Bob Corker on the VoiceBob Corker was on WVLZ this morning-I didn't call in because I didn't really have the time and Lloyd Dougherty and JP pretty much had the floor. Lloyd raised the concern that some people, particularly in Middle Tennessee, are out to personally demonize Corker. Let me say that I don't know Lloyd well, we've only talked on the phone by way of me calling into his live show on The Voice a couple of times, and I corresponded briefly with him via e-mail-but based on what I know about the man, I think Lloyd is a good conservative and a good human being. He tried to remind folks that this shouldn't be a personal attack against Corker, but should be about Corker's record. He also said he was neither for nor against Corker (he has not made an endorsement in the Senate Primary that I know of).
My criticisms of Bob Corker's record are not intended to be a personal attack on Corker (or his Mama), they are intended to bring things to light and to call things like I see and hear them. This morning on the radio, Bob Corker did one of the most clever duck-and-cover jobs I have ever heard on a radio show. A caller (JP) questioned Corker about the increase in Chattanooga's taxes and about the how the budget was nearly 12% larger when he left office than when he entered. Corker tried to say that he had no choice but to raise taxes when he entered office because of the state of the budget. "Houdini would have had to raise taxes," Corker said. Okay, I hate tax increases, but for the sake of argument, I'll give Corker the benefit of the doubt. Just because taxes needed to be increased when Corker came to city hall in order to make ends meet (and even then, it should have been as tiny an increase as possible) does not mean that the size of the budget had to be increased by 12% by the time he left office. Corker failed to explain why that had to happen.
Bob Corker told us in this radio appearance how pro-life he is, and how his views have changed because of life experience. I hope that is true and I welcome converts to the movement who come to see from experience the importance of protecting human life. What Corker does not seem to understand is that all we have to go by is what he has said in the past, his previous words and actions. Ed Bryant has been faithful to the pro-life cause from the first and that is why he got Tennessee Right to Life's endorsement, and that is why many conservatives believe they can trust Bryant.
Birds of a feather flock together. Yes, the Haslam family tends to support the Republican nominee in races, and Corker raised the point that they supported Van Hilleary against Phil Bredesen. What Corker did not point out is that the Haslams have also given money to Bredesen, they will give money to whoever they think will benefit them. A lot of us don't trust the Haslams (or the people they give money to) because the Haslams are not conservatives, and Mayor Bill Haslam does not govern like one. His goal is power, and a lot of us believe his goal is the Governor's mansion-not for us, but for himself. The Haslams do not care about conservatism as an ideology, only about the winning office and increasing their own power. Corker either doesn't understand these suspicions, or he shares the "power" philosophy as opposed to a philosophy of advancing the Cause with his service.
I am a Republican, it is true. I am a Republican, though, because I am a conservative, not the other way around. I don't play up other candidates just because they are Republicans, I have to believe in what that candidate is doing, and the things that candidate stands for. Jimmy Naifeh has said that Bob Corker "is a Democrat deep down inside." Jimmy Naifeh's brand of Democrat is not exactly Harry Flood Byrd-nobody can say Jimmy Naifeh is a fiscal or social conservative, as many of the old Southern Democrats were. If Jimmy Naifeh thinks you would make a good Democrat, that is never a good sign.
Corker understands, as do most people, that the people you associate with often determine people's opinion of you for good or ill. Considering who Bob Corker has associated with, does he really wonder why many conservatives don't trust him?