Thursday, October 01, 2009

This is going to be a different kind of post

One in which I criticize a Democratic Congressman from my own state (but NOT Steve) and compliment a Republican Gubernatorial candidate.

First things first. As you know, Jim Cooper did more to kill the 1993 healthcare reform bill than anyone when he was representing what is now Lincoln Davis' district. I came thisclose to voting for Fred Thompson in the Senate race that year; didn't matter, Fred rewarded his Blue Doggishness with a country ass-whipping, reminding every one of what Harry Truman used to say: If you only give people a choice between a pseudo-Republican and a real Republican, they'll take the real one every time. I wish more of the Democratic office-holders understood that, and stopped being so damned scared of Valentine and Gill; there's only so many Ty Cobbs to go around.

Well, concerned that Jim Cooper, who now "represents" Nashville from TN-05, would sink the public option, Kos and another national group, Accountability Now, began to see what it might take to get Cooper primaried, because he CLEARLY votes to the right of his district.

Kos took a poll that showed DEMOCRATS in his district were upset with him on the healthcare issue. THE GREAT ORANGE SATAN was pilloried by the local and state Democratic establishment, who circled the wagons because they were probably afraid Phil Valentine might say something nasty about them. Note: he always will, folks!

Then, blindsiding everyone (including the local progressive blogosphere, more on that in a minute), here comes Accountability Now with their Cooper Uncovered website, which exposed Cooper for the DINO that he is. Then they put out the word that they were going to find a primary challenger for Cooper.

Let me tell you, I WANT Cooper primaried. If someone who actually IS a Democrat, like Steve Cohen, can be primaried, then so can this DINO.

However, a great many in the progressive blogosphere of Nashville were, not surprisingly, pissed off, and with some good reason. No one appreciates the implication that something like this has to be done from the OUTSIDE, because we're from DC and we know better. Some had real fears that someone to the left of Cooper might win the primary but lose the general; however, I don't see that happening with the numbers for TN-05.

It was at this point I was contacted by Ben Tribbett of Accountability Now, with whom I met this week. Yes, he gave me the name of the candidate, and yes, I was impressed. No, I'm not telling you, because the candidate will make that announcement him/herself when the time is right. Let's just say that Cooper will have to change his underwear when he hears who it is.

I also emailed and talked to some of the Nashville folks, and put Ben in touch with one of them, and the crisis level has dropped below DefCon1, so we're OK. Since the filing deadline is not until April, you're just going to have to wait, sorry.

Now, to the other part of the post. Say what you want about Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam, he may be rich, he may be the leading GOP candidate for Governor, but he's got COJONES for days. Despite how gun-crazy the GOP base in Tennessee has become, he essentially told them to get over themselves by standing up in support of a gun ban in Knoxville parks.

Now, it would be one thing for, say Bill Gibbons to do that, but Haslam? In the middle of East Tennessee? When he's running for Governor as a REPUBLICAN? Wow. Seriously, this liberal gun owner stands and applauds Bill Haslam for LEADING on this subject and not pandering to the gun-nut base of his party. It shows that there are Republicans who realize that the gun lobby has gone too far and are willing to say so.

Great job, Mayor Haslam, let's hope this sets a new trend!

UPDATE! Well, well, well. Once word got out that there was at least one candidate willing to take on the candidate of Big Health, now I hear that there are more asking around about it and taking a serious look at it. I expected this; the blood is in the water now.


Southern Beale said...

Feh. I've heard who it is and I don't think Cooper has anything to worry about it.

Now that this candidate has the stamp of the "out of state liberal bloggers' pick," I think that willmake things more difficult, too.

Maybe that's just me.

Kos 'n crowd should have tried to at least give this a hint of coming from the local grassroots. Right now it looks to be more a PR campaign for Accountability Now (and not a very good one, either).

Steve Steffens said...

I think they know that now, but while Cooper will have money, how locked in is his support outside Belle Meade and the rural parts of the District? That's not a majority by any stretch.

Southern Beale said...

how locked in is his support outside Belle Meade and the rural parts of the District?

I think you'd be surprised, actually. How locked in is opposition outside of East Nashville and Hillsboro Village?

callmeishmael said...

Harry Truman was a man of principal. Most postmodern "liberals," however, would criticize him for using "man" in the formerly generic sense. They also would piously mouth platitudes about his racial bigotry as if someone from his context, time and place wouldn't fall into that trap. But contextualization seems to only apply it serves our "postmodern" purposes. President Truman, as the Cracker rightly implies, had cojones and would have told his fellow "liberals" what they can do with themselves. Statism means nothing without a sense of decency and inclusion to back it up.
Rant over--

Anonymous said...

Ha, if you get the support of the "out of state liberal bloggers," that's a death sentence in Tennessee!