Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Now, let's look at Tennessee

If you expect this piece to be filled with Mary Mancini-bashing, you will be sadly disappointed.

I appreciate that, after being initially concerned about taking such a step, she decided that it was the right thing to do to blow up the dysfunctional SCDP, for which I am eternally grateful.  She had no choice, and on July 22 of this year, the re-organization of the Party will commence.  There's even a picture showing me giving an unintentional side-eye.  :)

Mary has done her best to get out into the rural areas, where we need county parties to stand up and organize.  It's not her fault that we can't clone Meryl and Randall Rice, who are powerhouses in building the Hardeman County Democratic Party.

What we do need, however, is for the party to be less Nashville-centric.  We need people to stand up in their own counties and let Democrats know that they are not alone, despite the right-wing media that engulfs their counties.  We have to flip GOP seats in the state House and Senate before we can worry about anything else.

However, this also leads me to the Governor's race.  Before we look at our side, let's look at what is going on in the GOP primary race.

You have Randy Boyd of Knoxville seeking to be Haslam 2.0 (a rich white businessman from Knoxville ascendant), Bill Lee of Williamson County (a rich suburban businessman from Williamson County with a compelling personal story, but still the same old "run gubmint like a bidness" plan that can't work), Congresswoman Diane Black of Gallatin, she of Versailles On The Cumberland, who with her husband made millions off drug testing, House Speaker Beth Harwell, who couldn't keep her own caucus under control, much less the state House, and the person who scares me the most:

Mae Beavers.

You think I am kidding here?  Boyd takes Knox County, Lee and Harwell split Williamson and Davidson, Black takes Sumner and Rutherford, and Shelby is Shelby and is split 5 different ways.

What about those rural counties, though, the ones that have the hardcore Trumpites, that elect people like Andy Holt and Bill Sanderson to office?  They don't give a damn about those rich suburban counties, they want someone like THEM.  Someone who stops just short of speaking in tongues, who fears cities and people of color and anyone who doesn't look and worship just like they do. That, my friends, is Mae Beavers.

But wait, you say.  Won't all the "decent Republicans", the ones you see at cocktail parties, surely they wouldn't vote for someone like Mae, they are too genteel, they will cross over to vote for a Democrat.

And that is why Hillary Clinton won Pennsylvania and the Presidency, right?  Oh, wait...

The fact is that ole Mae, while making the most insane pronouncements ever, will cut spending to the bone and preserve tax cuts and do what she is told by the Koch brothers like every other GOP candidate, while intentionally hurting everyone who is not part of the GOP base.  She is nothing but a little Trump.

This, of course, brings me back to the Democratic race.  Already in with both feet is former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, who wants to be Phil Bredesen 2.0, who is touting what he did for Nashville, as if creating the Brooklyn of the South and pricing everyone that makes less than six figures a year out of their housing market would be welcomed in rural counties.  He is already having fundraisers here, and is trying to crowd out any other candidates.

I have not met him, he might be a nice guy and all that, but let me tell you this: I may not know much about rural areas, but I will bet you that if you are running for statewide office as a Democrat, the worst place you can be from is Memphis, and the next worst place is Nashville.  Folks in the rural counties go to Nashville to see relatives in Vanderbilt Hospital, to CMA Fest or a Titans game, and then gets the hell out.

No one in Dyer County gives two hoots in hell about what Karl Dean has done for Nashville; they want to know what you can do for Newbern.  Same for Hamblen or any of the other rural counties in Tennessee.  Sure, everyone in Nashville wants him to win so they can try to get a job in state government.  Good for you, but he is not likely to beat any GOP candidate.

If you are a Tennessee Democrat, as I still try to be, there is one potential hope on the horizon, and he needs to get in the game TODAY, if possible:

House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh.    He represents Lauderdale, Crockett and Haywood Counties in State House District 82.  He is a banker and attorney from Ripley, and understands rural issues better than anyone I know.  He also understands Democratic issues, gut economic and educational issues better than anyone I know, and is great at talking to rural folks because he IS one.  He can talk to anyone, and we desperately need someone like Craig if we are going to have ANY hope of regaining the Governor's chair.   He has yet to announce, but he needs to get in soon and VERY soon.   Our state's chances depend on it.

RUN FITZ RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, I just realized that I had forgotten to talk about a couple of things that are both national and state, since they involve the Senate race and the Congressional race.  To this point, James Mackler is the only announced Democratic candidate against Bob Corker for Corker's Senate seat.  From that linked website, you would have no idea that Mackler is seeking the Democratic nomination or that Bob Corker is a Republican.

Although no one else at this time appears to be seeking the Democratic nomination, this remains a primary season.  To whomever is running this man's campaign, I ask you this:  If this is a Democratic primary and you are asking me, a Democratic voter, to vote for this man in a primary, I ask you this:

I am sure he is a good guy and would be an improvement over Little Bob, but why are you taking my vote for granted?  This is so typical of Washington consultancy that latches onto Democratic Senate and House candidates, who don't want the candidates to espouse issues that would anger the potential wealthy donors.  Mr. Mackler, I will not be taken for granted.  Take some positions that would help Democratic voters and shout them!

Such as: 1) Promise to fight for funding to complete Interstate 69 through West Tennessee.  This would be an immeasurable help for businesses and would lead to more jobs for people in that area.  2) Support funding for rural broadband and fight AT&T and Comcast, who want to restrict broadband except at unaffordable prices.  3)  Stand up and tell people you will protect their Social Security and Medicare and CALL OUT Little Bob for being afraid to say he wants to steal their health insurance.

Sir, you are a veteran and you understand what combat is, firsthand.  THIS is combat and we have to defeat the enemy, and make no mistake about it, Bob Corker is our enemy. FIGHT HIM HARD, give us reasons to support you other than you aren't Bob Corker.  Otherwise, you will have wasted our time and our money while your DC Consultants laugh all the way to the bank.

And one last item.  Based on the repeated asks for money, it looks like Mariah Phillips, a Democratic candidate for TN-04 against Scott "Abortions are EVIL for you but SWELL for my ex-girlfriends" DesJarlais, appears to be following the same namby-pamby path.  Either kick him in the teeth (figuratively, of course), or don't even bother.

All right, that's enough for today.

Tomorrow, Shelby County.

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