Here’s a picture of a campaign sign in front of a polling place near my house:
This is an anti-immigrant, bigoted message. And it is the message that lost, big-time, state-wide on Thursday. It’s the same message that was rejected by Tennesseans four years ago when they said no to Ron Ramsey for governor. This is the same message that lost, big-time, in Nashville five years ago when Eric Crafton’s English Only effort went down in flames. It’s a message that begins with racist whackjob John Tanton and filters down into his various front groups like NumbersUSA and the Center For Immigration Studies and FAIR.
I wonder when far-right Republicans will give up on this message? Probably never. Because the constant drumbeat of immigrant-bashing on Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity has given the far-right fringe the mistaken idea that this idea works. They think, “People agree with this message. This is the message I need to repeat. This needs to be my position.”
What they forget is that the Rush Limbaugh Show, Sean Hannity and Fox News are trying to win a ratings game, not an election. It is in their interests to be outrageous, inflammatory, even controversial. What we learned this week, what we learn every election, is that politicians playing to the Rush/Fox crowd by aping their messaging are going to lose. Even in Tennessee.