I can remember a time when a Republican winning a statewide race for public office in Tennessee was about as likely as a Democrat winning a statewide race for public office in Tennessee today. In other words, the pendulum has swung so far to the right here in the Volunteer State that it's completely out of sight, and still moving rightward...
Case in point: the Democratic Party pooh-bahs have decided to disavow their own Senate candidate in this year's election. Senator Bob Corker is running for reelection to Congress from Chattanooga, and a lot of Tennesseans would like to see him replaced. They remember the way Corker blasted labor union leaders and GM executives during the Senate hearings on the automobile industry bailout, all the while working to bring a non-union Volkswagon plant to his hometown of Chattanooga. But because Corker's a multi-millionaire with unlimited funds at his disposal and a huge campaign war chest to use in the general election in November, no credible opponent could be found to run for the Democratic nomination.
Seven Democrats lined up to run for the right to face Corker in the election, but none of them had the name recognition to be a serious challenge for Corker in the general election. So most Democratic primary voters went into the voting booth uninformed on their choices for the Senate primary race, and many of them apparently just voted for the name at the top of the page: Mark Clayton.
So Clayton won the Democratic nomination and will face Corker in November. Who the hell is Mark Clayton? Well, if you Google the name you'll probably get a wide receiver for the Miami Dolphins. It's not that Mark Clayton. Wish it were...
"Our" Mark Clayton is the unpaid vice president for a group calling itself Public Advocate of the United States, a group the Southern Poverty Law Center calls an "anti-gay hate group."
Wonderful. The Democratic Party in Tennessee is so pathetically disorganized that it is now publicly disavowing its own candidate for a statewide Senate race. And yet I get half a dozen emails and a few phone calls from the state's Democratic Party on a daily basis urging me to send them my hard earned cash.
They need my money for this?