The Week That Was

A week ago yesterday, the tectonic plates beneath the political landscape in North Carolina shifted dramatically - and irreversibly. Our regular readers will be forgiven if they took the changes in stride, but make no mistake: we are living in a different political world than the one we lived in eight days ago when Jim Neal spent an hour live-blogging here at BlueNC.

The aftershocks have been profound and far reaching. From the DSCC to the NCDP, from the mainstream media to the mainstream blogosphere, the deck has been reshuffled and all bets are off.

Here in North Carolina, the introspection has been fascinating to watch. Ted Vaden at the News and Observer has this to say about how his newspaper covered the story. (He didn't mention that his ace political reporter got our name wrong, and still hasn't corrected it.)

Neal's candidacy as a gay man is as significant -- because of its uniqueness -- as the election last week of the nation's first Indian-American as governor, in Louisiana. The N&O didn't "out" Neal. He made it public himself. And it didn't glorify his lifestyle by putting the story on the front page. The man is running for the U.S. Senate. He is openly gay. That's a story.

The interesting story now is the fallout. The discovery that their only candidate is gay reportedly has Democrats scurrying for alternatives, and at least one candidate who had passed on the race, Sen. Kay Hagan of Greensboro, was taking another look. Maybe that tells us something about how much North Carolina has grown up as a state.

A deeper analysis was delivered today by Paul O'Connor at the Winston-Salem Journal. I agree with Paul's take on the issues almost completely. His closing paragraphs nail the central point nicely.

Finally, and maybe most potentially damaging for the Democrats, is the question of what happens in the state’s gay community if the Democratic Party does enlist a high-profile, or at least a medium-profile, straight candidate to seek the nomination? Will this infuriate gay activists? Will they see this as a slight to their participation and loyalty to the party? My guess is that they would.

At first glance, Neal’s orientation would appear to be the lock for Dole should they face each other in the general election. But it raises many questions, and the election is still a year away. Don’t count on anything.

I've spoken with many progressive Democrats over the past week and there is remarkable unanimity in their views. Progressives are sick and tired of being used by the mainstream Democratic Party. It doesn't matter whether they're gay or straight, many have that uneasy feeling that the Democratic leadership wants progressive votes and progressive money - but not progressive voices. They think we'll sit still and take it while they continue to bungle on the parliamentarian front, as well as on the policy front. They think we'll fold our hands and accept their milquetoast efforts to end the war in Iraq, and still help fill their campaign coffers. They think we'll tolerate their back-room deals without a whimper of protest.

They are wrong.


The exact same situation

Politician says he/she will not run. Then he/she turns around and runs for U.S. Senate. Wellstone's incumbency makes the violation of trust even more flagrant. He campaigned on the promise of serving only two terms.

I don't doubt that you are disappointed with Hagan. My question is do you (did you) question Paul Wellstone's integrity when he did the exact same thing or do you reserve sanctimony for those who are your political opponents?

Also, what would it matter if the poll was done in DC or Denmark? If it was of voters in NC and the methodology was sound, so what?

In 2002

Wellstone did exactly what is being asked of Hagan today. He gave a reason. He spoke about the split in the Senate and the election of George Bush and said that he still had a fight to carry on.

If Hagan explains her reasoning then there is no problem with that decision. The problem I have had all along is with Hagan's record on specific issues in the legislature and with the horrible timing of all of this, because of how it *looks*.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

ok let's get something straight

  1. Kay Hagan is not my political opponent.
  2. I have a right to be disappointed in the way she handled herself as a potential representative of the state.
  3. No, I didn't question Wellstone's integrity because the man explained himself. He actually spoke to the public. Interesting idea, that.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi


both of you.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Oh yeah




I just wonder when this starts looking like the big orange satan where they all are on top of each other and cant indent anymore

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

I don't know,

there's still quite a bit of room over here, as long as you turn sideways and maybe suck in a little bit... okay, now I'm stuck.


not stuck.


For a fly



Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.



No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions


I am being honest when I say that I am disappointed in her. She danced around the idea of running for US Senate for a long time. She declared she wasn't going to do it. Now she's changed her mind. I want to know why. I'm not belittling her. I'm asking a question. If you think asking a question of a politician is belittling them, we're going to have lots of problems.

Second. it has always been my opinion that she should run against Howdie Doodie Coble. She could help cement a Democratic majority in the House. She's known in the 6th district very well; name recognition would not be an issue.

Belittling her would be calling her names. Like "Howdie Doodie Coble".

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Howdy Doody

Plus he's a Puppet!

that's insulting

to puppets.

Coble is the worst. I can't wait until he's gone.

I'm not waiting.

I'm actively trying to encourage politicians who have a chance at beating him to take him on. Too bad Hagan won't consider it. Cause she could take him.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

I don't know the 6th that well but ...

I do know that Dems have a 60,000 deficit in voter reg. working against them there. Hagan may well figure that NC as a whole is more in play than the 6th.
Her state senate district is overwhelmingly dem (+25k), but that is the exception. You gotta have the votes, and she seems to know where they are.

btw - I just got an email from the Guilford county chair saying that Hagan will make a big announcement tomorrow (Tues.). Hhhmmm I wonder what that will be about.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

Her public statement

said nothing about Grier Martin. She said she thought she could be more effective - blah, blah - in the NC Senate.

Still say she could kick Coble's warty old ass.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

This is why

1) I am no longer a registered Democrat. (The benefits are few and the embarrassment is high. I still vote in the primary.)

2) I have a hard time getting excited about calls to save the party. The party sure as hell doesn't want to save me. I'm ready to see the donkey ride off into the sunset, and make way for a real alternative who wants to represent working people, women, environmentalists, gay people, poor people, peace-lovers, etc.

make way

It's funny to think of the party as somehow being in the way of those constituencies. In fact, without the Democratic Party there is precious little to even bind those various movements together. Feel free to give an example (labor? the church? MoveOn? the grange?).

While your vision of power falling from the sky into the hands of a progressive majority may be comforting, I doubt you can construct a scenario where this is possible, let alone likely.

I think we are going to have to continue working for the change we want to see, rather than merely "being" it.

If you've got an idea about how we can work smarter, sign me up. If not, let's take partial responsibility for our world as it is and get back to work.

- - - - -

Hi Ruby.

In a grand irony, the change of registration (to unaffiliated) that I mailed in last week came back with insufficient postage. So technically, I'm still registered as a Democrat.

This all poses a big dilemma for me. Earlier this week, I just about decided to chuck it all and resume writing novels in all my spare time. But Jane said it was just because I was sick and depressed.

I'm not sick any more, but I sure am depressed. Maybe that's what the Establishment wants . . . for everyone to be depressed.

I laughed out loud when I read this ...

In a grand irony, the change of registration (to unaffiliated) that I mailed in last week came back with insufficient postage. So technically, I'm still registered as a Democrat.

See, A., God wants you to be a Democrat. Or at least the post office does (which is about the same thing). (j/k)

Do what you need to do. That drink is still on me.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

I laughed too.

Sometimes it seems like the forces of something are conspiring. And I sure could use that drink!

I'm still kicking myself

for not inviting you out for a drink the day we met at Converge South.

Hope I'll get another chance.

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