Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I see we've touched a nerve

My SDEC account apparently upset one of my blog hermanos:

The blog coverage from the January State Democratic Executive Committee (SDEC) meeting this past weekend is weak. We have only heard from David Van Os and Open Source Dem about their disappointment over the failure of John Courage’s proposal to place language on the March primary ballot statewide, blaming the “First Spear Centurion” for inaction on a resolution that was introduced into the wrong committee. Courage’s proposed referendum is a great idea, and it is a terrible disappointment that the motion was brought to the wrong committee.

First of all thanks for the linky love, dembones. That might be a first (excepting our mutual Roundups and Wrangles).

But to his objection: it's always useful to understand why someone cries when the status quo is challenged. I don't know if he has a dog in this hunt or whether -- in the admonishment "quit bitching and get to work" -- he's only interested in playing schoolmarm. But it's obvious in his archives that paying attention to what the SDEC is up to isn't high on the posting priority.

Which is certainly fine with me; they've done excellent research on the T Don Hutto scandal and the toll road concerns and have been the leader in Williamson County reporting for quite some time.

But if he didn't like that last one, he sure isn't going to like this one, either:

This time the Chairman -- a combination of Caligula's Horse and Ceasar's Wife -- "referred" the motion to the Monsignor Ken MOLBERG legalism committee. This is one of two committees, the other is "Rulesmanship", where anything progressive or simply innovative goes to die. It got tabled there because Monsignor MOLBERG made it clear enough that "the Crown" (who knows who that is actually, certainly it is not the elected State Chairman, a spokesmodel, not a principal) did not want it on the ballot.

But then at the end every one of the Palace Guard on that committee did not just table it, they refused even a minority report. Actually, you cannot be on the so-called Nominations/Legal Committee without being a member of the Palace Guard. It is the party's main organ of self-perpetuation. In fact Monsignor MOLBERG gave John Courage a lot of time to make either a substantive or procedural case. John, a school teacher, was high on substance but zero on process.

Monsignor MOLBERG specializes in long drawn-out tedium. Not torture actually, but with the same result.

(When John brought his motion up again to the full SDEC it was in his usual well-intended but pitifully illiterate and narcissistic parliamentary style. Here's a clue, John: it is not just or even mostly about you or Zada.)

Then it got really funny, because the Chairman did not really know what to do either, then mumbled something about "out of order" and fled the podium, relying on a Palace Guard scrum, phalanx of pseudo-parliamentarians, and more of the mumbo-jumbo squad to cover his ass and come up with a bizarre motion to "sustain the chair".

That's the Tom Craddick analogy, for anyone who's been paying close attention. Continuing:

As usual, the actual Vice Chair (a minority, not a lawyer) did not vice chair. The elected chair, bypassing her, threw the hot potato to House Slave, Dennis Speight.

This is the Democratic Party, folks: our poor, pitiful minorities are pandered to relentlessly and used as decoration "inclusively". But the party is actually run by white male lawyers and really smart, but kinda mean, old women -- legal secretaries or what the Pentagon calls "gray ladies".

Finally the coup de grace was delivered in a moment truly reminiscent of the Craddick House: the Vestal Virgin of Rules marched in and delivered a "ruling" in support of the Chair, whatever it was he did exactly. Actually in the Texas House, some member of the SDEC, as surrogate for the chair, would have read the ruling/opinion of the parliamentarian. Parliamentary law is about self-government, not clerical intimidation and usurpation.

Let's wrap it up by coming 'round to echo dembones' point about party finance:

Finally there is the matter of party/campaign finance. This party has no actual party finance. It is "barefoot and pregnant" -- funded, in part, by the GOP Secretary of State in return for being subservient and fawning, especially in dealings with Hart InterCivic.

And it is funded by corporations, unions, PACs, and the DNC on conditions that it hire certain people, set aside seats on the SDEC and DNC for certain individuals, procure this or that for particular vendors, match corporate funds with campaign contributions, and apply the campaign contributions, or not, to races and consultants the corporate interests and PACs dictate.

Sorry, we do not need a "New Jesus" or even a new state chair.

We need an entire SDEC with a disciplined and proficient majority of Democrats who can build "a real party", not a ladies auxiliary for an Austin political establishment that is and has been washed up, utterly unequal to the challenges we face or opportunities we have.

Well, maybe we'll just have to settle for a new Chair.

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