Saving America: What is a Precinct Meeting?

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A reader asked me to explain what a precinct meeting is, and how it can be used to take back our country.

I haven’t had time to research how this is done in each state. I will write other posts describing each state in detail. But this is the process in Oklahoma.

The two political parties do not get their platforms out of a box of Cracker Jacks. These platforms are voted on by elected party members. Any registered member of a political party can participate in party politics. No one can stop them. All they have to do is begin by going to a precinct meeting.

Here’s how it works in Oklahoma, which is probably not all that different from other states.

Each of the two political parties are divided into territories. These territories fall along state lines. Thus, you have an Oklahoma Democratic or Republican Party, a Texas Democratic or Republican Party, a Michigan Democratic or Republican Party and so on throughout all 50 states. For the purposes of what I asked Public Catholic readers to do yesterday, which is convert the Democratic Party, I’m going to describe the Oklahoma Democratic Party’s process.

State parties are subdivided into territories. In the Oklahoma Democratic Party, these territories fall along the lines of state legislative districts. Thus, the district I represented, District 89, is a district in the Oklahoma Democratic Party, at least for precinct meeting purposes. Each house district is divided into precincts. These precincts are the same ones that the state election board uses to divide voters in order to determine where you go to vote in elections. You can look on your Voter ID card to see your precinct.

Once each year, the Democratic Party (and the Republicans, I might add) hold what are called precinct meetings. Anyone who is a registered member of the Democratic Party can attend the precinct meeting for the precinct in which they reside. These precinct meetings elect officers and vote on resolutions which, if they are passed, will be forwarded to the next step in the process for consideration in becoming part of the party platform. The precinct meeting attendees also elect delegates to the next set of meetings, which are county meetings.

Any one in attendance can introduce resolutions about what should be included in the party platform. Any attendee can be elected a precinct officer or delegate. There is no requirement for having been active in the party previously.

Precinct meetings are usually sparsely attended. Many times, they are held in someone’s home. Other times, there will be district meetings at a union hall in the district or something similar. In areas with really low turnout, several districts may meet together. It does not take much to take over a precinct meeting. You can bring a few friends and family members and sweep it. Precinct meetings take a couple of hours. They are held on a Tuesday evening early in the year.

The delegates who are elected at precinct meetings are then able to attend the county meetings. These are usually much more heavily attended. There may be several hundred people there, and most of them will be party regulars. Members of the Oklahoma House and Senate are automatically delegates to the county and state conventions. These meetings usually take most of a Saturday.

County meetings also elect officers and delegates to the next stage of the process, which is the Statewide convention. At this point, it’s more difficult to get elected a delegate. But it is very do-able if you work together with other pro life Democrats from around the state. If you are a firefighter or police officer or member of another union, you can unite that with your pro life beliefs to gain votes. Ditto for other groups. Also, if we manage to get enough pro life Democrats to show up at precinct meetings, we’ll have the votes at the county meetings to elect pro life delegates to the statewide meeting.

At least in Oklahoma, pro life Democrats are a majority in the rank and file, even though they are almost non-existent among the party regulars. That’s not because the pro choice Democrats have been evil about this. It’s because they were the ones who cared enough to show up at precinct meetings.

County meetings also vote on the resolutions that were passed up from the precinct meetings for inclusion in the party platform. There is a Resolutions Committee that vets these, and also writes resolutions of its own. (This part can get a bit nasty when you’re talking about issues like pro life, which is another reason why we need a lot of pro life Democrats there.) All of these resolutions are voted on by the body at large.

There are a lot of tricks involved in these votes. One of the most common is to hold votes on something that the existing county leadership disagrees with until most people have gone home. Another trick is to use a voice vote to say something has won when it has really lost, or vice versa. At this point, pro life Democrats who are newcomers will need the guidance of someone who is both pro life and an old pro at this stuff. There are quite a few of those people. We just need to work together.

The next step is the statewide convention. This is the meeting at which state officers are elected and the party platform is written and voted on. It is also where Democratic Committeewomen and delegates to the National Democratic Convention which nominates the party’s presidential candidate are elected.

I have not been able to attend an Oklahoma State Democratic Party convention for many years because I have been a pro life Democratic elected official who actually passes pro life bills. I have put pro life first, even when it meant crossing party lines or voting against efforts of the party.

As a Democratic member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, I have always had the legal right to attend. I was an automatic delegate. However, I have been picketed at statewide Democratic Conventions and there was a vote at one of them to censure me by the party for passing a pro life bill. That censure came within 50 votes of passing. I stopped going to these meetings because (a) it was too unpleasant, and (b) my fellow elected officials asked me not to attend because my presence made things too unpleasant for them.

I’m telling you this to give you an idea of how hard core the Oklahoma Democratic party officialdom is in support of abortion. On the other hand, the rank and file is heavily — not exclusively, but certainly a majority — pro life. How did this happen?

It happened because of who attends precinct meetings.

Pro choice people have been working on this party for decades now. They organize and get their people to these meetings. We have lost the Democratic Party to the pro aborts by means of the oldest political truth in the books: Bad politicians (or in this case, bad delegates) are elected by good citizens who don’t vote.

We can turn it around by simply showing up. I mean that. It’s really that easy. It’s a matter of one Tuesday evening and two Saturdays, donated to the pro life cause.

Equal and Opposite Reaction: Pro Aborts Fight Back


For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  Sir Isaac Newton

Sometimes, the laws of physics sound political. Never is this more true than with Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion.

This third law states simply that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. It is talking about the push-pull of the forces that create motion in pairs of forces.

Think about it.

You use your legs to kick when you are a swimming. Every time you kick, you “push” against the water. But — and here’s the reaction — the water is also pushing back against you. That’s why you can go from one end of the swimming pool to the other. It’s also why you make waves while you’re doing it.

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In politics, this action-reaction thing gets a little more vocal. Here’s a for-instance. Pro abortion people managed to get the Supreme Court to legalize all abortions from conception to birth by judicial fiat. Pro life people reacted by pushing back with laws that regulate the abortion industry.

Now, the pro aborts are reacting to that reaction and bringing out laws of their own making the regulations illegal. These laws, which are being introduced at both the state and federal level, put an ironic lie to the old pro abortion claim that they want abortion to be safe, legal and rare.

Pro abortionists consistently oppose any and every law that seeks to regulate the abortion industry. They do this to the point that I have personally seen women who are pro choice — as opposed to pro abortion — begin to get a bit antsy about it.

I’ve even seen pro choice women come out in favor of pro life laws because they see both the sense and need of them. For some reason I don’t quite get, this is not as true of pro choice men. I would guess — don’t know, just guessing — that this difference has something to do with the different perspectives men and women have of abortion.

The all-time King Daddy of this new opposite reaction from the pro abortion people is S 1696. The pro abortion folks have mis-named S 1696 the Women’s Health Protection Act. What makes S 1696 so special is that it’s not a state law. With S 1696, the pro abortion people are, quite literally, making a federal case out of it. They know, to use another tired old canard, that the way to shut down abortion clinic regulation in all 50 states is to use an Act of Congress.

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Federal law differs from state law in several ways, but the most obvious is that federal law affects the entire country, while state law affects only the states in which it is enacted. It’s a lot easier to change Congress than it is to change the legislative bodies of all 50 states. Plus — and this is also huge — Federal law seeps into every crack of state governance. The primary method of transmission is federal money.

S 1696 is, as I said, the all-time-King-Daddy of opposite reactions to efforts to regulate the abortion industry on a state-by-state basis. If S 1696 becomes law, and the Court upholds it, it will supersede any and all local authority in the regulation of the abortion industry.

The language of S 1696 is among the most specific I have read in any proposed statute. It reads like a laundry list of thou shalt nots, aimed specifically and without any attempt to hide it, at state statutes that the authors of S 1696 disagree with. As such, it’s not a proposed law as such things are generally regarded. It is, instead, a specific and deliberate overturning of a large number of state regulations in order to protect the laissez faire practices of one industry. It is special interest legislation at its most crude and obvious.

This whole thing is so rife with irony that it is, despite its seriousness, comical.

What we have with this King-Daddy of pro abortion bills are regulation-prone Democrats, fighting to completely deregulate one industry, while deregulation-prone Republicans are fighting to regulate it. To top that off, the bill’s authors have chosen to name this woman-endangering bill the “Women’s Health Care Protection Act.” The irony in that is obvious. This proposed legislation would erase any and all protections for women who undergo abortions and allow corporate, multi-state abortion chains to do with and to women as they please. It’s the opposite of women’s health care protection.

To steal a line from the movie Apocalypse Now, “Sometimes it gets so thick, you need wings to stay above it.”

Right now, S1696, which was authored by Senator Blumenthal, is languishing in the United States Senate, where it’s been since it was first filed in 2013. There are not enough votes to pass it. Even if it got out of the Senate, it would be deep-sixed in the Republican-held House.

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That doesn’t mean the bill is doomed. It just means that it’s an idea whose votes have not yet been elected to power. Power goes back and forth in this country. Look at Congress today and know that what you see now will change radically in the future. The Rs may take over for a while, or the Ds may get control of both houses. Whatever is not, or whatever happens next, it will change. Eventually, everybody gets a turn at play.

There is no way this kind of legislation or this fight is going to go away so long as we continue to tolerate the two-party two-step on this issue. We can delay passage of S 1696, but we can’t stop it. Not with the tactics we’ve been using.

I’ve talked about the Republicans and corporatism quite a bit lately, and I’m going to do more of it as time goes by. But for today, let’s look at the Democrats and their love affair with all things libertine. The Democratic Party was once staunchly pro life. In my usual contrarian way, I was pro choice back then. Now that the party is staunchly pro choice, I’m pro life.

Go figure.

But I remember quite clearly when the legislation supporting the pro life cause came from the Ds. The switch began in the 1980s and was fueled, ironically enough, by the Moral Majority and its supporters. For reasons of their own, they decided to demonize the Democratic Party and cast it into the role of pro abortion. They lied — a lot — about Democratic candidates. I’ve seen some of the outrageous lies that were put out against pro life Democrats at that time, claiming they were pro abortion, pro beastiality, Communists and whatever else it took to beat them in elections.

This ended in pro life people leaving the Democratic party and the pro life Democrats who hung on becoming friendless political waifs. They were attacked by the religious right for being pro abortion, even when they weren’t, and shunned by their own party.

The result is the mess we have now: Two polarized parties, elected puppet people that only care about going at one another and carrying water for their party’s special interests, and a badly damaged country.

Senate Bill 1696 and its total subservience to the abortion industry is a symptom of this. The fact that it will, in time — years in the future, but it will — become law is a direct result of this silo approach to the pro life issue.

You can not create a culture of life with half the people.

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The solution — and it’s an obvious solution — is to convert the Democratic Party on this issue.

If that sounds tough, it is.

But it’s far from impossible. In fact, based on the scanty attendance at most precinct meetings, it’s highly do-able. It’s been done before.

What’s lacking is the direction. Pro life people are being led to keep on doing what they’ve always been doing. Forty-one years in, maybe we should think about trying something new.

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. That dictum holds true in physics without us doing anything. But in human relations, especially in politics, we’ve got to supply a bit of the gas to make those equal and opposite reactions happen. We have to be that equal and opposite reaction. 

We’re pro life enough to pray Rosaries for Life in front of abortion clinics. We’re pro life enough to go to Washington and San Francisco and points in between to march.

That means we’re pro life enough to go to a precinct meeting. We just need to know how.

Which, my friends, is why I’m here.

Stay tuned. We’re going to talk more.

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Seventh-Grader Teaches All of Us

This speech was written and presented to her 7th grade class by the little girl in this video. Maybe she needs to run for president.

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Shame on Everybody: Michigan Senate Race Debate Over Abortion

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Shame on everybody.

I would love to single out one of the mud-slingers and propagandizers in this little set-to and say “Fie on you!” But I can’t. So, I guess I’ll just say “Fie on everybody!” and be done with it.

United States Congressman Gary Peters is running for the United States Senate in Michigan. He evidently drug his kids into a debate over an abortion law, saying that as the father of daughters

… I struggle with how to tell them that the state we love and where our family has been for generations is now unfairly discriminating against them and makes health care less affordable.

I understand why this comment would raise the ire of anyone reading it. What kind of man drags his own kids into something this ugly? And what a schlocky way to do it.

Thankfully, the other fine folks in Michigan didn’t attack the daughters directly. But their reply comes close to matching the Congressman’s for sheer jerkiness. According to the pro life people of Michigan, Congressman Peters “wants to make sure abortion is accessible and cheap for his daughters.”

Maybe the harsh winter has frozen their brains up in Michigan. Can anyone in that state talk about important issues without getting down in the pits? I can think of a lot of ways to defend Michigan’s pro life laws, all of them based on principle and a call to higher orders of thinking. I could also, if I wanted, defend a position in opposition to such laws without ever once painting a target on my kids.

ThinkProgressive, which reported this story, added the cherry on top with its painfully biased reporting. Here’s how the reporter who wrote the story described the law in question:

The statement comes in response to a controversial new abortion restriction in Michigan that took effect earlier this month. Women who buy health insurance in Obamacare’s private market are now barred from purchasing a plan that includes abortion coverage, even if they want to end a pregnancy that resulted from rape or incest. They’ll be required to purchase a separate rider if they want an abortion procedure to be covered, which has led reproductive rights supporters to decry the measure as a rape insurance law.

I haven’t read the Michigan law, but there are a number of similar laws around the country. I am assuming that all this one does is not allow health insurance plans to pay for abortions. If someone wants to have abortion coverage in their insurance, then all they have to do is buy a rider providing it. I doubt very much that the questions of rape and incest enter into it.

I’m guessing that the Michigan pro abortion people couldn’t come up with an intelligent way to oppose this law, so they decided to claim that it is somehow aimed at victims of rape and incest. In my humble opinion, this line argument exploits rape and incest victims.

Evidently, a Michigan legislator joined the fray by talking about her own sexual assault in a speech. I’ve watched bits of the debate on this bill, and what I saw was a deliberate mis-characterization of the law in order to exploit women and girls who have suffered these horrible crimes against their humanity. I honestly regard it as a kind of social rape to do this to women.

I could really go off into a rant here, as the subject of violence against women always gets me going. I feel sorry for the legislator who talked about her own sexual assault in this manner. But, as I said, the bill does not address that issue. Conflating it with that issue is propaganda and exploitation of women who have suffered the dehumanizing effects of sexual assault.

I am also sick to the core of hearing people claim that abortion is the answer to rape. Abortion hides rape and lets the rapist off the hook. Abortion is, in a very real way, an accommodation to rape. It is disgusting to me that our idea of “helping” rape victims is to give them the option of adding the murder of their own child to what has already happened to them.

As I said in another post when I quoted a line from Rob Roy, it’s not the child that needs killing. I said this, even though I am opposed to the death penalty, because I want to make it clear who is at fault here: It is the rapist. We need to stop sexualizing and degrading women in our culture, and we also need to put these guys away and never let them out again.

I could say more, but I’m going to stop.

As for the fine folks in Michigan who, on both sides, have taken this debate about the value of human life and the humanity of women down in the basement: Shame on all of you.

My Job’s Not all Bad

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My job’s not all bad. Some days, I get to do really nice things.

Last Wednesday was Rose Day, the day when pro life people visit the capitol and give us roses. A friend of mine brought his newborn and then caught this candid shot of me, snuggling up to that sweet baby goodness.

Abortion: Four Decades

 

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March for Life 2014


God love them.

I’m going to save my $, so next year I can join them.

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I Bought the Lie: Life After Abortion

What does abortion mean to women after they’d had a few years to re-live the experience?

What does abortion mean to them when they realize what they have done?

Does abortion free women, or imprison them in a new form of misogyny?

Women deserve better than abortion.

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Forty-One Years. Dear God Forgive Us.

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I can’t do this anymore.

That was the thought.

It came after the realization.

I woke up this morning feeling sick without an illness. I was sorta dizzy, totally dispirited and generally feeling like it was a day to avoid.

Then, I remembered. Today is January 22, a date, to paraphrase Franklin Roosevelt, that lives in infamy.

And I thought: I can’t do this anymore. I can’t, I can’t, I can’t deal with the fact of … how many is it? who keeps this grisly toll? … tens of millions of lives taken, tossed in a trash can, flushed down the drain, “disposed of” as waste.

Forty-one years. And each life is a snowflake; unique, irreplaceable and beautiful.

It isn’t tens of millions of lives lost. It is one life lost, and another life lost, and another and another and another until we are looking, not at an individual who is his or her own bright shining star, but at an incomprehensible mass of anonymous bodies piled into mountains of wasted human lives. Their individuality, their essential humanness, lies hidden in the crush of numbers.

Forty-one years of easy killing, and the heavy toll it’s taken, not so much on the babies we’ve murdered, but on us, as a nation, as people, as free moral agents who bear the weight of our decisions, is too much.

Abortion is a gateway drug of killing and social destruction that appears to know no limits in its power to deform, deface and destroy the essential humanness, not just of the unborn, but of whole societies that partake of it.

Abortion. Euthanasia. Embryonic stem cell research. Egg harvesting. Paid surrogacy. Designer babies.

The beat goes on.

Dear God forgive us.

12 Unborn Animals in the Womb

Twelve unborn animals in the womb. Look at each of them, all the way to the end.

Beautiful.

 


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