The state's government - according to an opinion piece by ACK at Post Politics - is poised for a complete Republican domination:
"The question is not whether there will be Republican rule, but rather what kind. One-party leadership doesn't mean there aren't any bold and important fights along the lines of ideology and policy. It just means that those fights evolve from partisan skirmishes to intraparty civil war.
Republicans will run Tennessee but which Republicans hold power and in what capacity will make a huge difference. Traditionally, Tennessee Republicans have talked a conservative game, but there's a difference between being conservative — adjective —and being a conservative — noun."
"It wouldn't be too much to say that the statesmen of the Tennessee Republican Party, U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, through sheer neglect have allowed this slow creep of state-rooted ideological conservatism. Alexander's political machine has dipped its big toe into state races only very rarely. The moderate Howard Baker-type conservatism that had long defined Tennessee Republicanism has been slowly dying, and the harder stuff has been growing in its place.
The moderates seem to be trying to rectify that with Bill Haslam's gubernatorial campaign. Haslam is a true moderate — more so than either Corker or Alexander. Haslam is also much worse at cloaking his discomfort with rigid right-wing ideology. He seems reluctant to utter even the most cursory red meat rhetoric that conservatives want to hear.
If Haslam is victorious, he would have to contend not only with former opponent Ron Ramsey serving as lieutenant governor, but also with an increasingly reactionary legislature looking to move the ideological ball further down the field.
It'll be one-party rule alright — but hardly a harmonious march toward right-wing nirvana."
My take is vastly different. Nationally, voters are headed to the center and are fleeing the right-wing. Doubtless, the state's Democrats have fallen far behind in organization and media appeal, but the recent legislative session with Republicans in charge for the first time in decades offered little but petty squabbles and cheap political grandstanding at the expense of what was need by the residents of Tennessee. Education continues to get short-sticked, infrastructure is in need of immense repair, and the state faces major budget cuts in the coming year.
Real leadership isn't about demands to see President Obama's birth certificate or accumulating political power for it's own sake. It's about moving the state forward into the 21st century and not backwards into some idea of "right-wing nirvana".
So far, the state's Republicans have provided very little in wise governing though that's what is most desperately needed. By the time the governor's race gets up to full steam, our economic bust will drive voters to the polls in search of someone who has a plan for the future and not one for the past.