For several weeks (those being all the weeks since the November election) I’ve been watching these Northeast Tennessee Republicans strutting around, prematurely crowing and using bad eggs for chicken counting. One could almost predict their lack of humility and faith in foregone conclusions would come back to bite them.
Posts Tagged ‘Republicans’
Posted in family, Local Characters, politics, The South, tagged accuracy, Four Long Years, Obama, Rahm Emanuel, rebuilding the base, Republicans, this is what livin under power lines can do to ya, Unclaimed Kinfolk on November 8, 2008 | 5 Comments »
The Relative called first thing in the morning, bent out-of-shape because Obama selected that “little peckerhead” [Rahm Emanuel] for his Chief of Staff. Of course, I knew this phone call was coming. I dreaded it. I also know there will be a thousand more over the next four years.
Posted in politics, Tennessee, tagged abortion, Constitutional Officers, Direct Election of Appellate Judges, Gun Laws, Immigration, Jason Mumpower, Jimmy Naifeh, Political History, redistricting, Republicans, Ron Ramsey, sex ed, Taxes, Tennessee General Assembly, Tony Shipley on November 6, 2008 | 4 Comments »
For the first time since the Reconstruction, the Republican Party has taken control of the Tennessee General Assembly – top to bottom, house to senate, the whole bicameral enchilada. (Go ahead. Take a moment. Laugh or Cry. Whatever suits you.) Personally, I think there’s a damn good reason why state political history is what it is – but eh, politics are kinda like fractions. Every now and then, folks need a refresher course.
Naturally, the Republicans are being terribly humble and gracious about their victory while the State Democrats are setting speed records for fastest finger-pointing in all the land. They’re blaming Obama and the National Party for not paying more attention to the state and/or McCain’s unusually muscular performance – which essentially means the same thing.
I guess the Obama/Baptist backlash might have been a factor. Heck, the fact that UT football wasn’t distracting enough Republican voters in the East might have been a factor. Mostly though, the Republicans won because they worked for it. They ran hard, mean, aggressive, poured money and manpower into the campaigns and did not let up until the polls closed on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Tennessee Democratic Party was off… well hell, I don’t know what they were off doing but whatever it was, they apparently weren’t doing it right.
So what’s done is done. Better luck next time – and now we all look forward.
Folks around here seem to have different opinions on what this Red Assembly in the Orange State will mean. Mr. C thinks the Republican Majority means we should all move to Kentucky. Uncle Rube, on the other hand, claims a Republican Majority will ensure that nothing much gets spent – as opposed to Democratic Majorities, who hand out funding like it’s somebody else’s money.
I don’t agree with either of them and foresee lots of changes under a red rule – some good and some bad. (more…)
…. they make you recite this line over and over: “failed economic policies of the last eight years.”
Posted in Hawkins County, news, politics, Tennessee, tagged Democrats, early voting, Kingsport Times-News, Larry Hall, letters to the editor, Mike Faulk, Mildred Ringley, newspapers, Republicans, Sullivan County on October 17, 2008 | 1 Comment »
In the Times-News letters to the editor:
Mildred Ringley of Church Hill writes in to defend Mike Faulk’s character saying, “Anyone who knows Mike Faulk should know him better than to believe all the slams he is receiving and that he is a trusted friend, attorney and politician.”
It caught my attention because you rarely ever see the words “trusted, politician, and attorney” all in the same sentence.
I’m a bit baffled by this Kurita controversy. I understand that Barnes is in, Kurita is out. And “crossover” voting (oh, you can bet your sweet fanny there were Ron Ramsey-loving Republicans crossing over) served as some basis for the challenge. However, we’ve already discussed this and decided “bona fide” and “allegiance to party” are gray areas in Tennessee election law and therefore not a good reason to overturn an election. You know, if they can vote in ours, we can vote in theirs. Fair enough.
So, I don’t support that as a reason – but this:
George Barrett and the other attorneys for Tim Barnes put on evidence, including sworn affidavits and three witnesses, attesting to the fact that a precinct captain had instructed voters who stated that they wanted to vote for Tim Barnes to vote in the Republican primary. This precinct captain was shown to have ties to Rosalind Kurita.
Uh, if true, isn’t that clearly election fraud? Does election law address this issue? In the crossover voting, it is the candidate or party’s responsibility to have poll watchers to observe the process and challenge voters at the poll. What’s the process for challenging precinct workers?
Unless I’m missing something, I’m thinking the decision to void the election would probably hold up under a legal challenge. Meanwhile, Ramsey, who had discouraged David Davis from contesting the results of his primary loss, argued that Democrats were wrong to overturn Kurita’s victory.
Well, of course, he did.
The affair of Mike Faulk, candidate for 4th District State Senate, is official news now. I’d heard last week the AP was poking around the story, which locals have been sitting on quietly for quite some time. This is not because anyone wished to protect Faulk or felt sympathy for him. It’s simply how we operate. Our dignified sense of Southern discretion requires us to keep such things at a whisper and limit our reactions to “scandal” to (1) talking about you behind your back until we get tired and move on or (2) dispatching the Baptist pastor to get you all straightened up.
Either way, we do tend to keep our grown-folk business at the back fence rather than putting it out on the street where the children can get a`hold of it. In fact, many consider the inking of this sordid tale distasteful, uncivilized and needlessly hurtful because there are young children involved. See, despite our tendency to act as though we own the moral high road, we do understand life is messy, unexpected, has jagged edges, people screw-up, make bad decisions and chances are we’ll all be caught at least once with our ass in a sling, hand in the cookie jar, skirt-tail in our pantyhose, husband in the flophouse with his mistress… or mister, our kid in the jail or we might get lucky – and just die without our good underwear on. That’s life. In life, shit happens.
So, you clean it up, apologize for the smell and keep moving on. And we’re fine with that.
HOWEVER, based upon the statement Faulk’s campaign released yesterday, doesn’t seem as though he has any intention of cleaning his mess or admitting he helped make it.
You know, I’d heard several times through the Republican grapevine that, when asked about the relationship by other Republicans, Faulk not only denied the affair but allegedly tried to paint Walker as an unwanted aggressor. I didn’t believe the rumor at the time: now, I’m not so sure.
From his statement yesterday:
“Kelli is going through some very serious personal issues at this time. I have deep regret for whatever part her association with me and my campaign may have played in those problems. I wish nothing but the best for her. She is a special person to me.”
“This campaign will go forward. The people of the 4th Senate District want us to address important issues like their jobs, gas prices, family budgets and so forth rather than personal problems.”
He acknowledges the woman’s problems, offers some sympathy and implies if you are truly an intelligent, well-informed decent voter, you won’t even care because … OH MY GOD, LOOK OVER THERE, layoffs and high gas prices! And I hope this soft-pedaled lack of a confession ain’t gonna fly with voters. Here’s why:
Kelli Walker owned her share of this and is shouldering the fallout: folks expected Mike Faulk to do the right thing and take his part. He didn’t. And this creates two big problems for the campaign: (1) It makes him seem like a callous ass, and (2) it raises the question: If Mike Faulk won’t stand accountable for his actions and support the people who are special to him: what can you reasonably expect him to do for you?
Tennessee should have no state sales tax on its own distributed farm products, 2nd House District GOP challenger Tony Shipley said in a civic club speech Tuesday – as reported by Hank Hayes.
Rainbow Brite and all the Star Fairies were in attendance. They clapped.
Shipley then goes on to refer to Democrats as the opposition party… which I think is weird since some of my family members are Democrats and I’ve always thought of them mostly as people with slightly different political views than mine. But from here on out I’ve decided I should get with the program – and call them opposition cousins unless I really like them: then, I will refer to as coalition builders.
Senator Michael Williams ate lunch at the Pig & Chick last Friday. I know because I was there. In fact, I harassed Williams for the duration, and I didn’t feel bad about it at all. As a constituent, it’s my job to nag my elected officials while they’re eating green beans, right?
Yeah, I thought so.
Look, it’s not that I dislike Williams. It’s not that I like him either. That’s the problem. I’m trying to figure out why, in the hometown of his Republican opponent (and the two italicized words should have secured the race for Faulk here,) Williams is finding so much support that if you say anything remotely negative about the incumbent, random little old Ladies on the street whack you with their pocketbooks, strongly worded emails arrive from the Steel Magnolia, Aunt Ethel, some of the soccer coaches and another close relative, who asked to remain nameless (and while I don’t like using unnamed sources, one must always honor such requests from their mother) who claims she wouldn’t trust Faulk as far as she could throw him. Oh, and let’s not forget the Old Guys at the Spit-n-Sit, who question whether your Daddy raised you right or not.
I realize Williams is not super-outrageous bad like a Stacey-Campfield-brand-crazy because he’s remained pretty much off my radar. But his ability to fly under the radar doesn’t justify the amount of support he’s gathered in his opponent’s backyard. So, did he save the world and I missed it? Is it because he seems like a regular guy? Do people identify with his NASCAR fixation? Is it the mustache? Does he hypnotize people with it? Is it because – as Steel Magnolia continuously points out – she thinks he’s attractive?
Feh. Those arguments are lost on me. People don’t elect representatives in government based on the fact that they’re from a similar background, have similar interests or because they’re “attractive” which is entirely subjective anyway. Do they? Because hell, Mike Faulk is a fisherman with such nice legs he could be a boy Rockette if he wanted. This doesn’t mean I have his campaign button pinned on my shirt.
Besides, if I were suffering from the “elect-them-if-they’re-pretty” voter mindset, I’d be more likely to write in one of the assistant trainers from the UT Women’s Soccer Team or our local Republican juvenile judge – who is, you know, pretty fly for a white guy.
Anyway, since I don’t know enough about Williams to understand what folks find so appealing: giving him indigestion by interrogating him about the increase in the tobacco tax, the tollway act, Ron Ramsey, John Wilder, his’ odd NASCAR fixation, reports that he has been making nice with Democrats, and any other question I could think to ask seemed to be a good way to figure this cat out.
Remember when the news had to be factual and unbiased? Yeah, okay. Me neither, but I do remember when readers or viewers had the ability to distinguish between fact and fiction.
This doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.
What many of us accept as news these days is a hodgepodge of fact, speculation, opinion, and repeats of those aforementioned things, which can be repeated because it is attributed to another source. Of course, we blame this situation on “The Media,” which is ridiculous, particularly since this tends not to be a term used to describe a profession but an insulting misnomer lumping a very diverse group people practicing a profession into a teeming mass identical in characteristics and thus worthy of scorn – you know like “Killer Bees” or “maggots.”
The truth is the news, like any other market, is consumer driven. If The People have steered the market right to the edge of Weekly World territory, well then, that’s where we wanted to go. The problems only arise when those who think aloud expect consumers to be smart enough to know – based on format, position, banner, disclaimer or frequent use of political labels or the word asshat – which is which and what is what.
And some just aren’t.
Some confuse opinion for fact and fact with fiction either because they can’t tell the difference or they are looking for information to support a pre-existing viewpoint. Others – well, their opinions change and perceptions shift as the facts are altered. And even those of us who know better and understand that “information masquerading as fact can be fickle” feel pressured to make snap judgments – then put it out there because it’s a “current issue”. Of course, once out there with all of the true, false and unsubstantiated, the facts get harder to find.
I’ve been asked countless times for my opinion on Sarah Palin or when I might “blog about the candidate, the rumors, etc.” Well, I haven’t formed an opinion yet. I don’t know enough about Sarah Palin to offer up an accurate assessment of who she is or what she offers the Republican party besides a bra. I have first impressions being: She’s not polished. She’s unaccustomed to the national stage. Damn, she’s so conservative she makes Aunt Ethel seem liberal. (Wait! Should lack of political shine be refreshing? Or like most Americans, do I expect politicians to put on a show – even as I complain about the insincerity, dishonest nature and need for showmanship in politics? Yes, I think I do. Yikes. Does this mean I won’t vote for anyone who didn’t write a cheesy autobiography? I hope not.)
As for the other “news” – I don’t want to read attacks or commentary about her parenting. I’m a mother too. I happen to know the job comes with more than its fair share of critics. In fact, it’s one of the few professions in world where you are damned if you do, damned if you don’t – because the entire world feels entitled to grade your performance. If Palin waterboards her children or parents in some way that would reveal dark corners of her character – tell me this. Otherwise, I am willing to skip the nasty comments over at Huffington Post about the baby being up past bedtime during the convention, which is the baby who is rumored not to be her baby and not the baby who’s having a baby. I can also do without information from the daughter’s boyfriend’s myspace or facebook page – unless he’s up for a White House position. I don’t care about allegations that she vacuums the carpet against the nap or vice versa – you know whichever way is bad.
Likewise I haven’t pondered overmuch on if she’s too old to have that hairstyle (which is described as the “Barracuda Look” in this article picked up by Huff – one which also suggests the author is 90% certain the eyeglasses are a prop, despite the fact Palin wore glasses as a child – which just goes to show 10% bites you in the ass every time.)
But again – I don’t care. It’s not like foreign counties, terrorists or domestic enemy forces (such as Don Wildmon) are going to be sitting around saying, “What? Attack America(ns)! We can’t do that. I mean have you not seen their VPs hair! It’s gorgeous!”
As a voter, I want to know the facts about her actions as a public official. I’m interested in the Gary Lundgren deal and the findings of the trooper incident. I am not interested in exaggerated tales of her push for creationism in schools (um, hello Tennessee?) the books she banned (as appeared in the community blogs portion of Obama’s website and was later removed) although some of the books on the list weren’t printed when she allegedly banned them. And oh yes, I do love it that Palin’s nomination is enough of a threat that it’s caused Obama to drop the righteous act. He’s no longer playing the ever-patient smeared-online martyred candidate, who floats along the high road while pleading for love, peace, hope, change, kindness, harmony, joy and Skittles candy for all. He’s throwing his own punches now – and in doing so, looks less perfect, different and beautiful than he once did. At least, I no longer smell cotton candy and expect a choir to start singing about rainbows and butterflies in the middle of his speaking engagements. For this I am grateful.
Otherwise, as millions of reporters and bloggers attempt to understand the politics and players of another state in 15 minutes or less – the truth about Sarah Palin is a work in progress. And contrary to what the Dems think: I won’t dislike her because her teenage daughter is like other teenage daughters across America. Contrary to what the GOP seems to think: I won’t embrace her just because she has *girl parts.
For now I’m content to sit back, let others unearth the information, toss it out there, have Les Jones fact-check them, and then after the dust settles and we have the VP debates, I’ll figure out if Palin is a good pick. And I’ll let you know.