think that people who run for office without working with the Grassroots or party support are arrogant. They think they know better and if they have been in office so a long time, they refuse to be open to questions or reforms. When Mary K said she was so proud of having the teachers union support, I almost lost it.

  17. seekingtounderstand says:

    Why would people want folks who so easily abort in charge of health care?
    Wouldn’t you want a pro-life person making decisions about your health?
    Putting religion reasons to the side for a moment, if you take 10 people and sit them down to watch what happens to the fetus or tissue or what ever you prefer to name it during an abortion, 10 human beings would then say they are against it.

  18. Harry says:

    I hate to make such a tired and jaded comment, but there will be no party shift in Georgia until further demographic inroads are made by minorities against the majority. It’s mostly (not all) about race.

  19. Jane says:

    Sorry, my original point was that Pro-Charter school Democrats may triangulate an issue away from moderates or conservatives who support Charter Schools. The opening was when Republicans took the anti-education reform side. Simlar opening could be created against Pro-TSPLOST Republicans. Charlie you are right, to win state wide the Dem’s need a socially moderate or heaven forbid a Social conservative candidate. But, not every social issue is about abortion, Gay marriage, or even Guns.

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