We Promise Not to Worry Our Pretty Little Heads about a Challenge to Cooper

The Butcher and I both heard about this challenge to Cooper yesterday, me from Southern Beale, him from a friend in Baltimore who was wondering if there really is any local opposition to Cooper. And today Gilgamark is talking about it.

This is very weird. I mean, maybe it’s not. I know when I get emails about health care, I tend to delete them. I know a lot of politics is “Hurray for our side,” but getting health care for people is so important that the whole “their side sucks; our side rules” nonsense is kind of gross to me. Especially when “our side” is pushing mandates.

So, it’s not surprising that I wouldn’t know about some national plan to ouster Cooper (though perhaps now is a good time to note that the Butcher is forming his own exploratory committee about the feasibility of running against Cooper). But this seems to have caught Southern Beale and Gilgamark off guard, too.

So, the national folks can just decide they don’t like how things are going here and swoop in and pretend to be voicing the will of some silent majority of Nashville voters who don’t think Cooper is liberal enough?

Is it just me or does that feel a little patronizing? “Oh, don’t worry, Tennessee liberals, we know better than you what you need and we’re here to make it happen?”

It’s funny, the other day, Daisy was talking about wanting some national folks to swoop in and help South Carolina. And now I have two responses: 1. Sorry, Daisy, the national folks can’t help you because they’re busy trying to unseat other Democrats. And 2. National “help” seems limited to the kind of help they’ve decided you need from the outside.

It’s not that pleasant.  It actually feels very similar to business as usual.

20 thoughts on “We Promise Not to Worry Our Pretty Little Heads about a Challenge to Cooper

  1. I hunted around a bit but couldn’t find who was paying for/backing that. National progressives have been known to mess in local politics in ways that are completely counter-productive, of course, but it’s also been the case that blogs purporting to be run by “concerned progressive citizens” have been Trojan horse affairs put into play by conservative lobbyists. I’m just a little suspicious when a Blue Dog comes under attack from the left — when the district is close, demobilizing progressive support would be the logical strategy if you can’t pick up more votes from the right because of the stampede of the tea party people towards the lunatic fringe.

    Here in libruhl NY, our Dem Governor (who admittedly has been an ineffective mess) just got sandbagged by the Obama administration — in effect, he was told that he should not run in next year’s Dem primary and that he would not be supported if he did because his candidacy is likely to have a negative effect on close House races. I’m certain that presidents have always conveyed this kind of “do what is good for the party” advice through back channels, but it seems like the Obama admin is more likely to go public in a way that now leaves the Governor even more of a lame duck. Most NY voters are incensed at what they see as undue influence by the national in local affairs.

    Anyhow, it’s not just TN.

  2. The rumors I’ve heard is that these are Fire Dog Lake people. I know it’s the internet and we’re not supposed to remember things that happened three years ago, but I’m not brimming with confidence that having Jane Hamsher come down here to save us from ourselves is going to tone down the racial bullshit that regularly flies.

    I mean, if I were Cooper, I’d just be like, “the people out to get me think that it’s appropriate to depict politicians in black face.”

    And then I’d never worry about my seat again.

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  4. I’m not brimming with confidence that having Jane Hamsher come down here to save us from ourselves is going to tone down the racial bullshit that regularly flies.

    (a) From her own mouth, she says that they’re interviewing “Libertarian-minded Republicans.” I guess that’s her idea of Southern Democrat?

    (b) She may have helped Ned Lamont edge out Joe Lieberman in a primary challenge, but wound up losing in the general. And Lamont was probably a better idea of what a Democrat is for the locals there than a “L-MR” would be here.

  5. Hoo boy. And what part of the national health care reform puzzle would a Libertarian-minded Republican be likely to solve?

    None of this is adding up.

  6. Bridgett, I was just about to ask that. And a libertarian conservative is going to run against Cooper?! I feel like I’m missing a big chunk of this story.

    I have often wondered if a libertarian minded Democrat could peel off some votes in East Tennessee on a local level, but win against Cooper in Nashville?

  7. That’s right. A cantankerous free-wheeler Democrat would do the trick in Eastern TN (let a thousand flowers bloom,y’all), but not so much in Nashville. I think Jane and Co need to look at their precinct and population data a little more closely.

  8. On the other hand, a Democrat anywhere to the left of Cooper would be most welcome. I for one have about had it with him, and I’m ready for him to have a primary challenge that would at lease nudge him leftward a bit.

  9. And a libertarian conservative is going to run against Cooper?! I feel like I’m missing a big chunk of this story.

    No, that’s me mis-reading the CNN story (I’ve corrected my blog post). They say they are looking to primary Republicans as well as Democrats; they’d primary Republicans with Libertarian-leaning people. Which, while helpful to weed out the Bible bangers and pro-lifers, won’t “get the corporatists out of Congress.” Libertarians believe in free market fairies and are the very definition of corporatists.

    But at least a Libertarian is not who they are looking to unseat Cooper. However, knowing Nashville as I do, I can’t help but think that a Libertarian COULD unseat Cooper.

    And I certainly hope they are aware that we have open primaries in Tennessee. Republicans can and do vote in Democratic primaries to mess with our candidates. I know this from years of canvassing, and getting die-hard Republicans on my walk and call lists.

  10. Cooper still acts like he represents TN-04, and I can’t stand by while he sells his soul to the corporate healthcare crowd (if he had one to begin with, after he destroyed the Clinton plan).

    I am meeting with the Accountability Now people myself. I hate taking issue with people for who I respect and have much affection, but this is too important.

  11. Well, I don’t have a dog in this fight, really. I just think it’s very weird and kind of poorly handled, at least so far.

    And I’m not sure, when people look at a map of the Fifth District, where they’re getting the idea that Cooper is somehow acting in a way that doesn’t respect the values of our district. Where do the Frists live? Where is HCA located? And yes, there are a lot of liberal Democrats in Nashville proper, but his district encompasses Ashland City and rural parts, too.

    I’m not saying I’m in love with Cooper. I know that’s not what Beale’s saying.

    What I’m saying is that, while I believe that any Democrat could beat any Republican in the 5th District, considering that we have open primaries and considering the make-up of the whole district, you’d have to have a very, very motivated and pissed-off voting block willing to make that happen. It would become a matter of turning out as many people who would vote for someone other than Cooper as possible against not only the more conservative Democrats in our district, but Republicans who cross party-lines to vote.

    That crowd may exist–I don’t know–but if you’re going to try to reach them, it seems like it behooves you to have a game plan more worked out than “Take stuff Cooper says, stretch it to its breaking point, twist it, put it back out there.”

    Most people in this district who don’t really follow politics think Cooper is doing a fine job. And the people who do follow politics are going to know that you’re twisting things to meet your ends.

    It feels patronizing. To me, at least.

    And how does patronizing the voters you need serve to get them to vote in the way you need them to vote?

  12. Standing in the way of any meaningful healthcare reform, and bragging about it, is perceived as doing a fine job? Ohhhhh kay.

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  16. The issue really is the power of the Democratic party power structure in Tennessee. They would eviscerate anyone who ran against one of their own. That said, I would welcome a challenger to Congressman Cooper. He’s driving me crazy.

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