Yes, I was distraught this morning and then I read Harrison over at Post Politics blaming Chip Forrester and the Chipinistas and I felt better about it. Just think, if Chip Forrester really did have this negative power, to ruin everything he touched, we’d be able to turn Tennessee into a progressive paradise by simply having Forrester work for the Republican candidates.
Of course, I have grave doubts as to whether, if Forrester really had this ability, any Tennessee Democrat with any power would be astute enough to think of that, but one can hope.
I also remembered that factions within the Tennessee Democrats have been casting about for at least a year for a way to hook some albatross to the neck of the progressives in order to reassure themselves that they can safely continue to ignore us.
But moving right isn’t working.
I don’t know how many times bloggers can say this, but if people want to vote for Republicans, they can vote for Republicans. If you’ve got George Dickel and and a whiskey that tastes like George Dickel sitting in front of you, you don’t go for the imitation.
The fact is that the conservatives in this state are fractured, too. And our running to the right has provided enough pressure that those fissures have stayed somewhat closed. But they’re there. The libertarian-inclined folks and the nutjob faction sit together very uneasily. You think libertarians, who usually pride themselves on being smart, feel comfortable with the kind of “we hate book-learnin'” stuff that goes on in the nutjob faction? Do you think folks who can smartly and astutely argue about what the implications of the presence or absence of a comma between “militia” and “being” is and who can rattle off all sides of a 200 year old argument have any respect for people who don’t have any intellectual curiosity?
And the nutjobs are now, in an effort to support their great love of the 10th Amendment, floating this idea of repealing the 17th Amendment. You think libertarians are going to be excited about taking the power to directly elect senators out of the hands of the people so as to make the state more powerful? I’ll believe it when I see it.
And the best the nutjobs can do against Herron is that he’s secretly gay? That’s their big trump card? Secret gayness? And their proof is short shorts and vanity? Um, their dude sings. Christian songs.
I don’t know if you’ve looked around the Christian music scene lately, but singing Christian songs is as much a hobby of the secretly gay as being vain. Is this really the best they have to offer?
And how long can “But he’s a homosexual! Vote against him, he’s a homosexual” work on libertarians? They’re already ill-at-ease with that nonsense, but they hold their noses and vote for Republican candidates because they don’t trust the alternative.
When there’s no Democratic alterantive, when they’re settling this stuff in the primaries, it’ll be different.
Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.
As for us, we could try to be Democrats, actual Democrats, who stand for something other than being like the Republicans, but not.
Because here’s the question Democrats have to answer: You’ve been running ever-increasingly conservative candidates. You’ve been supporting ever-increasingly conservative legislation. If the Republicans do gain control of the legislature and redistrict you out of Tennessee politics for the next generation, will we be able to tell the difference?