Hobbs: The Gift that Keeps on Giving Gives Again

Y’all, I’m sorry if you come here for the stories about my dog or the frank potty-mouth or the stories about my nether-regions and here I am about to write yet another post on Hobbs, but how can I not?

This guy is the public face of our state GOP.  His job is to craft the message for our state Republicans and his message so far is “Tennessee: We hate Muslims and Mexicans and like to pick on women.”  And the thing is, I know plenty of conservatives in this state and if I had to typify their beliefs, I would typify it as “Tennessee: We love guns and Jesus and not being told what to do.” 

You can imagine locating a business or your family in a state that loves guns and Jesus and not being told what to do.  No matter where your employees are from, no matter what the cultural differences, those are understandable impulses you can get used to, even if you can’t wholly accept them.  But “we hate Muslims and Mexicans and like to pick on women”? 

Anyway, it just seems like there’s this enormous disconnect between what would be a true message about the conservatives in this state (even if that’s a message I disagree with on some fundimental levels) and the message the TNGOP is trying to put out there about conservatives.  And I just wonder how long the Republicans in this state can let that go on.

It’s curious to me.

There are two things I wonder about.  One is that the media is becoming much more emboldened to challenge folks on their nonsense.  I mean, here’s Chris Matthews, who’s basically been self-destructing on camera of the course of the campaign season in shock that a woman could come this close to being president and yesterday, he’s treated like some kind of conquering hero for getting that other joker to admit he didn’t know what he was talking about.

That makes it much more dangerous for flacks to just make baseless assertations as if they will just be accepted as fact, because there is now a sense that mainstream journalists will be rewarded for challenging you.

The second is that it seems to me that the national Republican party knows that they’re in big trouble.  The conventional wisdom in the national party is that folks are not voting for Democrats so much as they’re voting against Republicans.  I mean, may I remind you that they’ve elected a Democrat in Mississippi?  So, how does the national party save itself?

That Mississippi vote might indicate my analysis is wrong, but I think the Republican option is to throw the South under the bus.  That looks to me like the easiest thing for them to do.  They just try to reframe the “problem” with the Republican party as being that they’ve been overrun by the “I hate Muslims and like to pick on women and Love me some Jesus” faction of the party.  And then they promise to fix that by refocusing the party on small government, pro-gun, and pro-business goals.

That’s their winning message.  That’s always been their winning message–“Leave us alone to do our own thing and we’ll make America strong.”–and they can win, repeatedly, on that message (though it may take four years of a non-Republican president to clear the air so that they can win on that message).  They’ve gotten away from that, but they’ll move back to it, because it works.

But in order to move back to it, they’ve got to signal to the country that they’ve marginalized the Republicans who don’t get that message.  That, I think, will mean distancing themselves from southern states like ours in order to put the blame squarely on our shoulders.  Because who else are Southerners going to vote for?

And here’s the GOP in our state crowing on about the wrong message!  Out there basically begging to be marginalized.  And when you read the national news coverage of these kinds of messes, that’s what you see.  That’s how they talk about our state, like we’re some quaint place full of ignoramuses who can’t get with the program, don’t mind Tennessee.

That, my friends, is what hurts all of us–that the TNGOP is out there crafting a message that is interpreted by the rest of the country as meaning that you can just ignore Tennessee, because, well, that’s just them; they don’t get it.

In that spirit, we must now turn to Hobbs.

Today he says:

Look, Dems, you can’t go hangin’ with Hamas, dancing with the dictator of Damascus and telling the tyrants of Terror Central (Tehran) that you’ll chat with them with no pre-conditions, and not have more than a few (million) Americans think you’re a bit soft on the enemy.

I would point out both that Obama never said he would talk to Hamas unconditionally and that McCain said of Hamas:

“They’re the government; sooner or later we are going to have to deal with them, one way or another,” he said at the time. “And I understand why this administration and previous administrations had such antipathy towards Hamas, because of their dedication to violence and the things that they not only espouse but practice …

“But it’s a new reality in the Middle East. I think the lesson is people want security and a decent life and decent future, that they want democracy. Fatah was not giving them that.”

And then, in a post so funny I insist you read the whole thing, Hobbs says:

Thursday I was in the Harris-Teeter grocery in Nashville’s Hillsboro Village area – the heart of the city’s most politically liberal neighborhoods. It’s an area where you can still find “Why War?, Wage Peace” signs in front yards, and an area littered with Obama signs.

Let’s go to the instant replay:

Thursday I was in the Harris-Teeter grocery in Nashville’s Hillsboro Village area – the heart of the city’s most politically liberal neighborhoods.

Questions present themselves.

1.  Why does Hobbs shop at the grocery store in the liberal part of town? 

2.  If Hobbs shops among the liberal “elites” doesn’t that, at the least, make him also an “elite”?

3.  Doesn’t Hobbs live in Nashville?

With number three being the most important question.  For those of you who aren’t from Nashville, I invite you to imagine Nashville as a stop sign, or any other hexagon that you like.  And that hexagon is basically divided into six parts by the three interstates that intersect here–I-40, I-24, and I-65.  The area Hobbs is talking about is between I-40 and I-65 on the south side.  It contains three major universities and a lot of university professors and some poor black people who have held onto their houses even in the face of massive regentrification.

Most black neighborhoods in town are north of I-40 (roughly) and the most truly artsy neighborhoods are either betweein I-40 and the capitol or north of I-40.  So, in a town where the three main Democratic voting blocks are established, educated older whites, African Americans, and artsy fartsy young people, two thirds of the voting block lives, predominately, in neighborhoods far away from the Harris Teeter in which Hobbs shops.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the area in which Hobbs shops is quite cute and full of liberal folks.  Heck even I have been known to hang out there on occassion AT THAT HARRIS TEETER.  But to call that the heart of liberal Nashville shows a cluelessness about Nashville that borders on stunning.

I’ve been laughing about it all morning.  If Hobbs thinks the Harris Teeter is some bastion of liberality, I can’t imagine what he’d make of the Lipstick Lounge!