The Credibility Gap

I was glad to read Andy Berke’s editorial in the paper today (online).  But, even though I’ve recently sworn off all comment sections inhabited mostly by people I don’t know, I also actually found the comments on the editorial to be quite telling, too.

I am tickled to death to see Berke outlining what he believes to be core Democratic tenets

Tennesseans still want an excellent education for their children and the safest, healthiest communities for their families. They want good jobs and equal opportunity. They want a clean environment, good roads and a quality of life that honors the best of who they are.

I can get behind that.

But I think the commenters bring up a good point, one which I have not yet seen Democrats address.  The biggest political stumbling block facing Democrats are not the Republicans (at least, clearly, not yet).  The biggest political stumbling block facing Democrats is the history of egregiously bad behavior on the part of Tennessee Democrats.

I believe in the things Berke advances as core values.  I’m happy to work towards those ends.

BUT, and I have a big ‘but,’ I’m not going to throw my support behind the Democrats until I understand what the plan is for cleaning up their acts.

I don’t know if we need to have a giant game of “Everyone who’s not fucking a lobbiest or intern take one step forward; Everyone who’s not too old or frail or drunk to perform their duties take one step forward” and so on until we’ve weeded out the problems.

I agree that it is incorrect to interpret this election as a repudiation of Democratic principles.  But it would be a mistake, a huge mistake, to not see this election as a repudiation of the Democrats in office and the way they carry on.

So, Democrats, I’d like to know, what are you going to do to address voters’ concerns ABOUT YOUR BEHAVIOR?!

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