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Craig Ford for Governor?

by: mooncat

Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 12:30:00 PM CST

I like this part of Craig Ford mulls Alabama governor's race in '14:

"Alabama needs a common working class governor," Ford said.

... but this is less than thrilling:

He describes himself as a "pro-gun" conservative Democrat and family man.

The story doesn't quote him on what, besides "pro-gun," makes him conservative, but Ford is supposedly fond of saying:

"You can be conservative, pro-life and opposed to new taxes and still be a Democrat."

I hate to see Democrats buying into this no new taxes crap.  Alabama has budget problems.  We tax rich people at the lowest level in the nation and poor people at the highest level in the nationThat's an immoral, unethical and unsustainable system. 
Democrats should be out front, making the case for fair taxes, not parroting Grover Norquist.
Craig Ford is also one of the Democrats who voted for the Beason-Hammon immigration law, which I guess means he's willing to vote for a bad law just because conservatives say it's the thing to do.

There is far more than a dime's worth of difference between the two parties, but it doesn't show when Democrats put forth spineless, accomodating candidates.  In a race between Republican and Republican-lite, don't you think most people will just vote for the authentic Republican?  Alabama needs a real choice in 2014 and we need to field a Democrat brave enough to stand up for working people vs. the Republican puppet we have now.

mooncat :: Craig Ford for Governor?
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Trying to out-conservative the Republicans (4.00 / 1)
What is the point of running on the Democratic ticket, or trying to do so, if you're going to distance yourself so drastically from the few things Democrats might actually stand for?

This is playing catch-up, which is always a losing game (4.00 / 1)

Trying to out-Republican the GOPers is just stupid.  Saying "vote for me, I'm just like him," doesn't give voters much of a discriminator, does it?  The decision then turns on personality traits or who can more effectively imlement those conservative policies.  Face it, the people who are fed up with government -- and it's most people these days -- are not interested in having the same old policies done more efficiently or by a new face ... they want something different.  

Working people need real representation, not more "no new tax" crap that widens the inequality gulf.  I can give someone the pro-life argument if he or she is consistently pro-life -- and that means no death penalty and making sure people don't die because they can't get health care -- and I can give them pro-gun (especially if they go along with at least some reasonable restrictions), but I can't give any Democrat a pass on the taxation argument.  Our tax system is screwed up, heavily in favor of the ultra rich and some people do need to pay more taxes.  Democrats should be screaming that from the rooftops, not acting like Grover Norquist may endorse them if they say taxes are too high. He never will and it's a fool's game to pretend you'll win those people over.

Work harder and work smarter!

[ Parent ]
It's like saying, "I'm a Giraffe, but I'm going for these zebra stripes (4.00 / 2)

and a short neck and this cool little barking sound.  But I am not a zebra, 'cause I said so."


Only after the last tree has been cut down. Only after the last fish has been caught. Only after the last river has been poisoned. Only then will you realize that money cannot be eaten. Cree Nation Tribal Prophecy

Why is this happening? (4.00 / 2)

Craig Ford was born on third or at least second base as to Alabama politics. Perhaps he's not as dialed in to what it takes to win in a tough climate?  And that might be especially true in the South.  Not a perfect book but I'm thinking sending him "Foxes in the Henhouse" from Steve Jarding and Dave "Mudcat" Saunders would be a start. Does Craig Ford not know any better? Truly, what is he thinking here?

Then again, is this a legacy of Joe Turnham's "leadership" where he and others tried Republican Lite?  It might be the consultant class is involved where all they need to do is win by one vote.  They aren't interested in building a movement or even carrying other candiates along.

Might be something related to geograpy?  No disrespect to Etowah County, but it's Etowah County.  What those in Roy Moore land might want to hear seems a narrow place to start.

As for the whole of what Ford said, now's as fine a time as ever to put a stake in the heart of what conservatism has come to mean to many in Alabama.  Joe and Jill Sixpack are seeing what the current crop of ideologues are doing and many rightly question it.  If Craig Ford wants to run as a working class populist, he doesn't need the label does he?  Seriously, why not just neutralize the labels that elevate "conservative" or bashes "liberal" Craig Ford?  He can at least make fun of it and learn some basic framing skills.  That's hardly to much to expect of an alleged leader in the Alabama Democratic Party.

That Craig Ford has used this language (for a long time apparently as to the no new taxes angle) has me really fired up and I am not sure he's worthy of being Alabama House Minority Leader.  Given all the challenges Alabama Democrats have, we surely don't need this mess in papers across the state.  Leadership is going to be critical and, if this is what passes for it, we are hosed.

Respectfully, john gunn 

An alleged leader in the ADP ... (4.00 / 3)

In my opinion, the minority leaders in the House and the Senate ought to be folks with team building skills (that's a given) and they ought to be from safe enough districts that they can afford, politically speaking, to be LEADERS.  As far as how Ford ended up in the leadership spot in the House, may I refer you back to this remark by Rep. Merika Coleman of Birmingham?

[Rep. Merika] Coleman:  Why I guess race is so an issue that is just right there in my face right now because we have been dealing with some things in our own Democratic caucus in the Legislature we've had white members say that they would leave the party if an African-American were chair of the Democratic party in the Legislature.

[Moderator Barry] Ragsdale:  We ought to chase them out of the party.

Coleman:   And believe it or not, Patricia Todd actually said that.  [applause]  She actually said why don't we just let the door hit you ... and so forth. ...

Emphasis is mine.

There was a battle within the Democratic legislative caucuses after the 2010 election and race was at the heart of it.  It's shorthand for the old urban vs. rural tension in this state.  White Dems in the Leg. mostly represent rural and small town Alabama and apparently believe their constituents won't react well to black Democrats in leadership positions. 

The outcome of that fight has left Alabama Democrats with a mixed message which is especially unfortunate because, imho, the reborn Democratic party in Alabama will be nurtured and grown out of the large urban and suburban areas.  The more Republicans try to starve Birmingham, the more suburbanites they're going to alienate.  We need leaders who can hammer that point home, not play at Republican-lite.

Work harder and work smarter!

[ Parent ]
I feel like the more the ADP runs away from urban politics, Alabama will continue to be left in the dust (4.00 / 1)

Elections are determined by how things are handled in urban areas nowadays.  Unless it is a race confined to a rural district, then it will require pluralist agenda that incorporates the interest of urban, suburban, and exurban in addition to rural residents.  

I hope all in this state realize, Birmingham (not Montgomery, not Huntsville, and most definitely not Mobile) is the future of Alabama's economy, whether people want to believe it or not.  It is the definition of what represents Alabama like Atlanta is to Georgia to outsiders.  If the Alabama legislature continues its desire to push Birmingham off the cliff to prove n*ggers can't run sh*t so we will show them, they will find out what it's like to be the new Michigan, circa 1980s-1990s, of the Southern US.  Michigan is just began to crawl out of the hole and has a long way to go after racist whites and others whom hated blacks, pushed Detroit off the cliff found out that it nearly destroyed that state's economy.

This anti-urban, coddle conservative bullsh*t attitude will cost you an additional generation of brain-drain after all the highly talented young professionals moves to all the states in the South, except Alabama.  Even South Carolina this game plan, so why can't Alabama?  

"Hypocrites are those whom pick and choose prejudices while giving accolades for their own..."

"It is what it is."  


[ Parent ]
right and right (4.00 / 2)
ford is just gassing in the wilderness if he thinks you win election as a democrat by being an imitation republican. a democrat will need to take democratic positions and convince a majority of voters those positions are right. and, with race woven inextricably through alabama politics, he or she will have to convince a majority of voters that blacks dont "own the democrat(ic) party." right wingers have engraved that in the minds of voters who used to vote for Don, who in madison county used to elect sue schmitz and tom butler. the democratic candidate has to fight to get voters to understand that they're being racially tricked so that they will vote republican.

They'll tie him to Obama and Pelosi anyway (4.00 / 2)
The solution is to validate actual democratic positions, not run away from them.  Unless, of course, this is just an attempt to tap into the wealthy backers who've bankrolled Republicans thus far.

Work harder and work smarter!

[ Parent ]
See what you said is apart of the problem (4.00 / 1)

a democrat will need to take democratic positions and convince a majority of voters those positions are right. and, with race woven inextricably through alabama politics, he or she will have to convince a majority of voters that blacks dont "own the democrat(ic) party."

Why would they have to do that?  If you harbor animous towards blacks leading something then that says a lot about that individual and their aversive racial bias.  If a black politico winds up the leader of the Democratic caucus in Alabama Legislature then so be it.  The fact there are those that runs away from it says Alabama is still stuck on stupid when it comes to race. 

"Hypocrites are those whom pick and choose prejudices while giving accolades for their own..."

"It is what it is."  


[ Parent ]
I agree. (4.00 / 1)

Democrats don't need to be trying to out-conservative the republicans and they definitely don't need to be trying to out-racist them, either.

Our goal shouldn't be to convince voters that black people aren't in charge of the democratic party.  Do we really want a "don't worry, white people are in charge" sort of message? Really?!

(1) It's wrong.

(2) It makes us hypocrites.

(3) Leaders should be leading and teaching, and not giving more air time to rumors rooted in racism.

(4) Do we really want the Democrats in Alabama to further alienate POC?  What a recipe for electoral disaster.

(5) It's wrong.

I think a much better strategy is for us to call out racism where we see and explicitly state what the dog whistles mean when we hear them.  Spelled out, people can see how ugly it really is.  We can't let consevatives hide behind euphemisms.  I agree with Ivan's last sentence -- "the democratic candidate has to fight to get voters to understand that they're being racially tricked so that they will vote republican."

And we should call out racism when we see it from liberals, too, because:

(1) It's the right thing to do.

(2) There aren't enough white liberals in Alabama to accomplish anything without POC.

(3) It's the right thing to do.

*I use "we" when refering to white liberals in this comment because I am one...not because everyone here is.

[ Parent ]
How gross. (4.00 / 1)

Is there any part of the Democrat platform with which he agrees?

Why doesn't he just resurrect the Dixiecrats and be done with it?

a democratic democrat (0.00 / 0)
mkooncat is right -- ersatz (sp?) republicans cant make it in this era of instant communications. can democrat get elected gov if a major plank is taking sales tax off food and perscriptions and putting a tax on high inco0les? of course, presented right, advertising funded right, putting a little class warfare in, a little economic arguing -- not demogoguery but sghort quippy truths.

The Caucus and The Campaign (0.00 / 0)
I don't like HB56. I think its bad policy. That being said, I've been defending Craig Ford's image from what I believe are poorly thought out, emotional, and knee-jerk responses from many friends in the party.

But looking to the map of Democrats purported to have voted for HB56. Who here knocked on one door in Craig Ford's Gadsden? Alen Harper's Aliceville? Barbara Boyd's Anniston? Richard Lindsey's Centre? Or any of the other yes votes coming from the Democratic caucus.

Who here put one iota of work into these swing districts to have any say on how these representatives vote? Who actually lives in the districts or spends more time listening to the old men at a Jack's in Gadsden rather than repeating anti-HB56 talking points. Again, I'll repeat I am against HB56 but we are suppose to be the party that ideology does not control our votes. We are suppose to be the party that doesn't demand its representatives vote the "party call" and rather vote as a delegate for its constituents.

How many articles have I seen on LiA alone calling out the heavy handed tactics of Mike Hubbard and Del Marsh for demanding they line up to put commentators, pundits and others before the interests of their own constituents.

I'll end with saying I have mulled over running for legislature when the time comes since 2010. And I understand that one must expect criticism for their votes across the state. But if we are to be the party that those with strong opinions in Huntsville, Birmingham, or Mobile can tell a legislator in Gadsden how to vote I want no part of that. The Republicans are that party. I will cede that Democrats should be better than HB56, but we should be better than party-line votes as well, these votes if anything are evident of true (little d) democratic values of representationalism. And there is value in that alone.

-Cody G. Jones, Proud Democrat. Gadsden, AL.

My complaint with Democrats who voted for the immigration bill isn't about breaking with the party. (0.00 / 0)

This isn't just any bill they voted for. This is an unmitigated disaster and literally the worst law I can remember out of Alabama in my lifetime, though I could be forgetting something. 

It's also a moral issue in addition to being a pragmatic one, and in a more straightforward way than many bills are. 

[ Parent ]



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