Thursday, July 01, 2010


Democrats Taking Back the Tennessee House is NOT Based in Reality

Despite our minor dust-ups over the years, Randy Neal (aka "South Knox Bubba") is a liberal blogger who I do respect. No, really. I'm serious. Randy does excellent work.

Randy is very strong at analysis of past events, and he probably missed his calling when he didn't go into investigative reporting. That plays to his strength.

But where Randy isn't good is in predicting election results. That's actually being kind. He sucks like a bilge pump. (I mean, he's no Mike Silence, so perhaps I'm being a little harsh...) He lets his heart have the final say after his head has done all of the legwork. You can't let that happen, because you're setting yourself up for heartbreak. I may not have wanted Barack Obama to win in 2008, but I didn't say that McCain was going to shock the world a few weeks out from Election Day. Likewise, I looked at wonks that said that Jim Bryson would stay within single-digits of Phil Bredesen in 2006 like they were mad. (Said wonks know who you are.) I think the world of Jim Bryson and believe this country would be a better place if more people gave of themselves as he does, but that didn't stop me from lecturing them that a 29-point beatdown was coming. (Even I couldn't see the 39-point margin of victory in that race, but at least I didn't let what I wanted - a win for "Big Jim" - overshadow by predictive skills.)

Which leads us to Randy's post over at KnoxViews today. Randy maps out how the Democrats can take back the Tennessee House this year. Yes, this year, in a year where Democrats are going to be dragged down by a national perception that they are mortgaging America's future for more government control and that the Democratic leadership is incapable of handling problems, from the mundane to the catastrophic. I thought 2006 was a toxic year for Republicans, and, generally, that ended up being correct. I don't think that even comes close to how bad this year could be for the Democrats. If the Republicans quit bickering amongst themselves (and I only mention that because some of the pseudo-Republicans, like the Republican Liberty Caucus, are only in this for themselves and could try to burn Rome since it can't be Eden), this could be a solid year for the Grand Old Party.

Randy's post should make most Republicans in Tennessee see how close we are to our goal of being able to draw the district lines in a manner that makes sense (take a look at our congressional districts for an example of districts not making sense) and eliminates the Democratic safeguards that have been allowed their Party to remain relevant at a time when they clearly are not in the Volunteer State.

Some of Randy's Republican targets are hilarious. Debra Maggert? REALLY? Look, Debra and I had a pretty bad turn this year about her ill-advised attempt to open up our juvenile courts to public eyes for crimes of a sexual nature, but Debra is VERY popular in her district. Same goes for Beth Harwell. And while I may like Nathan Vaughn and believe his loss in 2008 to be one of the few races I have incorrectly called this decade, I just don't see his momentum in Kingsport. Not now. I've been up in that neck of the woods recently, and areas where he had pockets of support are securely in Tony Shipley's corner now. Same goes for Matt Hill. My views on his effectiveness as a legislator aside, he is liked very much by his constituents. (Think Stacey Campfield - not many bills passed of consequence, but his supporters will do ANYTHING to help him secure victory.) I don't see Hill losing to Mrozek.

The bottom line is that the Democrats shouldn't buy the snake oil that Randy's selling. Perhaps they should look at the reality of the situation and ponder, "What if the GOP wins ALL of the up-for-grabs seats?" The number of seats actually in contention is probably about 7. If the perfect storm of Republican down-ticket momentum occurs, the Democrats could realistically be staring a 60-39 deficit square in the face.

And that's before we get the redistricting pen...

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