Monday, December 14, 2009

The canary in the coal mine is singing - LOUDLY

Well, I didn't think much about it when John Tanner retired because I knew Roy Herron or someone like him would jump in and win the TN-08 seat. It's a rural Democratic seat that voted for McCain in 2008, much like AR-01 across the river.

However, Bart Gordon's stunning retirement this morning has sent shockwaves all over the state, and not good ones if you are a Democrat. His seat is a R +13 seat that has trended more Republican each year for the last decade. His outstanding constituent service kept him in office, and he will be missed.

I suspect, just as in Tanner's case, the prospect of a very tough but winnable race figured into his decision. The prospect that he would win in 2010 but be re-districted out in 2012 figured even more into his thought processes, I suspect.

Folks, we are in serious re-alignment in the South; Democrats may be soon as extinct here as Republicans are in the Northeast. Whether we realize it or not, the only way the Democratic Party in Tennessee has a chance to be saved is for Democrats to re-take the state House. If so, there is a reasonable chance that Congressional and General Assembly districts can be drawn so as not to heavily favor the GOP.

If not, it will soon be 7 Republicans and 2 Democrats representing Tennessee in the US House; not even the GOP could take away TN-09 from Cohen or TN-05 from Cooper (or any Democrat, for that matter).

However, if you love the idea of the Brian Kelseys of the world running the Tennessee General Assembly, passing more guns bills while the rest of the state crumbles around you, I guess you could sit back and let it happen.

I'd rather not see that happen. What I haven't seen, however, is a plan from the State House Democratic Caucus to prevent that from happening. All they have tried to do is stay just barely to the left of the GOP so as not to offend their preachers or cousins. I guess they have forgotten President Truman's message(found at the top of this blog), which is no less true today than it was when he uttered it.

Give people a CHOICE, not an echo, dammit! (Gee, how'd that Goldwater get in there? :)) Give them A REASON to vote Democratic and stop being so TIMID. Make this about money and not lifestyle, make this election about real ideas and stop trying to be nice to the very Republicans who would roast you over a spit if they got the chance.

This is a war for the soul of Tennessee, and I will admonish you of the House Democratic Caucus the way Spartan mothers used to send their sons into battle: come back WITH your shield, or ON it.


Anonymous said...

She probably won't do it but pretty much the only democrat with name id I know of that could win the 6th is Senator Burks. The rest of them will almost certainly be eaten alive next year. Charlie Cook has already moved this seat to the likely Republican category.

Steve Steffens said...

Who do you think comes out of the Tracy-Zelenik scrap, or will there be more GOP folks jumping in?

Andy Axel said...

This is the problem with using the state party apparatus as a Bredesen-reelect combine. I've been saying this for at least six years.

So for all of you Chipinista whisperers who may be trolling here: kiss my adopted Dixie white ass. You churn out 95 counties for Bredesen but fail to build a bench. What now? What next? Nothing. There is no Plan B.

We don't have fighters in elected positions in this party. We have weevils. We have grubworms. We have a wriggling mass of muck-eating invertebrates who go running for cover the moment that someone kicks over the rotting stump and a little light is shone upon them.

I want to like Gordon more than I do, and my feeling about him had been that he could be reached, he could be reasoned with, etc. He seemed less doctrinaire in his Blue Dog alliance than, say, a Lincoln Davis (a man who I still can't figure out why he just doesn't pull the ol' party switcheroo). Now, it's apparent to me that he's just a quitter; a blob of goo that yells "surrender!" at the first whiff of a fight. You know, like Sarah Palin.

Not to worry, though. Gordon is probably going to embark on a career in law-making. He'll make an effective lobbyist for someone, no doubt. So, you know, maybe he'll actually write some legislation for once.

callmeishmael said...

Just for the sake of argument, "Cracker Sparty"--in all fun--if you desire a crusade to save the soul of Tennessee, why don't you resign from your job and lead it? That way, you could carry your own sword, put a few GOP scalps around your waist and return in one of the ways you suggested. Maybe Hollywood could eventually do a remake of _300_ and call it THE ONE! I can see images of the Cracker standing alone on the banks of the Cumberland or Tennessee Rivers (Mississippi, as you suggested, is safe from the invaders), fending off the slings, arrows and deadly fortunes of non-Shakespearean inspired, Persian-imitating Republicans and giving the timid souls of Nashville, Knoxville and Hamilton County time to gather their full strength for the coming onslaught. You might be returned home on what is left of your shield, but every mother from Sparta, Tennessee would be proud to hang a picture of THE ONE in her living room. Right next to their framed Sports Illustrated cover that proclaims "Tiger Heaven: memphis wins NCAA Football National Championship!"
Ah, the joys of streaming through the ironic bounds of one's own conscience.