Republicans In Disarray, Episode Eleventybillion

Anyone who doubts how completely off the rails the Republican Party has gone need look no further than so-called “moderate” (as in, “not crazy”) Republican Senator Lamar Alexander, Tennessee’s elder statesman who supposedly left his leadership post two years ago so he could be freed from the toe-the-party-line restraints of leadership and work to “make the Senate a more effective institution” and “deal with serious issues.”

Serious issues like immigration reform? The fiscal cliff? Taxation? Indeed! That has the nut wing of the GOP calling for the fainting couches, however:

In Alexander’s case, the disgruntlement keeps alive the possibility of a primary challenge in 2014, when he will run for a third term, say Cunningham and other tea party leaders in the state.

“There is a lot of chatter (about challenging Alexander),” said Mark Herr, head of the Mid-South Tea Party in Memphis.

In addition to immigration reform, the Tennessee senators have drawn flak from some conservatives this year for supporting sales taxes on Internet purchases, accepting dinner invitations from President Barack Obama, supporting income tax increases on upper incomes in order to avoid a “fiscal cliff” and supporting a cloture motion that allowed Senate Democrats to bring up a proposal for expanded background checks on gun sales. Despite voting for cloture, Corker and Alexander opposed expanded background checks themselves.

He had dinner with President Obama? Traitor!!!

Hilarious. Alexander has high approval ratings in Tennessee, and one would think his reputation as a “moderate,” “serious” politician and growing war chest would allay any fears that his seat is threatened by mouthbreathers in tricorner hats.

Still, Alexander appears to be taking this Tea Party primary threat seriously. The election is still over a year away, but Tennesseans are being reminded of what a massive defender of freedom Alexander is, with this TV ad featuring a cameo by Tea Party darling Rand Paul. Here’s “Man of the people” Lamar Alexander, standing up to Dah Man (ahem, Army Corps of Engineers) to protect your right to fish below a dam (and possibly drown). Take that, Big Government! That’s some world class populism, and just to prove what Defender Of Freedom Alexander is, he made sure to have BFF Rand Paul’s ugly mug in the ad, too. Brush with greatness, I tell ya!

That oughta stomp on any Tea Party primary challenge, amiright? I’m sure the Freedom To Fish Act and Rand Paul will completely make up for all the other stuff Lamar Alexander did to piss off the Tea Party.

Alternately, Lamar Alexander thinks the Tea Party is that stupid? Who knows, he could be right. Why else spend the money and run the ad in the first place? Either way it sure speaks volumes about how the Tea Party has so-called moderates running scared.

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5 Comments

Filed under Sen. Lamar Alexander, Tea Party, Tennessee

5 responses to “Republicans In Disarray, Episode Eleventybillion

  1. Mary Wilson

    Oh Lord, where do I begin.
    I have marched in front of our Dipstick in Chief’s office MANY times, with groups and one day by myself, I was so pissed off. He has taken the following positions in the last 5 years:
    “I want to repeal Medicare all together and let Wall Street handle this ‘ponzi scheme’.”
    I want the Federal Government to build 100 nuke power plants all over the US,…..( in spite of the facts that our TVA/FED owned nuke plants here LEAK, go ‘off line for repairs’, and well, just QUIT.)
    “I do NOT want any solar turbines in my back yard (Maryville) because they will block my view of the Smokies.
    If he respects Rand Paul, then we Dems need to find a good donkey to run against Alexandra.

  2. Kosh III

    Hardly moderate or sensible. I’d be willing to vote in the GOP primary against him IF, big IF I knew the Democratic candidate would have a better change of winning.
    But considering the Democrats fraking over of Park Overall and inflicting a racist teanut Mark Clayton, I’d conclude that we’re stuck with Lame-ar again. sigh……

    • The whole Park Overall thing confused me. First she tried to withdraw from the race, then said she wouldn’t withdraw, then said she’d run?

      We won’t have a chance unless we get a strong, solid Dem — someone with statewide recognition. I don’t know who that person might be.

  3. Kosh III

    As I understand it, she was interested in running but had some health issues, Chip F. called her and implored her to run, then Chip and the Establishment wouldn’t lift a finger to help.

    I welcome any correction or clarification.

    • I hadn’t heard Chip asked her to run (not saying he didn’t, just never heard that before.) My sense of it was that the Dem establishment didn’t see her as “serious”; they tried to recruit some known entity, and no one wanted to run.

      I’m just going from memory, but as I recall it, she had officially filed to run, and actually campaigned, and then I saw a newspaper story where she had a serious health issue and said she would like to withdraw but at that point it was too late, and so she was suspending her campaign. And then a couple weeks go by and suddenly she’s back in the running again. So I don’t know what happened, whether the media reports were wrong and never got corrected or what. And then Clayton gets the nomination and she’s supposed to be a write-in but it was a weak, word of mouth effort.

      Honestly, I didn’t know much about her in the first place except that she was an environmental activist and had been on some TV show at some point, not one I had heard of anyway. Basically her public profile with the average Tennessee voter was less than nil.

      But agreed, Chip and the TNDP really dropped the ball on that race and a dozen others. They naively assumed Mark Clayton wouldn’t get the nomination because no one had heard of him … well, no one had heard of most of those people. They traditionally stay out of primary races, and I understand why, but this was a special case.