The Washington media prognosticators are predicting President Barack Obama and the Democrats will have their butts kicked in the Nov. 2 election, losing their majorities in the House and the Senate.
Here in Indiana, there’s increasing fear Gov. Mitch Daniels will regain complete control of the Indiana Legislature and use his last two lame duck years to ram some of his more radical proposals down our community’s throats.
September 2010 isn’t like the heady days of September 2008 when our community was “fired up and ready to go” for Barack Obama’s campaign.
This time, segments of the Republican base are “fired up and ready to go.” But it’s an enthusiasm based on naked racism and the cold fear of the nagging “great recession.”
The tea party bigots pulling the trunk of the Republican elephant are moving the party of Lincoln into the sort of racist, xenophobic and demented hatred not seen in America since the Great Depression or even the Civil War.
The lies about Obama’s birth and his faith are emblematic of the tea party’s Obama hatred. A hate driven not by ideology, but by bigotry.
Our Black community must respond to the hate-filled attacks with our energy and our vote. But it doesn’t help when the president’s party and campaign machinery isn’t helping get our community “fired up and ready to go.”
I sense there are Obama volunteers and members of his Organizing for America effort out canvassing voters. But Obama’s success wasn’t just his use of old school grassroots organizing and of new media. That campaign utilized a heavy use of Black media – print and broadcast.
Despite DNC National Chairman Tim Kaine telling me Black media will be included in the party’s $50 million outreach efforts, we’ve seen no sign yet that this is the case.
But the effort to motivate Black voters isn’t just paid ads. Last time, the Obama campaign assembled an army of political and celebrity spokespeople carrying the message; an army that’s invisible this election.
For Indiana’s Democratic Party, goal one is holding control of the Indiana House. Yet, here in Marion County, the state party seems to be ignoring Black voters. For the Democrats’ statewide ticket, led by African-American Secretary of State candidate Vop Osili, to have any chance of winning they need a strong Democratic vote in Indiana’s largest Democratic county – Marion. That’s right I said Marion, not Lake.
Two years ago, more straight Democratic ballots were cast in Marion County than President Obama’s total vote in Lake County. Marion County is now the keystone to Democratic statewide victory. Do Democratic strategists in Washington and Indianapolis understand that new political reality?
Rep. Brad Ellsworth is trying to keep the Senate seat abandoned by turncoat Evan Bayh for Democrats. Yet, for Ellsworth to have a fair chance, he needs a massive Black turnout here.
Despite a month of TV ads, Ellsworth still hasn’t bonded with Black voters. Blacks know they don’t like his opponent Dan Coats, but they really don’t know Ellsworth. If Ellsworth doesn’t begin to market himself to Black voters in Indianapolis and other parts of the state, and get those voters enthused, his campaign is doomed and the GOP picks up an easy win on their way to capturing the Senate.
And if that happens, I’m putting the blame right at Evan Bayh’s doorstep. As of June 30, Bayh still had $10.8 million cash sitting in his campaign bank account. Yes, he gave a million to the state party. But Bayh’s stubborn unwillingness to help his party even more will be remembered if he has the temerity to try and come back to Indiana to run again (for governor?).
Locally, Mayor Greg Ballard’s imploding command and control of his Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, his milquetoast handling of the IMPD crisis; coupled with his continuing disrespect towards our African-American community, does give local Democrats an opportunity to hold the countywide offices and capture the big 2010 prize – prosecutor.
But, local Democrats must stop their feuding and posturing for 2011 and pull together to help elect Terry Curry, John Layton and their other local candidates.
How about this for starters, a moratorium on all campaigning by folks running for the City-County Council next year?
All you council incumbents and wannabees. Stop your campaigning. No signs, banners and flyers right now. Instead, you need to be out in the neighborhoods and everywhere else busting your backsides for local Democrats’ chances this year.
And, in between blasting Mayor Ballard’s sins, the three mayoral candidates – Melina Kennedy, Jose Evans and Ron Gibson – should be everywhere pushing the Democratic candidates of today; not 2011.
Next year will be here soon enough. The total focus of Democrats and our African-American community should be supporting President Obama. And that means fighting hard to keep Democrats in office Nov. 2nd!
What I’m hearing
in the streets
So, Mayor Ballard thinks making our cops alcohol free will help bring his undisciplined department to heel. Making sure that cops don’t swig alcohol eight hours before work, like airline pilots are required to do, is nice. But nothing the mayor said last weekend does anything to improve minority recruitment and promotion, or improve training or make Ballard’s police treat everyone like civilized human beings.
And it won’t stop the continued mess in the department.
The whole town’s chuckling over IMPD-gate. Who bugged the now highest ranking African-American commander William Benjamin’s office? Benjamin did a sweep that found a working audio and video “bug.”
IMPD Chief Paul Ciesielski says the “bug” belongs to a previous occupant of Benjamin’s police headquarters office. But Ciesielski wouldn’t say who that occupant was.
Just Tellin’ It, though, has learned that IMPD has several suspects in the bugging of Benjamin’s office. Suspects include: Jason Bourne, Jethro Gibbs, Ethan Hunt, John Shaft, Steve McGarrett, Kelly Robinson and/or Alexander Scott, Sam Hanna and G. Gordon Liddy. But the most serious suspect, for obvious reasons, is Inspector Clouseau!
The last paragraph made you laugh, but the IMPD crisis has stopped being funny!
Mayor, when will your IMPD mess end? When will you get your act together, start exercising leadership and end this crisis? And when will you end your disrespect of ignoring of the institutions and people of the quarter-million-large Indianapolis African-American community?
See ‘ya next week!
You can e-mail comments to Amos Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.