Via Kleinheider, we read
“Without question, the Obamacrats are strong in the urban areas and the areas where people are dependent on a welfare state,” Smith said. “(But) Democrats in their literature, piece by piece, point by point, if you took their names off, will look Republican.”
But Smith points to the overwhelming vote on a gay marriage ban amendment in Tennessee two years ago as evidence that the state is still firmly conservative.
“That’s not real moderate,” she said.
She added: “There’s this manufactured intellectualism that comes with being a moderate or a liberal.” Traveling the state, she said, “I didn’t see any intellectual snobs. I saw people who have calluses on their hands.”
So, yes, there’s the usual race baiting and the anti-intellectualism. You read me. You know exactly what I have to say about that stuff, and I’m tired of saying it.
But what I want to draw your attention to is this “That’s not real moderate” quote. I want you to look at exactly what she’s saying–she’s proud that Tennessee has voted to restrict the rights of gay people. She doesn’t even do folks the courtesy of pretending like the Republicans sure would like being compassionate, but God said they can’t be. She’s all “Yeah, fuck you.”
The thing is, though, you know, Theodore Parker is right: “Look at the facts of the world. You see a continual and progressive triumph of the right. I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice. Things refuse to be mismanaged long.”
And using your power to oppress people by refusing to recognize their right to marry who they want? That is unjust and a mismanagement of your position. It does not hurt you to let gay people get married. No, it doesn’t. If you don’t like gay marriage, then don’t get married. The country does not owe it to you to let you feel comfortable with your bigotry.
Continuing to draw these lines between Us and Them? Where they are all on welfare and all live in the city and go to college and like to think about things and, I guess, don’t work hard? And we all live in the “real” part of Tennessee and we hate them queers and them libruls and them folks with their book learnin’?
I mean, does Smith even stop to think of the implications of what would happen if everyone who had “kinky” sex or occassionally voted Democrat or went to college left the Republican dominated parts of the state and moved to the cities? What doctors would you go to? Where would you bank? Who would do your taxes? Who would preach in your churches?
Do you know what it is when you want to benefit from the labor of people you want to oppress? It’s evil.
But here’s what gives me hope. Try as Smith might to argue otherwise, Tennessee Republicans are not immune from the pressures faced by the larger Republican party. Tennessee Republicans in Washington will have an opportunity to step into leadership roles nationally because they, unlike many Republicans, are not on the verge of being thrown out of office.
They will be able to weild power, even under an Obama presidency with a largely Democratic congress if they seem like thoughtful people of integrity. That’s a lot harder job when the official Republican message coming out of Tennessee is only one step away from your crazy racist uncle who’s always complaining about the hippies and their college educations.
I mean, how do you begin to address the problems this nation faces when you’re, say, Zach Wamp, who, though I disagree with him on many positions, comes across like a thoughtful guy concerned about the issues facing our country and you’re busy talking about, oh, I don’t know, let’s say “Encouraging Early Reading Skills,” saying, “Each and every child deserves the best education possible so that they can look with hope to the future,” and you’ve got Robin Smith running around saying, “‘There’s this manufactured intellectualism that comes with being a moderate or a liberal.'”?
I mean, what is “encouraging early reading skills” if not manufacturing intellectualism?
Forget party unity, will the Republicans even be able to pick a message and stick to it or will we see a continuation of the dynamics of the McCain/Palin campaign, where they pretend to work together, but spend all their time undermining each other’s goals?
Archcrone has some thoughts. They take her in the opposite direction of me. But who knows? It’ll be interesting to see.
(Also, if you want funny, just scroll down Zach Wamp’s issues page. It’s all “defund Planned Parenthood,” “ban explict reading materials from military bases,” “protect traditional marriage,” “English unifies our nation,” and “U.S. Supports Freedom for All.” Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. You know, unless you’re a woman, kinky, gay, or speak another language. Then you’re not a part of “all.” Ha, maybe he’s closer to Robin Smith than I first gave him credit for.)
Edited to Add: And Roger would know about being run out of the Republican party, that’s for sure. Where’s a conservative guy like him to go?