Friday, August 6, 2010

Tennessee Election FAILs

Here are my off the cuff, completely uneducated, uninformed opinions on what the results from yesterday’s elections mean. Feel free to disagree, I've said before that I didn't pay close attention to the state and local races that I wasn't voting in. Go over to Braisted's for more educated political commentary.

That disclaimer aside: We had some really big losers, namely national conservatives Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin. Their endorsements didn’t help Robin Smith and CeCe Heil, both of whom were spectacular FAILs.

The Tennessee Tea Party’s candidate, Ron Ramsey, was also a spectacular FAIL, finishing a distant third. Oh noes. When will the media get over its infatuation with this fringe group of Obama haters?

It was a FAIL for the "Judeo-Christian heritage"-Muslim bashing right-wing fundiegelical Christian contingent. Those candidates who blew the anti-Muslim dog-whistle didn't fare too well, near as I can tell.

It was FAIL for negative politics: mud slingers Robin Smith and Lou Ann Zelenik were big losers. Ditto Zach Wamp, Ron Ramsey, and George Flinn and Ron Kirkland. Over in my own District 21, we’re all biting our nails as the provisional ballots are being counted in the Douglas Henry/Jeff Yarbro race. For my non-Tennessee readers, this was a Democratic primary for state Senate. Yarbro is the pro-choice progressive candidate, running against an octogenarian who had served in the Tennessee legislature since before Yarbro was born. When I went to bed last night Yarbro was behind by TWO votes. Interesting to note, Yarbro ran a very positive, professional, respectful campaign. Douglas Henry, when he realized he might actually lose, went negative with an unfair attack ad. I don’t think it helped his case one bit.

So if nothing else, perhaps the Tennessee results can put to rest the old cannard that negative campaigns work. They don’t.

Perhaps also the Tennessee race can put to rest the piece of media conventional wisdom that the Tea Party is a significant political movement. They're going to need to start winning some actual elections for that to be true.

And maybe we can finally, finally stop treating Sarah Palin like she matters. She doesn’t.

Just my .02.

Adding ... Among our crackpot candidates, check out racist nut job June Griffin of the Rhea County Tea Party who ran as an independent in the governor's race. Needless to say, another spectacular FAIL. I think Basil Marceaux got more votes.

AND ALSO.... Okay I've now had a chance to check in with some friends who are less politically inclined than myself. They did not vote. Not unexpected, this being a primary and the midterms and the uncontested Democratic Goober etc. etc. Still, I have not missed an election in 30 years, possibly ever. It just was instilled in me from a young age that the two things every good citizen must do is a) vote, and b) jury duty. Those are our obligations and you don't weasel out of them. Fine, I was raised by a bunch of DFH radicals (not really ....) but I would have thought that we all learned a lesson in the 2000 presidential race.

Every. vote. counts.

Cripes, people. How hard is it to vote, now that we have early voting? Le Sigh.