In Which I Take a Moment to Deliver Some Harsh Truth to the State Democrats

The Republicans now control the state House in Tennessee for the first time since Reconstruction.  I agree with Braisted that there’s a kind of rightness to it (though I think what I’m about to say next he’s not going to agree with).

The State Democrats deserved to lose.

Let’s count the big ways.

I.  State Democrats appear to care more about their own backsides than doing what’s right for the state of Tennessee.

1. Ophelia Ford.

a. Why the hell is someone as obviously too sick to do her job (for whatever reasons–addiction, stroke, mental illness, who the hell knows?  But it was a train wreck.) continually coddled?

b.  It smelled racist, like, “Oh, we can just ignore Ophelia because everyone knows how ‘those folks’ from Memphis are.  Memphis is its own thing; we can’t control them.”

To quote our national leader, “Yes, we can.”  We can too ask that people be healthy enough for work or not work.

We can too demand that other Fords (and you know who I’m talking about), who every damn body knows is corrupt, stop being a state legislator before LONG BEFORE the Feds come in and arrest him. You sure as hell could run off Kurita when it suited you.  You couldn’t run off the Fords?

2.  Rosalind Kurita.  I’ve read Braisted’s explanations for this hair-brained idiocy over and over again and I am almost to the point where I can kind of see, but come on!  Did you not see how, from the outside, Wilder seemed like an old old relic caught up in playing politics and settling old scores instead of moving the state forward?  And how, from the outside, it seemed like there was one Democrat willing to say “Okay, we’ve got to do what’s right for Tennessee, even if it’s not in the best interest of the party” and how the idea of putting the needs of the State before the needs of the Democrats seemed to drive you to lunacy?

You may have cost Kurita the election, but mark my words–she cost you the state.  Because the rest of us were sitting here thinking “Oh, well, now we know where the state Democrats’ priorities are; not with us.”

II. The Party doesn’t take Tennessee seriously, why should we take the Party seriously?

1.  Why weren’t people providing support to rural Democrats in regards to the national election?  Usually, a rising tide carries all boats, but since we didn’t even bother to put a boat in the rural waters, our rural Democrats drown.

Nice.

(See anything Mack has written about this.)

2.  Bob Tuke. OH COME THE FUCK ON!  Listen, no, no one was going to beat Lamar Alexander.  Everyone knows that.  Fine.  So, what should your strategy have been?  To use the contest as free advertising for the Democrats.  Get the word out about what we stand for and what we hope to accomplish in the state (if y’all even have any ideas about what that is).

Instead, you run a guy who’s election strategy seems to be to out-corn-dog the state’s largest Corn Dog.  How the hell was that ever going to work?

Who was running Bob Tuke’s campaign?  Harpo Marx?  Shit, if you want to adopt a strategy of impersonating someone in order to beat them, at least go back and study how Bugs Bunny did it.

III.  What do you stand for?  I know what the TNGOP stands for.  I don’t like it.  Any of it.  But I know.  And I know who’s going to say it–Hobbs or Campfield or Frank and then the message is carried and discussed by a wide network of informed (though thoroughly wrong-headed) voiced throughout the state.

HELLO!!!!!!!! Young people are on the internet.

Where’s our army of blogging Democratic legislators?  Hobbs has time to run his own blog and release videos about whatever strikes his fancy and write long angry press releases.  I suspect you think this makes it look like he doesn’t have enough to do at his real job.

I must inform you that, instead, it comes across as him having a shit-ton of energy and a lot of enthusiasm for the ideas of the Republican party.

And is there NO ONE in the whole official Democratic machine who can regularly hand that guy his ass?  He’s a dooful fueled by rage and ignorance.

And now he’s got a state-wide mandate.

Thanks for nothing.

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20 thoughts on “In Which I Take a Moment to Deliver Some Harsh Truth to the State Democrats

  1. Pingback: Did The Kurita Conundrum Cost Democrats The Legislature : Post Politics: Political News and Views in Tennessee

  2. In 04, me and The Missus worked our asses off for the county. I also registered voters in Davidson County. I drove up to Cincinnati to canvass for Dems. This year, me and The Missus were all ready to get involved again, only to be dismissed by the 14 old campaign manager for the Bibb campaign, and the 15 yr old campaign manager for the Hawkins campaign.

    The state promised to help register and coordinate voter turn-out, and, as usual, nothing. The State Dem party is so poorly run its no wonder the rural counties don’t even use the internet.

    Bah, it may not even matter. Our local Dems are realy Republicans anyway.

  3. Pingback: SayUncle » And now, the subversion of democratic* principles is complete

  4. tuke was such a huge fucking threat that lamar did ads that said, “i’m happy, you’re happy, i love tn in the fall” without ever mentioning substance. give me a break. hell, does the democratic party even have a spokesperson? robin smith was all over one channel last night.

  5. Mack, maybe that’s why they don’t run around articulating a message. They don’t have one that’s any different from the Republicans.

    Jim, I know. Alexander paid less attention to Tuke than I would pay to an ant crawling on me.

    And no shit! Who is the Democrats’ Robin Smith? Who is the public face of our party?

    I mean, good god, if watching the rest of the country repudiate everything the Republicans stand for last night while our state was busy repudiating everything the state Democrats stand for wasn’t embarrassing, I just don’t know what is.

  6. After we lost the election for Gore and brought the country George Bush in the first place.

    In other words: Thanks, Aunt B. You nailed it.

  7. Yeah, pretty much. I get tired of trying to defend the Lege when they keep cozying up to the good ole boys, who no longer have to pretend that they like Democrats any more.

    They will either wake up or get run down.

  8. Question to all of you: Now that Ramsey has a 19-14 lead, does he declare Barnes’ seat vacant, as they have the power to do, and order a new election, wit Kurita running as an Indy or a Republican?

    Or, since he really no longer needs her, does he seat Barnes in an act of faux magnanimity?

  9. Aunt B., thank you for this. I am seeing a pattern emerge here on an issue dear to my heart, so bear with me…

    The work several of us (bloggers and activists) did in Virginia to get Tim Kaine elected (from where I moved in Dec. 2005) started with a small group of Progressive bloggers that communicated privately on issues (via a wiki) and then went full force, on message, online with solid framing and organized an effort that mobilized volunteers to do real work for real change. It doesn’t stop at mere blogging. That’s where it starts. Lowell Feld at RaisingKaine.com was one of those people. Several worked behind the scenes in a private group.

    I’ve seen it happen in as little as 2 years, folks. I’ve been a part of it happening right next door in a state that later defeated Republican Senators, and just voted for Barack Obama after decades of voting the other way.

    The environment is ripe in TN for Democratic leadership that leads instead of placeholds. From experience, I can tell you things do not change when you ask broken leadership to lead. Things change when YOU become the change you want.

    When we moved to fund Progressive candidates in the 2005 Virginia elections, the old gaurd balked… but guess what happened? After hundreds of thousands of dollars raised (check VPAP.org) along with a volunteer army – all online, the party was forced to change and come along when they needed our army to help introduce Tim Kaine to new voters in Northern VA. To his credit, Kaine did not see the intraparty divide as an issue of new energy vs. the old lazy Democratic party that lost election after election. The old gaurd did, and some old Deaniacs tried to make it into a stupid battle of wills (and they evenutally shut the hell up) but not Tim Kaine. He saw it for what it is: the NEW Democratic Party. WE were the new party in the wings, and last night, we saw the new face of Virginia’s Democratic Party flexing it’s muscle… and now the old gaurd can’t be happier.

    It’s our party when we make it our party.

    TN Democrats can do it, but don’t ask your leaders to do it for you. Don’t ask your leaders for permission to lead. Move the ground. Move the Money. Move the army, and move this state out of the losing column and back into the winning column. It starts with Tiny Cat Pants.

  10. I meant to note I was one of Virginia’s first paid political bloggers (if not 1st) for a progressive 13th District candidate in the 2005 elections (Bruce Roemmelt – who was Obama’s regional organizer for veterans). The Washington Post attributed Kaine’s victory to the growth of new voters in that district. Barack Obama’s last campaign speech given right in the middle of that district in the city of Manassass.

  11. Christian, exactly. The problem here seems to be that even our young political stars aren’t all that progressive. They have the time and energy, but we have so many Blue-Dogs Dems I could scream. Its not that I don’t see wisdom in moderation, I do…but when your opponent starts so far to the right, you must pull equally as hard left to achieve anything close to balance.

    We have to be afraid to lose some elections, which, is kinda funny, cause we’re losing them anyway.

  12. Ha, Christian. You’re so cute with your stirring speech that ends all “It starts with Tiny Cat Pants!” First, tiny cat pants! And then tiny dog pants! And then pants for hamsters and iguanas and even tiny horses!

    But, yeah, I’m with Mack about this. I see no virtue in moderation when the opposition is so far right. Plus, I just don’t believe moderation is what’s called for when policies will actively hurt Tennesseans.

  13. Pingback: The Gray Sasser Rant – Newscoma

  14. Ophelia Ford said that she had anemia. To the point that she was falling off of barstools. Now I have anemia and get woozy, but I don’t fall of of things. (Partly because I have the sense to not sit on a bar stool if I am feeling dizzy.) Whether or not she was full of bs, she still should have resigned or the dems should have replaced her until she could resume her duties.

    It does seem that the TN Democrats are victims of self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead of taking on the defeatist attitude of “we’re outnumbered and don’t stand a chance,” we need to fight, fight, fight.

  15. It depends. I’ve lived places with almost no Republican presence where the local Democratic party was nonetheless energized, active, and full of fruitful debate — and still had functioning GOTV and registration efforts.

  16. Too many chiefs. Its really that simple. They sent a bunch of kids out to the suicide races in rural areas, and, well, they performed like spoiled kids. There is zero appreciation for those doing the scut work. The Republicans at least pay lip service to the idea of recognizing the grunts.

  17. Too many people use their TDP positions as something to add to their resume. We don’t have enough ORGANIZERS for the rural areas.

    The problem with BOTH the Nashville and Memphis TDP people is that they want to run Clinton-style cam[paigns, and they wanted Clinton to be the nominee, because Clinton would have brought them GOTV money, and that’s what it’s about for them, the hell with everything else.

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