I Forgot about Bredesen

Oh, Tennessee Democrats, I forgot the biggest reason we lost so big yesterday: Our Governor.

Shall we recount how, in a time of extreme financial crisis in the state, he decided to add an underground party bunker to the Governor’s mansion?  Or how some of the people he threw off TennCare died as a result of his actions?  Or the dumb, yet patronizing, ways in which he kept insisting that Obama go to Walmart?

Free advice, Phil.  Every time you open your mouth to talk about Walmart–a place I bet you NEVER, EVER step foot in just to buy shit–the people of Tennessee think you come across as a patronizing ass.

Nobody but the Waltons are as gung-ho on Walmart as you are.  People don’t like shopping at Walmart.  It’s dingy and poorly stocked and it’s depressing to have your cart handed to you by a guy who should be spending his twilight years playing with his grandkids and fishing.  People shop there because it’s cheap and people are struggling.  And the second they can afford Target instead, that’s where they go.

For the love of god, stop it with the Walmart shtick.  It’s not convincing to anyone.

And stop, please stop, acting like you have some line on the needs of common folks when you’re not even willing to say the truth–that our state tax system is regressive and unduly burdensome on the common folks–because it might be politically uncomfortable for you.

The Democrats lost because the Democrats this state have no better message than “We’re just like the Republicans except we’re not going to lie to you about wanting to spend all your money.”

As Pete Kotz says:

But if Tennessee Democrats continue sell themselves as Republican Lite – Motto: We’re Slightly Less Weird about Guns, God, and Abortion! – they’re likely sentencing themselves to an extended period of whining. Cheap facsimiles don’t exactly inspire people at the polls.

And see Jeff Woods for good insight, too.  But more important, read his interview with Gray Sasser.  If that doesn’t show you what’s wrong with the Democrats, I don’t know what does.

1.  Sasser blames Obama.  It’s Obama’s fault that state Democrats had such a hard time.  Because Obama… what… failed to show up in Tennessee AFTER BREDESEN TOLD HIM NOT TO?!?!?!?!?! Come on, Sasser.  Just come the fuck on.  You don’t tell a person to stay away and then blame him for your problems when he stays away.  Where is the ownership of that little decision, huh?  The mistake was not Obama staying away, THE MISTAKE WAS BREDESEN TELLING OBAMA NOT TO BOTHER WITH TENNESSEE.  Own it.  We fucked up.

2.  Sasser blames the bloggers–“It’s easy so sit on the sidelines and throw stones or be an anonymous blogger out there and take potshots at people in the political game, but you have to admire a guy like Bob Tuke who will get out there and address issues and take on an uphill fight.”

Yes, way to completely miss the point and to dismiss the power of the internet instead of figuring out how to harness it.

3.  Sasser refuses to be completely frank with core Democratic constituents.–

Q: What’s going to happen with the Republicans in charge of the legislature?

Sasser: I’m worried that they will try to advance a hard-right agenda. I would think it would be a mistake for the Republicans to move far to the right very quickly. You would hope that they would try to work with this governor, who has done a great job of managing our fiscal situation.

Q: What would a hard-right agenda mean exactly?

Sasser: Are they going to model their governance after people like Rep. Stacey Campfield or more like Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker?

Q: So if you’re gay, you should leave the state?

Sasser: I didn’t say that.

Q: You don’t want to sling any shit at the Republicans?

Sasser: Not yet.

Let me be frank with you, my fellow Tennesseans, because you’re not going to get it from the Democrats, apparently.

1.  It is going to get more difficult for gays and lesbians in Tennessee.  Gay marriage is already doubly against the law here and I think we can expect to see legislation barring gays from adopting or being foster parents.  It’s going to get ugly.  I don’t know what the Democrats are going to do about that, but you should be prepared to be thrown under not just the bus, but every passing four-wheeled and two-wheeled conveyance.

2.  It’s going to get more difficult for women in Tennessee.  Expect to see more legislation like Campfield proposed last year, measures that would make it easier for abusive partners to walk through restraining orders and would make it more difficult for women to protect themselves from said partners.  Also, expect to see measures trying to codify into state law a ban on abortion should Roe v. Wade ever be overturned and to define life as legally beginning at conception and therefore legal personhood, which will mean a full-frontal assault on any form of birth control that might, maybe, no matter how slim the chances, prevent a fertilized egg from implanting–which means it may become tougher to get the Pill.

3.  Brown people, it’s going to suck to be you, too.  Expect a legislature that assumes that, if you speak Spanish, you’re here illegally, that if you’re Kurdish, you must be a member of a deadly street gang, and so on.

4.  Children of Tennessee, I hope you have access to PBS, because you can kiss pre-K goodbye and you’re on the verge of being required to learn that God creating the earth 6,000 years ago is science.

Why is Sasser glossing over this stuff?  I mean, shoot, I read that interview and he makes it seem like “Oh, this was just an embarrassing loss for us.”  No, god damn it, man.  If you stood for anything, for the rights of the powerless in this state, for instance, you’d show some real leadership and be honest with the people who are going to suffer.

It’s not just embarrassing.

I wish you got that.

13 thoughts on “I Forgot about Bredesen

  1. Pingback: An Infatuation With Walmart : Post Politics: Political News and Views in Tennessee

  2. From the beginning, Tuke let the media control the narrative…which was “No one has a chance against Alexander.” That set rather quickly.

    The other thing is, what exactly was in Tuke’s agenda that inspired or excited people? Bob is a good man, but, I believe Alexander is as well. People know him, and absent the proverbial dead/woman/live/boy incident, there was precious little reason not to re-elect.

    I wish he had gone all Mavericky on him.

  3. Now that the election is over, can I just admit I find your Palin impression strangely hot?

    And yes, Tuke, fine guy, but what differentiated him from Alexander? Why wouldn’t we want Alexander in office? You have to explain those things to the voters if you want them to vote for you.

  4. That is some interview. Democrats in Tennessee are doomed.
    The mailers I got in the state rep race were horrible,pro-life, anti- gay marriage, stop immigration and they were from the democrat. What is a democrat in Tennessee to do?

  5. I’m kinda worn out about all this stuff but the TN party needs some dressing down methinks. Tuke, whom I did not vote for (Lugo I did). . . well it was kind of personal, lol, but the why is an example of the kind of candidate he was. Yes, teh gov deserves some blame in all this, depressing Obama-ism in state when he was auditioning for a job with a probably Obama Administration. It’s deeper than Gov merely telling Obama not to bother.

  6. Pingback: The Gray Sasser Rant – Newscoma

  7. Thanks for publishing this. I’ve been kicking around thoughts like these in my head since yesterday. Something has to give. There’s no talent on the horizon for the Dems in the state, outside of Andy Berke in the legislature and Harold Ford, Jr. for governor. Other than that . . . nada.

    Did the Dems issue press releases? Organize an amazing GOTV operation? Phonebanking? Substantial fundraising? Anything? Not really — and what little they did do was done through the Obama campaign here in TN.


  8. Pingback: No Ten for Tennessee « FVCC Students for Choice

  9. Please correct Aunt B’s comment above

    “But more important, read his interview with Gary Sasser. ”

    The interview referenced is with Dem Party head GRAY Sasser.

  10. Yes, this is my blog, so please don’t talk about me in the third person. It’s fucking weird.

    But thanks for catching that. I switched the letters.

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