The Michigan Democratic Party’s “Do Absolutely Nothing” strategy

Today, Susan Demas at regurgitated a blog post I wrote yesterday (the Blogging for Michigan version, that is, and without attribution to me, of course) where I took the Michigan Democratic Party (MDP) to task for supporting the recalls in Wisconsin but not those in Michigan.

She did reach out to MDP Chair Mark Brewer to confirm and he said this:

Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer has confirmed to MIRS that the party is helping with the Wisconsin recalls on today’s ballot.

“State Democratic parties have a long history of helping each other,” Brewer told MIRS. “. . . We’re trying to help ‘em.”

Brewer said that Wisconsin and Michigan recall laws are very different, which accounts for different strategy.

Only in Michigan is doing absolutely nothing — no press releases, no mention on their website, no support whatsoever — considered a “strategy”.

In 2010, Michigan Democrats stayed home from the polls in vast numbers, far larger numbers than the Republican voters. The outcome was the complete loss of the House, the Senate, the Supreme Court, the Governor’s office, the Attorney General’s office and the Secretary of State’s office. Because of this, Democrats in Michigan no longer have any say whatsoever in governing this state.

If we are ever going to have a prayer of getting back into a position where we DO have a say in state government, we are going to need to get our voters to the polls in large enough numbers that we can shift the balance back in our direction. Right now, the topics that are firing up Democrats are the Republicans’ vast overreach and blatant disregard for any of their constituents who aren’t anti-union, anti-teacher, and anti-poor. The recalls and the effort to repeal Public Act 4 (the Emergency Manager Law) are the only avenue we have at the moment to express our distaste and dissatisfaction with what the Republicans are doing. This is, primarily, why I have stepped down from Organizing for America/Obama for America for a while. We need to focus our energies with laser-like precision on the things at the local and state level that we CAN do to have an impact.

The MDP, on the other hand, has chosen to sit out these fights. There isn’t one thing they have done since the 2010 midterm elections that has been even remotely effective. They have done nothing to show the grassroots Michigan activists that they are supportive of their efforts and on their side in these pitched battles against what the Republican juggernaut is steamrolling through the state legislature. If they don’t begin to connect with these efforts, they will pay the price — we will ALL pay the price — in next year’s election. They will raise far less money, will have far less resources and will command no respect at all from the very people most able to help stem the tide of Republican overreach.

This hands-off policy toward the most important fights of our day in the state of Michigan will simply be an extension of the MDP’s lackluster effort in 2010. They claim to have ‘learned their lesson’ according to what MDP Political Organizing Director Kevin Hrit told us at the Washtenaw County Democratic Party Executive Board meeting last night.

If their current approach is any indication at all, they haven’t learned a damn thing.

Cross-posted at Eclectablog.

I am a chemist by day and progressive liberal blogger by very early morning and very late night. I live just outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan with my lovely and talented photographer wife, Anne C. Savage. I am a vegetarian and an avid organic gardener who loves to cook. I'm heavily involved in county-level Democratic Party activities and am on the Washtenaw County Democratic Party Executive Board as co-vice chair for precinct organizing.
Chris Savage (aka Eclectablog)
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  1. Like Thom Hartmann says, it's up to us to get involved with our local chapters and change things from within. 

  2. Snarky Anderson says:

    Mark Brewer whiffed the 2010 election, even managing to lose an incumbent justice of the Supreme Court. He kept his job. That's awful.
    What's worse is that Brewer is a symptom, not the disease itself. The MDP he heads is as bad as the Soviet Politburo in the pre-Gorbachev era: aging, inbred, averse to risk, hostile to outsiders, and unwilling to change.
    I plan to let my MDP membership lapse and not run for precinct delegate next year. This pathetic excuse for a party is beyond redemption.


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