Déjà vu all over again…

There is a reason I abandoned party politics – openly rejecting the drama, dissention, and disunity – opting instead to become a free-thinking “NPA” – with no party affiliation and a growing contempt for the lockstep stagnation of partisan politics, a malignancy that I believe is doing exponential harm to our nation. 

I am not alone. 

Statewide, research indicates that unaffiliated voters rose from 3,089,929 in 2016 to 3,753,286 this year alone.

That said, the real reason I ran like a scalded dog from either of the two polarized political parties is because the power-crazed people who run them typically tend to be contentious assholes.  

Am I wrong?

For instance, I believe the late Tony Ledbetter, who ran the Volusia County Republican Party with an iron fist for years – flagrantly skirted the rules whenever it served his political purposes, including highlighted “guides” unfairly endorsing one party candidate over another, throwing sharp elbows at the polls, puffing and grandstanding for the faithful, always the center of attention – helped lower the bar on what passes for political campaigns in Volusia County and beyond.

During the 2018 Volusia County Council race, candidate Tom Laputka summed it up when he said, “Some people are born assholes.  There are others who try really hard to be one.  Ledbetter is both.”

Anyone want to be associated with that?

No thanks.

Trust me.  It is equally disastrous on the other side of the aisle. . .

This week, we learned that Richard Thripp, a 29-year-old wet-behind-the-ears political newcomer who earlier this year ran for a Congressional seat but lost in the Democratic primary to Clint Curtis (who was summarily trounced by Rep. Michael Waltz), has clawed his way to the pinnacle of the local Democratic hierarchy – using a self-described “ruthless” leadership style – then immediately set about making autonomous decisions – like who wins elections, and who loses them.

How democratic, eh?

According to Mark Harper, writing in The Daytona Beach News-Journal, “Richard Thripp, the newly elected party chair, on Thursday certified the winner of the state committeewoman race as Valerie Duhl, one day after saying he had intended to hand that decision over to a committee to be determined in January.”

As it happens, Ms. Duhl is “…aligned with Thripp’s slate,” which apparently comes from the “My way or the Highway” school of party unification. . .  

To her credit, Duhl’s opponent, Susanne Raines, a 2016 delegate to the Democratic National Convention from Ormond Beach, is not taking the intraparty chicanery laying down.

As I understand it, due to “technical difficulties” during a Zoom call between committeemen and committeewomen who were deciding local party leadership – coupled with an error by the Volusia County Supervisor of Elections that left a candidate off the ballot – it was determined that internal provisional votes would be used to determine a winner the following day.

Raines claimed she took the race by one vote.

That resulted in internecine challenges questioning who was eligible to vote, the rejection of provisional votes, muscle flexing, power moves, quibbling party bylaws, blah, blah, blah.  

It was eerily similar to. . .well, you know.

Most interesting, Ms. Raines released a transcript of an ominous telephone message attributed to Chairman Thripp which said:

“Hi Susanne, it’s Richard Thripp. I had an interesting call from Mr. Harper at The News-Journal today. I just want to ask you … it’s sort of a rhetorical question. Do you think that a 29-year-old becoming chair of the Volusia County Democratic Party is something that just happens, or is that something that happens by being ruthless and tough-as-nails? I would encourage you to consider your decision to do whatever it is you’re doing over there, very carefully. Please have a Merry Christmas. Take care.”


Again – how democratic, egalitarian, and inclusive?   

Clearly, Chairman Thripp is not that politically savvy.    

First, he recorded not-so-veiled ‘mansplaining’ against a strong, politically active woman for all posterity – then, he committed the one mortal sin no millennial/uber-liberal can ever live down by using the verboten term Merry Christmas – which, as all self-absorbed super-progressives know, is a damnable “tool of demagoguery.”  


Richard Thripp has a lot to learn. 

Until then, save me a ringside seat to the shit show – and pass the popcorn. . .

Photo Credit: Richard Thripp for Congress

Editorial Note: An earlier version of this post erroneously noted that Thripp had lost to Rep. Michael Waltz in the District 6 US House race – he didn’t. Mr. Thripp was beaten by Clint Curtis in the August primary.

10 thoughts on “Déjà vu all over again…

  1. Mark,
    Do you truly expect more from clowns like pajama boy Thripp? But keep the spotlight on them. They are cowards and run like roaches when they are hit with the truth.


  2. Went to get new tags in PB County 10 years ago when we moved from Long Island and the lady said register to vote now and asked what party and as a Long Islanders said Dem and she ranted Praise the Lord.Been busy with covid but that is over. Yesterday 6 surveyors at Hand and Williamson measuring where the overpass will go.Someone tell Beat Kahli he can put a sign on 40 that Avalon is coming soon and he has plans to break ground in 4 months but he has a long way to go.What about his bond,traffic study and good ole Partington who speaks with forked tongue.Read a story that blew my mind that the Daytona commission stopped impact fees from March to August to help the stress on the small builder.Minto as Margaritaville is almost sold out and has more than a years worth of homes sold so thanks again Daytona as Minto saved a half million dollars that never went for infrastructure of the LPGA bridge that should have been replaced before Minto was allowed to build.Just home recovering from the covid as when it is over you still feel like garbage .


    1. I thought there were supposed to be “discussions” about the Hand Ave Extension? What a joke! I can’t stand the boneheads that make these decisions – it’s all about the money! the City of OB will get all the traffic and none of the benefits – Ugh!


  3. As Steve Schmidt said, there are just two major political parties in the U.S. right now: the one that believes in democracy, and the one that doesn’t. That, he said, is why he left the Republican party he had served his entire life and registered as a Democrat.

    In an intro to one of his songs, David Rovics tells about having performed at an anarchists’ convention somewhere in Europe. They had a hard time agreeing on anything, he said, because they were continually arguing with each other about who was most anarchist.

    To argue about which political registrants are most free-thinking would be to replay the comedy of ineffectiveness and disunity among those anarchists. To think freely doesn’t mean to eschew commitment, and to enumerate false equivalencies doesn’t mean to practice fair and objective analysis.

    As Schmidt said, there just two major parties in this country: the one that believes in democracy, and the one that doesn’t. The choice is stark, and there is no space between. The dividing line defines the parties’ mutual-exclusivity. It cannot be straddled.

    That Thripp is behaving like a thug and a poster-child for the Dunning-Kruger effect by no means proves that “both sides do it.” Rather, it proves that, despite having changed his registration within the past two years, he remains in values and ideology just as much a Republican as ever.

    —wayne dickson


    1. Wayne waiting for the media like the NY TIMES,MSNBC or CNN to write a story on Hunter Biden or Eric Swawell.Before the last election this Dem of 50 years had questions for the Volusia Dem Party and they never picked their phone up.Doesnt matter how I am registered because I love voting in Dem primaries but I am not a schmuck progressive .Millennials will have nothing under President Harris the token VP.We put our money away in 401K and real estate and no bitcoins.Did fine for a salesman who never went to college .Guess you are a Dem and had good teachers and professors who worked your brain


  4. Great, another asshole in local politics! Well, he certainly came to the right place, because he’s surrounded by a lot of people just like him and you can always use a good target to rant about!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was part of this Vote and it seemed Suspicious that Valerie won by a landslide then a bevvy of apsentee’s swung the vote to a old cronie and I support Thripp in his decision


  6. Thank God this is the last day of 2020 – Happy New Year to everyone who reads Barker’s View! Let’s get 2021 right! Let’s say goodbye to COVID-19 and get everything back on track (that we can – you know – the stuff that the politicians are not in charge of!) people!


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