Rob Miller and Craig Axford both wrote excellent comments in rebuttal, which deserve their own posts in reply. I'll get to those in a bit (and by bit, I mean within the next few days. In the meantime, click here to read them.
Last night, I spoke to two Democratic office holders while at work. One of the conversations had nothing to do with the post. The other one did. Said office holder wanted to remain ff the record as they ranted about their beefs with party leadership, including some of those I brought up. I asked this person to send me an email that I can post anonymously on the blog. They were non-committal, but one can hope, can't we?
And, that's not the only one. From the comments:
I think you and Jason at the Sidetrack are both brave for saying what you said, and so are many others being ignored by the party. I've felt for many years now that as Democrats we are fighting such an uphill battle in this state against the misinformation and bs coming from overly confident Republicans that we hesitate to criticize our party leaders for fear the possible media attention will cost us elections. But we're not winning elections. We are attracting candidates, and we don't have even 1/10th the outreach and online engaging presence of other D parties in equally as red of states. Our leaders have shown us they have no vision, and it's a shame anyone would try to silence your criticism with an anonymous comment rather than take what's being said to heart, and heaven forbid try something new in response.
Holland had/has potential, but the resistance to vision he's shown is trickling down to other party leaders, dilluting even their own vision. We're dead in the water with him at the helm.
There, I said it.
bob, you're right, it's frustrating, embarrassing, off pissing, and all in all puzzling. anonymous on the last post was confused, and i think their prejudice is causing them to miss the point. either that or they can't read election results.
the party has a long way to go in this state, and ideas need to come from either those in the state office, or anyone else that has them. but right now we're running around like a basketball team down big late in the game, looking for someone to foul. it's time to get back in the game, and saying that we should all look good losing isn't really that inspiring, nor is it a plan to do anything other than lose, hopefully looking good while doing so.
Voice of Utah said...
While we're venting, my pet peeve is when Democratic legislators agree to carry the water for the GOP on bills that (rightfully) would be viewed as self-serving if sponsored by a Republican legislator (e.g., Brent Goodfellow, Gene Davis). That is one reason why I have quit donating to the Democratic party, and only donate to individual candidates.
[...] It's time to be realistic about how little ground we've gained, and at least explore the possibility that it wasn't a pre-destined certainty, but rather the result of poor leadership. Maybe the party wouldn't be so understaffed and underfunded if they had won on any issue (other than vouchers, which was a collective win, not driven by the party) in the past few years? [...]
And, from Jason at the Side Track:
In summer 2008 I visited the office to pitch an event idea, which I was willing to volunteer my time for, if accepted. I suggested, in a friendly tone, that maybe, just perhaps, as a mere idea to be considered, we don't treat 2008 as just business as usual. Host a few unique events for candidates to interact with the public, get some grassroots fundraising going. I was met with a glare, and a declarative statement that we had the Eleanor Roosevelt event coming up, and that would be the end of the conversation. We're underfunded underdogs, they tell me. True enough. But underfunded underdogs are making gains in Colorado, Wyoming, and Idaho. What are they doing that we aren't? My guess is they're actually fighting back with more than push polls, attempts to buy moderate Republicans as candidates, disenfranchised candidates who feel ignored by the party, and thinly veiled attempts to co-opt religion for electoral gain. Aren't we supposed to be different from Republicans, not following their lead?
In the spring of 2008, I criticized the lack of creativity going into the party convention, as I watched Mr. Cantrell and volunteers turn the Republican convention into a very impressive online extravaganza -- one which even my fellow Cache Valley politico's could be a part of through streaming video and frequent web updates to a dedicated page. Rob Miller called me out (to his credit) on my criticism, and handed me the video from the Democrat's convention to cut up / upload to youtube. While getting the video, I spoke to Mr. Holland about how behind we were compared to Colorado, and even Idaho's party efforts in using online resources to reach out (a factor I don't think is unrelated to the fact both states saw Democrat gains in 2008, while we lost ground) and engage the public with candidates. Mr. Holland challenged me to pitch him a "business plan" that he could use to "sell" to large donors. I never did. How can you explain to someone the importance of something so vague and unpredictable that you see working in neighboring states -- across the nation, in fact -- if they aren't seeing it themselves. So instead, we got a large donor and "Utah Common Values." Never heard of it? I'm not surprised.
Go read all of Jason's post. It's a must read.