Friday, January 8, 2010

iPOPA Defends Abdul Appearances

If you weren't able to tune in to my Monday morning appearance on "Abdul in the Morning" on WXNT 1430 A.M., you can hear the podcast (see end of post).

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).

To listen, click here 2010-01-04_Abduls_Liberal_Blogger_Friends.mp3



IndyDem said...

Amen Brother!!

Jon E. Easter said...

You don't have anything to defend. I'll be defending you on my blog, too. It's disappointing to hear that some Dems are so caught up in distaste for anything outside the realm of their own belief system that they can't see something for what it really was.

Ron Rowe said...

I am relatively new to the Indy political scene but I think your dilemma is felt in many locales these days. Gotcha politics seems louder and more rampant than ever but I think that feel is mostly due to the explosion of "sources" for "information". To combat misinformation or ignorance, my feeling is that we have to go to our opponents home court (regardless of one's specific political persuasion) if we have any chance of showing the other side a different way to look at things. This may mean getting beat up a little bit but what's the alternative? Letting one's opponents completely run/mischaracterize the discussion to audiences who want little more than confirmation of their intuitions? I'll take getting bruised up some over that any day!

Bravo for the effort Chris!! I hope more center-left folks get out there and at least "try" to express other ways of looking at the world over the next couple years. This past year has been pretty awful for discussion and dialogue. Here's hoping for a better 2010!

Chris Worden said...


Thanks for commenting! We're really sympatico on the problem with "gotcha" politics. I have a post coming up tomorrow about how now we attack people, not only for what they say, but also for what they don't! (I can't say I've figured out how to cure it though, and I know I get dragged into periodically).

Stay tuned!

Gary R. Welsh said...

Chris, I think you underestimate the wisdom of some of your Democratic colleagues. After all, we are talking about the guy who covertly ran the IndyUndercover blog that constantly spread all kinds of rumors about Peterson and other Democrats. It particularly targeted black Democrats, including Sheriff Anderson and several CCC members. At one point, someone anonymously sent me e-mails between Abdul and Ike Randolph that showed them discussing posts on IndyUndercover. I assumed someone at the fire department had viewed Ike's e-mails and passed them along to me. At that time, I had been friendly towards Abdul and had appeared on his show a few times. I called him up and asked to meet with him. I showed him the e-mails, which he denied were authored by him. He claimed they were spoofed e-mails. He said he had nothing to do with IndyUndercover, but he knew there were several police officers doing the blog. I also extended the same courtesy to Ike Randolph, who also denied any involvement with the blog. Later, Abdul spread a rumor to some Democratic bloggers that I was behind the blog. Steph Mineart took the bait and falsely claimed that I was behind the blog. Mineart is the same blogger who Bil Browning allowed to post a false claim on his blog during the Carson-Elrod race saying Elrod was gay. Abdul then started feuding with Jacob Perry, who was anonymously blogging at Circle City Pundit at the time. Abdul posted on IndyUndercover that Jacob was the guy behind that blog. Abdul made sure that Jacob believed that I was the person behind IndyUndercover. Jacob completely lost it and wrote horrible, false claims about me on his blog. Things got so bad that I had to threaten him with a defamation lawsuit before he finally pulled down the offensive post. Then shortly after the election, the IndyUndercover blog disappeared and Abdul made this claim that he was the subject of an unlawful search warrant by Peterson's police department. Abdul didn't count on Ruth Holladay getting a copy of the search warrant, which revealed that the motive behind the search warrant was to learn what IMPD officer had outed a confidential informant in the arson investigation of a white hate group. The confidential informant was a pregnant woman who felt her life was threatened because she had been named on the blog. Abdul was real tight with Sherron Franklin, who just happened to be in charge of the investigation at the time. She was involved in a pissing match with Brizzi's office over the investigation of arsons on the near southside. IndyUndercover also endorsed Franklin for re-election to the council, the only Democrat the blog supported. A police officer told me that the police didn't even have to execute the search warrant. According to law enforcement sources, the tale Abdul told on his blog was quite a tall one. One of Ballard's first appointments was Sherron Franklin, who he named to head up his abandoned home initiative, a job she failed at miserably. I think they have since allowed her to quietly return to IMPD. Perhaps you find these qualities in Abdul admirable, but I totally understand why some of your Democratic friends might think otherwise. I just wonder where your outrage was recently when Abdul posted a completely made up event about Doris Minton-McNeil to embarrass her. One of your leading Democratic councilors told me that they checked in to the story and learned that it was totally false.