Wednesday, January 12, 2005
Zell Miller Junior Achievement Buckaroos (ZeMJABs): The Spitball Trophy
Nonetheless, this drive in the grassroots for her removal provides a window into how outside groups are beginning to hold considerable leverage over party officials, especially if it succeeds in ousting Susan Hays. My personal view is that we should always strive to strengthen the party. If the removal of Susan Hays does this then I am for it.
Either way, the charges against her were laid out in a resolution. The most damning charge is one that the blogosphere is now well aware of: Democrats publicly betraying other Democrats and cozying up to Republicans. The most specific battle against this has been waged by Josh Marshall in his coverage of the Fainthearted Faction. According to the resolution, four months before the election Dallas County Chair Susan Hays, a lawyer by day, “wrote a letter on Dallas County Democratic Party letterhead, [sic] endorsing a republican elected official who had been nominated for a Federal Judgeship by George W. Bush.” It has been suggested that this is because she is a trial lawyer and member of the Dallas Trial Lawyers Association and had to work with Republican judges.
This letter was sent to John Cornyn, our fair Republican Senator, and read into the record at Texas Supreme Court Justice Michael H. Schneider’s confirmation hearing for a Federal judgeship. And yes, Schneider was on the Texas Supreme Court when they decided to let the unethical Texas redistricting stand. Byron at the Burnt Orange Report discussed this issue back in July. This was reported in the San Antonio Express News. All of this was done without calling an Executive Committee meeting, which she is bound by party rules to do.
Donations to the Dallas Democrats are down and grassroots groups are breaking off and forming their own operations, which of course hurts party efficiency and unity. But, without a new chair, they will not coordinate with the Party.
This brings up a crucial issue. Party officials need to realize that the online organizational power of the grassroots is now a threat to them. Instead of ignoring that threat, they best learn to work with it or inefficiency and general ineffectiveness will result from big groups of loud and angry activists forming up in that circular firing squad. The best leaders in the new era will be the ones that are adept at harnessing the opportunities of the internet revolution to make the party more effective. But all you need to do is provide a reason for people to bolt and they just may do it because it is easy to be an issue entrepreneur now. That dynamic will be increasingly crucial in the coming years. The Democratic Party at all levels must find people who can both control and integrate effective online activism.
As for local party officials who publicly support Republicans, let’s call them the Zell Miller Junior Achievement Buckaroos.
Do any of you have some ZeMJABs to report?
They may get a big Spitball Trophy for their efforts.
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