Dear TN GOP Party (and you, Bill Hobbs)

27 02 2008

You know, I live in this state. I’m a native of this state. And, you know, I’m probably just as well-traveled and well-read as you are, Mr. Hobbs.

And right now, much of the country is looking at our state because of your press release about Barack Obama which is absolutely the most amazing piece of crap I’ve ever seen.

And every time this story runs it says Tennessee. I’m watching cable news and even Fox and tons of national political websites and the first word I see is … Tennessee.

I’m looking at state sites and what do I seeTennessee.

Your words aren’t mine. If you want to bring people over to the GOP party, are you really pulling stunts like this?

Wait, you are.

Do you have any idea how asinine this is?

I live in this state and yet you’ve smeared it about with one of the biggest hack jobs I’ve ever seen.

Could the next time you write something like this, could you please remove the name Tennessee from it?

I don’t want to be associated with it and no one should have to be. Even Lamar Alexander is embarrassed.

Updated 4:58 p.m. CST: Lee Pitts, spokesman for U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), has issued the following statement:

“Senator Alexander has talked with Robin Smith, and she is removing the release and the photo from the website. She and the senator agreed it could be easily misinterpreted, taken out of context and considered inappropriate.”

Updated 4:04 p.m. CST: Crystal Benton, a spokeswoman for the John McCain for President campaign has issued the following statement to Tennessee media:

“Senator McCain has made clear that he rejects these sort of tactics and will campaign on his record.”

But it’s not our embarrassment. We are just living with your actions, Mr. Hobbs. As Tennesseans, we get to see Tennessee smeared all over the web, the TV and the blogosphere.

Thanks (and know I don’t mean that and it goes to Robin Smith too.)

Is bad attention better than no attention at all?

I would say in this case, no.

Dude, you may have won the official Tennessee Wanker award for the year and it’s just February.

And, yes, I said Tennessee.




32 responses

27 02 2008

I couldn’t agree more, and I’m not from Tennessee. This stuff’s disgraceful, and it’s an unfortunate consequence that it’s so strongly associated with it’s location.

27 02 2008

They’re so full of shit they don’t know where to put it.

27 02 2008

Horrid little cretins like Hobbs definitely give Tennessee a bad name, and I hope he gets canned over this. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy.

On a brighter note, this could backfire on the GOP nationally.

27 02 2008

Right on!

27 02 2008
Jeffraham Prestonian

But, in perspective, William Hussein Hobbs is a nobody compared even to pissants like Stacey “the rep” Campfield. I’m embarrassed for us when he gets press!

27 02 2008
Jeffraham Prestonian

They’re so full of shit they don’t know where to put it.

They hell they don’t! They put it on a plate, and serve it up to “the faithful,” tellin’ ’em it’s filet mignon!

27 02 2008

*standing and applauding*

27 02 2008

Bravo! He represents what the GOP has come to stand for since 1981, and this only adds to the prospect that they will be repudiated by this nation o November 4.

27 02 2008

If Hobbs still has a job tomorrow, then it’s pretty damn clear where the state party stands on the issue. That Hobbsian piece could have been written by The Onion. The part where he quotes himself, is as they say in the ads, just priceless.

27 02 2008

If I said what I really felt about Hobbs I would no doubt be hearing from the FBI in the morning.

27 02 2008
Polimom Says » It’s more than a lunatic fringe

[…] (h/t:  newscoma) […]

28 02 2008

It doesn’t matter if Hobbs is wrong. It doesn’t matter if he gets fired or doesn’t. TN liberals’ very vocal outrage DOES matter, and in the wrong way.

It’s working. You took the bait.

Everywhere you turn, people are saying the word “Hussein”. This, coupled with the already-present email forwards, solidifies the urban myth, and once it’s out there it’ll be too late.

Y’all would have been better off letting the Republicans turning on each other be the story.

Did anybody see the MTSU poll yesterday? There are many,many people – some of them I consider quite intelligent, who are convinced that Obama will conspire with the Islamists, or at the least, go soft on them.

There are enough people in enough states who have the urban myth in the back of their minds to make a difference. For the first time, I’m beginning to think he can’t win the general election.

You should not be focusing on Hobbs.

28 02 2008

Actually it’s more than that, Slarti.
I live in a rural community. I hear the Hussein thing everyday and people talk about it a lot. And I talk to them about it face-to-face. For the record, I also hear that McCain is too old and tied to the Bushs and the whole Clinton-is-shrill thing.
What got my gourd is that the name, Tennessee, is slapped all over the place. They were talking about it again last night on CNN.
Slarti, this was written up in Australia. Once again, Tennesseans are painted in a negative light.
Honestly, I accept crap like this is going to come from political spinmeisters. For folks like myself and you, we deal with it in a thoughtful way.
I’m not so fond of the shillblogging, for the record, going on either but there is a more limited audience on that and everyone is allowed their opinion.
The difference is that Mr. Hobbs painted our picture as a bunch of intolerant wahoos on a national platform.
I would have felt the same way if Gray Sasser and his staff had done it.
So, love you dear, you are correct that the damage was done but it’s been done on several levels from each campaign already.
It’s the painting the state I love negatively and that’s a big part of the reason I’m irritated.Hobbs drug us all through the mud on this one, no matter what our political affiliation might be.
(And remember, McCain and Alexander made statements on this too. Alexander has more weight. He doesn’t want his state painted in this sort of picture either.)

28 02 2008

I saw this on the Knoxville News Sentinel last night and was HORRIFIED. It is this kind of crap that makes people think we are all ignorant, racist rednecks.

28 02 2008

People were going to talk about the name “Hussein” eventually. But progressives must answer the spin that TNGOP is putting on this, if for no other reason than to desensitize it. If Slarti really believes that the middle name was not going to come up eventually, then he is mistaken. Sitting on the sidelines and not countering prejudice is no option and only makes Democrats look more weak and ineffective. To the contrary, the damage was done at publication. Progressives have to talk about it, because to fail to speak truth is duplicity. If Obama loses on his middle name, there is a lot more wrong with the country than Dems could fix.

28 02 2008

Y’all would have been better off letting the Republicans turning on each other be the story.

By the way, what makes you think that the Republicans would have turned on each other if there hadn’t been a firestorm of controversy that progressives stoked? It’s just as reasonable to assume that if harsh attention had not been brought on the left, then the Republicans would have said nothing and got away with much.

28 02 2008

Mike, I’ve honestly been having conversations this morning about how this economically impacts us with interests outside of Tennessee. Several years ago, this area lost a huge Japanese investment because an alderman from the area made a racist statement. Northwest Tennessee lost a ton of money. It had to do with intolerance and the investors backed out. (He was tossed out of office at the next election, incidentally.)
This does impact us on a larger stage.
And, you know Slarti, Republicans, Democrats and Independents need to be talking about this because it impacts all of us on a variety of levels.
As a progressive (and as a person) I’m very comfortable calling foul on this kind of behavior.

28 02 2008
Aunt B.

Newscoma, that is such an important point and one I’m glad you brought up, because I don’t know how to adequately address it. One of the things that I both love and that aggravates me about Tennessee is this propensity, when someone is showing his tail, to act as if addressing it somehow makes it worse.

I mean, yes, it’s very charming to just have this attitude that, if we ignore ignorant fools, what those ignorant fools say won’t really matter, but that’s not how the outside world works.

When businesses consider relocating here, they want to be assured that their employees aren’t going to be moving to someplace scary and ignorant. So, yes, we have to make sure that our voices get heard.

28 02 2008
What’s in a name? Tennesseeans ticked over Hobbs sectarian smears. « Illinois Reason

[…] 28, 2008 in Obama, Presidential Campaign 2008, Republicans by robnesvacil Turns out folks in Tennessee don’t really like having asses be the face and voice of their state in news media across the nation. And here conserv-o-partisans were complaining about McCain backing […]

28 02 2008

OK, I understand the business and PR point of view. I’m with you on that. For once in my life, I was thinking strictly in a horserace political sense. I hate that people around the world see us as backwards racists, but it has been that way for so long, I’m kind of desensitised to it. I just take it for granted that I’m viewed as a redneck by the world.

I’m beginning to see the whole thing as a cynical ploy. Follow me here.

Obama is not going to win TN. He couldn’t even win the primary.

McCain had his Sista Soljah moment with Cunningham. I’m convinced the whole thing was a setup to make McCain appear reasonable to independents.

Then, a party chair from an “in the bag” state takes Cunningham’s words and runs with them. Not for in-state consumption. But for the very national publicity we’re seeing right now.

I need a tinfoil hat, but I KNOW the first part was planned, and I could easily be convinced about the second part.

But then again, the TN Republican party is second in ineptitude only to the Illinois Republican party, so probably not.

Roger Abramson for party chair!

That being said, holding your hands to your ears and shouting “LALALA” is not going to make the ugly truth go away: enough “independent” voters to sway the election have already made up their minds about Obama based on email forwards and certain buzzwords being thrown out into the public debate.

I repeat what I’ve said before: Obama needs to get out front of this.

28 02 2008

I gotcha on this because, I guess we have switched roles here Slarti :), but I’m thinking from an economic standpoint and not so much of a political one.
But do you see my point as well?
You’re right. Obama probably won’t win Tennessee, but the damage is done. Have you seen the stories on this reaching audiences nationally and globally? It’s on CNN, The New York Times etc.
The Hussien thing has been playing for awhile. I’ve gotten probably hundreds of emails about him being a Muslim (debunked) etc… It’s going to be part of the race. I can’t speak for Obama but you know, he’s dealt with this since he started running. I think he has been out in front of this since the beginning. From a (let’s go back to me being political for a moment) political perspective, if he gives the TNGOP even more fodder, wouldn’t it just give Hobbs the attention he craves.
I’m talking growth.
My thought process is on how we are being perceived and how this is going to effect economic and industrial recruitment (used to work in this field) long-term.
But I also see where your coming from.
I’m just coming from a different direction.

28 02 2008

I am from Columbia, SC. We are constantly looked at by north as dumb hillbillies. I resent that. I was born in the North but chose to live in the south. I am very happy among some of the most insightful people I have met. The smear on TN will pass and the truth dwells within you. Don’t sweat it.

Albert N. Milliron / Politisite

28 02 2008

coma – I have no doubt there will be SOME economic impact from our bumpkin reputation, but it’s reallty nothing new. Certainly image-conscious corporations would rather not be associated with a state perceived to be filled with jackasses. This latest flap does not help.

But, TN has survived Stokes, the Ford Family, Bill Boner, the Butchers, UFO landing pads, embryo custody battles, Don Sundquist, dog-shooting state troopers, the Blanton pardon scandals, and Hee Haw. Not to mention a peculiar blogger named Slartibartfast.

Unfortunately, our rural areas have NEVER done well economically (Spring Hill being the one exception), and our state government has always focused on keeping jobs in our 3 big cities first.

I’m not disagreeing with you per se, but ED (economic development, not that other thing) is a very comprehensive issue. I think it ought to be discussed more – especially concerning our rural areas.

Something tells me that our state image is the last thing on Hobbs’ mind. 🙂

28 02 2008

Slarti, one last thing and then I’m stopping. When I was growing up here in northwest Tennessee, we were doing extremely well economically from a manufacturing base perspective so it just wasn’t Spring Hill which is more recent history. I’m talking about 40 years here.
(Goodyear, Tupperware, Quebecor, Avon Books (Stephen King used to come here) MTD, Dozens of plants in Crockett, Haywood and Dyer Counties, Republic in Carrol County, Wilson in Gibson and the list goes on) It did set an economic plane for manufacturing workers in several counties. Even across the line, Bridgestone Tires employed Tennesseans for high wages.)
I realize I’m being very broad here.
Northwest Tennessee did VERY well but you have to know the history.
We had dozens of plants cropping up in the late 60’s to the early 80’s. In some respects, although not perfect, it was prosperous. It’ fell apart after NAFTA. Seriously fell apart. (and I have bronchitis and don’t want to get into the political aspects of that. I think we all know that it was a piece of garbage back in the day and it’s a piece of garbage now because it just doesn’t work and I’ve seen the ramifications of it first hand.)
With that said, I realize that scandals come and go. But there is a bit of a difference about a dumb governor stealing a dog or the Fords being the Fords and our state looking intolerant. I know I keep hammering this, but it’s on my mind. I go back to that company I mentioned several comments back. I’ve seen first hand how this can screw us.
Now, going back on my groovy cough syrup and going to cough myself out of this bronchitis.
Just felt I needed to set the record state from a different perspective of living in an area other than one in a metropolitan environment.

Now, I AGREE whole-heartedly that each state has our stories of the burning stupids and we survive it. You are absolutely right there and I also agree that Hobbs is too busy being interviewed by CNN and NYT to be thinking of our state image.

28 02 2008

I’m from here but lived in Amsterdam and Montreal for awhile. I know it’s going to be fine but you know, it’s good it’s sparking this kind of discussion on many levels.

I want to thank everyone who’s come over to discuss this. Dialogue is always a good thing.

28 02 2008

It’s one thing to be from the land of Hee Haw. Goofy, friendly, harmless corn pone. It’s another to be affiliated with intolerance just because of the state you reside in.
Leaving Hobbs without reprimand for his actions is tacit agreement.

28 02 2008
Katherine Coble

I love you with all my heart. I hope you know that.

But the title of your well-written and thought-out post is driving me nuts with its redundancy. (The “p” in GOP stands for Party).

/pedantic asshole


The thing of actual substances which I must add are these:

1. As I said at Ginger’s “Hussein” and “John” essentially mean the same thing and are equally common in the parts of the world that speak those respective languages (Semitic and Romantic).

2. I swear that when I wrote my piece about the email I had no idea about the Hobbs press release and was kept out of most of the resultant hubub by personal issues. I personally regret that Hobbs has taken what would be considered a golden opportunity—Ah screw it. This is a long comment. I’ll flesh it out at my place.

28 02 2008

I would love to tell you I did that on purpose but the reality is all I’ve done tonight is apologize for being on steroids and codi-clear for a week.
Sorta tired of apologizing for it. I don’t blog stoned very well. Be a pedantic asshole anytime you want Kat. I love it when you visit. 🙂

29 02 2008

Party squared = twice the fun

2 03 2008
Keep On Rockin’ In The Free World « Newscoma

[…] NewsComa: Hobbs wins the Tennessee Wanker award and it’s only […]

3 03 2008
Lean Left

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16 05 2008
How Will The GOP’s National Attention Impact Our State? « Newscoma

[…] industry is looking to move to Tennessee, are they going to be looking at the Obama bashing that we’ve seen over the last few… and think, “No, I think I’d rather move to […]

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