UPDATED: The Michigan Democratic Party has little tolerance for dissent


UPDATE: I am tempering the tone of the title of this blog entry after realizing that the MDP hasn’t completely removed all posts from their Facebook page. They’ve only changed the landing page so that only their own posts show up unless you click the “Most Recent” tab. Thanks to Sagebrush Bob in the Comments at Daily Kos for this clarification. Their ignoring of the recall and EFM law repeal efforts is still an issue, of course, and a large number of unfriendly posts were deleted yesterday.

Well, this is interesting. In the past couple of days, I have posted two blogs. One was called “BREAKING: Michigan Democratic Party will not support recalls or repeal of EFM law” and the other was called “The difference between Wisconsin and Michigan“. The second one was also cross-posted to MyFDL and Daily Kos.

Much to my surprise, this started a bit of a shitstorm for the Michigan Democratic Party (MDP). I have heard from multiple sources that their phones were burning up and their email boxes jammed with people wanting know WTF and why the MDP was not getting on board with the grassroots movements to recall Governor Rick Snyder along with eight different Republican state House members, as well as the Emergency Financial Manager law repeal. Their Facebook page also was lit up and they started deleting a great deal of the comments they were receiving on that page, asking why they were sitting on the sidelines while the citizens of Michigan were doing all the heavy lifting to try to create some good old-fashioned CHANGE for themselves.

I just dropped by their Facebook page and it has now been completely sanitized of any posts and most comments that are not supportive of the MDP.

The MDP has changed the landing page for their Facebook page to show only their own posts. To see the dissenting posts that they have not deleted, you must click the “Most Recent” tab.

I have been in personal contact with organizers of the recall efforts and have confirmed that the MDP has completely ignored them. In a recent interview with the Michigan blog A2Politico, organizers for FireRickSnyder.org had this to say:

A2Politico: I’ve been waiting to hear from Mark Brewer, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, who spent a good deal of time between August and November 2010 sending out fundraising emails to Dems in Michigan warning about how “dangerous” Rick Snyder was. Has the Michigan Democratic Party reached out to the firericksnyder/Michigan Citizens United PAC? Have you asked the Michigan Democratic Party for its financial help/support?

FireRickSnyder.org: Again, we have asked, but have not received response or even acknowledgement. I suspect this is because of the reluctance of established political parties to involve themselves in recall campaigns. Both parties have been targeted for recalls in the past, and both parties tend to keep their distance from recall campaigns.

This is what I call the “not even the courtesy of a ‘fuck you'” response. In other words, the MDP not only isn’t supporting the effort to recall our Governor, they are completely ignoring it.

In Wisconsin, the Democratic Party was not given a choice. They saw the tens of thousands of protesters on the front lawn of their state Capitol building. They saw the national groundswell movement against the type of tyranny represented by the Republican Party today. And they got on board. No equivocation. No dodging the issue. They got on board.

Not so much with the Michigan Democratic Party. They seem to be avoiding this issue at all costs. I reached out to them for an on-the-record comment before writing about their absence in the recall efforts and the Emergency Financial Manager law repeal effort. Like the Snyder recall organizers, I was not even acknowledged. (And, yes, I have proof they received my request.)

I think it will take a serious push from the grassroots to get the MDP off the pot and into action. I have heard people say, “Well, they don’t have the funds for this type of Quixotic effort. We should be glad they are saving their resources for 2012.”

My answer to that? BULLSHIT!

You want people fired up for 2012? You want people to donate to the Michigan Democratic Party? Then start showing some goddam leadership. Get out in front of this thing why you still have a chance. If this movement gets down the road and begins to look as successful as the efforts in Wisconsin, the MDP will have missed their opportunity to hitch their wagon to that horse. They will look like a bunch of followers at a time when what we need most from them is LEADERSHIP.

Two other points: First, you don’t have to spend an enormous amount of money on this. Some well-timed, well-placed press releases would go a very long way toward supporting these efforts. How about some press conferences where you come out in support of the grassroots leaders who are making this happen? What does that cost? Virtually nothing.

And hey, here’s an idea: how about something on your website that shows that you support this? Your website is full of strongly-worded press releases decrying what the Republicans are doing. How about some equally strongly-worded press releases supporting what grassroots Democrats are doing???

I get nearly weekly fundraising emails and snail mails from the Democrats, mail that I find very easy to ignore. But, if they were to start raising funds specifically for the recall and repeal efforts, I feel pretty confident the money would flow fairly quickly into their coffers. This is something Michigan Democrats feel passionate about.

Second, the recall efforts don’t have to all be successful to be called a success. In other words, this is an opportunity to organize and to get Michigan Democrats on board and fired up. The milquetoast effort by the MDP in the November 2010 midterm election supposedly taught them some lessons if you are to believe what MDP Chair Mark Brewer told the Michigan Democratic Convention attendees in February. Well, prove it. Show us you know how to capitalize on a movement. Because, right now, you have a moment in time — a fresh piece of fruit ready to be picked. The questions right now are whether or not you can see it and whether or not you have the political savvy to pick it.

One last thing: I am a member of the Democratic Party. I am a member of the Michigan Democratic Party. I am on the Executive Board of my County Democratic Party. I would far, far rather be spending my time castigating Republicans and crowing about how fucking awesome the Michigan Democratic Party organization is. How they are out in front, showing real leadership, leading the way for grassroots organizers to help us take control of state back in 2012. But, if the MDP remains on the course it’s on now, it’s my opinion that we won’t do that and will, in fact, incur even heavier losses than we did in 2010 — an event that’s hard to even contemplate. So, please, don’t think I’m enjoying this. I am not.

Okay, just one more thing: the Michigan Democratic Party’s Twitter page says this:

Here at the MDP we put people first and we work to elect representatives who can address the needs and concerns of the ordinary people in our state. We work to change our country and improve our quality of life. But we cannot do it without Tweeple like you.

We need you because your voice has power.

Join us and let the tweeting begin.

If you’re an “ordinary Tweeple” and are not happy with them, may I suggest tweeting them at @MichiganDems and letting them know on their Facebook page? Sure, they might delete it. But they will have to have read it first. You can also call them at (517) 371-5410 or email them HERE or at midemparty@michigandems.com.