On Monday, August 13th at roughly 12:30 p.m. I was viciously attacked (verbally) by a bunch of Upstate South Carolina Democrats; white, black, a young man of Arab descent, senior citizens risking a CVA or cardiac arrest…about 30 in number I would estimate.
I had said something bad about a Republican.
The occasion was the Democratic Party monthly luncheon. It’s held in a back room of one of those franchised buffet restaurants and attendees pay 10 bucks for the privilege. Part of that ten-spot goes for the tip and something like a dollar ends up at Democratic headquarters. I always get there early and load up on meat loaf. The rest of the “barely visible in Upstate South Carolina” Democratic Party members arrive, eat, slip even more money into a passed-around, upturned chapeau, sit back and listen to the speaker du jour, ask a few questions (never controversial or confrontational), plot some strategy, hear from 1 or 2 first-time candidates and head for the parking lot.
For a number of recent meetings, a guy I don’t know has been sitting in the back and taking notes from time to time. On Monday, August 13th, I got to know him. He’s someone that the Democrats will defend to the death and he’s beloved by all manner of those who participated in that particular meeting.
I had gone over to his table to ask him who he was after someone confided in me that he was a Republican bigwig. He said he was in charge of setting up the Republican luncheon meetings. I asked him what he was doing at a Democrat luncheon meeting. His response was to invite me to the Republican meeting. I asked him what he was doing at the Democratic luncheon meeting. A recent Democratic candidate for State Representative was sitting next to him.
This is the same gentleman who told me at the time of his candidacy that he had a strategy to lure Republican votes over to his side and provide the eventual margin of victory. “I’ve got a lot of Republican friends and they’ve all told me they’re going to vote for me.” I told him that was about as likely as Lindsay Lohan staying out of trouble for 3 consecutive weeks. “No, no, he insisted, I’ve got those votes locked up.” Final tally: 72%-28%.
That humiliating and predictable defeat still didn’t stop this fine Democrat from cuddling up to the GOP interloper. I told the Republican visitor I had no interest in attending his meeting and, frankly, didn’t think he should be attending ours. I returned to my table.
After a fine talk by an ACLU speaker on voter repression followed by a Q & A session, I arose and said I had a statement to make. “There’s a Republican in our midst who takes notes and attends a number of our meetings where I’m convinced he goes back to his party’s hierarchy and tells them everything the Democrats plan to do in their local races.” Had I stopped there, things might have remained relatively tranquil.
I didn’t stop. I followed up with, “I don’t think he should be here.” You would have thought I had called for the execution of the Pope. I was greeted with guttural vocalizations ranging from grunts to virtual screams to cries of NO, NO!!! Various members raged at me that this spy had “every right to be here” and “he’s welcome to come anytime.” No one and I mean no one defended my suggestion that this fellow should not be at what was essentially an executive session, albeit one accompanied by socializing and chow. Insults started flowing. A former Chairperson said all the important strategy work was done in ‘Leadership’ meetings. I had been part of those sessions before. The ex-chair implied that I should have done more.
First of all, I was greeted with great suspicion and made to feel basically unwelcome. One of the ‘leaders’, a Democratic lawyer, had given 4th District Republican Congressman, Trey Gowdy, $1,000 in the last election. I had actually dedicated hundreds of hours over the past couple of years to working with two campaigns in which the candidates ignored everything I said and were beaten by numbers similar to those of my friend with all those guaranteed Republican votes. I had exhaustively researched germane subjects that were again, ignored. I had sent dozens of links and attachments that were ‘er, ignored.
Most surprising and sad was the minority population that jumped up to defend this Republican. One young black man spent ten minutes telling everybody how welcome he had been made to feel at the Republican luncheon that he had attended. “They couldn’t have been nicer.” H’mmmm. Minority voter suppression front and center in the South Carolina legislature. That’s nice? So nice that the Justice Department had to intervene. Then there’s the trumped up suspension of a local minority State Representative for a tax matter that was minor league compared to what legislative Republicans have gotten away with. There are numerous other legislative initiatives targeting minorities. The Governor is a huge Romney fan. He couldn’t care less about minorities.
Another active minority Democrat later told me she defended my right to say what I said, but disagreed with my contention that this ‘spy’ had no business at our function.
Republicans are trying to destroy the Democratic Party and they’ll stop at nothing to accomplish that end. The anti-American Voter ID ploy designed for simply one end is the most obscene modern-day attempt I’ve ever seen to deny the vote to a given population. The endless derogatory remarks directed at the black population as being lazy, stupid hucksters trying constantly to ‘game’ the system is extraordinarily offensive and patently false. A handful of wealthy power-boys are engaged in a coup to take over America. The Republican-controlled Supreme Court, a once objectively deliberative body that actually based its decisions on the constitution now has five members who are political boot-lickers for multimillionaires and billionaires.
I’d like to invite Republicans to our Democratic luncheons. It’s the friendly and bi-partisan thing to do. But Republicans have declared war on the poor, middle-class and women. I don’t want them around my meat loaf. Apparently the Upstate DINO’s do.
They’ve chosen the Republican over a dedicated Democrat. Good luck with that one.