No, it wasn't glaring red, but it might as well have been.
Sadly, it doesn't take much to get to this point when our own Democrats are so willing to jump in and push good candidates -- and elected officials -- off the ship. Bakari Sellers, who has turned from a decent and caring public servant to a famous celebrity, was among the first to try to shame Parnell into stepping down. Either no skeletons in his closet, or no plans to run for office.
Apparently, republicans have realized that all they need to do is to dig up (or invent) some dirt on a candidate who threatens their feifdom, and then step back and let us Dems pummel that candidate into the ground. Lordy, the best they could come up with was college party videos of Jon Ossoff, who scared the crap out of republicans in Georgia last year. They couldn't have done it without us. While most Dems continued to stand by Ossoff, enough backed away to give his republican opponent the win. That's all it takes. Remember Hillary? Thirty years of republicans flinging mud, with James Comey putting the icing on the cake and leaving him, and us, with feelings of nausea -- and with Donald Trump.
Focus, Democrats! Focus on the issues here, because we stand to lose good candidates who MIGHT JUST WIN unless we get distracted by rumor, innuendo and the occasional irrelevant fact.
We are the party where we stand by people who have had tough times in their lives, made horrible mistakes, and come out better for it. We don't need to support people who live bigotry and misogyny; we can leave that to the republicans. We have enough good Democrats who will fight for us. But we have to accept that they may be flawed.
We need to stop looking for the perfect candidate, because that is our Achilles heel: the strength that becomes our vulnerability.
In fact, we don't even have the ability to look a gift horse in the mouth and say, "Aw, thanks." As when our own Dimitri Cherny made the outrageous decision to run against Mark Sanford in the republican primary. It was hilarious to watch the republicans (who have used the open primary system against us a number of times) squeal about how unfair it was. What wasn't as much fun was watching our own party have conniptions over what they saw as Dimitri jumping ship.
Because in the cold light of day, there was absolutely nothing for us to lose in Dimitri's candidacy. At best he might topple the horrible Mark Sanford, who has been like a piece of chewing gum stuck to the feet of South Carolina for decades. At worse, he would... what? lose? In fact, he did lose, but the three percent of votes that he got just might have been what lost Sanford his cushy job. To that I say, "Thanks, Dimitri." Of course, now we need to garner some enthusiasm for Joe Cunningham instead of cowering over the fact that he will be running against a right-wing wacko Trump supporter.
Meanwhile, the DCCC, in an effort to prove their irrelevance once again, is currently sniffing around, looking to put the money they suck from us whenever they can into candidates that are "electable." It saddens me to say that Nancy Pelosi, once my hero, is now so desperate to win in November that she is leading the charge against candidates that may be too progressive to be electable. Pelosi: once a progressive firebrand herself, the woman who held the damn bag of cats that was the Democratic House together to pass Obamacare. I have until this recent news defended Nancy with every breath I had, and continue to believe that it is ageism and misogyny that has been behind the push to push her from her position of party leader in the House. And yet this picture of Pelosi seeking to support Democrats who appear safe -- electable -- and pass on those who aren't afraid to talk about significant change, that is the real threat to the Democratic Party and our success in taking back Congress.
We had Bernie "the socialist" shake things up in 2016. In 2017, among other headline wins, Danica Roem became the first transgender elected official. People are electing Muslims and gays without fear these days. And yet we continue to have a party afraid to support "progressive" candidates.
On the other side, we had a child molester in Alabama who nearly beat an amazing Democratic candidate. Thankfully, Doug Jones didn't have any scandals that could have been dug up. And don't forget the current "president" of the United States, who ran happily on being capable of every possible crime that could be committed (including shooting someone on Fifth Avenue). While good Democrats stayed away from Hillary, muttering about "emails," "Benghazi," and never proven financial crimes.
I don't know how much more proof we need that voters want radical change. They want to hear about their own lives and needs. Donald Trump didn't win (he really didn't) on grabbing pussy. He won because he lied about giving everyone health insurance and good jobs. And now we have solid proof that the republican party has not only failed in those goals, they have actively legislated killing health care and job creation. They convinced some of us that a $14.00 a week increase in our paychecks was a win, but psychotic economic policies have caused the price of gas to go up over $1 a gallon since the maniac-in-chief took office. Social services are being cut to fatten the pockets of Trump, Ryan and McConnell, and all their rich buddies. Trade wars with our once-friends will eat up more of our miserable incomes while Jeff Sessions and the cabinet of deplorables works to make sure that, from education to employment, we won't have a chance at a level playing field.
Archie Parnell is serious about winning this thing. And he is damn close. All it takes for him to lose is friends like Bakari Sellers, and us.
I did not support Parnell in his special election primary last year. Rather I supported a young, smart, African American woman. Big name Democrats came out in droves for Parnell, because he was "electable." It is a shame that we do that to ourselves, keep women and minorities from representing us because we are afraid they won't win. Talk about your vicious circle. But when he was chosen, he became by far the best candidate, and I continue to wholeheartedly support him. I'm glad he has the guts to stay with it, rather than hand this victory to the republicans.
On June 13, BuzzFeed published this friggin' headline:
National And State Democrats Won’t Support Archie Parnell In South Carolina
“What Archie Parnell did is inexcusable and deeply disturbing, and he should drop out of this race immediately.”
Well, there's a surprise.
Farther down in the article was a video posted on Facebook by Parnell. The same video was published by the Post & Courier before the primary, and before their egregious post-primary headline. I would like to post the video here, but can't do it from Facebook. I urge you to listen to Archie talk about his decision to continue to run, in its entirety. This is the kind of candidate we should throw our support behind, enthusiastically.
You know what, we might get hoodwinked. But at some point we need to trust what we see with our own eyes. And if we don't, for sure we will be the ones to lose.