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November 07, 2008


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It's painful to watch highly qualified, intelligent Oklahoma candidates lose due to their party affiliation. We're lucky we have such good state officials, because our national representatives have been disgraceful.

Looking forward to your followup thoughts.


Democrats are losing the battle of ideas. Our opposition is outselling us.

David Walters

Jim Roth's loss was extremely painful to watch. What a dynamic performance he had already registered at the Corporation Commission. While I am not sure why Jim lost, I don't believe it was just party affiliation. Oklahoman's will vote for democrats. 7 out of 10 statewide positions are held by democrats.


Gov. Walters,
Amen and Amen. I remain stunned and disheartened that my home county, Jackson, scored so well for McCain (85+%). Why do Oklahomans continually vote against their/our own self-interests?

I wonder if ANY state has as high a migration rate of brains. How many of our bright young minds graduate from college, never to return?

What to do?
I've never considered more seriously the notion of moving to another part of the country.

We bask in our ignorance and obstinacy.

Thanks for letting me vent.


We have to start aggressively marketing voters on class based issues. We have to compete with the narrow-minded strict dogma that is being reinforced on the working class in this state.
The poor economy was probably the single biggest factors that helped push Obama over the top in this past election. We need to use that same populist and inclusive approach his campaign used with good Oklahoma candidates to regain what has been lost.
Why do we locally subsidize Corporations that are making more money than ever and NBA franchises when our schools, healthcare, roads, and bridges are crumbling?
We need to highlight the poverty problem this state has and what can be done to reduce it. What economic policies have helped to promote it and whose platform is that part of?
Why does one trust the government to secretly detain people (even US citizens) indefinitely without charge, refuse them access to courts, and torture them while at the same time not trust that same government to manage a single payer healthcare system for its citizens?
As I write this, the right wing propaganda machine has already convinced a lot of conservatives in this state that Clinton is responsible for our current economic problems. If the electorate is gullible enough to buy into this craziness, we need to be very aggressive at highlighting the truth of the matter. The GOP are very aggressive and successful in their efforts to proselytize the public. We have to be just as vigilant about our position or we will lose every time. It's happening now.

James Nimmo

Gov. Walters,

I'm delighted to learn you have a blog and hope not to make a pest of myself on it.

In regard to the general election it seems the more the Demo candidates pointed out the failings of the Bu$h Junta and its Oklahoma chapter of co-thugs, the more the Oklahoma voters dug in their heels and went blood red.

How else to explain the election of Randy Terrel in spite of withholding information about his bankruptcy debts; Mike Christian in HD 93, who endangered his own child and is a documented wife beater; and Dana Murphy who admited in a court deposition to forging a signature and then notarizing the forgery?

Is this the Palin effect wherein "values voters" recognized that with Palin's pregnant unwed daughter, the GOP comes closer to reflecting the voters's own problems? Just what would have been the contrast in "values" if that pregancy had been in a prominent Demo candidate's family?

As comedian/pundit Bill Maher said recently the GOP is like a stalker--the more they're rejected, the more aggressive they become.

And then there's the terrible abuse of religion as a wedge issue that needs a whole blog of its own which can best be summed up by the slogan now making the rounds after the anti-gay Prop 8 passed in California:
"Can I vote on YOUR marriage now?"

I also feel there is a distinct dust of racism blowing on the Plains. One prominent candidate remarked at a fundraiser that he was told by a strong Demo constituent that they couldn't vote for a black man. Though this is just one story I have to think about how strongly this voter felt to even say such a thing out loud to a candidate who is also in a minority!

And seemingly connected is the quote I read made by a state Demo official that Obama was a detriment to the Oklahoma ballot. That is such a tactless remark my head is still spinning. I hope it was a misquote.

Is Oklahoma going to be the sancutary for the Bu$h Junta in exile? Is Oklahoma going to be a time machine living the years of 2000-2008 over and over in a video loop?


The reason that Democrats are successful at the local level in Oklahoma and mostly unsuccessful at the statewide level is that, on the local level they are very conservative people and are able to demonstrate that to the local voters. Whereas those running for statewide office, or national office from Oklahoma accede to the Democrat party platform supporting abortion, supporting the increasing trend toward socialism, and disregarding the traditional values of the people of this state. Whether you like it or not, the Republican party is reflective of the vast majority of Oklahoma people, so instead of insulting us with your rant, you might want to try to bring yourself into agreement with us and attempt to do what we want instead of what your party wants.

To be succinct; be one of us instead of trying to change us into one of you, and you will gain the hearts and minds of the people.

Thanks for allowing me to air my rant.


It's the fact that your losing young people. Look at the age demographics of Beaver vs. Cherokee

According to wikipedia.org, Beaver County.

"In the county, the population was spread out with 26.80% under the age of 18, 6.50% from 18 to 24, 25.80% from 25 to 44, 24.10% from 45 to 64, and 16.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 102.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.90 males."

According to wikipedia.org Cherokee County

"In the county, the population was spread out with 26.30% under the age of 18, 14.60% from 18 to 24, 25.70% from 25 to 44, 21.50% from 45 to 64, and 12.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 96.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.10 males."

Cherokee has almost two and a half times as many young people as Beaver. The red areas are youth deficient. It is a vicious circle. The lack young people means the elderly don't get any psychological stimulation or that they are inspired to change their ideas about anything, and the domination of the views of the elderly make those places unattractive to the young, so they leave as soon as the turn 18. The loss of the young is a common feature all over red state America.

Jennifer James McCollum

The ultimate justice: David Walters has a blog. Lovin' it. So, I posted a link to the Op Ed on my facebook page, and boy, howdy! It generationed 18 (I think) comments on my page and 23 on a friend's page where I posted it. Very lively discussion by intelligent people - liberal and conservative. David Walters needs a twitter account and a facebook page to complement this blog. Also, that is a great blog name. THis needs to be submitted to Blog Oklahoma's site if you haven't done so yet. Many folks there will want to know about this, and I see you don't have that button yet.

Jennifer James McCollum

And, yes, - Jim Roth's loss was the low point for me that night. But, I expect he will rebound. I want to think all the bragging about "I have a law degree and I'm a geologist and CC judge (probably Miss America, too)" influenced some. I think she also outspent him. He's amazing and will find a new avenue of service. He was the real thing, driving his Prius. I remember when David Walters talked about alternative fuel vehicles in the early 1990s, and radio cracked jokes about. Shoulda listened to DW back then a little closer.


I am thrilled to meet another Democrat living in the bright red Oklahoma. It was sad to see not even a single blue dot show up on the map after the elections.

Susan, Stillwater

NY Times
November 11, 2008

For South, a Waning Hold on National Politics


VERNON, Ala. — Fear of the politician with the unusual name and look did not end with last Tuesday’s vote in this rural red swatch where buck heads and rifles hang on the wall. This corner of the Deep South still resonates with negative feelings about the race of President-elect Barack Obama.

What may have ended on Election Day, though, is the centrality of the South to national politics. By voting so emphatically for Senator John McCain over Mr. Obama — supporting him in some areas in even greater numbers than they did President Bush — voters from Texas to South Carolina and Kentucky may have marginalized their region for some time to come, political experts say.

The region’s absence from Mr. Obama’s winning formula means it “is becoming distinctly less important,” said Wayne Parent, a political scientist at Louisiana State University. “The South has moved from being the center of the political universe to being an outside player in presidential politics.”

One reason for that is that the South is no longer a solid voting bloc. Along the Atlantic Coast, parts of the “suburban South,” notably Virginia and North Carolina, made history last week in breaking from their Confederate past and supporting Mr. Obama. Those states have experienced an influx of better educated and more prosperous voters in recent years, pointing them in a different political direction than states farther west, like Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi, and Appalachian sections of Kentucky and Tennessee.

Southern counties that voted more heavily Republican this year than in 2004 tended to be poorer, less educated and whiter, a statistical analysis by The New York Times shows. Mr. Obama won in only 44 counties in the Appalachian belt, a stretch of 410 counties that runs from New York to Mississippi. Many of those counties, rural and isolated, have been less exposed to the diversity, educational achievement and economic progress experienced by more prosperous areas.

The increased turnout in the South’s so-called Black Belt, or old plantation-country counties, was visible in the results, but it generally could not make up for the solid white support for Mr. McCain. Alabama, for example, experienced a heavy black turnout and voted slightly more Democratic than in 2004, but the state over all gave 60 percent of its vote to Mr. McCain. (Arkansas, however, doubled the margin of victory it gave to the Republican over 2004.)

Less than a third of Southern whites voted for Mr. Obama, compared with 43 percent of whites nationally. By leaving the mainstream so decisively, the Deep South and Appalachia will no longer be able to dictate that winning Democrats have Southern accents or adhere to conservative policies on issues like welfare and tax policy, experts say.

That could spell the end of the so-called Southern strategy, the doctrine that took shape under President Richard M. Nixon in which national elections were won by co-opting Southern whites on racial issues. And the Southernization of American politics — which reached its apogee in the 1990s when many Congressional leaders and President Bill Clinton were from the South — appears to have ended.

“I think that’s absolutely over,” said Thomas Schaller, a political scientist who argued prophetically that the Democrats could win national elections without the South.

The Republicans, meanwhile, have “become a Southernized party,” said Mr. Schaller, who teaches at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. “They have completely marginalized themselves to a mostly regional party,” he said, pointing out that nearly half of the current Republican House delegation is now Southern.

Merle Black, an expert on the region’s politics at Emory University in Atlanta, said the Republican Party went too far in appealing to the South, alienating voters elsewhere.

“They’ve maxed out on the South,” he said, which has “limited their appeal in the rest of the country.”

Even the Democrats made use of the Southern strategy, as the party’s two presidents in the last 40 years, Jimmy Carter and Mr. Clinton, were Southerners whose presence on the ticket served to assuage regional anxieties. Mr. Obama has now proved it is no longer necessary to include a Southerner on the national ticket — to quiet racial fears, for example — in order to win, in the view of analysts.

Several Southern states, including Arkansas, Louisiana and Tennessee, have voted for the winner in presidential elections for decades. No more. And Mr. Obama’s race appears to have been the critical deciding factor in pushing ever greater numbers of white Southerners away from the Democrats.

Here in Alabama, where Mr. McCain won 60.4 percent of the vote in his best Southern showing, he had the support of nearly 9 in 10 whites, according to exit polls, a figure comparable to other Southern states. Alabama analysts pointed to the persistence of traditional white Southern attitudes on race as the deciding factor in Mr. McCain’s strong margin. Mr. Obama won in Jefferson County, which includes the city of Birmingham, and in the Black Belt, but he made few inroads elsewhere.

“Race continues to play a major role in the state,” said Glenn Feldman, a historian at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. “Alabama, unfortunately, continues to remain shackled to the bonds of yesterday.”
David Bositis, senior political analyst at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, pointed out that the 18 percent share of whites that voted for Senator John Kerry in 2004 was almost cut in half for Mr. Obama.

“There’s no other explanation than race,” he said.

In Arkansas, which had among the nation’s largest concentration of counties increasing their support for the Republican candidate over the 2004 vote, “there’s a clear indication that racial conservatism was a component of that shift away from the Democrat,” said Jay Barth, a political scientist in the state.

Race was a strong subtext in post-election conversations across the socioeconomic spectrum here in Vernon, the small, struggling seat of Lamar County on the Mississippi border.

One white woman said she feared that blacks would now become more “aggressive,” while another volunteered that she was bothered by the idea of a black man “over me” in the White House.

Mr. McCain won 76 percent of the county’s vote, about five percentage points more than Mr. Bush did, because “a lot more people came out, hoping to keep Obama out,” Joey Franks, a construction worker, said in the parking lot of the Shop and Save.

Mr. Franks, who voted for Mr. McCain, said he believed that “over 50 percent voted against Obama for racial reasons,” adding that in his own case race mattered “a little bit. That’s in my mind.”

Many people made it clear that they were deeply apprehensive about Mr. Obama, though some said they were hoping for the best.

“I think any time you have someone elected president of the United States with a Muslim name, whether they are white or black, there are some very unsettling things,” George W. Newman, a director at a local bank and the former owner of a trucking business, said over lunch at Yellow Creek Fish and Steak.

Don Dollar, the administrative assistant at City Hall, said bitterly that anyone not upset with Mr. Obama’s victory should seek religious forgiveness.

“This is a community that’s supposed to be filled with a bunch of Christian folks,” he said. “If they’re not disappointed, they need to be at the altar.”

Customers of Bill Pennington, a barber whose downtown shop is decorated with hunting and fishing trophies, were “scared because they heard he had a Muslim background,” Mr. Pennington said over the country music on the radio. “Over and over again I heard that.”

Mr. Obama remains an unknown quantity in this corner of the South, and there are deep worries about the changes he will bring.

“I am concerned,” Gail McDaniel, who owns a cosmetics business, said in the parking lot of the Shop and Save. “The abortion thing bothers me. Same-sex marriage.”

“I think there are going to be outbreaks from blacks,” she added. “From where I’m from, this is going to give them the right to be more aggressive.”

Ford Fessenden contributed reporting.

Susan from Stillwater

Gov Walters,

You left Race out of Guns, God and Gays.

As I door-knocked for candidates in a town where there are a high percentage of college graduates I was mortified to find such ignorance and out right racism.

I had a total stranger in an affluent neighborhood say, "I've never voted for a N***** and won't ever vote for a N*****." (I was walking for a state candidate and never brought Obama up. His remarks came from out-of-the-blue)

Oklahoma is a leader in high rates of teen pregnancies, unwed mothers, high school drop outs, incarceration rates, low salaries, obesity, smokers and poor health care.

And, The Oklahoman tries to defend our state vote for McCain by saying this doesn't mean Oklahoma's are "backwards."

I doubt any other state will want to follow our lead.

Using a word from an editorial in The Oklahoman debasing your comments this vote was: ASSININE!!!

We are backwards and it's embarrassing.


I agree that we must be concerned about how counter Oklahoma is running to public opinion nationally. I wish it were just a difference of opinion on the issues. I fear that it has a lot to do with lack of public awareness that is fed by fear of outsiders, people different from ourselves and an inferiority complex. Why else the rants and inability to think about and discuss new ideas and directions (one doesn't have to agree!)? Change is constantly happening, and it is productive and good only when we're aware, thoughtful and involved in the process. It is much easier to discuss political and social issues here in Oklahoma when opinions are the result of continuing reflection. However, all too often they are based on lack of knowledge, and an overabundance of fear and lies that we allow ourselves to be fed because it requires little effort on our parts.


Living in far Western Oklahoma, where almost everyone either works in the oilfield, owns mineral rights (which were, by the way, stolen from Native Americans along with their lands) or own businesses that benefit largely to all the oilfield wages and traffic. So, they don't care that the nation has gone damn near bankrupt while giving subsidies to oil companies or that decreased environmental policies for drilling locations exposes MY children to carcinogens; they just know that if Congress cuts that wild waterfall of free cash to these companies that they'll have no motivation to build new rigs and pay the best wages in the nation for high school educated workers. Now, I live out here, I love the people of Western Oklahoma, but I also don't think we should bankrupt that nation subsidizing one of the only profitable industries of the Bush Administration at a time when we are cutting farm subsidies. They also know if EPA standards are raised back to Clinton Administration levels, the cost of drilling will increase. Most of them live in municipalities. They don't leave virtually on top of a never ending loop of oil locations like my family does, so they threat of water supply contamination isn't as pressing to them as it is for us. So that makes up part of the ridicules people who may believe that Bush was the terrible president you and I KNOW he was, but also know they have benefited to a disproportionate and virtually unsustainable degree because of them.

The group are the folks that the agnostic Karl Rove refers to as "useful idiots," the Religious Right. Even though the GOP had the White House and both houses of Congress until 2006 and never even acted like they were going bring the super hyped Congressional amendment on marriage up for a vote, all these idiots need is the promise that this will be done and that abortion will be abolished to get their vote. As Rove well knows, the GOP can behave in the absolute most Unchristian-like ways freakin' imaginable, they can give earmarks to huge corporations, bomb unsuspecting villages, tear apart lives of people who've fought for our nation, but so long as they make deceitful promises about the "queers" and the "baby killers" that's all they need. And it's for that reason that the evil Rove quite accurately coined them "useful idiots." They may be absolutely uneducated on the issues and facts, but dammit, they'll come out in droves against gays and abortion.


There's a big brain drain of the educated children of Oklahoma because the job opportunities elsewhere are better. Educated retirees want to leave because the level of discourse here is so primitive.

Linda Maloney

In the winter of 2003, I was co-chair of the Washington County Democrats. We were gratified by Gov. Walters' willingness to come to Bartlesville and talk to us about what we needed to do to galvanize support for our party. I remember it quite clearly. He said we needed to pick one or two key issues with broad voter support that cut across party lines and work to champion those causes. If only we and all democratic party organizations across the state had done a better job of heeding that advice, we would not be the reddest state in the union today. It's not too late, but it simply cannot be done by a handful of vocal Democrats in each county--while the rest sit idly by and wonder aloud, "How come Democrats in this county/state of ours aren't more active?" Once and for all, Democrats need to stop being afraid of what their neighbors, co-workers and fellow church members will think and start proudly and openly attending meetings and supporting their county organizations. Meaningful change HAS to come from the grass roots.

Walter Jenny Jr.

Thank you for allowing us to reprint (or print, I suppose!) "What's The Matter With Oklahoma?" in the Yellow Dog Dispatch, the quarterly newspaper of the Oklahoma Democratic Party. It's rich food for thought in a state that badly needs to wake up! Thank you for your commitment.

Walter Jenny Jr., Secretary
Oklahoma Democratic Party


This travesty of OK turning redder than ever has got to stop. We are bleeding and need for everyone in the cities, counties, districts and state of OK to come together as Democrats with financial resources, wisdom and action to elect our people. We are hoping to turn blue or purple - well I think we need a Tourniquet!


Interesting site, always a new topic .. good luck in the new 2011. Happy New Year!


Happy New Year! Happiness and success in 2011.


Happy New Year! Happiness and success in 2011.


Happy New Year! The author write more I liked it.


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But I have been to Beaver county and met good people and don’t understand how 89.2% decided Sarah Palin should be vice president of the United States.

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