Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Sorting this out

Andre is all up in arms over the 'lack of diversity and experience' at the Democratic Party of Georgia, but it's a rather silly complaint to be putting forward.

The main crux of his argument is that a few years back the staff was more diverse, which I suppose is marginally true. However, the evidence he offers is an outdated staff directory and the fact that a white woman and black woman are leaving the DPG. Of course, he fails to note that the DPG just hired two African-Americans to head up field operations in Middle Georgia, as well as he fails to note that staff turnover is a pretty good thing in that in means individuals are receiving the necessary experience and training to move out and participate in other ventures. Rather than be a negative, I view such turnover as a sign of a healthy organization.

Furthermore, Andre conveniently ignores the fact that the party officials are very diverse from a racial and gender perspective. The chairperson is Jane Kidd, a white woman, while the vice-chairperson is Michael Thurmond, a black man.

Regarding experience, I just don't get his criticism. Matt Weywrandt, the DPG's executive director, worked for both Jim Martin and Shirley Franklin, while Martin Matheny, the DPG's communications director, served on Doug Haines's congressional bid, a variety of local races and worked for Dick Gephardt's presidential campaign in Iowa back in 2004. That's in addition to a variety of individuals who possess experience on a variety of local and state races.

Speaking quite frankly, a lot of the criticism sounds like sour grapes, particularly on the heels of his complaints regarding his then-denial of blogger credentials for the Democratic National Convention (he subsequently earned credentials later). I don't know Andre personally and I presume he's a nice enough fella, but these latest rants are tiresome (particularly when you're going to spout empty talk about of lack of diversity and aim your fire at Democrats).

Don't get me wrong, it isn't as if I don't have some criticism of the DPG. I'm not thrilled they now charge candidates for their voter files, and I do think that 14 employees with such a financially strapped budget is a bit excessive. However, despite those concerns, I understand the reasoning behind them, and I also recognize that you can't make everyone happy (and nor should you try).

To me, if you're going to be actively involved in the political process and you want to be a politically active Democrat (or Republican if the shoe was on the other foot) in this election, at some point you ought to, you know, actually get on board wtih the team in charge.


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