So, Hobbs isn’t doing his job, he wants to be where everybody knows his name. He wants to be Phil Valentine.
He wants to deliver the zingers on drive time radio.
And ‘Coma says:
Want to see non-scandal du jour? Call on Hobbs these days. Hobbs is this decade’s new Rove. Little Rove, if you will. Instead of lurking, he’s out there. Mark says this is not the way usual shillers do it but I’m not sure if Hobbs is just changing the game. Hobbs has gained infamous celebrity. Addictive, ain’t it Bill.
And I do wonder. The problem with framing Hobbs as Rovian is that Rove has an agenda other than self-service. And, in general, Rove is behind the scenes manipulating things, not out front instigating things.
Does Hobbs want to be some kind of talking head on a national stage? Yeah, I guess I could see that. But what’s the market for right-wing pundits are the moment?
And see, here’s the thing. Right-wing pundits, with the exception of Tucker Carlson, tend to give the impression of being salt-of-the-earth regular joes who are just like their listeners or readers and who can develop a kind of us v. the world rapport with their folks.
I can see Hobbs going for that–trying to brand himself that way, with all the “elitist” “unpatriotic” blah blah blah crap that he’s up to.
But here’s the thing. In real life, Hobbs doesn’t come across as a regular joe. It’s just not who he is as a person and not a fake image he, in real life, projects well. This is not a dude who’s at the Charlotte Kroger picking up Milwaukee’s Best on his way home. He told us. He’s at the Harris Teeter in the “heart” of liberal Nashville, surrounded on all sides by universities.
He is the them he’s trying to rally folks in Tennessee against.
Really, at heart, Hobbs is one of us.
And he stinks of it, even as he pretends to be something different.
I mean, knock Campfield all you like (speaking of another Tennessee Republican on the national media’s speed dial), but Campfield is who he is. And, well, yeah, Hobbs is who he is.
But here’s the problem.
Imagine you’re at a bar. And Campfield and Hobbs are there. You’re having dinner at a table and your wife goes to the bar to get some beers. Now, both Campfield and Hobbs might insult her. But, when you got up to confront them about it–“Hey, what the fuck did you just say to my wife?”–Campfield is going to say “I said she was a loudmouth bitch” and Hobbs is going to say “What? I didn’t say anything.”
And you and Campfield might have to take it outside. Where as you and Hobbs? Most likely you’re going to shoot him a dirty look, tell him not to fuck with your wife, and go back to your table. He’s going to turn to his friends like he won something.
But to people looking on…
I could be wrong. But there’s something so Snidley about saying that there’s something wrong with a man for defending his wife that it feels like a misstep.
And the way that Hobbs is spinning this every place he can about this being about liberals trying to put Michelle Obama off-limits for criticism, in order to deflect away from what he did–insulting a man for sticking up for his wife–it makes me suspect that Hobbs must have felt the floor beneath him was rotten there, too.
What does this mean for the TNGOP?
I’m not sure. The trouble they face is that, in the grand scheme of things, one man is like a tug boat and the party is like a giant ship. A tug boat can maneuver and turn and even steer the ship. But what the people on the ship have to be aware of is that, once the tug boat has sent them in a direction, they need time and room to turn away from that.
And do the Republicans in this state want to be headed in the direction Hobbs wants to go because that serves Hobbs’s ends?
I don’t know.
So far, like ‘Coma says, “You see, if the Tennessee GOP disapproved, then they’d get rid of him. Yeah, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker have issued statements condemning his latest drive-by but it hasn’t changed anything.” but one wonders.
In a conservative state, among a people still invested in chivalry and Southern manners, can the TNGOP continually deliberately insult a man’s honor and then mock him for getting angry about it without it backfiring on them?