Saturday, September 26, 2009

Question of the Weekend

This weekend I'm starting a new weekend feature on my Examiner column-the question of the weekend. It will be a question about current political affairs in Tennessee politics. Either it will be a question about something that has happened in the previous week, or something that may or will happen in the week ahead. The answer to the question will be left open-ended on purpose, It will be up to you, the reader, to answer it will your comments and opinions below the article itself.

This weekend's question is about the Judicial Nominating Commission.


1980 Flashback/2012 Preview

Here is a flashback to 1980 for a little political nostalgia, and a preview of 2012 for those of you who haven't figured out that history repeats itself.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Voting Only Good in Memphis for Certain People

Democrats are in favor of extending the franchise to as many people as possible-unless those people might vote for a Republican:

Democrats accuse Republicans of sabotaging "democracy" when the GOP demand clarification of voter eligibility and attempt to purge the rolls of the dead or those who do not live in the precinct where their name appears. Certain Memphis Democrats would simply deny an entire district the franchise if it is clear that they will lose the election. This is Memphis, after all, where the dead regularly cast ballots and Tennessee voting rights are often extended to those who live in Arkansas. When Republicans attempt to do something about these improprieties, they are almost always accused of voter suppression.

Of course, the message of Memphis Democrats seems to be "different standards apply to everyone but us."

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Back On the Air

Our first Oatney On the Air in many moons can be heard at our Examiner site.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Smile Ty Cobb, You're On Candid Camera

I'm sure the Ty Cobb campaign in Tennessee House District 62 would love to explain why their man couldn't get the evening off on Monday to attend a public "meet the candidates' forum, but he could be seen at the Bedford County Courthouse in campaign attire in the middle of the workday-when UPS runs-on Wednesday:

It does seem rather puzzling, however, that Cobb, presumably a union man and "good Democrat" couldn't get time off to participate in a public meeting where he would be engaging with potential constituents in a race that should be his to win because of name recognition alone.

Ty Cobb didn't show up to the scheduled forum and didn't send someone to stand in for him, but that's life, we're told, because had to work. We should have no problem with an honest day's work, but apparently Ty Cobb isn't too busy to appear at the Bedford County Courthouse in the middle of the work day Wednesday.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

When You Can't Attend Political Events, Maybe You Shouldn't Be Running

Democratic candidate in Tennessee House District 62 Ty Cobb (brother of the resigned incumbent) couldn't make it to a public candidates' forum Monday night and he sent to representative in his place. Was he at some other political event? No, he had to work:

When there is an important constituency event-and this forum can certainly be seen as that-the candidate has an obligation to put his or her potential constituents ahead of his or her work schedule. If he or she really believes that job or family may be too much of an imposition to doing that, then that person has no business sitting in the General Assembly. Many very good Representatives and Senators have left Capitol Hill in Nashville not because they couldn't get re-elected, but because they believed that their familial and professional obligations required them to take their leave, whether temporarily or permanently, of the employments of public life because those responsibilities required them to place other priorities ahead of family and employment on many occasions.

As I stated in the article, which I hope all will read, there is not only no problem with a candidate or legislator who also engages in good, honest work, this is to be encouraged. The problem lies with the reality that you must be willing to place your constituents first, and that starts as a candidate. If your job or family life is going to get in the way of your candidacy, you should not run for office. I have turned down opportunities to run for office for those very reasons, because I understand that public responsibilities must be able to be placed on your front burner.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What Democrats Won't Do

Tennessee House Democrats have the key in their hands to a long majority in the lower chamber, but they won't turn it:

If the Democrats want to regain the majority, we can give them the precise formula to insure not only majority, but the possibility of perpetual control of the House for the foreseeable future. The reason we can reveal the secret to Democratic dominance is because under no circumstances will the Leadership of the House Democratic Caucus actually take this advice. Like most political leaders, the leaders of the Tennessee House Democrats follow the money, whether the money leads them to political well-being or not. Although money is the mother's milk of politics, following the money occasionally leads to people and parties losing touch with the voters. Losing touch with voters is what had cost the Democrats their majority in the Tennessee House in 2008, and may be what keeps the Republicans in the majority for years to come.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

There Is A Time To Speak...

On Friday I discussed why Tennessee Right to Life would endorse a Democrat in the District 62 Tennessee House Race by explaining the realities of pro-life politics. Today I use those same realities to explain why it may have been a good idea not to make a public endorsement in that race:

Votes this past session have shown the electorate that half of the Democratic Caucus is pro-life (or inclined to vote that way), but the Democratic Leadership has known that all along, which is why they did everything in their power to keep pro-life legislation from reaching the floor when they were in control of the House. There is little reason to believe they would not do so again. Would a Democratic House majority serve the interests of the pro-live movement in Tennessee? If history is any indication, the answer is very likely not. If the Republicans had more substantial numbers in the House, the District 62 special election would not carry with it the element of control that it does, and wouldn't be as big of a political deal as it is.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Trumpet Shall Sound, and We Shall Be Changed

Teddy Tahu Rhodes sings a beautiful version of my favorite aria from Handel's Messiah.

I Corinthians 15:51-52:

Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall all indeed rise again: but we shall not all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall rise again incorruptible: and we shall be changed.

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