De-Nial is Obviously a River in Tennessee

In the wake of the Democratic disaster that was our state-wide election, I keep hearing two things, from Democrats mind you, that need to be addressed.  1.  Democrats lost the election because of Obama.  2.  We need to move “to the middle” to pick up votes.

I don’t believe we lost because of Obama.  I believe we lost because the Democrats appeared to regular voters to be constantly putting their own desires ahead of the needs of the state.

But I want to clearly address the Democrats who do.

Listen.  I hear you.  I hear that you were never able to overcome the “Obama is a secret Muslim baby-killer who wasn’t even born in this country and is the intellectual love child of Malcolm X and Karl Marx” meme.  That people’s fear of what kind of person Obama is was just so great it ruined it for everyone else.

And I have just one question for you.  You know it was Tennessee Republicans who promoted and spread and beat half to death the whole “Obama is a secret Muslim terrorist” thing, right?

I just want to be clear about this, for us both to be clear about this.  You know it was Tennessee Republicans who promoted and spread the idea that Obama is a secret Muslim, right?

Okay, I’m sorry, two questions.  This will be my last one.

If you know that it was a main strategy of the Tennessee Republicans to win this election on the lie that Obama is a secret Muslim terrorist–and I repeat, on the lie–how can you suggest we move “to the center” to be more like the Republicans?

Did you pay no attention to what the Republicans were up to this year?  Oops, sorry; that’s three questions.

Listen, if voters have only to choose from Republicans and pseudo-Republicans, they’re going to vote Republican.  We have to stand for things.  Things that are different than what the Republicans stand for.

But, listen just for a second longer.  I know it’s more tempting to believe that Tennessee voted against Barack Obama than it is to believe that Tennessee voted against Tennessee Democrats.  But, if you believe that Tennessee was punishing downticket Democrats for Obama, then what you’re saying is that Tennesseans are so racist that not only won’t most of us vote for a black man, we’ll not vote for white people who share the same party as a black man.

That’s pretty damn racist.

Do you really believe that Tennessee is so damn racist that we’d not only vote against a black man just because he’s black (and I concede, we may indeed be that racist), but also that we’d vote against white people even vaguely associated with him?

I’ve got to be frank with you.  No.

Democrats, look in the mirror!  Go to the library, pull up the last five years of the Tennessean and read about yourselves–People showing up on the capitol drunk, canoodling with lobbiests, not showing up at all, getting arrested by the Feds, getting arrested by the Locals, building million-dollar additions to their taxpayer funded homes while the price of milk doubles and the economy in the state tanks, ousting the one Democrat who was willing not just to say “enough” but to vote “enough,” and so on and so on and so on.

You don’t need to move right… oh, excuse me… to the center.

You need to clean house.  If you stand before me and say, “I will put Tennessee first,” and you act on putting Tennessee first, people will support you.

You don’t have to move right to do that, but you do have to move towards putting Tennessee first.

11 thoughts on “De-Nial is Obviously a River in Tennessee

  1. Its not rocket science. There will be time to talk about framing, and narratives, and hell, even ideology once we have some semblance of a rural infrastructure in place. Thats going to take effort, and patience. The Republicans have been quietly getting themselves elected to City Councils, school boards, and other local posts. They stood up in their churches and linked their political ideology to their faith. They write LTEs, and they raise money.

    But, the idea that there is something lacking in our message, or that it doesn’t or won’t ring true with Tennesseans is laughable. Move to the center? Where the hell else have our Tn Dems been?

    Like I said, its a matter of motivating people to work. And not just during elections.

    When they wan’t to talk about teh gays, we talk about jobs.

    When they want to talk about abortion, we talk about children’s health, or education.

    We have allowed them to control the narrative, out of fear, and possibly in some cases, because some Dems think they are right.

    For every Steve Cohen, we’ve got 10 Bart Gordons. you are right about cleaning house, but we also need to embark on a quest to build a bottom up model for the State party.

  2. SQ and I talked about this morning that one of the problems is that we are clearly not in the “system.” And because we aren’t in that political infrastructure, our ideas and thoughts are dismissed because apparently we are rubes or at least in the eyes of some.
    In many ways, the Dems are losing us because of their arrogance by directing us to believe in something that is obviously broken in this state.
    SQ keeps saying the same thing you did here. Why should political insiders and established members of the party keep saying we must move to the right?
    I am just a blogger (which apparently some Dems don’t value in the least) but I don’t want to play games about the possibility that my rights are second to the “good of the party”. I don’t want to be served kool-aid and then told to just like it because it’s good for me.
    Mack makes many good points but on the other hand we’ve been doing that and we are smiled at like we are children interrupting a fancy dinner. I am tired of being put at the kid’s table and being placated.
    I’m disappointed more than words can say that it’s the same old, same old. As I’ve said before, there are no progressives representing me in Nashville and that slapped me in the face last night.
    Sorry to hijack your thread here. Mack seems to have some solutions but to be honest, at this point, I’m about to throw my hands in the air and say “Meh.”
    I think L said some good things, incidentally, but if the guys behind the scenes are what I observed last night are saying what they are saying while being exasperated while talking of core values that are important to us, the last voice of the common average Democrat, the trend of moving to the right won’t be reversed anytime soon.

  3. Aunt B.,

    If you go back to the Presidential Primary results you will see that Senator Clinton defeated President-Elect Obama in counties where Republicans later won key House and Senate races, often by large majorities. Once the General Election got rolling, his campaign spent very little money in those areas to improve his standing with the Democratic base and to drive up turnout.

    The result was a weaker Democratic vote in parts of Tennessee which helped tip several elections to the Republicans. But Republicans can not be blamed for Democratic election funding priorities.

    Should voters turnout for down-ticket races even when they are not energized by the leading races? Of course. But the sad reality is that state and local elections do not generate the same interest. Both parties’ leaders know that. The results in key state races were always a possibility unless there had been a greater effort to improve then-Senator Obama’s image with the Democratic base in these areas.


  4. What we as the internet politisphere (to coin a stupid phrase) experience with today’s Democratic party is in respects similar to how the younger generations currently see business life.

    We arrive on the scene with networking savvy and technological awareness that the blue dogs haven’t mastered. We work at internet speed and they at a slower, good ole boy pace. We insist on openness and transparency and they prefer to control power.

    We are less patient and they are losing. If they don’t get out of the way, or at least share, all we have to do is wait for the buzzards to pick their bones clean in the next election and then we trample their corpses into the dust.

  5. ‘Coma, I didn’t want to talk specifically about last night, because I wasn’t sure how much of it was off the record, but Steph and I were talking later about how, there we were trying to get across how important it is to take the internet seriously as a political tool and there, over my shoulder, were all those Obama folks wearing their t-shirts, going over what is available on the website, meeting with enthusiastic obviously Democratic people. You couldn’t have planned it better.

    And yet, I really felt like they were not seeing the magnitude of the shift that’s taking place. I agree with Jim Voorhies more than I can say on this point. We will leave them behind. Not out of malice but just because.

    I mean, even people who love horses are not riding buggies to work.

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  7. I mean, even people who love horses are not riding buggies to work.

    Ha. Yes, exactly.

    The trick, i think, (hell, I KNOW) is to get our rural communities linked in. Thats where we keep getting our asses kicked, not in Davidson County.

  8. I will be emailing some of you later about last night…

    One of the purposes of last night was for some of those people to figure out why what happened in the next room happened…

    I had a great time, BTW, much love to all who was there..

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