The Conservative Moment
Conservatives, you really are in control in Tennessee
While moderates may think themselves triumphant, let us look clearly at some of the realities where conservatives are concerned in the Tennessee Republican Party, and why all of this talk of little conservative control is nothing more than people believing what they'd like to.
Yes, the more moderate Haslam won the Republican nomination for Governor in August, and we all knew that this year the Republican nominee was the winner in November regardless of who that person happened to be. However, in campaigning for the General Election Haslam made it clear that he would veto any attempt at an income tax, would not stand in the way of the General Assembly further expanding gun rights in Tennessee, and would support and sign any pro-life legislation that hit his desk. As an indication of just how bona fide pro-lifers consider Haslam to be, the Legislature's most outspoken pro-life member, Rep. Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville)-the man who brought you SJR 127 in the House-supported Bill Haslam from the very beginning. Dunn has also always been one of the General Assembly's most conservative members, and many members on the right in Nashville, such as State Senator Stacey Campfield and his House replacement, Representative-elect Steve Hall, list Bill Dunn, a former House Republican Leader and current Calendar and Rules Committee Chairman, as one of the biggest among their political examples or mentors. For a moderate candidate, Haslam sure is doing a lot of outreach to the right by having someone like Bill Dunn in his camp. There is also the reality that the conservative vote split among two other candidates, along with the fact that there were three East Tennesseans seeking the Republican nomination for Governor. Bill Haslam isn't stupid, he knows that the political base that elected him in November is a conservative one and he has thus far behaved accordingly.
Labels: Conservatism, Elections, Political correctness, Republican Party, Tennessee politics