George Korda Says Some Stupid Stuff

George Korda has the biggest bit of concern trolling over at Knoxnews you’re bound to read all day.

Let’s start with the most hilarious part and work our way from there. Korda says, “Smart Tennessee Democrats will do everything possible to avoid such an issue-related litmus test for office seekers and get their colleagues to quiet down.” Well, who the fuck would those Democrats be, George? Where, exactly, do you see any evidence of anyone left with those types of leadership skills or who commands that kind of authority? And colleagues? Please.

There is no functioning party. Did Korda miss the part where the TNDP wants everyone to submit their questions in writing before the Party decides by committee what vague, non-committal answer to give? There is no Democratic Party in Tennessee right now. There are a bunch of people doing their best to impersonate a Magic 8 ball.

The situation is hazy. Ask again later.

If your analysis of the political situation in Tennessee is not premised on the fact that the Democratic party is in a non-functioning shambles, then your analysis is built on a false premise.

Second, for as long as I’ve been here, Tennessee Democrats have tried to win by being all things to all people. Who can forget Harold Ford Junior standing in front of the Confederate flag? It has not worked. Standing for whatever the dude you’re standing closest to at the moment stands for has not worked. Why is it better to stand for nothing and lose than to stand for something and lose?

Third, this is the internet. When you say shit like “It would be useful for Tennesseans interested in the subject to visit the SPLC and Public Advocate websites, read them, and decide for themselves whether they agree or disagree with the ‘anti-gay hate group’ label” you should link to the things you think people should look at. (You can look at the SPLC’s take on Public Advocate here and Public Advocate’s take on itself here.) But please, let’s not pretend that they’re not an anti-gay hate group. They hate gay people and they are a group devoted to trying to curtail the rights of gay people. I don’t get what Korda thinks he’s offering readers by advising them to “decide for themselves.”  If you don’t think Public Advocate is, ya know, advocating for the hatred and oppression of gay people, you’re just not reading their site very thoroughly. It’s not a matter of opinion.

God, imagine Korda at lunch. “There is a food item here. The SPLC claims it’s a sandwich. Public Advocate says it’s a sub. You should look at it and decide for yourself.”

And then there’s this:

In 2006 a Tennessee ballot measure affirming marriage between a man and a woman passed with 81 percent of the vote. Clearly, Democrats either completely sat it out or voted for it. The margin is a pretty clear indication of Tennessee voters’ sentiments on this issue. They’re not alone. Homosexual marriage referendums have failed in every state in which voters have had a chance to decide the issue.

What he neglects to point out is that, in 2006, the majority of people nationally (58% according to Gallup) believed that gay people should not be allowed to be married. Six years later, 54% of Americans believe gay people should be allowed to be married. And regardless of one’s political bent, this is a no-brainer among young people.

The question is far from settled and all gay marriage opponents have managed to do is push back the date when it will be legal. Ooo, big victory there, folks.

But most importantly, Korda misunderstands what Democratic activists are saying. You can, indeed, call yourself a Democrat and oppose gay marriage. You’re just going to have a more difficult time fundraising among Democrats who do believe in gay marriage if you make that central to your campaign because you don’t really have anything to offer us beyond what Republicans are willing to toss us.

But if you advocate for the elimination or the oppression of gay people–and let’s make no mistake, Public Advocate wants gay people to either go away or to have their participation in the public arena severely curtailed–then, no, you shouldn’t get to call yourself a Democrat. You don’t get to work to harm core Democratic constituencies and still get to be a Democrat.

The fact that this is controversial, in the slightest, is both sad and hilarious.

3 thoughts on “George Korda Says Some Stupid Stuff

  1. Three cheers for this. On top of everything you said, he seems to share the conservative amnesia regarding everything that’s been going on in the world since July 2, 1964.

  2. Pingback: Ouch! | No Silence Here

  3. Great writing as always, Betsy. This is reminding me of something Stewart Clifton said yesterday at a panel discussion that you owned LIKE A BOSS: yes, 20 years ago, Tennessee politics were majority Democratic. Because Tennessee’s “Democrats” of the time were among the last in the country to make it name-switch brought about by the Democratic Party’s embrace of civil rights, and the GOP’s embrace of the batshit crazy racists. So for the modern Tennessee Democratic Party to be going through some identity crisis and wonder what its values really are is equally nuts. The former “Democrats” in Tennessee simply figured out during the 2008 election season that they, like all other Dixiecrats, were actually Republicans. They are not a target audience for the Democratic Party, and really never were. They are not missed, and Democrats should bid them good riddance. None of this is particularly novel, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why the guys who write the checks can’t see it. We’re not going to win statewide. Focus on the counties and towns, and bide time strengthening the bench.

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