Thursday, November 13, 2008

The TN Republican Majority - Now What?

With typical disconnected and racially-charged perspectives - a normal tactic from Tennessee GOP Spokesmodel Bill Hobbs - there appears now an odd claim that state voters appeared in droves during last week's election to soundly reject crazy liberal Democrats in the state legislature, yet another example of ignoring reality and fabricating political upheaval.

Time for a reality check.

Facts like the one that the number of Republicans and Democrats were tied (16-16) in the State Senate since 2004 (with one Independent). As for the 2008 races:

-- The Senate battle between Faulk (R) and Williams (I) was a nasty one, loaded with bizarre mudslinging efforts regarding Faulk's dalliance with a staff worker and that Gov. Bredesen and Republican Tony Shipley stumped for Williams - and the finally vote tally showed Faulk with a win of just a few hundred votes, even though Williams won the day in 4 of six counties. Not really a mandate there ... is there?

-- State Senate Republicans running without opposition (or just Independent options) -- 3

Result - Senate has a 19-14 majority. Is this some Brand New Mandate of "Democrats Is Evil"? Perhaps the real story is (as noted for some days by TN bloggers) the state Dem party is lacking any central plan or message, a recipe for failure in a state that has of late gone solidly Republican in Presidential races.)

The State House Republicans picked up a one member majority, with 50 Republicans versus 49 Democrats. It is a limited change in terms of a majority, as Dems fell from a 53-46 lead. One race which helped was the victory of Tony Shipley over incumbent Nathan Vaughn by just over 300 votes. Tricks and games were common in the race, and only just this week we learn a GOP operative had been placed under a judicial restraint order after he had been running bogus websites, alleged to create bogus sites operated by Vaughn and loaded with bizarre claims against him. (News which was unreported until this week.)

The web sites were headed by Scott Glimmer, who is an aide to TN House Republican Chairman Glen Casada. So far, no actions taken against Casada and he may instead get a celebratory dinner from the GOP.

Here's some simple truths - the state's Democrats had been hard hit with charges stemming from corruption claims via a FBI investigation in recent years; incumbent Democrat Governor Phil Bredesen is on the way out, offering little support for the Obama campaign, and doing very little to throw support to statewide races, and the general disorganization from state party leaders. Oh, and just about every political observer was hoping that at long last Democrat House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh would finally get the boot, something I have been in favor of for many years.

However, here in Hamblen County, McCain won by a huge margin - yet incumbent Democrat State Rep. John Litz won with almost as many votes as McCain earned. Lots of split-ticket voting shows that in even in such a staunch Republican stronghold, Democrats can obviously do well.

The new Republican majority in the Legislature says they are eying legislation to change laws regarding "cultural issues". Wait, isn't that some of that Evil Democrat Social Engineering?? Tops on the GOP agenda for new legislation - restricting abortion, funding education about pregnancy prevention, and expanding gun ownership laws. How will any of that aid the plummeting economic problems and falling educational achievement and funding or the constant decline in the state's revenues?

I get the feeling the first months or so in the state legislature will be more about taking down Democrats a few pegs. (See the wacky wingnuttery from Republican poster-boy for nonsense Stacey Campfield:)

I think it is safe to say that not much that will cost much money is going to move that far. I expect that leaves 140 years of lost freedom and lack of personal responsibility issues to sort out.

Will it be all that conservative?? I would like to think we will be as conservative as the other side has been liberal or allowed liberalism take control of our state.

I have no idea what the heck he is even talking about -- what is the "140 years" of hellish disarray he is talking about? Didn't Dems take the Speaker's post back in 1971?

We would be far better served if the state tackles economic issues, health care funding, education funding, and, as Aunt B. writes:

... my point is, now is the time for the Republicans to put their butts on the line for “Life.” Banning abortion doesn’t cost you anything. It’s a feel-good measure that makes it look like you’ve accomplished something, but it doesn’t require you to sacrifice or make any tough decisions.

I challenge you, Republicans: If you’re really pro-life and about protecting the babies, bring down the infant mortality rates in this state."

Save those babies, too.

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