Thoughts, I Got ‘Em

1.  I just read Coates quoting Sullivan

…self-confident political groupings seek converts – look at Obama. Failed and failing political groupings seek to punish and list heretics.

and was thinking, “Well, then, shit, by that standard, all Tennessee has are failed and failing political groups” when I saw that Vibinc seems to have reached a similar conclusion by a different path.

The culprit in both cases, a long held sense on the part of individuals in both parties that Patronage and Privilege somehow in some way protected them from the unwashed masses that ultimately hold the key to their success.

The uprising isn’t party specific, it’s specifically a reaction to the privilege and patronage that follows an organization that has lost its way. Tennessee has the pleasure of being served by two such organizations, both political parties.

What to make of that?  I don’t know.

2.  I’m tired of defending Lynn, who I despise as a legislator, but Jesus Christ.  She seems to me to be the only person in this whole sordid affair who is actually acting like a real person with no agenda.  She did what she thought was the best thing.  She also, for reasons I don’t comprehend, wanted to keep this whole thing private and now finds that she can’t.  And she wants to be an active participant in her own life–“I don’t want to be treated like an object. I want to be treated like a professional, like a peer. That’s all I was asking for.”–(And I’m sorry, but that breaks my heart.)–which means that, for herself, she has to figure out how to act like a professional, like a leader.  So, yeah, it means she’s going to speak when she said she wasn’t going to.  She may have been pissed at Williams and also friendly with him.  So what?  She’s making her way as she goes.

I don’t like her, but I’m rooting for her to find her way.

3.  I am not sure where the proper comparison might be made, but I feel like comparing District 3 to District 19 doesn’t really tell you much about an urban/suburban divide because District 3 is not exactly suburban.  It’s a weird mix of urban/”rural” (or what passes for rural in this county.  As of yet, we don’t have any big box stores.  No chain restaurants.  No national grocery stores.  Shoot, the hardware store by my house only takes cash.  There’s nothing here (yet) that makes this area a recognizeably suburban area.  On the other hand, the southern parts of the District are closely tied to Bordeaux.  In fact, it seems clear that the bottom border of District 3 bisects neighborhoods (and I wonder in some cases, if that wasn’t intentional–to try to make everything north of Briley “safe” for whites).  So the more neighborhood-like parts of our district (meaning areas with discernable blocks and small lots and side streets you can walk on or play in), which are more heavily populated, are predominately black.  No surprise then, that the district went for Obama.  But the rural areas are predominately old white people, who are more likely to come out to vote on a special election day.

So, it makes sense to me that the general election would handily go to Obama, but the special election would more narrowly go to English only.  I’m not sure what that tells you in a comparison between the two districts, though, because I think the two districts may have more in common than they do in comparison.

10 thoughts on “Thoughts, I Got ‘Em

  1. Pingback: Rooting For Susan Lynn : Post Politics: Political News and Views in Tennessee

  2. I genuinely feel sorry for Susan Lynn at this point. It seems rather clear that she thought she was doing the right thing to stop what she deemed inappropriate behavior and now she’s been thrust into the spotlight for a matter she simply wanted resolved in a professional manner.

    At this point, it’s hard to determine what the best outcome is for Williams. Mumpower would love to see him go down in flames, but how will that help Susan Lynn? And will any of them actually learn how to correspond with their peers?

  3. Lesley, I agree. I don’t know what the best outcome is in this scenario. I mean, I think what Lynn did was exactly the way to go. He was a cad, she called him on it. He claimed to understand, said it wouldn’t happen again, it did and so she brought Mumpower into it and Mumpower made Williams understand.

    And then, by all accounts, his bad behavior stopped.

    Okay then. But I still feel like, if this was widely known, then it pisses me off that the Democrats would throw their weight behind him.

    But, on the other hand, I don’t feel like having to be told twice to shape the fuck up means he needs to be brought down now (though, obviously, I would not shed a single tear if he stepped down).

    Now, if there’s proof that he continued to behave like a cad towards other women after the Lynn incident? Well, then, yeah.

    But if Lynn was satisfied that the situation was resolved AND (and this is a big ‘and’) Mumpower felt certain that Williams understood this wasn’t just about not treating Lynn like that, but about not treating any of his peers or underlings like that, then I think we’ve got to respect that they handled it correctly.

    Is everyone smarting from learning that the Democrats put a letch in charge of the House instead of Mumpower? Yeah, but using the fact that he’s a letch to disempower him doesn’t seem right to me, if he did, in fact, stop acting poorly.

  4. I want to be treated like a professional, like a peer.
    This is what I wonder about. What exactly does being treated like a professional entail when the profession in question is politics? Especially since the first incidence seems to have happened after some sort of political reception where there was almost certainly alcohol involved.

    If I was to act that way toward one of my co-workers it would certainly impact the working relationship, but would it be legally actionable since it was after hours? Since they were attending this reception because they were politicans, does that make it a professional event? The lines of professional conduct are a lot more blurry for a politican than for the rest of us.

    I get that she wants to be respected for something other than her physical aspect, and she seems to have handled it well. It’s just a line of thought I’m exploring.

  5. W, that’s interesting. There are a lot of professions where conduct away from the workplace is going to have an impact on the workplace. Physicians and lawyers (just for example) who hit on others inappropriately with any regularity are going to lose a lot of business, even if they don’t hit on their patients/clients but only on others in the profession, and only at parties or whatever. No one will refer anyone to them, word will start to get around, current clients will dump them, all that. I don’t see that we’re holding politicians to a higher standard. And if we are, it’s like not putting stupid things up on the web: yeah, you’re in the public eye. You wanted to be. Deal with it. IMO, anyway.

  6. W., I guess it depends on what you mean by legally actionable. I think the actions taken in this matter were exactly right. Lynn experienced Williams’ actions as inappropriate–and impinging on her ability to act as his peer–and she dealt with them as such. I don’t think that drunkenly hitting on a co-worker at an event should be grounds for firing, but I do think it’s grounds for a stern talking-to.

    I guess I would expect people who stand around and profess to be good Christian people–as the TNGOP seems to spend 80% of its time doing–to act as such. I mean, for me, the line of conduct that might be blurry about whether or not it’s a professional event should be sharpened considerably by the fact that Williams is married. Regardless of whether that was “official” business or not or rises to sexual harassment or not, he made some promises to his wife in front of God that he’s not trying very hard to keep.

    And I resent folks like him trying to legislate my morality when they can’t bother to have any.

  7. Don’t play grabass with your coworkers, whereever you find yourself with them. That’s a widely known rule of thumb. I am not, at this point, understanding why everyone’s all “well, certainly, once he was told that he was being totally inappropriate…” Who the hell has to be told? Are there particularly large rocks in his county that he’s been hiding under? There are things you know (like “don’t feed your kids bleach” and “getting hammered at work events is stupid” and “treat your peers with civility”) that I think it’s probably safe to say that every adult knows.

    And yeah, what nm says, and that holds for professors, lab researchers, any group that has regular conferences, auto mechanics, people who make home visits like plumbers…word of bad behavior really does get around and it has a negative impact on careers.

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