I was going to spend a bunch of time trying to find out the TRUTH about things, you know the actual facts. But I’m not a journalist; I’m a blogger. So, when I write Lydia Lenker, it’s not like she drops everything to write me back. And I don’t have secret friends in the government and, as much as I like you guys, I’m not going to go out of my way to befriend muckity-mucks so that we can talk about them with knowledge.
And, I realize, to understand what’s going on with the Tennessee Democrats right now, it’s not actually paramount to know the facts. What’s important is to know the story. Because, at this point, it doesn’t matter what the facts are. What matters is who gets to tell the story their way in the end.
So, I’m going to tell you the story the way I understand it, my way.
And it goes like this.
Once upon a time, the State Democrats were a mess. You had corruption and people fucking lobbyists and people drunkenly behaving like hooligans and folks taking bribes and other folks pretending to be Republicans and so on and so on. Everyone knew Democrats they liked, but the party as a whole and the politicians who made it up as a whole seemed to leave a lot to be desired. They were too liberal for conservatives, too conservative for liberals, and most importantly, they seemed to be in it only for themselves, even to the point of behaving like miscreants.
Would any Democrat put the good of the people of the State of Tennessee ahead of his or her own political ambitions? Would anyone be willing to stand up and say, “We can’t go on like we are. Things have to change.”? It seemed like Rosalind Kurita was that person.
And what happened to her?
She got turned on. To put it mildly.
Maybe there were good political reasons why that had to be done, but from the outside, from where I was sitting, in the cheap seats, it looked to me and to a bunch of other folks like the Democrats got rid of Kurita because most of them had no intention of getting off the party barge.
So, it became obvious that the Democrats were not going to reform from within. They wanted things to remain as they were. So, what were the voters of Tennessee supposed to do? If the Democrats weren’t going to clean up their own acts, their acts would have to be cleaned up.
And then Obama ran for President. And again, the signal from the broader nation was that voters want Democrats who are willing to talk frankly about our troubles and who inspire confidence that they will bring a new vision to Washington*. Our Democrats, though, insisted that Tennessee wasn’t ready for change; they were ready for things to go how they’d always gone. In fact, Obama didn’t know anything about “real” Americans; he needed to go to Wal-mart (a place our Governor probably only goes for photo ops). In fact, Obama shouldn’t even show up in Tennessee. How could he win? He’s black!!!!!!!!
Yes, when the Democrats lost and were casting around for reasons why they lost, their excuse was “Well, Tennessee is just too racist to vote for anyone on the same ticket as a black man.”
No, it wasn’t that they were behaving like an army of mini-Walmart-photo-opping Caligulas. It was that we are just so damn racist. Even the Democrats.
Yes, America, when the chips were down, the Democrats blamed the voters. One wonders, if this were true, why you’d want to represent a bunch of unrepentant, irredeemable racists. I mean, I’ve loved me some white folks so deep it sometimes still catches in my throat to say their names; that doesn’t inspire me to run for Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. And to hear the Democrats talk, that’s practically the burden they’re under.
But anyway, late last year some of the Democratic state politicians starting making some overtures to some of the liberal bloggers. It went middling well. They were, I think, hoping for free positive PR and we were hoping to be listened to and considered and neither of those things were going to happen, but it was still fun anyway.
And we got to talk to both people running for the TNDP–Forrester and Boner–and I think I speak for most of us when I say that few of us gave a shit who won. We were just hoping that whoever won would work with the bloggers.
So, when Forrester won, we decided to have a fund-raiser just to show that, hey, we’re here and we’re ready to support the TNDP if you work with us. Forrester didn’t organize the fundraiser; he didn’t know about it beforehand; he didn’t have anything to do with it.
But it seemed to catch the attention of someone or someones. And all of a sudden we saw trolls in the blogosphere we’d never seen before.
Jesus Christ, this is getting long. So, let me make this short and to the point.
The scuttlebutt around the blogosphere is that Harrison and Heatseeker and Dr. Jellyfish are working on behalf of and under the direction of the Governor. When this rumor first started, it was met by general incredulity. Why would the Governor of the State devote resources and people to playing on the internet? It seemed ridiculous. Yet, months went by and the three of them seemed to often reveal information that only a government insider would know. And again there were various email conversations to the general effect of “Why would the Governor’s people be wasting time harassing bloggers”?
It seems weird.
I thought that maybe they misunderstood Forrester’s influence in the blogosphere, thought that by arguing with us they were effectively undermining Chip’s base. Tie Forrester to the bloggers and ruin him by showing what idiots and fools we are.
But who the hell out here in Tennessee and not within the Party even knows who the Chair is, let alone cares? And who doesn’t already know that the blogosphere is filled with idiots and fools?
Here’s what I think is really going on. The point was always to bring us into line and demoralize us. Tie us to Forrester and make it seem like we don’t have to be taken seriously or listened to because we’re just Chip’s flunkies, doing his bidding. Drag us down with him. Kill two birds with one stone.
Except their stone didn’t even kill the one bird.
Is it true? I don’t know. I hear rumors and rumors of rumors.
I know this, though. Threads like this and this make a lot more sense if you read it like Harrison, Heatseaker, and Dr. Jellyfinger are working on behalf of the Governor and his pals. See, he gets to make his deal with Forrester, effectively splitting the Party into two, with Forrester as the figurehead of one and with him and his guys in the secret, shadow party, full of Democrats that know better than the rest of us rubes and racists.
But it only works if everyone plays along.
And when I read threads like those, I get the feeling that playing along is about the exact opposite of what I want to do.
I’m sorry I asked you to contribute to the Tennessee Democratic Party. Words cannot express how embarrassed I am and how big a jackass I feel like. Because we have nothing to show for it. You and I gave money to the TNDP in an effort to show them that new folks were willing and excited about being a part of the Party and they took it as a threat. They broke the party in two so that they wouldn’t have to take you and me and your concerns and my concerns seriously.
And I am terribly sorry about that.
I asked you to give money in good faith. I didn’t know there was nothing to have that faith in.
And frankly, I feel like a fool standing here before you again, hat in hand, having to tell you that all your money did was prove to the bigwigs that they needed to find better ways to insulate themselves from you.
I, for one, will never again give money to the TNDP or the TNSDP (Tennessee Shadow Democratic Party? I don’t know. Whatever they call themselves). And I hope you find something better to do with your money, too.
*And yes, we can argue all day about whether that was the case in actuality, but let me paint with some broad strokes.
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I’d like to point out that ijn 2005 you and AC and a lot of people misrepresented me by saying I wanted to “out” anonymous bloggers, when I was doing a story on the Governor having a shill in his office who was posting on tax payer time to promote the Gov.
I posted the IP from the State and said I would continue to investigate. which I would have done, but almost all of you were terrible to me–“Out to out anonymous bloggers!”
That was never my intent and I was clear then, and now that it’s 4 years and many tears later, you understand what I was doing then.
Also, I didn’t softball, today. Why wasn’t everyone else speaking up and asking questions about health care and the “new party.”
I say all this respectfully, and not trying to fight with anyone. Seems to me, though, you wrote what I wrote 4 years ago and I was crucified for it, but you saw it…4 years after I did, and AC, who dissed me for saying the same thing you just did, links you.
Just sayin…y’all aren’t necessarily being fair when you decide you hate someone for nothing they have done to you, and applauded when it’s someone who is popular.
I’ll take being a good journalist over popularity anyday, but go back and look at the cruelty lavished on me for doing what you just did…but I provided proof, which makes the sting worse.
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Sharon, I have been kinder to you than almost anybody else who has been through with you what I’ve been through with you would be. Don’t come on my blog playing the martyr.
And especially don’t come on my blog until you can offer some assurances that you’ve gotten whatever lead to to this ridiculousness–
–taken care of.
End of discussion. Don’t comment here. It never goes well.
Don’t you think this frustration is exactly what they want? Stop giving and they win. JMO.
The TNDP job was never to raise money for canidate’s,( It has always been terrible at it.) The House and Senate Caucas’s and other groups raised money for the so called con-solidated campaign which was then run through the Party to use it’s tax status for a cheaper mail rate. The Chairman of the party was never in charge of that operation, and nothing has changed. The new operation ( not the con-solidated campaign ) will probably still use the parties non- profit status for the mail. The party will still raise money with the help of all party’s involved to run it’s operation but it will get back to doing what the party should do, and that is organization of the county by county party operations ( a task that has been ignored for sometime now. ). Chip Forrester is still the Chairman and will still have all the power that any past Chairman has had. The rest of the plan for the 2010 campaign will be forth coming in the next couple of days, and I’ll be at the summit to answer any questions anyone might have. The blogging community has done a good job of keeping our situation in the fore-front, but it’s now time come together and pull for our united party.
So, in essence, the basic facts as reported in the AP story are true, then. And the electeds and other stakeholders have been briefed.
There is more detail coming, but this is a good thing for everbody. I understand that people will try read something more into this but there is no one behind the curtain.
Mike, if this is the case, then somebody needs to get out in front of this story, because they’re sure as hell trying to make it sound like Chip’s cojones have been cut off and are in a jar somewhere. That’s the problem all along, Bredesen and his people have controlled the story, and that’s partially Chip’s fault.
Respectfully, Rep. Turner…you expect us to believe the Chairman of TNDP’s job is NOT to raise money?
BWAAAAAHAHAHAHAAAAA!!!! I’m sorry, this is a really nice spin on things….and I’m the first to admit that the moribund state of the county Parties is in dire need of attention. But trying to present this as something other than a bald power play by Bredesen, combined with a a “screw you” to the grassroots, is really an insult to a lot of folks’ intelligence.
Here’s a news flash: Members of the state Democratic Executive Committee, who installed Chip Forrester, are elected on the ballot during Gubernatorial election years by actual voters, same as any other candidate for office. Frankly, it wouldn’t surprise me if this end run around the Chairmanship didn’t violate some kind of statute – not that flouting the law is a massive consideration when it comes to the political shenanigans that are common in this state.
I’m no fan of Chip Forrester’s. I think things are dire, and am in near-100% agreement with B’s assessment above, here. It’s pretty pathetic when the Executive Committee, in casting around for a change in direction from the folks who lost us the Presidency in 2000, the Senate in 2006, and now the state House and Senate, had a singular option: a guy who’s been on the Executive Committee himself for a dozen years and who’s pretty well the personification of that old lyric by the Who: “Here comes the new boss/Same as the old boss.”
This party should have made grand, sweeping changes after the 2000 election loss. It didn’t. Folks who would be considered a breath of fresh air in other state political organizations are routinely met with a Byzantine set of regulations at TNDP designed to keep them out. Here’s another news flash: it’s not 1950 any more. Democrats don’t run absolutely everything in Tennessee these days, and you’re not going to be able to get away with the same old brand of politics for much longer, if at all.
The list of needed reforms would take more minutes to type than I have to spend tonight (in a nutshell: Fresh blood; more transparency; less corruption; less “we’ve always done things this way” mentality; more embracing of the constituencies that constitute the Democratic Party in other parts of the country, instead of the “where else are they going to go” mentality that’s prevalent now.) I understand that various Party insiders are going to put on a full court press to sell this new structure, but I’m afraid the horse is out of the barn vis a vis some of the problems that are facing TN Dems these days.
p.s. I fully expect TNDP insiders to try to ‘out’ anonymous bloggers who are trying to provoke some actual change and reform – since the politics of personal assassination is a common tactic in trying to discredit anyone who dares question the powers that be. Unfortunately for the folks who’ve run TNDP for years, a lot of people who would ordinarily have been the Dems’ core constituency have been kept so much on the periphery that they now have nothing left to lose. I’m not sure lopping off the heads of this hydra are going to stop any more from springing back, now that it’s become so obvious the TN Dems’ plan of aping the Republicans at every step has stopped paying dividends.
(Personally, I’m also tired of being told that folks who don’t want to eat Republican so-called “family values” for breakfast have to “put up and shut up” regarding TNDP’s management, campaign positions, etc. Frankly, I’d be embarrassed to be associated with a Party that routinely spits in the collective faces of blacks, women, gays, and let’s not forget the labor folks hurt by the workman’s comp legislation passed more or less immediately after the AFL-CIO worked their hearts out to elect Phil Bredesen in 2002.)
What do you mean by “our united party”? If a political party tells me it’s not going to look out for my interests and doesn’t want my input, why should I come together with it?
nm, exactly – I have yet to hear anything about how the leaders of “our united party” are going to stop trying to be Republican lite and focus on anything other than keeping what limited power and influence they currently have.
Hi, Mike. Thanks for stopping by. It takes real guts to step into hostile territory and I want you to know that I appreciate that.
But I have to echo what other people are saying here.
For months now there’s been a concerted effort on the part of someone in the party–my sources tell me it’s the Governor, but I’m trying very, very hard to believe that he’s got better things to do with his time–to put out a message that Chip Forrester is, at best, incompetent and, at worst, downright evil and needs to be neutralized.
Fine. Whatever. I don’t give a shit. It’s too inside-baseball for me. I don’t care who the Chair is; I was willing to work with anyone.
But guess what? I got the message. Powerful folks in the party hate Forrester and don’t want to work with him.
Well, powerful people in the Party, I am a dumbass (as evidence by my giving you money and asking my readers to give you money), but I am NOT THAT DUMB.
You don’t get to say for months, “We hate Chip. Chip sucks so bad. Woo hoo, we have Chip’s balls on a wall in the Governor’s office (which is pretty much a direct quote)” and then turn around over the course of yesterday and today split the party in two and say to us “You guys take Chip.”
Pardon my French, but fuck that.
Y’all don’t get to sit around for months talking about what an ineffectual loser he is and then hand him off to us like that solves all of the TNDP’s problems, if only we’ll go along with it.
Should we all sit at the kiddie table at Thanksgiving, too?
You (and by ‘you’ I don’t mean you specifically, Mike, I mean the Party bigwigs and their pals) don’t get to sit around for months and run Chip’s… for lack of a better word… brand into the ground and then expect bloggers to be enthusiastic about the opportunity to work with him.
That just goes against human nature.
If y’all did not want to have to take Tennessee bloggers seriously, then you shouldn’t have started meeting with and calling us. That’s on you guys.
And, if you wanted us to go along with your “Chip takes care of the grassroots and the secret Party takes care of the bigwigs” plan, maybe some of you should have said to the guys running Chip down “Hey, cool it. We’re going to have to sell that guy to these folks later.”
But the idea that people who appear to be deeply connected to the Party spent months running him down to everyone on the internet who would listen and are now turning around and being all angry that we believed them and aren’t excited about being cloistered off with him is so deeply insulting that about the only thing I can do is throw back my head and laugh.
How many of you that I personally witnessed refused to take any stand about Forrester? How many of you, who I know read Post Politics, stood silently by and let those guys constantly rip into him and use him as a way to insult their critics?
Did you think we didn’t notice?
If you’re surprised to find that the Tennessee blogosphere is less than excited about you splitting the party in two and leaving us with the part you think is shitty and ineffective, I don’t know what to say to you.
It boggles my mind.
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Aunt B. your french is excellent, I feel like Gomez Adams, All I ask is to give it time, the negociations that have been going on for a while now, and lately it has been extremely intense. We had to mend a lot of fences on both sides. It might be a tad early to have a group hug but that hug is coming, and I truly think that this new focus for the party will lead us to victory in 2010. Thanks for what you do, I read you daily.
Negotiations? Among whom? It sounds like there’s a few people talking to each other and a whole lot of others who are being told, in essence, to listen up. Either this group of new media people are brought on board — as party newspaper editors routinely were in the 19th century, to devastating operational effects — or they are not and that will be a huge missed opportunity. TNDP is operating with a weird idea about new e-journalism, that it exists to disseminate ideas that someone else (hey! It’s like a press release but we don’t have to pay for it!) There’s a difference between sending out press releases online or running a website or even publishing a party newsletter online and developing relationships with political writers who blog from a progressive viewpoint. Political blogging’s a different model of activist journalism, up front about its viewpoint and able to, therefore, to build single-issue audiences or to critique legislative agendas from a particular viewpoint. They are coalition-builders and their sites are the place where the hard conversations and trust-building happens. You know that — I suspect that’s one of the reasons that TCP is a daily read for you — but you aren’t putting that knowledge into play. Bloggers represent diverse constituent viewpoints, provide a conduit for grassroots-Statehouse communication, and refocus the energy of TNDP on issues that authentically energize not just the party functionaries but ignored progressives, sympathetic centrists, and conservatives who are frustrated by TNGOP’s devolution into one-note johnny junior Jesus bedroom police.
No group hugs for you, Bubbele, until you (collectively) get with it.
I kinda sorta think he’s more Tataleh or Zaydeleh than Bubbeleh.
Call me a cynic, but the big boys don’t want competition. Tennessee is very very set in it’s ways, and violently resists change or challenges to existing hierarchies. The TNDP is no different than the TNGOP in this.
The same mentality that makes the party Republican Lite is the one that keeps us in the dark ages politically. And that is the way they like it.
I kinda sorta think he’s more Tataleh or Zaydeleh than Bubbeleh.
But gotta lotta chutzpah.
(The best way I’ve heard chutzpah described: The boy who begs for leniency after murdering his parents, since now he is an orphan and deserves pity.)
I was just going with the Gomez Addams thing, really…isn’t Bubbeleh what Morticia calls Gomez?
Oooh, she does? I didn’t remember that.
Yes. That and the French are what gets her arms coated with unctuous kisses.
I remember the French, but he gets off on being called Granny?
Wow. This adds a whole new round of kink to the Addamses. You know there’s a little pain play with the knives and such, but “My husband pretends he’s my grandmother” is a little far out, even for me.
Well, it’s also used as an endearment for little girls, so the possibilities are wide open. Which is good food for speculation, but doesn’t defuse my irritation with the TNDP.
I emailed the Governor’s press secretary last night to ask her to go on the record confirming or denying that those three work at the behest of the Governor. I haven’t heard anything back from her.
Just thought I’d throw that tidbit into the mix, too.
Do any of you really believe that the TNDP is going to change of its own volition?
I realise I’m a complete outsider here, but as I watch the shenanigans* it seems obvious to me that the Party Heads are running an old-style Tammany Hall Backroom Buddy System Franchise that keeps them in power in the way in which they’ve become accustomed. All the bloggers serve to do is to point out how removed the Party is from the ‘represented’ constituency.
The mere fact that you have BRedesen at the top of the pile is testimony to the fact that power trumps ideals in the tndp. (I forgot…we’re not supposed to capitalise it because it doesn’t take itself seriously.)
The thing that bothers me about all of this is that from where I sit it looks like the left-wing constituency thinks there might actually be a chance they will be taken seriously while all the time in the background the plans to keep them disenfranchised roll along smoothly.
Oh, and according to Wikipedia, Morticia Addams does indeed call Gomez Bubbeleh. Which I, too, think is weird. Then again, it is the Addams Family.
But didn’t Tammany Hall succeeded as long as they did not only because of corruption, but because it also delivered what its constituents wanted a significant amount of the time? The TN Democrats don’t deliver, so I think you’re being a leeetle unfair to Tammany Hall here.
OK… here goes:
1. There is a difference between a movement and a political party. For instance, “Democracy for America” is strongly affiliated with the Democratic Party, but remained independent from the Democratic National Committee. Similarly, PACs are often formed which support Democratic candidates, but which are independent from the party apparatus. On the GOP side, these include the TennPAC and VolPAC (Alexander and Frist, respectively). You might remember Barack Obama’s “Hope PAC” or Hillary Clinton’s “HillPAC”. You can’t suggest that Obama or Clinton were somehow against the Democratic Party. Sorry, that dog won’t hunt.
2. The TNDP funds have ALWAYS (I repeat, ALWAYS) been used to support down-ticket races and county-level local organization. Truth is, no one really knew what the TNDP did. But that’s what they do. (Maybe no one knew what they did because they did a really bad job of it over the years, but that’s another story). Chip Forrester specifically ran on a 95-county strategy, focused on developing local organizations and especially helping to get the disparate local parties unified behind a common message and a consolidated set of organizing tools (e.g., using the same database, messaging, etc.).
3. While I agree that, at times, the Democratic elected officials have not acted in our best interests, I think that we have also failed our elected officials. It’s really unfair to Rep. Gordon, Davis, Tanner, etc., that you hold them to the standards of Nashville or Memphis-style Democratic Party politics. Quite simply, if we tried to run Steve Cohen in District 4 or 6, he’d be ridden out of town on a rail. You need to recognize that Lincoln Davis and John Tanner are doing the jobs they were hired to do – representing their districts. If you want to change how they act and vote, then you should plan to make numerous road trips to places like Jackson and Paris and Bucksnort and Erin. Get out and organize in the local communities, listen to their needs, exchange ideas, and get to work. That’s how Lincoln Davis and John Tanner manage to get re-elected again and again in spite of the fact that their districts are trending more “red”.
4. Most of all, for the love of God, stop acting elitist and writing condescending blog posts! Nothing turns people off more than when you act like you know everything and get upset because they don’t think like you. As they say, “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
As for what Mike Turner said, I think Mike Turner knows more about what’s going on in Tennessee Politics than just about anyone. As caucus chair, he’s been charged with holding the line with Democrats across the state, keeping Democrats unified, helping to pass the Governor’s budget in the face of majority Republican opposition on both sides of the aisle, and trying to deal with catastrophic rises in unemployment and devastating drops in state tax revenue. So, if I were you, I’d give Mike Turner a break and say “Thank you!” for all he’s doing.
Have a good weekend.
Mike is a good egg, and I like him, but none of them are doing a good job of moving the message in our direction.
Why should these areas STAY right-wing? Especially when Tanner does nothing to help anyone but himself (ask newscoma about that) and just sits on his pile of cash.
Davis is in a R-leaning district, and Gordon is too to a lesser degree, but the GOP ALWAYS works to move people in their direction, and we do NOT, and I will never understand that.
and no, I’m not sitting down or shutting up, either.
Well, the key to making “these areas” less right-wing is community organizing. There are two key components to this: 1) activism, which is helping to inspire and engage with people who support a progressive platform but feel that they’re not being heard, and 2) organizing, which is bringing new people into the process who have not been involved before. As Chip Forrester has said on numerous occasions over the past several months, “We need to open up the doors, and sometimes, we need to show people where the doors are!” One of the things that has frustrated me is the lack of accessibility to some of our elected officials. It seems that, too often, “money talks” and if you don’t have money (or bargaining chips of some kind), you don’t have any power.
I think it’s pretty unfair to say that Davis and Gordon don’t work to “move people” in a progressive direction.
Not quite clear on what made this post ‘elitist’.
All right. Hold on. Who here is saying anything about Gordon, Davis, Tanner, etc.? I didn’t mention them in the post. I don’t see anyone saying that in the comments. If this is a continuation of some other conversation, you need to link to it. Otherwise, it sounds like you’re accusing me of having something against conservative Democrats.
And let me make this as clear as possible–I am ALWAYS going to make fun of conservative Democrats. If they feel bad about it, they can make fun of me for being a baby-killing commie. But don’t think for a second that I don’t appreciate them or the job that they’re doing for their constituencies.
But it still remains the truth that, even a conservative Democrat should be distinguishable from a Republican. You shouldn’t have this bullshit like Newscoma was talking about where the Democrats were telling people they didn’t want to be referred to as Democrats.
And I’m tired of this “elitist” bullshit. How the hell am I elitist compared to men who have been in politics for decades? A girl can’t make a Caligula reference without being called a snob? What the fuck?
If the elitist reference fits….
Look, I’m not saying that you, specifically, Aunt B, are elitist. My point (joining you, actually), is that I’m sick and tired of pissing contests and one-upsmanship and gamesmanship and posturing and all of that CRAP.
But we’re all capable of it (me included!) and it’s not attractive. That’s all I’m saying.
I think that we have also failed our elected officials.
That is a regular laugh-riot. By being faithful Democrats who have turned out year after year after year and have given scads of money and personal time, we’re somehow just not doing enough?
Oh, right, we’re also supposed to STFU.
This is sounding more like the person on the business end of an abusive relationship.
Most of all, for the love of God, stop acting elitist and writing condescending blog posts! Nothing turns people off more than when you act like you know everything and get upset because they don’t think like you.
Is condescension anything like telling people what to think, how to feel, and how to express themselves? If it is, the irony here should be immediately apparent.
If the elitist reference fits….
Say who you mean, Ben. Or is innuendo good communication practice, in your experience?
I’m sick and tired of pissing contests and one-upsmanship and gamesmanship and posturing and all of that CRAP.
Yet you’re telling us to tolerate it when it benefits the party, as in, “if I were you, I’d give Mike Turner a break and say “Thank you!” for all he’s doing.”
As long has his name is on SJR127 as a sponsor? Say what you will about the wisdom or lack thereof of being single-issue oriented, but for me there are some lines that are inviolable. And if that’s gamesmanship on his part? I’m not playing.
Yes, I understand the necessity of being a partisan since there are only two readily available options. But here’s the thing – I have as much right to a voice as Phil Bredesen, even if he and I don’t share equal power. All of this sudden emphasis on kumbaya is only a priority, Ben, because the House majority was more or less taken for granted for the last decade. There wouldn’t be so much as a whisper about “group hugs” coming if the state house majority hadn’t been lost. How that happened – well, I see that as a failure of leadership, rather than as a failure of the people to be inspired by the middling performance thereof.
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