Friday, February 03, 2006

That gurgling sound you hear

is probably the reign of John Wilder going down the drain. As Sgt. Larry commented in the post below this one, Democratic Senator Don McLeary of Humboldt announced today that he is now a Republican. Counting still-seated Senator Ophelia Ford, that makes the GOP advantage in the State Senate 18-15.

If McLeary is re-elected this fall as a Gooper, combined with the retirement of Senator Curtis Person, this will ensure that, come next January, Tennessee will elect a new Lieutenant Governor/Senate Speaker for the first time since John Wilder ascended in 1971. Gone will be any Democratic chairmanships, such as Steve Cohen (if he's not already in Congress) at State and Local Government, Jerry Cooper at Commerce, Thelma Harper at Government Operations, Jim Kyle at Rules, Roy Herron at General Welfare, and, perhaps most importantly, Douglas Henry at Finance, Ways and Means. Henry has long been regarded as the Senate's finance guru, and this will hurt Bredesen deeply should he actually attempt to govern as a Democrat.

OK, cheap shot, but not undeserved.

What this will do is allow the state GOP to focus on taking the State House of Representatives, where the Democrats have a precarious 53-46 advantage at this time. Every remotely vulnerable Democrat will be attacked repeatedly in order to gain a hammerlock on the General Assembly.

I know many of you who read this have a less than stellar view of our legislators. Outside of Shelby County, I would agree with you. Despite the unfortunate unpleasantness that is Tennessee Waltz, our delegation has fought like hell for Shelby County; if the Goopers get the House on top of the Senate, Shelby County may as well not exist in Nashville. If you think we're treated badly now, just wait until they seize complete power; it won't be pretty.


SgtLarry said...

I would say that the republican delegation from the area fights hard for Memphis and Shelby County too.

On the democrat side, I like John DeBerry a lot. Mike Kernell is nice guy.

I dislike Beverly Marrero a whole lot but I don't see a republican dislodging her. Maybe she'll get a primary challenger??? Probably not, but I can hope.

Miller, Towns, Turner, and Jones ... I know the names but do they do anything?

Lois DeBerry is in a powerful position.

Barbara Cooper is a nice woman but getting older ... How much longer can she last?

Brooks may challenge Ophelia again for the senate ... and this time she'll win if the others stay out of it.

About the only democrat vulnerable in the immediate vicinity is Naifeh himself as Tipton county becomes more and more republican.

mike said...

Naifeh's too conniving to be defeated soon. He had his district redrawn last time to include more of the Democrats in neighboring counties to the east, for protection. It paid off. The guy who ran against him last time, Dr. Cannon, had more time and money than the write-in candidate from 2002 but still did worse. Naifeh's going to be a tough nut to crack.

I think a large part of Shelby County's coming problems stem from the attitudes of our legislators. Acting like the last stand for decency in front of the ravening hordes, making no effort to work with (rather than run over) the opposition party, don't win you points.

I for one welcome our new Republican overlords, if only for the breath of fresh air in the Assembly. Is it a coincidence that actual efforts at reform coincide with a rising Republican majority? I think not.