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No sooner did the state legislators vamoose out of town than the pundits begin publishing post-mortems and obituaries.
Republicans, they opined, had a ‘breathtaking session,’ marched right off the right end of the earth, passed bills that hurt everyone from the poor to the lame, halt and maimed, and got pounded for their wicked ways by the new ‘star’ of the Democratic Party, Reverend William Barber.
Reverend Barber turned out to be an unexpected phenomenon.
His flamboyance propelled him into the spotlight and, overnight, he became the voice of the Democratic Party. He’s been in the newspaper more than the Governor and ten times more than any Democratic legislator.
In an editorial, Ned Barnett over at the News and Observer wrote, ‘Republicans became villains’ during the session of the legislature – and to the extent that’s so, in no small part is it due to Reverend Barber’s rhetorical fireballs.
After the election last fall there was a yawning vacuum in the North Carolina Democratic Party. It had no leader. Reverend Barber stepped forward and filled the vacuum. He’s now the most prominent Democrat in North Carolina politics. What he says on taxes, spending, education, and justice matters. He has invigorated Democratic activists beyond what was imaginable last fall. But when all’s said and done, for Democrats, will he turn out to be a two-edged sword?
For instance, his ‘Letter from the Wake County Jail’ was a demagogue’s pale mimic of Martin Luther King’s letter from the Birmingham jail. And compare what President Obama said about the Trayvon Martin verdict to what Reverend Barber said. President Obama calmly explained why the verdict had a special – historical – meaning to African-Americans. He also made the point both sides had their say at a fair trial decided by a jury. Obama shed light. He explained African-Americans’ angst toward whites. And reminded African-Americans juries deserve respect.
What did Reverend Barber do? He stepped to a microphone at a Moral Monday demonstration and, milking the moment for all it was worth, bellowed Trayvon Martin was ‘lynched’ by Southern justice.
He shed no light.
Reverend Barber’s a force unto himself. Donning the vestments of the church before each demonstration – painting a self-portrait of himself as the voice of a higher ‘moral’ conscience – he steps to the microphone hurling rhetorical fireballs. But he is also an old-fashioned demagogue who is as radical to the left as he accuses to Republicans of being to the right. The Democratic faithful are hoping his fireballs will give birth to a tidal wave of indignation that will sweep them to victory next election – but beware, in the end, instead they may scorch the earth beneath Democrats’ feet.


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4 comments on “The New Chief

  1. dap916 says:

    Just an excellent presentation, Carter. True to the bone.

    The democrats will gain strength only if the likes of the News and Observer and the Greensboro Daily News and the Charlotte Observer as well as local channels like Channel 14 on Timewarner Cable give him and his ilk a venue to spew their leftwing hate toward what the republican legislature and McCrory is try to do to improve North Carolina. That will be especially true if these media sources put forth favorable presentations about what Reverend Barber and those like him say.

    The public is a fickle bunch. They are like sailors that lean toward the favorable wave swell. If it seems popular to be against what our relatively new republican legislature and republican governor does, popular opinion will prevail in that direction. I fear that the powers-to-be in our North Carolina media will get involved in influencing public opinion against the very necessary and important measures our new republican-led legislature and governor are taking.

  2. clarence swinney says:

    I did not understand the depth of our recession until I got first hand information.
    I sent out 150 brochures on my Top Down Cost Reduction program which, in the past, would get
    30-40 applicants. This time I got zero,. Not one. I called three company presidents, personal friends.

    I got the same response. “ we are borrowing from the banks to stay in business. Our vendors are doing the same. It is tough. I can go to Wal-Mart and buy a nice table and four chairs for $129. It costs me $500 to make them. Multi-nationals are successful as are the banks”.

    Downturns diminish other costs. Companies reducing production cut demand for productive inputs.
    Downturns usually reduce costs of workers. Capitalists fear to invest

    Can society do better than a system that imposes recurring downturns? Unemployment compensation, food stamps, and welfare.

    I am very grateful for Social Security , Medicare, Medicaid and ;pensions gained from savings over decades.

    58,000 plants were closed in the first decade of this century. My town is loaded with them.
    Dave Johnsons’ book “The Rebuilding of the American economy” is a must read. It gives us hope.

  3. dap916 says:

    The majority of the big companies that have closed their doors here in the U.S. have opened their doors overseas. Your boy Clinton is to blame for that. It’s not to argue. It’s just a fact.

    The mainstream press and liberal economists will never present the truth to that and the people that do show how that’s true never get recognized in the media.

    Ross Perot was totally correct when he said that relaxing our trade requirements with foreign countries would be the ruination of America. Here in North Carolina,we’ve lost the jobs that came from the largest textile firms in the world as well as the furniture companies both here and in Virginia through relaxed foreign trade measures.

    It came during the Clinton administration and that should be his legacy.

  4. Choo says:

    I am so glad the Rev Barber is the voice, face, and leader of the N.C. Democratic Party. I support him to the fullest. I think he needs the Democratic nomination for Guv next term. I do believe the media within the state need to go to the Rev for voice from the Democrats on every issue that rises. Not just racial issues, but every issue. The national media needs to pick up on this new face as well. Progressives all over the nation need to include Barber in their talks. It is not often that a state has such a spokes person to show off to the nation. As for me I will be promoting the Reverend Barber as the progressive spokesman for the state of North Carolina as well as the nation. Where can I sign up?

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