How Will The GOP’s National Attention Impact Our State?

16 05 2008

I’ve written about this before and I’m not going to go into it more than just to say that I really am so disappointed in the national press focusing on the actions of Bill Hobbs and the Tennessee GOP.

I’ve lived in Canada and In Europe for long stretches of time. I guess I’m not your typical Tennessean. The stereotypes of Tennesseans is a reality because I’ve seen how we are perceived outside of this country’s walls. It’s something we have anyway. Not everyone in the state of Tennessee, for those of my readers that live outside the state line, is like the way we are being portrayed.

When 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 months and think, “No, I think I’d rather move to Minnesota.”

I’m a Tennessean. I love the way the mountains in the east side of the state have lazy clouds hiding the tips of their peaks. I love the color of winter wheat which is impossibly green that is so vibrant and alive that it makes one wonder if you could swim in it’s buttery softness. I love the feel of Midtown in Memphis where there is a subtle urgency that makes you pick up your feet. I love sitting in the juke joints with people who talk about their parents, and their parents’ parents and how the first time they heard The Beatles they thought they had died and gone to heaven. I like that in Nashville I would go to Pancake Pantry and see Lyle Lovett eating chocolate chip pancakes not once but numerous times and that no one bothered him. I love the way the wind whips off the river in Chattanooga as you walk downtown. The cypress knees that line Reelfoot Lake are incredible as you see hundreds of turtles neatly lined on fallen logs.

It’s a good state really. We are not the crude lines that are being portrayed by the national media right now. That is not the Tennessee I live in.

I make fun of Hooterville, but I stay here because, at this point, I choose too. It’s flawed but it’s also not too bad and I love the people here. I do. I feel such affection for my home. When people are struggling to make ends meet and I see that the state branch is making a short-term funny (I don’t think it’s amusing in the least) I can’t help but wonder what the long-term cost will be.

Our area lost a plant several years ago because of James Hart being written up in a Florida newspaper. The industrial folks who were looking to bring industry here didn’t like that a (former) alderman talked to Hart and said he agreed with Hart’s blathering. Hart has been denounced by the GOP and that’s not my point, but it was that two men’s words made a difference that impacted thousands of people’s lives.

My state is not a one-note joke.




8 responses

16 05 2008
Going Against The Way Things Go Down : Post Politics: Political News and Views in Tennessee

[…] How many amongst us have done that? Not many, I imagine. SEE ALSO: Newscoma […]

16 05 2008
Aunt B.

Spot on, ‘Coma. Spot on. When I saw Andrew Sullivan talking about what a shame it was to see the TNGOP going after a guy’s wife, I cringed.

16 05 2008

The only good that comes of this is that as Hobbs takes the TNGOP nose down into the abyss, he will destroy it; then we can get past their backwardness.

I understand; I lived for five years in one of the most beautiful places on earth, Arkansas.

16 05 2008
theodoric of athens, more caption

I wouldn’t give Hobbs too much credit (or too much blame) for the anti-Obama ads. Republicans are trying to run Congressional races against the Obamas all across the South, and probably the North too. Maybe even in Minnesota.

I drove through Hobbs’ precious Williamson County yesterday, and didn’t see any signs that Brentwood and Franklin are suffering blowback from his TV ads.

As far as small-town industrial policy goes: new manufacturing is assiduously courted all across the country, and it probably doesn’t take all that much to get yourself stricken from a short list. There are paranoid racist loons everywhere – even France has its le Pen – but demonstrating that you’re willing to elect them to office is probably not beneficial in casting your community in the best possible light.

I wouldn’t worry about Bill Hicks and his TV ads. If you’re going to be concerned about what’s going on in Nashville, I’d be asking Phil Bredesen what he’s done for you lately.

16 05 2008
theodoric of athens, more caption

er, Bill Hobbs. I don’t know why I always think “hicks” when I think of him.

16 05 2008

Thanks for the feedback. And you are right, it’s a commonality we have that loons are everywhere. Having seen the local hits taken by actions like this, I get a bit sensitive about it.
As for Bredesen, exactly.

16 05 2008

I really doubt any corporation gives a damn about any state politics, honestly. It’s all about tax breaks, free land, appropriate bribes, and lower cost of living for workers equating to lower wages required.

So, you know, Tennessee is always going to lose out to Mexico.

16 05 2008

Ron, one thing though. The TN GOP has been in national news quite a bit lately. That’s what I’m talking about. Perceptions.

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