However, it seems to have triggered a lot of emotion, and none of it favorable toward Tanner. First, I got the following e-mail from a dear friend of mine, Mickey Keep, who has been in politics here longer than I have, and ALWAYS a New Deal Democrat. He sent me the following email, which I offer with his permission:
Steve: I guess it's been ten/twelve years ago I was at a Christmas party at Jim Crow's home up in Millington and Tanner was there.. Of course I can't remember exactly the set of circumstances that prompted me to corner Tanner and ask him this question, but it was something he did that was typical of him and very un-democratic -like. but, I asked him when he was going to switch parties (you know me, I can be a tactless asshole when it comes to Repubs) and he look surprised and said, no, he was not going to do THAT (empasis the That), but. blah blah blah blah. I have seriously considered either writing him or belive it or not, the CA Letter to Editor and express my disappointment and disgust maybe at his No vote on health care. The sonbitch could have went out like a real Democrat, one whos' rural west Tennesse roots came from Ed Jones who was a direct descendent of The New Deal. What a shame Tanner's last act of real legislative action will forever be on the wrong side of history. What a shame.Sadly, I had to agree with him. I had heard stories about Tanner from others, but tried to dismiss them in the name of unity.
Well, then, I saw at Post Politics this link to a story that Liz Garrigan wrote at the Nashville Scene, based on an email she had received (not the same one I did, or from the same person). Wow.
John Tanner has been in the Congress for nearly 22 years. He really doesn't have much to show for it - mainly voting against arts funding and helping lead the residual segregationist-Democrat faction known as the Blue Dogs. If history remembers him for anything, it will be for being named in the Starr report as the person with whom Bill Clinton was speaking on the phone while getting his first servicing from Monica Lewinsky. (Clinton was a big multi-tasker.)
Go read the rest of it, so much for leaving a legacy of service. What a sad way to be remembered, but he really has no one to blame but himself..