For nearly two decades, Democratic neighbors in my own and nearby voting precincts have elected me to represent them as one of six men and six women on the Putnam County Democratic Executive Committee. From among the 12, we elect a chairperson to head up our meetings, which are open to the public, and to coordinate with the state leadership.
County executive committees are the bottom rung of the state's party organization. Members receive no pay. They get themselves to local meetings and those in Charleston or elsewhere at their own expense. We often contribute out-of-pocket to cover administrative and other outlays. We donate our time and energy on behalf of all Democratic Party nominees from the president, senators, governor and House members down to county surveyor.
In other words, we are what the press often calls, "the party faithful."
We have been faithful to Joe Manchin, Earl Ray Tomblin and Nick Rahall -- put up their signs in our yards, handed out their candidacy brochures, talked them up to friends and neighbors, sponsored public meetings and fundraisers, helped get out the vote, then voted for them.
During the 2008 primary election season, many of us were divided over Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, but once Mr. Obama was nominated, our party organization gave him the same solid support as all others on the ticket. It does so again in 2012.
Now, the triumvirate of Manchin, Tomblin and Rahall (MTR) are trembling to their marrow because out-of-state mining and drilling companies have flooded West Virginia TV stations with rabble-rousing lies, hoping to eliminate laws that at least nominally control their destruction forever of our drinking water, soil and air.
Ad agencies for those out-of-state billionaire polluters trump up "job scare" commercials telling the gullible that because the Environmental Protection Agency won't let their benefactors drop their corporate pants and defile every remaining tree, mountain, stream and livable place in our state, President Obama is killing coal jobs.
MTR know that there were zero environmental regulations back in the 1950s when 60,000 mining jobs were lost, partly because of mechanization, but also in huge measure because the Republican Eisenhower administration and Congress allowed cheap "residual oil" in duty free from Iran and Saudi Arabia (Translation: Esso, Shell, Texaco profits). It flooded the power generation market just like natural gas is doing today.
Cowering Messrs. Manchin, Tomblin and Rahall would rather help propagate the lies than, as Sen. Rockefeller has bravely done, stand up and speak the God's honest truth.
To paraphrase Thomas Paine, those three summer soldiers and sunshine Democrats are shirking not only their duty as ex-officio delegates to the Democratic National Convention, but mocking the faithful party base that nominated them to that task.
While sucking up to the "independent" vote and the patently prejudiced and ignorant, they need to think consciously about that political axiom the late columnist Molly Ivins often repeated: "You gotta dance with the one whut brung ya!"
We party faithful, danced their three names onto the November 2012 ballot. We will grit our teeth and vote for them in November because to do otherwise plays right into the hands of the billionaire/political-religious fanatic election buyers' "divide and conquer" strategy.
But in May 2014, 2016 and 2018, regardless of who is president, those of us with long memories will recall and remind others exactly with whom those two-timers danced in 2012.
Cook, of Hurricane, is an author, artist and inventor.