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Democrats

Could a Tennessee Senate seat go for the Dems?

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I can’t speak for all Tennesseans, but I believe the Democrats are now a primary-vote away from what could feasibly be their long-sought golden ticket to Senatorial victory in my red state home of Tennessee. On Friday, our former governor, Democrat Phil Bredesen (2003-2011), announced his entry into the race for outgoing Republican Senator Bob Corker’s Senate seat; if your first thought is that a Democrat could never win Corker’s current seat in a “red state,” think again.

Many people outside of the South, of all political persuasions, assuage their own insecurities by perpetuating prejudicial ideas about us Southerners as a group: we are uneducated, uncivilized, close-minded, inbred, racist, bigoted, toothless, and backward-thinking lowlings, gun-nuts, whose goals in life include a desire to oppress the huddled masses, eliminating perceived threats to the white hillbilly seniority. The derogatory and, quite honestly, offensive mischaracterizations of Southerners are too numerous to count.  Over time, we’ve developed pretty thick skins and, at the end of the day, all of us “lowlings” know the difference between truth and pompously fallacious opinions.

The real, cryin’ shame is that none of us hicks will ever be able to erase the years upon years that we Southerners have had to endure of audible torture by way of the linguistic monstrosities that some people in Hollywood apparently believe to be authentic Southern vernaculars. Listening to Nicholas Cage’s authentic Southern accent turned the simple act of watching “Con Are” from beginning to end a real accomplishment! Which brings me back to Phil Bredesen…

The good governor:

Tennessee has a diverse citizenry, but there is cultural undergirding. Not all, but for the most part, Tennesseans of varying political and religious leanings and of diverse racial backgrounds are generally bound, ideologically speaking, by a respect for personal authenticity and follow-through, a dislike of taxes and of fiscal mismanagement upon the part of the government, and a desire to be left alone to live in peace, without having anything forced upon us from the government or other powerful entities. Phil Bredesen was elected governor for precisely these reasons. It is because of these very same reasons that he could very well be the Democrat’s golden ticket. He is authentic!

Bredesen, who was the mayor of Nashville before becoming the 48th governor of Tennessee, assumed office amid a budget shortfall due to TennCare (the state’s Medicaid). The previous governor, Republican Don Sundquist, had tried instituting a state income tax to generate more revenue. Predictably, proved to be a wildly unpopular measure, drawing protests and a few acts of vandalism at the government building and Sundquist’s office in Nashville. Sundquist’s income tax attempts ultimately failed. We Tennesseans generally prefer to keep our hard-earned money, thank you very much!

Many of Don Sundquist supporters turned against him, seeing him as unauthentic since Republicans are supposed to be fiscally conservative. This seed of distrust led many Tennesseans to elect Phil Bredesen – already known to be a conservative Democrat – over his Republican challenger, Van Hilleary. [It also didn’t help the Republicans that Van Hilleary was a no-show to a skeet-shooting match-up between himself and Bredesen.] As an article at Nashville Scene explained, “In 2002, Tennessee voters had three essential beliefs. No. 1: The state budget was screwed up, and they were sick of hearing about it. No. 2: It seemed to have something to do with TennCare. No. 3: They did not want a state income tax to “fix” the problem. Both Bredesen and Hilleary understood these things. Nevertheless, there was the sense even among some Republican voters that whatever Hilleary’s ideological purity might have been, only Bredesen had the chops actually to do what needed to be done.” The article continues, “And, yea, verily, upon Phil Bredesen’s inauguration, all of these things came to pass. The budget fights disappeared from the headlines. TennCare was tamed. And the income-tax genie retreated into its bottle, never to be heard from again. Little wonder, then, that four years later Bredesen was re-elected almost by approbation, winning even staunchly Republican Williamson County, the home base of his GOP opponent.”

I am a conservative. I voted twice for Phil Bredesen, for governor.

Under his tenure, the fiscally conservative Bredesen understood and respected Tennesseans’ preference for low taxes over “government goodies” and did not attempt to force more taxes down our throats. Tennessee also requires a balanced budget, which basically means that the state can’t spend more than it takes in. In a 2011 exit interview, he remarked, “As long as you’re willing to tell people there are certain things you can’t do — you can’t have Massachusetts services and Tennessee taxes … [then there’s an understanding] that Tennessee’s future lies more in being a low-tax state and accepting the level of services that implies.” And so, under the taxation-restrictive environment of Tennessee, he made the most of what he had to work with.

Phil Bredesen ran the state like he had his business. He instituted 9% across-the-board spending cuts and incentivized business, which brought to 2,889 new companies to Tennessee, including International Paper and Nissan, which brought $2.8 billion in business investment into the state and created 104,000 jobs. He reformed TennCare and, with the subsequent fiscal savings, implemented “Cover Tennessee,” a coverage safety net for people with pre-existing conditions and the uninsured. The TN Lottery was successfully passed which enabled teacher pay to be raised above the Southeast average and Tennessee’s pre-kindergarten initiative to be expanded statewide. Tennessee’s bond rating rose to exemplary status. Oh, and did I mention he was the first TN governor in modern times who did not raise the state’s sales tax?

In the past, Bredesen has referred to DC’s debt proliferation as “immoral,” warned states against financial dependency upon the federal government, criticized the forced passing of ObamaCare, and has consistently derided partisan politics, even encouraging his own party to be more centrist. In addition, Phil Bredesen remained respectful of Tennesseans’ beliefs, which was in stark contrast to the typical democratic condescension towards all things outside the stringent party line. For example, although he had believed it to be “excessive,” when Tennessee voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment defining marriage as “one man and one woman”, Bredesen signed it.

In essence, Bredesen was hugely popular simply because he was genuine and authentic, followed through on his promises, demonstrated respect for the will of his constituents, and didn’t tax the heck out of us.  The hard left loathed his fiscal responsibility and sweeping entitlements reform, and the power Republicans were mad because they didn’t win and because, in several circumstances, Phil Bredesen acted more fiscally conservative than those calling themselves “conservatives.” Meanwhile, the rest of us – ya know, the normal people – were generally pleased. He understood what regular people wanted and needed, and while imperfect, he basically followed through, relatively fanfare and drama free. To be completely honest, I would still prefer to have Democrat Phil Bredesen over our current Republican governor, Bill Haslam.

The golden ticket:

Tennessee is a moderate-conservative state. When Phil Bredesen took on Van Hilleary in the race for the Tennessee governorship, the Republicans tried to paint Bredesen as a far-left “liberal.” This proved to be fatal to Republicans for one reason: Phil Bredesen was well known as a moderate, even conservative Democrat. Just this week, Bredesen stated in an interview with the USA Today Network that he is not running against Donald Trump. Yet, in the past few days since Bredesen’s announcement that he is seeking Bob Corker’s Senate seat, the Republicans appear to be aimlessly falling back on this exact same losing strategy. It boggles the mind!

Marsha Blackburn, a well-liked Congresswoman, is currently the lead contender for the Republican team. She has stated that Bredesen is a supporter of liberal policies. She also claims that Tennesseans want a change, indicating that the 74-year-old ex-governor is not the change agent we seek, as he already served us for eight years. Yet, Ms. Blackburn has herself been a member of Congress for Tennessee since 2003. I believe this is called “the pot calling the kettle black.” To the point, the Republicans don’t seem to, at least not as of yet, know exactly how to counter a popular ex-governor with a conservative record to which they, themselves, claim to champion.

How popular is Phil Bredesen? He secured his second term as governor winning 100% of the counties in Tennessee. So, then, what might his odds of be at winning a Senate seat? Consider a 2011 Nashville poll. Bob Corker was currently running for re-election (2012 election cycle) to the Senate. The poll sought to weigh the odds of a hypothetical contest between the then-outgoing governor (Phil Bredesen) and the current Senator Bob Corker for Corker’s own Senate seat. The poll’s sampled voters chose Phil Bredesen over Bob Corker by 46 to 41 percent. Given voters’ overall distrust of career Republicans, a distrust to which Bob Corker undoubtedly contributed, coupled with Bredesen’s authenticity and conservative record, he may very well be the golden ticket.

Will the 2018 senate race turn out to be a replay of the Bredesen verses Hilleary gubernatorial race?

My own reservations:

I find myself left wondering why Phil Bredesen chose to run as a Democrat. Why is he a Democrat? The Democrat party has become socialist, racist, and, frankly, verging on the absurd. Why on God’s green earth would Phil Bredesen choose to align himself with such nonsensical, anti-American thinkers who now dominate the Democratic party? Has he had some sort of change of heart? Is he the same person who led our beautiful state for eight successful years? Has he, himself, abandoned his well-known “live and let live” mindset? I can’t help but wonder. I can’t help but to be suspicious…

Bredesen’s choice to align himself with the Democrats who openly display their disdain for Southerners like myself causes me, as a Tennessee voter, to be uneasy, to say the least.

I can’t say how the race will turn out. What I can say is that this race just got a whole lot more interesting! If Republicans want a win, they are surely going to have to work for their meal.

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1 Comment

  1. Ruth Walker

    July 11, 2018 at 10:17 am

    Thank you for saying what I have been thinking. I’m an 83 yr old woman, who is neither Republican nor Democratic and this is the first time I Have ever committed on my views on line..It is so hard to fine a statesman or stateswoman in this country but I really believe Phil Bredesen is a wise and experienced leader. I have lived in Nashville since 1974 .

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Democrats

As USC sex abuse scandal grows to 500 complaints, #MeToo fixates on the GOP

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As USC sex abuse scandal grows to 500 complaints MeToo fixates on the GOP

The #MeToo movement was supposed to be about protecting and empowering women. Its origins were righteous and it delivered results. No, those origins weren’t with Alyssa Milano, though she’s become the face of the modern version of the movement. The original #MeToo movement started a decade ago. It wasn’t a hashtag. It advocated for victims.

Today’s #MeToo movement is one part women’s advocacy, nine parts political commentary against conservatives. The far left has appropriated the movement to no longer be about sexual misconduct by individuals. Instead, it’s about stopping Republicans in the upcoming election. But don’t take my word for it.

Milano, who helped bring Hollywood into the mix and did some great things a year ago to get the #MeToo movement ramped up for women, has tried to separate her #MeToo leadership role from her push for Democrats in the upcoming midterm election. These efforts have proven to be impossible. With the elections so close, she has leaned towards the latter. She hasn’t abandoned #MeToo by any means, but it’s clear her passion is for the political side of her agenda.

As such, the intermingling was inevitable even if it wasn’t intentional.

Here’s the problem. #MeToo needs her a heck of a lot more than the Democrats do. Political candidates have the resources and voice to get their message out. Milano’s reach is a drop in the bucket on the political front. For the #MeToo movement, her voice can actually make a difference, raise awareness, and inspire women to act.

Her desire to influence a few political races has drawn her away from a true calling that actually needs her voice.

You won’t see her talking about the massive USC sexual abuse incidents that have affected literally hundreds, perhaps thousands of impressionable women for decades.

Nearly 100 additional women sue USC over gynecologist’s alleged sexual misconduct

https://www.foxnews.com/us/nearly-100-additional-women-sue-usc-over-gynecologists-alleged-sexual-misconductMore than a dozen women appeared at a news conference Thursday to announce the new lawsuits on behalf of 93 women against the university, bringing the total number of accusations against Tyndall to about 500 current and former students.

“I am part of an accidental sisterhood of hundreds of women because the university we love betrayed our trust,” said Dana Loewy, who alleged that Dr. George Tyndall assaulted her during an examination in 1993.

Perhaps the worst part about Milano’s actions is that she willfully ignores abuse accusations made against Democrats. Why isn’t she calling for people to believe Sherrod Brown’s accuser? Where are the Tweets condemning Keith Ellison?

Why hasn’t she said a word about Katie Brennan?

Why isn’t Katie Brennan’s #MeToo accusation getting national attention?

http://noqreport.com/2018/10/15/isnt-katie-brennans-metoo-accusation-getting-national-attention/It’s the type of story that should have received national attention immediately. It was sourced by a respected major news outlet, the Wall Street Journal. Both the accuser and the accused are high-ranking public official in New Jersey’s government. The accused stepped down two weeks ago when approached by WSJ for comment. Katie Brennan’s story is a major newsworthy scandal.

As of Monday morning, a day after the story officially broke and four days after it was leaked to other major news outlets, both mainstream media and the #MeToo movement are essentially silent.

Being a good Democrat has taken Milano’s focus away from the #MeToo movement. She has helped turn it into a political tool at the expense of victims whose voices are not being heard. Sadly, politicians will use her while victims slip by silently.

Politicians have turned the #MeToo movement and Alyssa Milano into their proxies. They justify it by claiming they’ll be better for women in the long run. Sadly, the real movement is suffering because people like Milano bought their sales pitch.

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Democrats

Why won’t Hillary Clinton go away?

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Why wont Hillary Clinton go away

There’s a difference between persistence and an inability to take a hint. Former Democratic darling Hillary Clinton’s persistence is becoming an annoyance for the left because she won’t take the hint. Most Democrats don’t want her around but they’re unwilling to flatly say, “Go away.”

Or, perhaps they are telling her this but enough enablers are near her filling her head with false hope.

Or, maybe she’s so emotionally lost after years of the rigors of Washington DC that delusions are preventing her from accepting her fate as a two-time presidential loser whose only electoral accomplishment was winning a Senate seat in deep-blue New York. Lest we forget, her only two other “accomplishments” were being married to a President and being selected by another President to be Secretary of State.

We can speculate about her motivations, but whatever they truly are, they’re enough to put her at “not zero” for another presidential run.

A former Hillary Clinton adviser says there’s a chance she will run in 2020

https://theweek.com/speedreads/802785/former-hillary-clinton-adviser-says-theres-chance-run-2020Philippe Reines, who worked for Hillary Clinton going back to 2002 and was her senior adviser at the State Department, made the argument to Politico Friday that the former Democratic nominee might actually be the party’s best hope for defeating Trump in 2020. He said no other Democrat has “anywhere near a base of 32 million people,” especially not Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) or Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). The party, he feels, shouldn’t dismiss her as a failed candidate because she’s “smarter” and “tougher” than most, and she “could raise money easier than most.”

But it doesn’t sound like this is just wishful thinking on his part. He really thinks it could happen, saying the chances of Clinton running in 2020 are “not zero.”

The left isn’t taking the news too well. Reactions on Twitter have been lukewarm at best while often getting abusive. No need to post the Tweets here. You can already guess what they’re saying.

I think I speak for Republicans across the country who would relish the thought of taking on Clinton once again. There are some potential candidates who look strong going into 2020. She’s not one of them. If she can manage to steal the nomination again, it would be a huge win for the President.

I sometimes feel sorry for Hillary Clinton, but usually I’m just amused. She’ll always remind me of the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

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Democrats

As Bernie Sanders fades, 3 leftists (quietly) vie to pick up his mantle

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As Bernie Sanders fades 3 leftists quietly vie to pick up his mantle

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) just turned 77-years-old last month. The Democratic-Socialist movement, which he essentially brought into the mainstream and helped make popular following his 2016 presidential campaign, is made up of young, enthusiastic leftists. They need new leadership. Bernie can’t be that guy.

Two-years removed from his rise to prominence, his people are already searching for successors. Nobody’s saying it openly and Sanders still enjoys a great deal of support, but his inability to endorse leftists into primary victories showed he still couldn’t beat the Democratic establishment even after their stunning 2016 loss. But the real nail in Bernie’s presidential coffin was not endorsing soon-to-be Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

He picked losers and failed to recognize a surprise winner.

It should come as no surprise that Ocasio-Cortez is unwilling to endorse him for a 2020 presidential run.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez isn’t endorsing Bernie Sanders’ 2020 bid

https://nypost.com/2018/10/18/ocasio-cortez-isnt-endorsing-bernie-sanders-2020-bid/?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_source=NYPTwitter&utm_medium=SocialFlow“She’ll see what the field looks like,” Corbin Trent, Ocasio-Cortez’s communications director, told Politico. “She’s focused on 2018, [Bernie’s] focused on 2018. We’re all focused on 2018.”

Sanders did not endorse Ocasio-Cortez in her stunning primary defeat in June of longtime Queens political boss Rep. Joe Crowley.

Nobody on the left seems willing to flatly admit what most of them already know. Sanders is nothing more than a symbol now. He’s the ideological leader of the socialist wing of the Democratic Party, much like Barry Goldwater was for the conservative wing of the Republican party. He lit the fire. Now it’s time for his successors to step up. Who will it be?

Before we discuss who’s going to be the next Bernie Sanders, let’s talk about who isn’t. Despite the far left getting all the buzz, the Democratic establishment of Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama (sorry leftists, yes, he was and is part of the Democratic establishment) still holds sway on the direction of the party. They’re more than willing to tap into the excitement of the progressive movement and get Democratic Socialists to vote for Democratic mainstream candidates, but they’re smart enough to recognize if the far-left gets their way, the party and probably the nation will crumble.

These establishment types will not pick up Bernie’s mantle:

  • Joe Biden – He’s the current frontrunner, but I seriously doubt he’ll run. Why would he? He doesn’t really want to be President and would be 80 by the time his first term came to a close. Regardless, he’s more moderate that Clinton and will not be the next Bernie.
  • Elizabeth Warren – Despite wanting to be the next Bernie and having the progressive credentials to match his far-leftist rhetoric, her star is already fading fast. Democrats and mainstream media are trying to pretend like her DNA debacle never happened, but her competitors will be sure to remind the world of her horrible judgment. Wanting it and being accepted by the fragile far-left are two different things. They won’t turn on her as a Senator but they won’t let her be Bernie.
  • Beto O’Rourke – His star-power will fade when he loses to Ted Cruz. If he’s somehow able to win, then we’ll have to watch what he does in the first year of his term as Senator to see if he can be the guy. As of now, he’s a MSNBC contributor in the making following his loss.
  • Michael Bloomberg – A rich old white guy might have brought the socialist movement into the spotlight, but a super-rich old white guy can’t pick up the mantle.
  • Michael Avenatti – LOL. No.
  • Eric Holder – If anyone on this list could sneak into the Democratic Socialist camp, it’s Holder. He is progressive enough and speaks the language of socialism, but he’s also closely tied to the establishment.

With those non-Bernies out of the way, let’s look at the three most likely candidates to lead the far-left in 2020. You’ll notice they’re all Senators, a la Barack Obama’s path. I don’t see a governor or mayor who has a legitimate chance of being a socialist hero. Andrew Cuomo and Eric Garcetti are interesting prospects, but not high enough on the radar at this time.

That leaves private citizens, some of whom could be the next Bernie if they choose to throw their names in the hat. Oprah Winfrey and George Clooney stand out, but we won’t put them on this list until they actually get political.

One thing to note is that they’ll all be cozy with Sanders until the time is right. None of them have the street credibility they’ll need to challenge Sanders directly until he’s ready to embrace one or more of them on his own. Quietly, they’ll be pitching him on why they’re the right person to continue what he started. They might even offer him a nice cabinet position like Treasury Secretary in exchange for his coveted endorsement.

The next Bernie will likely be one of these three Senators:

Kamala Harris

The California Senator is the obvious choice. She has built up the most progressive voting record in her short time on Capitol Hill and definitely talks the talk of socialism.

If any socialist has a real shot at the White House, it’s Harris.

Kirsten Gillibrand

The funny part about Gillibrand is that she’s been considered a moderate in the past. Some even called her a “conservative Democrat” when she was in the House because she represented a red district of New York. Once she became a Senator, her true colors came out.

Deep down, Gillibrand is among the most socialist Senators there is. Her voting record is actually to the left of Sanders, according to Progressive Punch. She is likable by the far left while still holding sway over moderates. If her name-recognition increases in the next year, she could be a real contender.

Cory Booker

Spartacus has problems with his image at times, but there’s no doubt he could easily pick up Bernie’s mantle. He’s currently stuck in the middle trying to be everything to every progressive up and down the scale, but when push comes to shove he can be the socialist he wants to be.

Whether or not he picks up Bernie’s mantle will be determined by how well the previous two listed socialists do. If he’s ahead of them and his primary competitors are to his right, then he’ll drift towards the center knowing he’ll end up with Bernie’s people anyway. If he’s running against stiff competition from Gillibrand and/or Harris, he’ll try to lurch to their left to steal their thunder.

2020 is a make-or-break election for socialists. If they fail to get their choice as the nominee for a second straight presidential election, it could be enough to bury their horrible ideology as fringe leftist junk. Then again, it could make them double down.

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