My good friend Chris Worden is apparently being dogged out by some in his own party for appearing on conservative to moderate talker/blogger/pundit Abdul Hakim-Shabazz's morning show on WXNT. Worden wrote about the experience on his iPOPA blog today.
"Aside from not realizing which way my mic was facing, it was a decent showing. I was part of a "liberal blogger" panel, though I consider myself more of a moderate. But, hey, whatever marketing Abdul needs to get the militia-oriented among his listenership riled, so be it.
Anyway, I’ve caught some grief from my own party for appearing on Abdul’s show. I’ve been called a turncoat, a sucker, and a few other unpleasant things. You see, Abdul Hakim-Shabazz is a Republican in name and Libertarian in spirit, which means we disagree on almost everything. Also, he’s run some stories on his blog and radio show that have been inaccurate and/or caused headaches for local Democrats. In fairness to Abdul's Republican detractors, he's irritated them almost as often.
The thought process among my kinsmen seems to be that Democrats should boycott Abdul because he doesn’t play nice and appearing on his show gives him legitimacy.
Sorry, but Worden genes don’t permit punking out for any reason, and the last time I checked, politics is a rhetorical contact sport.
Tuesday night at Congressman Andre Carson’s volunteer appreciation rally, he said, “Don’t let anyone silence you.” He was telling Democrats to not only speak out among the general public, but also within our party ranks. The Congressman knows that the courageous will say what needs to be said without regard to their own standing. That’s why I will follow his lead and shake off the haters.
But I would be lying if I didn’t say that the criticism for doing nothing but defending Democratic values walloped me psychologically because it made me question both the spines and abilities of some people in my own party.
You see, I’m a Democrat because I believe steadfastly that we get it right more times than not. And if you’re afraid to defend a position or go toe-to-toe with your political opponents just because you don't have home field advantage, maybe it’s because you can’t. Sorry, but I’ll travel any distance, walk into any lion's den, and suffer whatever arrows are slung my way for the chance to tell somebody why I’m proud to be a Democrat.
To my critics I ask, “Why won’t you?”
Because somebody hurt your feelings?
Maybe its time for my party to quit cowering when we don't own the mic. That cowardice and "I'll take my ball and go home" mentality is embarrassing. Amos Brown has burned many a Republican, and yet they still go on his show, don't they?
Sorry, but you won’t find yellow here at iPOPA, only blue. If my party has the courage to live up to its ideals, every time I come off Abdul's mic, people will know that on election nights 2010 and 2011, G.O.P. will mean “go out peacefully” in Marion County.
(As a parting aside, I wouldn't counsel all elected official to field questions on all shows because some would be set-ups. But neither I, nor the critics I've encountered, have been elected)."
First of all, Chris has never been anything but an independent voice who happens to be a Democrat. If you go back over the history of his blog posts, you'll find excellent political analysis that is honestly brutal at times. He definitely is the most "painfully objective" of the left-leaning blogs in town.
With that said, Worden should not be castigated for appearing on Abdul's show. I have been given the same invitation, but, so far, have been unable to appear due to scheduling conflicts. Any chance a Democrat gets to be on a right leaning talker is an excellent opportunity to not only stir the pot but to show that Dems, as Worden points out, are not afraid to stand up and speak out on right-leaning turf.
Yes, Abdul has gotten some things wrong. He blatantly sometimes stirs the pot, and I've even fallen for it at times. He's a smart guy who may or may not believe everything he always says. Abdul's a showman who often will throw a big fat slab of ribs into a pride of liberal lions just to watch the fight ensue. Chris is smart enough to know that. In fact, Chris Worden is one of the smartest people I know.
I will credit Abdul for allowing differing points of view on his show. On the same segment as Worden appeared, Bilerco founder Bil Browning was featured. The Bilerco Project blog is not only a very liberal point of view, but it is somewhat geared towards a LGBT audience. Can you imagine Greg Garrison allowing time on his show with left-leaning pundits or raging liberals? Certainly not. He would have to think.
Anyway, I commend both Chris and Bil for accepting Abdul's invitation to appear. They should both be given slaps on the back for carrying the liberal or Democratic Party standard onto conservative turf. Abdul should be credited for scheduling them. It's a shame that some on the left side of the aisle can't see this plainly for what it was and instead have to read things into it. That's just blatantly partisan bull!