By: Brad Kamikaze Franklin
Hey, Mississippi Democratic Party: Can we talk? We’ve heard some pretty strong accusations that you aren’t as powerful as you used to be. In fact, a few folks are whispering that you’ve become a shell of your former self.
You’re reeling right now and on the verge of becoming irrelevant. Unless you guys are prepared to do some innovative, out-of-the-box renovating and planning, I fear your days ahead will be more difficult.
Let’s start with your most recent underwhelming performances. In 2011, Democrats failed to field a candidate in all of the state races. Can we say that not having Democratic challengers in the lieutenant governor’s, secretary of state’s or auditor’s races is a travesty? The lone Democrat in state office, Attorney General Jim Hood, faced formidable opposition that forced him to campaign much harder than he should have had to.
What you are witnessing is a well-oiled machine making clearly calculated moves. At work is an obvious grooming and mentoring process and a hierarchy put in place long before an election year comes around. I defy you to tell me that it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that Lt. Gov Phil Bryant was primed to take Barbour’s place. Convince me that Tate Reeves wasn’t groomed to rise to Bryant’s old job once Bryant became governor.
On your side of the aisle, Democrats appear to be getting their candidates by pure happenstance. Sure, Johnny DuPree, the first black Democratic nominee for governor, generated a lot of excitement. He ran a magnificent, history-making campaign, but methinks he excelled in spite of, and not because of, the state Democratic Party.