I’m having a really strong, visceral, negative reaction to Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Haslam’s latest ad where he muses in his avuncular fashion about whether there is any way we can make Tennessee safe? Really, how can we achieve this monumental task? Oh, let me guess: tougher sentencing laws and ensuring our prisons aren’t like luxurious hotels!
These are nice agenda items of the industry-funded ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council, which I wrote about here.) I’m sure Tennessee-based Corrections Corp. of America approves of that message, hell they paid for it. It’s also a nice little dog whistle that plays into peoples’ fears and the “conventional wisdom” that we live in a crime infested land filled with bogey men who want to steal your white women and your flat-screen TV. The fact that crime has been dropping across the state (and the nation) for the past few years is a little inconvenient for this message. Oh well, don’t let facts stand in the way of some fun little pandering.
And let me add: if Bill Haslam thinks our prisons are as luxurious as a fine hotel I suggest he stay in one next time he travels around the state. You know, save the campaign some money that might have gone to the Hiltons and Marriots. What an ass.
Jesus but I’m tired of hearing these stupid canards. You know the drill: we liberals want to offer hardened felons hugs and therapy and lollipops, but you can count on the Republicans to be tough and wield that whip! Bleed, felon, bleed! Everyone feel better now? Safe? Yes?
What I really wish is that we had a Democratic candidate for governor who could counter some of this nonsense. But no, we have Mike McWherter accusing Haslam of being a billionaire oil man who buys his oil from “socialist Venezuela.” Talk about the mother of all dog whistles! And this after the Haslam-hearts-Iran nonsense.
I’m feeling decidedly un-pandered to. McWherter is a joke — even worse of a joke than I feared back in July. I refuse to believe that McWherter was the best we Tennessee Democrats could do.
I can’t vote for either one of these clowns.
You know who panders to me? My dog. She loves me and lets me know every day. Maybe I’ll vote for her:
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