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Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Tomorrow, we find out how badly the Democrats in the TGA are screwed

Tomorrow morning, the new legislative maps are to be unveiled at the Capitol, and the result of the GOP getting control of both Houses for the first time in 140 years will be gruesome for Democrats, who hold only 34 of 99 House seats and 13 of 33 Senate seats.

The goal for the GOP is to get to 66 House seats and 22 Senate seats; this could theoretically result in a General Assembly where Democrats can be steamrolled and ignored.  We will have to wait and see how bad it will be and if it falls within Voting Rights Act guidelines (here's betting that it DOES, John Ryder is no fool, and here's betting that we challenge it in court any way).

Just from sheer numbers, Shelby County, which had stagnant growth in the last decade, will lose one Senate seat (expected to be that of Senate leader Jim Kyle) and two House seats.  While nothing will be confirmed tomorrow, what we are hearing is that Barbara Cooper (D-86) and G.A. Hardaway will be thrown into a district together, and that Jeanne Richardson's (D-89) district has been split between John Deberry (D-90) and Antonio Parkinson (D-98).

Rural West Tennessee, which has experienced serious reductions in population as jobs have left the area, is expected to be equally hard-hit.  Given that this was once the heart of the Democratic brain trust of the late Governor Ned McWherter (Dresden), the late Lt. Governor John Wilder (Mason), and Speaker Emeritus Jimmy Naifeh (Covington), this will be rather depressing news.

Democrats have to find a way back.  One of those ways, in my opinion, is to stop trying to govern and start OPPOSING.  I realize that, after 140 years of power, it is still very difficult to come to grips with a reduced station in life.  However, that cold, hard reality is still better than being deluded that you have any voice at all right now. 

What Democrats need to do is show how they are DIFFERENT.  Nobody really likes the GOP all that much, and you have to show how you are DIFFERENT, and how you want to work for working people and small businesses, and not be a tool of Wall Street.  Newt Gingrich worked on opposing the Democrats and supporting the right-wing philosophy for a long time in preparation for the day when they would get control of Congress.

Have a consistent philosophy of supporting PEOPLE over MONEY, and you may regain enough support to get power back.  Then, once you do, tell the lobbyists to go to hell, and you'll never lose that support.

See you tomorrow!