Thursday, May 19, 2005


A Summit for GOP Victory in 2006

I have to admit that I was a little down yesterday. The reason? I had watched "Hannity & Colmes" at 2 A.M., and the first guest was Pat Buchanan. Buchanan is much like Dick Morris to me - sometimes wacky, but at other times capable of great observations that bear considerable thought. Buchanan, on this night, was both at times, but more the latter than the former. (I apologize for not providing a transcript, but doesn't have one up.)

Buchanan is predicting a fracture of the GOP between the elections in 2006 and 2008 because he doesn't believe that the factions in the "big tent" won't be able to overlook their differences. The reason why this rang true with me was because of what we are already experiencing in Tennessee, a place many feel is a red-state even if the GOP is the minority party (which, as Lamar Alexander pointed out in his Lincoln Day addresses, is more than likely still the case). With two pivotal races in 2006 for the GOP, there is the possibility that the GOP could lose them both in a state where we shouldn't lose races because of a "perfect storm" of events that could see Bredesen awarded with an undeserved second term in the Governor's Mansion and Harold Ford, Jr., as U.S. Senator. Something has to be done to prevent this.

Yesterday evening, totally by serendipity, I met up with a person at the Tennessee Smokies game against the Chattanooga Lookouts. This person (who shall remain anonymous only because I did not ask him/her if this was a private conversation and I would not want to betray that trust if it was) was close to Van Hilleary in the past and, although not with Van's campaign this time around, will be supporting Van in 2006. We talked at length about the current situation in Tennessee, how we were both torn by how this was playing out, and how we could have fixed the situation. Thus, the Smokies Summit occurred - and a solution was worked out.

This is what has to happen. Van Hilleary and Ed Bryant must forge an alliance, running as a team but in different races. This was the idea behind the Victory 2002 campaign that so many of us took part in throughout Tennessee but just didn't seem to work because the wrong people were in charge of areas too large to canvass. However, because Ed and Van are so ideologically similar and many of us have worked for both over the course of several campaigns, we could make this work. So what's the sticking point? Well, Van needs to claim his rightful place in the Governor's Mansion. Now, we didn't see this as a sticking point because we both know that Van wants to be governor about as bad as Ed wants to be senator. However, this decision is up to Van alone to make. If he were to challenge the vulnerable Bredesen and be elected into his dream job, it could be the dawn of a new age of conservatism in Tennessee unlike any we have ever seen.

Can you imagine the strength this primary campaign would have? Van could be in Fayette County one day, hammering Bredesen and Corker on their support of the income tax. Meanwhile, on the same day, Ed is across the state in Washington County, slamming Bredesen and Corker's tax increases. It's a vision that could get even the most docile conservative ready to campaign with everything he has, and it has to be a scenario that frightens Corker, Bredesen, Ford, and their supporters.

Many people have written regarding whom the GOP might nominate for governor (today, Bill Hobbs pushes Scooter Clippard and Beth Harwell, while John Brown gets behind Corker or Jim Henry). With all due apologies, Clippard and Harwell have to be longshots because they are coming from <1% name recognition, and Corker and Henry can't be too appetising to conservatives (almost to the point where you have to wonder if conservatives will come out in the general election). (I should also note that the other participant in the Smokies Summit thought Scooter's chances to be a bit better than I do.)

An alliance between Van and Ed is the best way to secure a conservative outcome next November. Van, the ball's in your court.

I wouldn't mind seeing this happen, but someone needs to step up to the plate and challenge Bredesen. It's hard to see Hilleary jumping over into the gubernatorial race, but then again he'd probably like to avenge his 2002 loss, and if he thinks he can do it... who knows.

I still think Henry or Corker would have a better shot, but hey - no one has entered the race yet, so beggars can't be choosers :-)
Darn it, Rob! I've been working for years now on trying not to take Pat Buchanan seriously, and now you're going to make me think about him longer than the time it takes to make a smart-alecky remark like this one.

Buchanan sees a schism between "true" conservatives and the others who favor deficit spending to fund either military adventures or big government programs.

While he's right about the big government programs, he's wrong about the military. If he had his way, we'd all be following the "America First" policy which ended the year after he was born.

So: tell us about Hilleary and Bryant. What do these guys say about spending? The income tax? The war? In my mind, an income tax will only encourage state government programs, slow the regional economy, and leave us worse-off fiscally. The war (I mean the general war on terror)needs support because national security is top priority. But if the GOP wants to form a real dynasty at the state and national level, we have to finally start shrinking the government like Ronald Reagan wanted back a quarter century ago.

But if we do it the way Buchanan wants, the party will be reduced to the Taft family and some fellows in militia compounds up in Montana.
John Walter -

Ed and Van have very similar views over the broad areas you discussed. While in D.C., Ed voted to balance the federal budget, cut taxes (income, death, capital gains), and reduced spending. In their last year in Congress, Ed received a 100% rating from Americans for Tax Reform, while Van received an 89% rating (mostly due to missing votes while campaigning in TN). In 2001, Ed again received a 100% rating, while Van was at 95%. Van is not at all for an income tax and pledged in 2002 to fight that unconstitutional tax at all times, which is something that Mr. Bredesen neglected to do, only saying that he wouldn't entertain an income tax in his FIRST term. Both Ed and Van supported the President's decision to go to war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

If you have any other areas of concern, let me know and I'll see if I can get new or updated information.


What about their ratings from NRLC?
Not only Van Hillary but Bryant and Corker as well may want to consider finding a different race to get in, if winning is the outcome they're after. The Republican Primary may have just become a race for second place, with Memphis Congressman Harold Ford Jr. officially entering the race today. The road to Washington just got more crowded and they all have a shinny new FORD in their rear view mirrors getting ready to make a pass on the left and not stop till he has a new seat in the US Senate Chamber!
Go Harold Go!
Jesse -

That's some funny stuff. Realy. You need to take that act on the road.

Be sure to come back to eat crow next November, OK, buddy?


Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?