As a lifelong involved Democrat who lived in several other states before moving to South Carolina more than 20 years ago, I am often confused and frustrated with the progress of the party in this state.
Initially, I thought that after so many years in the minority, Democrats had forgotten how to be winners. But even when we have the opportunity to increase our influence, we don’t always take advantage of them. During the 2010 gubernatorial election, after having historic voter turnout in the 2008 presidential race, many in our party decided to sit it out. So we lost a close race.
Unfortunately, with our propensity toward self-inflicted wounds, we may be positioning ourselves for a repeat in 2014, as some party leaders leave us breathless with their unbelievable insensitivity toward voter needs and expectations.
How can Democrats convince voters that we offer solutions to complex problems when, in one of the bluest counties in the state, a few of our own elected officials reward incompetence by their appointees rather than rectifying it? When they think that constituents don’t notice or care about cronyism and favoritism? When they publicly support a Republican for an office that a competent Democrat is running for? And when they denigrate a dedicated, articulate member of their own party, Rep. Mia McLeod (House District 79), who exhibits the political courage to point out these shortcomings?
With friends like these, who needs an opposition party?