The Alabama Democrats will fight again

Democrats will fight again in Montgomery on Saturday.

The details of the fight don’t seem to matter that much. Outside of the shrinking bubble of the Alabama Democratic Party, no one seems to care that the battle for control of the party is still ongoing.

And maybe that’s the most important thing in all of this. Perhaps that’s the thing that should worry Democrats most interested in running the party — those fighting for control and those watching the fight with disgust and disappointment.

Nobody cares anymore.

Seriously, five years ago the fact that one faction of the party wanted to amend recently passed statutes to gain more control over the party and another faction wanted to stop them would be big news. Their quotes and potshots back and forth against each other would have made great stories. The internal struggles would have made quite a spectacle.

Well…well, did you even know there was a fight?

Did you know they met again or tried to change the bylaws? Did you know that the leader of the ADP has claimed it was part of a “power struggle” and has hinted that race was a factor?

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Randy Kelley did this on our podcast, Alabama Politics This Week, which I co-host with David Person. I tried to get Kelley to explain the need for a change in the bylaws and why this seemingly pointless fight just won’t die. He sided with him and seemed completely indifferent to settling differences to unite the party.

which is terrible. But then again, why should you care?

Chances are there was a gas station fight somewhere in Alabama recently and you didn’t know about it—or didn’t care. And this gas station fight and the current ADP fight each had about the same impact on state politics.

Yes, I know this is a low blow. But it’s one that’s deserved. And one that is accurate.

Because as we sit here today, there is not a function of this state that requires a single word of input from Democrats. Nothing at all. No Statehouse committee could function without the Democrats. No chamber would be unable to reach a quorum. No statewide office is manned by anyone with a D next to their name.

It’s a super majority that’s growing somehow.

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In the midterms, the Democrats appeared poised to take seats in the House of Representatives. They fielded good new candidates in the Huntsville, Montgomery, and Birmingham areas. These candidates worked like crazy to raise money and get the vote.

Only one of them could win, and that victory was overshadowed by the fact that a longtime House Democrat was beaten by a guy nobody knew who didn’t start campaigning in any way until October.

Why did he win? Because the Alabama GOP, recognizing a possible pickup seat, trailed thousands of dollars, funded its entire campaign, and then ran a direct electoral advantage to a surprise victory. ADP, meanwhile, sat on the sidelines and watched, unable to help due to a lack of funds and an apparent lack of a viable plan to support candidates.

Please do not misinterpret what I am saying here as accumulation. As a supporter for or against a specific person or faction. Like kicking a party when it’s down As partisan.

Because none of that is the case.

I like Joe Reed. And Randy Kelly. And Tabitha Isner. And Doug Jones. And ChrisEngland.

I think they are all good people whose beliefs, morals and political ideas would dramatically change Alabama for the better. I probably agree with them all on 99 percent of the politics. And the really weird thing is that they probably all agree on about the same percentage.

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And I point out all the warts and bugs because I just want everyone to stop fighting.

Because it’s silly and stupid and counterproductive. And mostly because it’s doing the opposite of what the Alabama Democratic Party could be doing – helping the poor and working class of Alabama.

That’s the goal, isn’t it?

Well, you’re not helping them at all. They’ve handed the state over to a party that cares about the rich and big business, that cares primarily about funding the white flight via building schools, that prefers to tax janitors higher than executives who never hit a union it wouldn’t burst, that coddled extremism and racism and excused an attempted coup.

Our government doesn’t function properly without at least one viable second party. Without choice and compromise.

When these things are lacking, the poor and the working class suffer first and longest. Always. And the almighty party is inevitably inclined to extremism.

Here we are in Alabama. And the only viable salvation is to quarrel too much over statutes.

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