The story after the election of course hinged that on that a man few had ever heard of won the nomination for Senate who obviously has some major racist and homophobic baggage dipped in conspiracy theory psychosis. It’s a bigger mess than you can imagine and I won’t beat on the drum although I do have one observation.
Communicating every story on every candidate across the state is crucial, but I have beat that drum before. It’s important or these type of screw-ups are going to happen. The other issue is that so many people did not vote. I’ve talked about voter apathy before and know we see what happens if folks don’t vote, even if they don’t like any of the candidates. Oh, Tennessee, we just haven’t given The Daily Show and the Colbert Report enough fodder recently, have we, so we had to do it again.
Communicating a message from our state capital from the top down is so important, and now with the reality of news paywalls and people not blogging like they used to, new ways of messaging and distributing news needs to be a priority. (Do you hear that drumline I have down?)
A couple of other things that some folks are talking about and I want to reiterate is that we are watching an epic battle between moderate republicans and the Tea Party. Wouldn’t it be funny if Gov. Bill Haslam appointed Debra Maggart in the Dept. of Safety in a department that specifically worked on concealed weapons or gun control or something?
We also need to look at that democrats are no longer being held hostage by the four year problem of redistricting. It’s over. Bloggers (I was one of them) talked for years about redistricting and when it hit, it was worse than expected. We knew it would be a bloodbath and it was. It’s over though. Those democrats that are still standing in November that survived that battle can start doing what they were elected to do. At this point with the number slimming to historical proportions, the only effective to do in office now is oppose. Governing is what they want to do, but opposing dumb bills is where they are going to have to go now. And concentrating on common sense legislation, and most importantly, getting the message out to every corner of the state where voters know that elected officials are doing their jobs. Many voters only get national rhetoric. It is vital that communication is a priority and not just a throw away thing on the to-do list.
Getting through the noise will be difficult but it is going to have to be done. The noise right now is chicken and the embarrassment that democrats voted for the first guy on the senate ballot because they were not invested in the campaign.
Whose fault is this? The finger can be pointed in several different places but the thing I would suggest to do now is just move forward.
This isn’t the first time this has happened though, several years ago it happened to the GOP with James Hart in 2004. If you aren’t familiar with Hart, the Chattanoogan has the story from eight years ago when then GOP chair Beth Harwell had her hands full with Hart, who is a devout Eugenics supporter and has even written books about it. This year’s TNDP and that year’s TNGOP basically have done the same thing by denouncing both candidates. The GOP learned from this mistake and their communication methods changed. Hopefully this will be a lesson for the TNDP.
I’ve heard a lot of people talking AT each other since I moved to Nashville. It might be a good time to actively listen and communicate remembering that voters are all across the state and engagement is important.