not a spectator sport


That’s how the attendees at the Glynn County Democrats’ Annual Dinner want everyone to think about our state. Georgia is a democratic state. Republican rule is just a blip, the result of Democrats being too generous and thinking the other side ought to have a chance to win.

That, in a nutshell, was the message from the five candidates and two surrogates who showed up for the Glynn County Democrats’ Fish Fry last evening. They obviously weren’t expecting 240 people and the catering service took some time catching up. But they did and everyone was satisfied. There wasn’t room for the key lime pie, anyway.

The big draw, of course, was Michelle Nunn, candidate for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Saxby Chambliss. Since 2014 is going to be the Year of the Women, Nunn is a harbinger of good things to come out of Kentucky (Grimes), Texas (Davis), not to mention the re-election of the all-female contingent in New Hampshire (Hassan, Shaheen, Shea-Porter and Kuster).

Jason Carter had a scheduling conflict. That Andrew Young, former Mayor of Atlanta, came to speak for him and gave an invocation didn’t hurt, but his formal surrogate, Tom Bordeaux, a former state legislator and current Alderman in Savannah, Georgia really did Carter proud. Bordeaux is obviously used to working with women. Savannah has a female Mayor and four women on the Council. Which probably also accounts for why the theme of the evening wasn’t money, but collaboration, cooperation, collective action and caring–a nice contrast with the Cons. Brian Reese, candidate for the House from the first District, made the point that “support” isn’t money and not even just a vote, but a persistent effort to get more people to the polls. Reese also made the point that he got more votes in the run-off than in the primary election. Which tells us Democrats are fired up.

(I’ve been arguing for years that the Democratic party’s habit of skipping primary elections was self-defeating, but won’t go into the reasons here).

Michelle Nunn has a formal stump speech which, among other things, highlights the contrast between herself and David Perdue (the lost). In part, that’s because Perdue has tried to make an issue of her managing a non-profit enterprise while he claims to have been engaged in the real world. Perhaps that’s true. But, if so, what he’s touting is the competition characteristic of the predator while Democrats are promoting collaboration–working together instead of just begging, taking and/or exploiting our resource base. Producers vs predators. Now there’s a choice!

Connie Stokes, candidate for Lieutenant Governor, Robbinn Shipp for Labor Commissioner and Dorothy Stewart for the Glynn County Board of Education from District 4 were also impressive speakers. Democrats are qualified and experienced. There’s not one failed businessman among them.

Finally, though I’m not at all keen on flyers left on windshields, it was gratifying to find an invitation/reminder for people to Pre-enroll in the Affordable Care Act now, so they’ll be covered come January 1, 2015. Even more gratifying that insurance agents are getting into the act, making an effort to correct the $9 million a day Georgia is leaving in Washington by refusing to expand Medicaid and participate in the insurance exchanges.

I still think Medicare for All would be more efficient, but that’s not possible when Republicans are in charge. Republicans aren’t just the party of no, they positively don’t care. Medicare, health care, affordable care, Obamacare. It doesn’t matter how you qualify it. Republicans flee from care like the devil at the sign of the cross.

Which is why Georgia is a blue state. It’s not necessary for people to identify themselves as Democrats ’cause we’ve got a secret ballot. Everybody’s just got to be encouraged to get out and vote. “Politics is not a spectator sport.”

Image: Watercolor Donkey 2 by the Georgia Democrats via their flickr photo stream and used under a Creative Commons license.

Monica Smith

Monica Smith writes Hannah's Blog. Born in Germany, she came to the United States as a child, living first in California, then after an interval in Chile, in New York. Married to a retired professor at the University of Florida, where she lived for 17 years, she moved to St. Simons Island, Georgia, in 1993 and now divides her time between Georgia and New Hampshire. (New Hampshire, she says, is always interesting during a presidential election.) She and her husband have three children and five grandchildren. Ms. Smith says she "learned long ago that I am not a good team player when I got hired at the Library of Congress, fresh out of college with a degree in political science and proficiency in four foreign languages, to 'edit' library cards and informed my supervisor that if she was going to insist I punch the clock exactly on time, my productivity was going to fall from being the highest to being the same as everyone else's. The supervisor opted to assign me to another building where there was no time-clock. After I had the first of our three children, I decided a paycheck wasn't worth the hassle."