Monday, April 19, 2010

North Carolina First

The SEIU backed movement to create a third party in North Carolina called North Carolina First is serious. The same people who organized for Obama and turned the state purple are determined to send the establishment Democrats a message and mount a credible challenge to three Blue Dogs from out this end of the state, Reps. Larry Kissell, Heath Shuler and Mike McIntyre.

There is of course the usual handwringing coming from the party machine about splitting the vote and handing the Republicans the seats. But as the chair of the new party notes, "Does it really matter if you put a Democratic label or a Republican label on them when they go up there and support big companies and big insurance?"

It's a point I've made before as well. It does little good to elect fake Dems if they vote with the GOP anyway and it just gives the GOPers some false veneer of bipartisan support for their wrongheaded agenda. I've been thinking for years we really need a viable third party in this country to challenge the duopoly. This midterm, with anti-incumbent fever running high, is the best environment we've ever had to try and establish one.

Thinking these districts in NC are the perfect place to start. The conservatives here have a strong presence and these psuedo-Dems won on the promise of bringing change. They didn't deliver. And one thing no one seems to be considering yet is with strong messaging they could also bleed off GOP votes since the GOP doesn't deliver for the people either. Giving up the seats won't change the dynamic in DC appreciably but if NC First gets any sort of meaningful support at the ballot box, it could start a nationwide movement for a true "people's party."

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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Blogger Unknown said...

Regarding third parties: there will never be a stable alignment of more than two parties in a voting system (like the U.S.'s) where every office is filled by plurality vote. Third parties are only viable in a constituency voting ("parliamentary") system; if you're tired of a two catch-all parties, you have to change the election laws.

12:52:00 PM  
Anonymous NCFirstIsBullsh-t said...

Zagloba is exactly right, under a two-party system, the time to
organize around electoral politics is during the primaries. Otherwise you only help elect the other side.

And Libby, as a Democratic voter from NC, I urge you to look more carefully at this ill thought-out effort before endorsing it.

How can Larry Kissell count as a "fake dem" when according to, he's voted with his party 96% of the time in his first term? He beat ultra-right wing Republican Robin Hayes in '08 in a swing district.

This year, his likely GOP opponent is a right-wing nutjob and religious zealot named Tim D'Annunzio who recently wrote on his "Christ's War" blog that the coming battle will be against "The wicked (The Liberal Leftist Socialist Democrats and their beast in the news media). They want to destroy you. At what point are you going to realize this is a war to the death. This is a fight that is either the end of US [sic] or the end of them. I say it is the end of them and their evil world."

Is that crazy enough for you? We need to fight this guy, not help elect him.

This whole effort is a huge boost to the GOP. It's the last thing Democrats in NC need, voter turnout will already be down because it's a midterm election, so the mad as hell, anti-Obama GOP voters will wield disproportionate voting power.

Plus NC Democrats are looking at a tough fight to retain control of the state legislature, and any Republican who replaces a Democrat in those legislative races is guaranteed to be ten times as clueless, which means more state budget cuts (NC has already suffered several rounds in recent years) that directly impact the poor.

Helping the GOP gain seats like this will only undermine Obama's overall agenda, and hurt the most vulnerable citizens of our state.

1:30:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Glad to see some locals weighing in. Admit I have little knowledge of the state politics. New to the state and I'm just getting up to speed on how things work here.

To begin with I'm a strong Obama supporter. If read more of the blog, you'll see I defend him often. I'm not endorsing this effort so much as I'm not condemning it. I'm interested to see how it plays out because I think electing Blue Dogs doesn't do us much good and I'm curious to see if this strategy works to send a message. Did a quick check on voting records and while Kissell may well have voted 96% of the time, he voted with the GOP on the big bills that mattered. They all also seem to be social conservatives, anti-choice, willing to blur the line between church and state and don't support equal rights for same sex couples. IOW just like GOPers.

In any event, I'm not in these districts. I'm working to unseat Foxx and I assume we're all on the same page to get rid of Burr.

As for the state level offices, seems to me with what I've figured out so far Democrats are a mess in this end of the state. My district doesn't even have a candidate running last I checked. We're ceding too much territory to the GOP without a fight.

Appreciate the feedback though and happy to *meet* some fellow Dems from the area. Was beginning to think there weren't any. :)

11:06:00 AM  

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