Wednesday, September 27, 2006

This is getting out of control.

I have to admit that I am no longer worried that Jake Ford can beat Steve Cohen; all it will take is one more performance like Monday night, and Jake is toast on a stick.

As a Democrat, even though I have been maddened by Junior's open campaigning to the RIGHT of Bob Corker, and that we never really had a chance to have a debate between Rosalind Kurita and Ford, I had steeled myself for the probability that I would have to hold my nose and vote for him.

I, like Steve Cohen (who wears a Jr. button EVERYWHERE he campaigns), believe that if you're the nominee, you have to support EVERYONE on your ticket.

Instead, Harold continues to dance around this issue as if he would just as soon avoid it. We are not going to let him.

His brother's campaign is going to be a danger to his own, and he has to do something about it now, but not for Steve Cohen's sake, because Steve is going to kick ass. This is about saving JUNIOR, not Steve. Hell, even the New York Times is writing about it (hat tip to the River City Mud Bugle).

Don't believe me? Spin all you want to, but go read WTL this morning. See what others are saying about this dilemma that Senior and Jake and Isaac have thrown us into, and Junior tries to sweep under the rug.

Here's the problem in a nutshell. In the rest of Tennessee, Ford is doing far better than expected because Republicans just don't care for Bob Corker. Frankly, most are either going to stay home or even consider voting for Ford (hell, Ford is the conservative in the race, not Corker!).

However, because of the Jake Ford candidacy, the plan, supposedly hatched by Senior, to have Jake in the race to boost turnout, could backfire disastrously in two ways. First, Republicans in Shelby County who MIGHT have considered either voting for Junior (good) or staying home (better, from a Democratic perspective) will now vote for Corker to punish Junior for being just another Ford and will vote for Steve Cohen if they have to to prevent Jake from winning. More GOP turnout = BAD for Democrats.

Next, let's remember that Shelby County is the last bastion of progressive Democratic p0litics in Tennessee, and we forget NOTHING. So, Junior's votes for the bankruptcy bill, among others, along with the Kurita situation, have angered progressive Democrats here to the point where they were ready to ignore the Senate race, Harry Reid be damned.

However, things calmed, and most were ready to hold their nose and vote for Junior until it became obvious that Jake Ford was going to run a full-blown campaign. Folks, for progressive Democrats in Memphis, Steve Cohen is the third rail; if you go after him, we will beat your ass. He's ours, and while we all have had personal disagreements with him over the years, we make up, because he's the real deal and we WANT him on the House floor pissing off Republicans.

So, after having Goopers turnout heavily in order to beat Jake and punish Junior, on top of that, progressive Democrats will say to hell with it and either vote for a third party candidate or not at all in the Senate race, while turning out in record numbers to elect Steve Cohen.

Remember, folks, out of roughly 330,000 primary votes statewide for Junior, 89,000, to 26.7%, came from Shelby County. He can't afford to lose ANY of them; however, as long as this continues to fester and he continues to try to put himself ABOVE the Democratic Party, he risks everything.

This is like an infection that is allowed to fester and spread for weeks before anything is done, and there may not be an antibiotic to stop it if this goes on much longer, and it will lead to amputation (of Junior's candidacy). Yet, it is Junior who can apply that antibiotic to save his own campaign, and he has not yet done it.

All he has to do is come out and say something like this: "My friends, I love my brother and I understand why he's running for that seat. However, I am a Democrat and I am going to support AND endorse everyone on the Democratic ticket because we all win or lose TOGETHER." That's all; I'm not even asking him to mention Steve Cohen's name.

Hell, his own father came out against HIS brother in the 1994 County Mayor's race; this would be nothing compared to that, so I don't want to hear sob stories about how he can't throw his own brother under the bus, Senior did it to John.

Use that antibiotic, Junior, your campaign and Democratic control of the United States Senate may well depend upon it.


egalia said...

I'm not worried either. It's pretty damn rare for anyone other than a Repub or Dem to win a congressional election. And that's especially true here in the South.

I am going to be doing some major celebrating when TN sends Cohen to Washington!

Freedonian said...

Politically speaking, Jake and Isaac are a danger to themselves and others.

John Farmer said...

I disagree with you on one point. I don't think that having some Party label requires you to support or endorse someone just because they have the same brand as you do. Sometimes there are clear and compelling reasons for doing otherwise as you went on to elaborate on in your post.

Republicans WILL be crossing over in force to support Cohen at the ballot box. Few may acknowledge that publicly, but what happens in the booth, stays in the booth. And you are correct in your assessment of why. You are also correct that is bad news for Junior. A good turnout in Shelby County by Republicans voting for Cohen against brother Jake will most likely vote Party line on the rest of the ballot. I don’t think any Republican in Shelby County is going to buy into Junior being a conservative. “This is Harold Ford, Jr. I listen to Progressive Talk Radio 680, and you should too!”

None-the-less, Corker has his own identity crisis to deal with which by every poll I see brings the Senate race down to whoever can get their people to the polls wins. And I think you are correct that Senior by fielding Jake may have helped Corker in that arena.

polar donkey said...

It kind of bothered me that Cohen didn't show up to the Bush protest. Even White stuck it too Bush with his statement inviting Bush to the poor areas of the city. Perhaps Cohen is trying to quietly court those Republicans. Rather than just beat Jake and White with Democratic voters, Cohen may be weakening himself two years from now. People will be able to see how many Republicans jumped party lines to select Cohen over Jake. If it is a sizeable amount and makes a difference in the election, African American Democratic voters will go after him with a vengeance.