(The Return of) Ignatz, by Sam Heldman

Friday, February 04, 2005

this is what a whipped (yellow) dog looks like
I am, really, very fond of some people who are powerful within the Democratic Party of the State of Alabama. Some of them are my friends, some are clients, some are both. And I do understand the necessity of not getting too far away from "average" political opinion if you want to win elections.

But looking at this post on the new blog of the state party, I say, "this is what a whipped (yellow) dog looks like." The post in question has to do with an article from the Birmingham News, in which a defeated Democratic candidate, and a Party official, cry foul at a Republican flyer that had suggested that the Democratic candidate was in favor of, or at least was soft on, gay marriage; she had refused to sign a pledge to support an amendment to the state constitution. The candidate is quoted as feeling embarrassed at her friends' inference that she might actually hold the abhorrent view that was attributed to her; and the Party official is quoted as calling the flyer "slanderous." Yes, that's right: it's defamatory even to suggest that somebody supports gay marriage.

Now, I'm not saying that the candidate and the local official should have said "damn straight (ha ha ha) we're for gay marriage," though I wish they would have. At least, though, the blog on the Party's own site could have done something other than implicitly adopt the whining about the unfairness of the accusation. I can even write the blog post for them:

"I'll tell you what. Democratic state legislators will glad to debate whether to add that amendment to the monstrosity of a state constitution we've got here in Alabama -- an amendment that (by the way) wouldn't change one damn thing in state law, but would just satisfy the Republican Party's desire to stir up its base -- just as soon as we finish taking care of real business, like ensuring that there are no hungry kids in this state and that corporations pay their fair share of taxes so that our schoolkids can have decent supplies. Now, if the Republican legislators would step out of our way and let us pass that kind of law, then it'll just be that much sooner that they can have their fun talking about sex."

A party that can't even put that kind of language on its own blog -- or at least something other than whining about the unfairness of being accused of supporting gay marriage -- needs to take a long hard look at itself, I tell you what. I mean, I'm about the least rugged Alabamian you'll ever meet, and even I'm turned off by that level of wimpiness.

posted by sam 4:56 PM 6 comments


I think you should give them a little time to get warmed up, hell they just started the damn thing.

By Blogger Brad, at 6:02 PM  

I followed the link and this is the most prominent quote in the post ...

"This is a perfect example of literature that I think is just created by hate," Gibson said.

That sounds pretty much spot-on to me.

And the other commenter above says to give them a chance because they just started the blog. I went to your oldest listed archive here, and well well well.. the very first post on the page, from July 31, 2002 and you are complaining about a website in Alabama. ... Go figure!

You are wrong on this one, but at least you are consistent.

By Blogger Kelley, at 11:41 PM  

The people above want me to give the blog a little time. Of course I will give it time, in the sense that I will keep reading it and (much more importantly) will keep supporting the Ala. Dem. Party. If I didn't care or thought the Party was beyond redemption, I wouldn't have bothered trying to nudge the new blog towards having some backbone.

And you noticed that some posts on this blog consist of "complaining" about (or criticizing) other things on the web? That's hardly unique to this particular blog, you know.

If my post is too harsh for the new Ala. Dem. Blog, then the Ala. Dem. Party isn't ready for the blogosphere. Better to have no blog than a blog that can't stand the heat.

By Blogger sam, at 7:03 AM  

Jeepers. I substituted the word "Minnesota" for "Alabama" and "darn" for "damn" and this works for us Yankees, too. We used to have pretty good schools here but their quality has declined as we turned more red.

By Blogger Doubting Castle, at 9:46 AM  

I just cant help but see the irony of someone in Washington complaining about Dems in Ala not having backbone. Until Sen Boxer came out in january I havent seen anything but limp noodles from the Wash Dems in YEARS. I still cant figure out how people like Dashle, Fienstein and Lieberman are able to walk up-right.

Yes there are bigots in Ala, and we have the likes of Roy Moore, but everywhere I go people seem to carry this idea that Ala is backwards..

Well, there are right-wing maniacs all over, at least Moore isnt our leader and we SHOULD have a Dem Governor but the Repub stole the election. If you're in Wash, why dont you take a trip to Europe and explain why we have Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice, Gonzalez and the rest?

And at least Alabama HAS a blog. According to a recent post on Kos three-fourths of the states dont have one.. and Alabama was the FIRST state to signup under a plan to get all states online blogs.

Why dont you give them at least a week before you start bashing?

By Blogger Kelley, at 1:42 PM  

Kelley, your anger is misdirected. First, yes I live in Washington but was born in Alabama, lived there most of my life, practice law with a firm that is based there, and do most of my work for clients there. What my address has to do with anything, I'm not sure.

Second, as you can see from this post and the one above, I'm talking about the Party, not the bloggers. It's frankly pretty appalling to me that a Party official was quoted in the paper saying it's "slanderous" to suggest that somebody favors gay marriage. And the fact that the party, through its blog, saw fit to trumpet this -- well, that's even more appalling. The blog may have been only going for a week, but the party has been going for decades, and the party has to give the blog-writers the go-ahead -- even the mandate -- to stand up for what's right. See my other post above.

And as I said above, the world of political blogs is not all "you are so wonderful, I salute you." If the state Dem Party blog can't stand some prodding from the more liberal of the party's own adherents, it won't be able to stand up to any attacks from the opposition, and it won't be worth a thing. I'm not even sure that the party needs a blog; it sure doesn't, if it's not going to be able to breathe a little fire and stir up the base in response to Republican hatefulness.

By Blogger sam, at 2:38 PM  

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