I am going to stand and fight, alright, but I am doing it at home, in Jackson County, where the Democrats are a solid majority and not totally worthless.
But I am furious with the Missouri Democratic party right now. What has been, for several years, a constant, low-level annoyance is now outright disgust. Somewhere along the line, they abandoned their natural, populist allies in the rural areas. They might not have been a strong presence in the southern part of the state, but the northern tier and the Sixth congressional district, that runs from the northern suburbs of Kansas City to spittin’ distance from the Mississippi river in the northeast corner of the state, was solidly Democratic for decades. Suburban union members and rural populists elected Democrats consistently.
So when Ronald Reagan appealed to the ethnocentrism of rural voters and spawned the apostasy known as the “Reagan Democrat,” the Missouri Democratic Party, in one of the stupidest moves of any political party ever in the history of party politics, abandoned those voters, just wrote them off, as if the two big blue cities plus Columbia would be enough to sustain the entire state party.
Because the state party abandoned that segment of voters, the republicans were able to get term limits enacted. That destroyed the institutional memory of the legislature and changed control from Democratic to republican. Term limits was never about term limits, it was always about wresting control of state legislatures from Democrats they couldn’t beat straight-up in head-to-head elections. Just look across the state line at Kansas. Republicans run the show and term limits have never been brought up.
That was foisted on us because the Democratic party wasn’t present in the rural areas so there was no one there to fight back.
Robin Carnahan’s name on the ballot (I refuse to call whatever that was a “campaign”) yesterday encapsulates exactly what is wrong with the state Democratic party.
Roy Blunt didn’t beat Robin Carnahan last night. Roy Blunt beat Robin Carnahan fifteen months ago. Roy Blunt beat Robin Carnahan when he visited all 114 counties in the state and shaking every hand in every small town diner and walking in every communities two-car parade before the primary.
Roy Blunt beat Robin Carnahan by actually mounting a political campaign. I have no idea what the fuck that was that Carnahan was doing, but it wasn’t even in the same time zone as “mounting a campaign.”
Two years ago, she won reelection to the Secretary of State’s office and set a record with the number of votes cast for her being the most votes any candidate on any ballot had ever collected in the state of Missouri. Her father served two terms as Governor, and defeated John Ashcroft for a Senate seat two weeks after perishing in a plane crash. She had the name recognition and she could have won, but she didn’t bother to run. She sat in Jeff City and went to fancy-schmancy fundraisers in Plaza highrise penthouses and garden parties held at Ward Parkway mansions, but she never showed up at the diner on the square in Cainsville and shook anybody’s hand. She didn’t attend any high school football games in Bethany, she didn’t stop at the Dinner Bell in Eagleville and order a cinnamon roll. She didn’t show up at any of the fall weekend events in small towns. She didn’t buy a plate of brownies at a Lord’s Acre sale or a quilt at a Harvest Moon bazaar. She didn’t ride in the Calamity Jane Days parade in Princeton or do anything else that would have signaled to the people in the northern tier that she knows they are there and she knows they are hurting and if they would vote for her she would help them out.
She didn’t even bother asking them for their votes.
That is just flat-out insulting.
By abandoning the rural parts of the state and just concentrating on the cities, the Democrats screwed the cities yesterday. Proposition A was a ridiculous ballot initiative aimed at defunding public safety in St. Louis and Kansas City. Both cities are unique in that they sit on the border of Missouri with another state, and to make things fair, they collect a 1% earnings tax on people who live or work in the cities proper. But a libertarian lunatic billionaire decided that voters all over the state should have a voice in how public safety is funded in Kansas City.
I am furious that people who will never be affected by that tax voted for Prop A simply because it was an anti-tax measure.
It ought to tell you something that the measure was rejected in St. Louis and Kansas City – you know, where we actually pay an earnings tax – but it passed in the outstate area because our paternalistic country cousins know what’s best for us squishy urban liberals.
It was none of their damned business, and without a party presence in every county to get that message out, they fell for Sinquefield’s bullshit hook, line and sinker. Like Ridgeway might institute an earnings tax if they don’t nip this shit in the bud right now. Or something.
Yesterday was the worst election in the history of the Missouri Democratic Party, hands down and bar none. We lost seats in the General Assembly and we lost Susan Montee in the Auditor’s office.
We got slaughtered, and the Missouri Democratic Party deserved the drubbing it took yesterday. And so long as they are pathetic, republican-lite, “oh just run a Carnahan, they always win” morons, they will never get another dime of my money.
My county committee isn’t worthless. I will support them, but screw the state party until they get contrite and hit the road, going to 114 counties and apologizing to every single voter they have abandoned over the last thirty years.
The republicans built their machine at the local level from the ground up. If we don’t do the same thing, we deserve to be in the minority.