There’s been a lot of speculation about who Tennessee Talking Points is, but I think today, at the least, we learn it is a white person who does not understand one fundamental truth to politics.
Proof he or she is a white person?
Let’s face facts. Barack Obama isn’t going to win in Tennessee. We are not going to beat Bob Corker in 2012. We have ZERO say in redistricting. So as Tennessee Democrats, let’s get focused on things we CAN do.
Listen, my second point was going to be that I’d love for someone to point to one state party that is well-run and effective that thumbs its nose at doing its part for national politics And I was going to hoist a mighty one-fingered salute to the idea that any efforts in Wisconsin were wasted, but just rereading the above quote to paste it in here has annoyed me so much that I’m skipping the second part of this rant to focus on the first.
People died in this state–in two different centuries–to decide what kinds of social and political lives black people can lead. There are Democrats in this very party in Tennessee who were alive when King was assassinated. Some of their relatives hanged from trees. Some of them and their friends and families were beat up and spit on. People who are alive today remember when they had to use back doors and separate facilities.
Fine, working for Obama isn’t important to you because you don’t think he can win in Tennessee. That’s the truth. He can’t. But if you can’t see why even having the opportunity to work for Obama, even if he loses, is important to other Democrats in Tennessee, then you’re probably not really ready to offer sweeping advice that other Democrats should listen to.
Here’s the truth. In Tennessee, “Democratic” has to encompass everyone from black gay libertarian gun-nuts for Christ to feminist socialist atheist farmers to Hispanic businesspeople who only drive Volvos. Basically, everyone who gets kicked out of being a Republican has to fit into our enormous, but sparsely populated tent.
When you have an enormous, but sparsely populated by vastly different people tent, if your first temptation is to run around saying “I know just what we need to do,” you are wrong. What, exactly, do black gay libertarian gun-nuts for Christ and feminist socialist atheist farmers and Hispanic businesspeople who only drive Volvos have in common? Why would they all be in our tent, other than that the other tent has booted them?
I don’t know.
And you don’t know either.
Because we refuse to articulate anything we stand for. We have for as long as I’ve been paying attention only been the party of people who are not Republicans. We’ve never said what we’re the party of.
We don’t know why we’re throwing this particular parade, but by god, there’s always some damn fool ready to get to the front of it and point us in another “more important” direction.
That’s not working. What if we tried actually finding out what Democratic voters want and then figuring out if we can offer it to them?