The Tennessee Gubernatorial Debate

We are screwed. No matter who wins, we are screwed. I’m glad I had already decided that I couldn’t, in good conscience, vote for McWherter, because otherwise, tonight would have been heartbreaking. He actually said he doesn’t believe mosques should be allowed to go into neighborhoods. One wonders what other sorts of religious buildings shouldn’t go into neighborhoods. Or is it just the Muslims who we’re going to ask to meet next to the city dump?

He tried to walk back his asinine Arizona press-release. And he said some crap about teaching evolution in school and I couldn’t make heads or tails of whether he thought it was a good idea or not.

Everyone managed to make Haslam look like he was hiding something. Before the debate, I have to tell you, I was squarely in the “I don’t give a shit about tax returns” camp, but he was so weird about it that it made me start to wonder. Which is not good.

Ramsey, bless his heart, came across like Yosemite Sam. Every time he answered a question, I said “Pew pew. Pew pew” to myself and imagined him with tiny pistols to shoot. He became less irrationally insane as the evening wore on, while Wamp, who spent the first 25 minutes making me doubt my impression of him as Tennessee’s angriest gubernatorial candidate, became increasingly more irrational and intense.

It’s funny, because Wamp remains dogged by rumors of his drug-using past, but this evening suggested something more disturbing. That’s just how he is.

If I had to score them, I’d give Ramsey a solid F, swinging up to an F+ by the end of the evening. Wamp got a C- which plummeted down to an F+ by the end of the evening. Haslam got a solid C- and McWherter got a C/C-, just a hair above Haslam because Haslam seemed duplicitous.

Edited to add: JR Lind quotes McWherter.

“I think there’s a place to talk about evolution in our public schools, but I prefer a more traditional curriculum. We can blend science and religion in that regard. The two do not have to contradict each other,” he said.

It is really past time for us to start insisting on the teaching of other religions’ creation stories in science class. Let’s just have one day where we have a polytheistic take on how the world started and pass that off as “science” and watch the jaws drop.

27 thoughts on “The Tennessee Gubernatorial Debate

  1. Oh god, I forgot to mention that. I just about had myself convinced that maybe there was some jackass student who shouted “I love you” at him, but then I remembered, there aren’t a whole lot of students on campus right now, if any.

    I think it’s just that Wamp gets caught up in weird religious fervor when on stage. I don’t know.

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  3. I’m struck dumb by what McWherter said about the mosque. How is it possible that Ron Ramsey had a more reasonable response than he did? And that Haslam was the only one who could say he isn’t afraid of science? There’s absolutely no way I can support McWherter. He’s going to have a historic defeat and Democrats are all going to look like idiots.

  4. Uh … what place other than science class does McW think there is for teaching evolution? “There’s a place”? He can’t even bring himself to come out and say “science classes need to teach evolution”? I didn’t watch the debate, because, clearly, the candidates have made it very easy for me to make up my mind this year. But that’s … this is what nepotism gets you, folks.

  5. I am more and more liking the “write in Andy Berke” idea, I must admit.

    NM, the disconnect between all the candidates being all “we must bring green [read “science based”] jobs here” and “we must hobble our students scientifically in order to force our specific set of Christian views on the whole population” was vertigo inducing, truly.

  6. I drive by the Islamic Center mosque on 12th Ave. South & Sweetbriar just looking for disruptions to the neighborhood. Never have witnessed one, although one wonders how Corner Music manages with all that Sharia law going on around them.

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  8. I drive by the Islamic Center mosque on 12th Ave. South & Sweetbriar just looking for disruptions to the neighborhood. Never have witnessed one…

    Yes, that is my neighborhood. Have to say, can’t recall any issues. I’m a regular at the Frothy Monkey next door and Sharia Law notwithstanding, I still enjoy my cup of coffee in a tank top and shorts. Amazing.

    Now, the “Bethel World Outreach Center” on Old Hickory and Granny White Pike might be another matter entirely. How do those people live in peace down there? Because, you know, it’s not a church it’s a WORLD OUTREACH CENTER! They’re trying to REACH THE WORLD!! That sounds like a POLITICAL MOVEMENT to me! That will fracture the moral foundation of the community! OMG!!!!1!!!!ELEVEN!!!!


  9. “I drive by the Islamic Center mosque on 12th Ave. South & Sweetbriar just looking for disruptions to the neighborhood. Never have witnessed one…”

    Yeah, how funny that sharia law has not managed to close the THREE gay bars that are a block from this mosque.

    What’s so special about Andy Berke?
    I plan to vote for whatever Green Party candidate there might be on the ballot in Nov. McWherter Sr was a bad governor, Junior seems to be even worse. Can we please have a REAL Democrat?

  10. Andy Berke is pro-choice and pro-jobs and isn’t one to support the jingoistic legislative agenda of guns-God-gays. He’s the only one making sense in the legislature, asking why we’re wasting so much legislative time on stuff that doesn’t create jobs for people. He “gets it.”

  11. It’s hilarious how the candidates can inveigh the evils of zoning and how allowing a mosque to be situated adjacent to other human beings encourages the cancerous spread of Sharia law, but in the same breath can find plenty of room to teach Christian “wedge” propaganda — intelligent design — in the classroom.

  12. Since my Muslim neighbors are far too decent and polite to ever say anything like this, I’ll say it for them: Fuck you, Mike McWherter. You are a coward and a buffoon. You don’t even have what it takes to serve on the board of a neighborhood association in North Memphis. There are four mosques within 3 miles of my home and they’ve never bothered anybody. With his attitude, I wouldn’t want Mike McWherter for a neighbor, much less for governor.

    I wonder if he even knows what goes on in a mosque, or what they teach and preach about. Muslims pray to the god of Abraham, they revere Jesus, they teach humility to the men and modesty to the women. In other words, they’re not a whole lot different from the Christians. Their children are well-behaved and a delight to be around. They keep their homes well-maintained. They attend community meetings and events. In short, they aren’t just good neighbors, they are ideal neighbors.

    Again, fuck you, Mike McWherter. You are an embarrassment to the Democratic Party and you don’t even deserve the nomination by default. Go join your friends in the GOP. Or better yet, drop out of the race and go into hiding. We don’t need to hear you open your mouth ever again.

    Needless to say, I won’t be voting for that sorry sack.

  13. After the whole “I don’t want gays to adopt, but it’s not like I’d make it illegal or anything” episode with McWherter I was resolved to keep an open mind. I mean, okay, it’s Tennessee. But that plus religious bigotry plus rejection of science and decently educating our kids? Fuck that. It’s almost funny how I could get past his loathing of gays and women because that’s just a given, right?

    What I can’t figure out is this: is he actually this much of a bigot? Or is he just stupid, and believes that there are republicans in this state who will vote for him, and doesn’t realize that all he’s doing is ensuring that democrats WON’T? Hell, at this point I’m even mad at the other candidates who dropped out and left us with this steaming pile.

  14. Remember B’s rhetorical “Is there any traditionally Democratic constituency you won’t dick over” question?

    I think we have our answer.

  15. He lost me the moment he decided that gay people were second-class inferior citizens. I expect the GOP to promote their exclusivity, but Democrats should at least try to support the basic values of our society.

    Yeah, at least McMillin had the correct values and was willing to say so.

  16. And boy howdy, I just CAN’T WAIT for this week’s Democratic Unity Rally and Jackson Day! I’m fired up and ready to go!

  17. One might write her in, rather than Berke. Not that I have anything against Berke, but he never was even running.

  18. Clearly, the “her” in my post was referring to Kim McMillin and not to Emmy Lou or Rachel Jackson.

  19. I’ll tell ya, reading about TN Democratic politicians make me feel better about VA Democratic politicians despite how terrible ours are.

  20. I keep telling everyone: write in Andy Berke’s name…. Write in Andy Berke’s name … write in Andy Berke’s name …

    Was gonna post “done,” but I’d love to write in Ward Cammack, who was not only pro-choice and anti-mountaintop removal but pro-gay-adoptions and a passel of other goodness.

    I’d also love to vote for a woman, tho, so considering Kim McMillan…Hrm.

  21. I really do think it’s a low-down, dirty shame that we didn’t have a progressive democratic candidate (or at least non-DINO) stick it out through the primary, if only to keep McWherter at least slightly concerned about appealing to dems, liberals, actual undecideds, etc. I wasn’t able to watch the debate live, but from everything I’ve read it appears that he fit right in with the GOP candidates. It will be mighty difficult for me to vote for him in this primary, and in November, considering how his beliefs are diametrically opposed to mine.

    What we need is a “None of the Above” option (only kinda joking).

  22. Yeah what we need is a green candidate……wow that was one of the least intelligent comments I read here. Also, I agree with the need for zoning when it comes to Mosques. Some Muslims have used homes in residential areas as Mosques and it is bothersome to other residents. I am all for freedom of religion but its smart to be sure religious structures are in areas suited for the traffic they will draw.

    Ramsey is my choice….Wamp voted for TARP, Haslam supported Al “moron” Gore, and there is no way I am voting for another professional legislator/Democrat.

    The best line was by Ramsey…..what the governement do for me….NOTHING. Less government is a good thing. Amtrak, Social Security, Medicare and all the other entitlement programs demonstrate how well gub-ah-ment entraps people. Vote for a true conservative!

  23. Some Muslims have used homes in residential areas as Mosques and it is bothersome to other residents.

    So if I want to host the next evening Wednesday Bible Study Group at my house, do I need a zoning variance?

  24. Conservative, did you really just say you weren’t going to vote for a professional legislator and Ramsey is your choice in the same sentence? You do realize what Ramsey has been doing for the last decade or two, right?

    Perhaps you should make your bias a little more clear and just change that to ‘there is no way I am voting for another Democrat’. Though I do wonder if ‘another’ should be take out of that statement as well.

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