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Bring us the head of Sir Bryant!

August 3, 2006

AC queries what now young Ford? Whom wouldst thou rather spar with in the upcoming election? Be it Sir Corker or Sir Bryant? Why, Sir Bryant I say, yet I know little of this brand of fistacuffs. One conjures up images of Sir Bryant morphing into President What Me Worry in televised ads sometime in October. One could not imagine such a thing were it Sir Corker.

Actually, I see a hard road either way. It isn’t because of the conventional wisdom litany of problems (he is colored he supported the war he likes girly things he likes white women). It is because I’ve been hearing murmurs from the far left talking about sitting on their hands, how much they don’t like him personally, how hard it will be to get out and work for him.

On one hand, a lot of the chatter comes from bloggers. Like Alexander Cockburn said, there’s too much faith vested in blogging for politics by the left at the moment. It’s a bit of irrational exuberance of the same type that caused the stock explosions during the Internet bubble. Yes, more officials should blog, etc. blah. blah. The Internet is great for raising money, blah. blah. Will that all translate into votes? I dunno . . . In the present case, will all that translate into a slight dip in voter turnout for Ford on election day? Probably not, but it is enough of a problem to make me go “hmmmmm.” And I don’t do that very often. Never, even. Not even when Arsenio did it. I hated Arsenio.

I do wonder if there will be a split forged in the traditional party base — Ford’s staunch supporters in the African American community (and dare I say multi-race community?), the already centrist unions, and party pragmatists vs the self styled progressives and the people who have made the Iraq War this year’s “single issue.”

I suppose that’s why Clinton is here ($150 is why I am not there). He really is the uniter not the divider. Weepy party loyalists just get all moist in the groin and their eyes glaze over with droplets of joy whenever he is around. He is probably preparing his “now is the time to put aside petty differences” speech as I type this. And certainly activists will hit the ground running tomorrow full of vim and vigor.

And I guess they wont need to put up a black face photoshopped photo of Jr hugging Clinton after this on HuffPo, but you know the brotha is kinda light skinned . . . .

Well, I keep saying it, remember what happened to Harvey Gantt when he ran against Helms and was leading in all polls by 10% going into the last week of the election. Back then, it was probably the independents who got cold feet. This time?

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. August 3, 2006 9:57 pm

    Are there really lefties who wouldn’t vote for Ford? I haven’t heard anything negative about him personally. Is he secretly a jack-ass?

    And if so, would they really let that stand in the way of putting another Democrat in the Senate?

    Or are they nervous that the apple doesn’t fall far from the corrupt tree?

  2. August 3, 2006 10:22 pm

    Well, Aunt B, let me put it to you this way. A very smart TN Dem party staffer (who has now moved on up like the Jeffersons), a white guy, pointed out several within our party, holding down jobs in the Legislature and the like, who are racist — his word, and said with great disgust. I do not doubt that there are people who regularly vote for Dem candidates in Tennessee who will not vote for Ford. There may be people who dislike him personally so much that they will not vote for him. I don’t doubt that at all.

    Now, you used the word “lefties.” I’m taking that to mean people who are on the left end of the state’s Dems. Though I think the number is small, I think there are some lefties who will not press that button when they get in the booth, yes.

    The real issue is how hard will they work around election time? Will they want to volunteer lots of time stamping envelopes and driving old people to the polls? I see that more than a few have enough problems with him to perhaps not put forth the extra effort.

    To me, all this is just a good argument for Proportional Representation. Ooops, that kinda smart talk stops people from being made Attorney General! Better keep quiet and delete this post!

  3. Halfdan permalink
    August 3, 2006 11:13 pm

    Though I think the number is small, I think there are some lefties who will not press that button when they get in the booth, yes.

    True, but that’s part of the calculus involved in running as an avowed “conservative.” You hope that the votes you gain outnumber the votes you lose. That’s a fact of politics that Democrats seem to be unwilling to acknowledge. Instead of castigating us lefties for taking issues seriously, the Party should try to pander to those issues once in a while. Or, if that’s impossible, at least play up the political differences between parties instead of trying to close the Christian values gap. Give us a stake in their victory.

    As far as the GOTV goes, in 2004 I could barely get the state party to return my phone calls, much less allow me the privilege of volunteering for their non-existent Kerry campaign.

  4. August 3, 2006 11:45 pm

    No, Halfdan, I can assure you this “fact of politics” goes into the equation. Perhaps it is not acknowledged in coffee shops and on chat boards, however it is acknowledged when counting heads. I mean fuck they pay those people a lot of money, so the pollsters have to bring up everything. Seriously though, you kinda lost me when you start with “Instead of castigating us lefties . . .” Who in the party castigates you for that? Wouldn’t the proper phrase be, “Instead of ignoring our pleas for our issues to be addressed . . .?”

    One thing I think the left doesn’t do that the right does is stay on the back of those they put in office. I remember when we lefties (yes I am one of those, probably moreso than most around here who call themselves progressive) were complaining about Clinton in 93-94, only a few really took a stand and said, dude I don’t like what you’re doing. I mean, who, Marion Wright Edelman? That was about it.

    I don’t think it has to be an either or thing, like too many in the Dem party seems to see it. Of course there are times when you say, fuck it I’m voting for Nader. I think that experience served as a good wake-up for someone we know.

    So people might blame the Nader voters, but well you have to find a way to bring those people in. I don’t think strategists are going to let something like that happen. I guess a Green candidate would let us test my little theory though.

    PS
    I don’t see a whole lot of candidates this year trying to “close the Christian values gap.” The DLC acolytes are always going to argue a similar strategy. However the DLC has pretty much had to keep it’s trap shut this time, haven’t they?

  5. August 3, 2006 11:49 pm

    I got the distinct impression that the Cohen wing was pissed that Prince Hal got the congressional seat that Cohen thought he had “earned”.

    What happened to your Deadwood “quiz” post? I didn’t get to read it.

  6. August 4, 2006 1:43 am

    I thought the script was screwing with WP so I deleted it. Turned out they were redoing the theme. Anyway, It was Al by 65% and the Doc was next.

    As to the first point there’s prolly some truth to that, though they had to know, to have known how that one was going to shake out. I’m not sure, however, that anyone knew he would be as crafty a politician as he turned out to be. I certainly didn’t.

  7. August 4, 2006 7:35 am

    So, what you’re saying is that, from the pool that might vote Democrat, Ford’s got to automatically discount the racists. True enough. But that he also may have to discount the progressives who disagree with him on some issues. The racists vote for what’s his face, but the progressives sit home.

    No one who is perceived as “too liberal” is going to win in Tennessee. So, the progressives who aren’t enthusiastic about Ford really need to ask themselves who, in this state, they are helping by declining to support Ford.

    I think Ford’s got two things going for him. One, he’s young and charismatic. Like Obama, he seems like the kind of guy the larger party could rally around.

    Sure, his family is an embarrassing mess, but in a way that feels familiar to a lot of Democrats.

    And two, which may be a subset of one, it’d be nice to have a charismatic, larger than life senator again. Frist supposedly has a lot of power, but there’s nothing about him that seems particularly exciting nor particularly Tennessee. He seems like an uptight moralistic jackass.

    Fred Thompson, though? He seemed like a man not quite bound by propriety. The kind of guy you could end up having a weird conversation with while smoking cigars out on the porch, hiding from a party’s overbearing host. The kind of guy who would do movies and be on TV and kind of make Tennessee look like a place where interesting, important stuff happened.

    I see Ford the same way. Like Thompson, he has a way about him that makes Tennessee seem like a force to be reconned with. Like he’d know everyone’s ties to everyone else and how to exploit them.

    So, it seems to me that we can either vote to send a real personality to Washington, one who is sure to garner attention for himself and for us, or we can send Blandy McBland Jr., who will be a nice match to Lamar Alexander–Blandy McBland Sr.

  8. August 4, 2006 12:05 pm

    Yeah, the whole Obama thing is interesting, two men (Ford and Obama)racing in a middle distance sprint towards history. One of these two is at least going to be a Vice Presidential nominee at some point in their career.

    Sure, B., were Ford in Illinois and Obama in Tennessee we’d see at least a reversal of their rhetoric, if not fortunes.

    There’s a bit of the Polyanna in some of our progressives here. Some seem to lack understanding about the history and make-up and power centers of our party, maybe even about the hard work that goes into even being in a position to run for office, let alone getting elected.

    I would say to those who are feeling less than enthusiastic about Jr’s candidacy because of some positions he’s taken, work hard get him elected AND work hard pressing him on your issues. Become an annoyance to him the way many of us took to Bredesen regarding TennCare. We think we have to have the perfect candidate, the messiah who is going to lead us to the promised land of universal health care and higher minimum wages. We do not need that, and we are not really gonna get it in this state anyway.

    I’d also suggest that Jr not write off the disgruntled progressives and not take them for granted. It’s a two way street, so edge a little bit their way.

    If you’re feeling less than enthusiastic for some other reason, well, just be a sad sack on the side.

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