Being a native North Carolinian, it’s understandable that David Parker might not be a fan of William Tecumseh Sherman.
In his day, Sherman was a quote machine. One of his more famous lines: “I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected.”
(The line is sometimes quoted, “If nominated, I will not run; if elected, I will not serve.” It appeared otherwise as sent in a telegram to a friend. By the way, my favorite Sherman quote: “If I had my choice, I would kill every reporter in the world, but I am sure we would be getting reports from Hell before breakfast.”)
Sherman’s comments about not serving referred to the 1884 presidential race.
Parker’s race was a little more inconsequential.
He has been trying to keep his job as chairman of the N.C. Democratic Party after some party activists and top elected Democrats called for his resignation over the handling of a sexual harassment complaint against former party executive director Jay Parmley.
Parmley resigned but denied the allegations. Parker said that a settlement given to the party worker who made the allegation was the right course, but that there was no solid evidence that any sexual harassment had occurred.
Parker also resigned Saturday. Then, the state party’s executive committee, meeting in Greensboro, voted to refuse to accept his resignation.
A few hours later, he was back before party activists, seemingly surprised and reclaiming his title. Forget that Sherman stuff.
Days before the meeting, the rumblings had begun about a behind-the-scenes effort to keep Parker in the job. It apparently worked.
The News & Observer of Raleigh attributed the vote to Parker’s plan to distribute get-out-the-vote money to local party officials, money that comes from the state tax form check-offs and will total more than $1 million.
A new chairman might have decided to spend more money on the state level and push less out to the locals.
That’s one explanation.
Another is that the hundreds of party activists who serve on the executive committee are the same folks who, a few years back, pushed aside former Gov. Mike Easley’s choice for party chairman in favor of Jerry Meek. In other words, the party regulars are about as controllable as a wheelbarrow full of bullfrogs.
Who cares if Bev Perdue or Walter Dalton or even Barack Obama would like any and all reminders of the scandal gone by the time the Democrats come to town for their national convention in September?
Parker apparently doesn’t, and he can’t understand that, for the Democratic powers-that-be, his treatment is no longer about what is fair or not fair.
It’s about those snickers coming from further down Hillsborough Street, from that building where Republican Party officials do their planning and plotting. It’s about how the episode has at least some potential to damage the candidates whom party chairs are supposed to be helping get elected.
And Democrats say Republicans are confused?