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Black Birds Singing in the Dead of Night

December 4, 2008

I tend to think stories about how the TN Republican Party is getting really good at running code worded, racist campaigns are old. I’m not terribly interested in Hobbs these days though I am surprised at how good he is at getting people to notice him, and thus making a name for himself and Robin Smith nationally. It’s only a matter of time before Hobbs has that chat show spot he so covets. But hey, if the Obama administration pursues the Fairness Doctrine perhaps me or Ron Wynn or Mary Mancini or Freddie will be on the other side. Heh.

The latest news organization to give Hobbs an extra 15 seconds is NPR in their piece “Lessons From Tenn., A Southern GOP Stronghold.” I didn’t find much useful or interesting having been through battles with those old boys before, however a couple of things are worth note:

“The Democrats have more or less given up on East Tennessee,” said Nownes, the political scientist. “It’s sort of a self-fulfilling prophesy. Democrats don’t campaign here because they think they’re going to lose, and they lose because they really don’t spend any resources here.”

Well, Democrats do campaign there. I assume Nownes (a pol- sci prof at UT) is talking about Dems in national or statewide elections, and even if that is what he means he’s still a bit off. It is worth spending some resources in East TN if you’re a Democrat. You may not win the region but you can win some districts (we do have a few Dem legislators from the area) and maybe you force your opponent to spend more than he might have.

I don’t think you learn all that much by looking at the race this year, unless you think you’re learning something by observing that President-elect Obama didn’t get many votes in the area.

I have to say that were I Hobbs and hell bent on a win at any cost philosophy I’d probably mail out some veiled appeals to race as well, I mean, we are talking about a city (Knoxville) where the Klan was handing out “literature” when I was in high school. It wasn’t THAT long ago. The man knows and clearly loves his constituency.

Also, a horse’s mouth report showed up in the comments section from a person claiming to have intimate knowledge of the race between Nate Vaughn and his Republican opponent (Goolsby Sproggins). He claims the battle was not along racial lines, but about of all things, abortion. Mind you, Vaughn is a pro-life Democrat, the kind that normally does well in TN legislative battles (when he is not Black). To wit:

First of all let me explain who I am, my name is Jeff and I live in Sullivan County and was involve the Nathan Vaughn Campaign and let me tell you it was one of the most ugliest and mean spirited races that I have been a part of. What you had was a pro-life democrat having to defend himself from Tony Shipley supporters who where following people up to the door of the voting place asking them who they were going to vote for and if the person told them that they were voting for Nathan they would ask why they were voting for a baby killer because he had voted for Speaker Jimmy Naifeh who is pro life in west Tennessee. . . . Nathan Vaughn lost this race by 326 votes out of 25000. . . . In closing let me say this, the republicans in Sullivan County are bank rolled by John Gregory from Kings Pharmaceutical out of Bristol Tennessee and they have the same Ideology as the bush republicans in Washington and they will most likely do their up most best to divide and destroy the State of Tennessee

Dirty pool either way but are we surprised?

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