Yesterday's edition of The Tennessean (motto: "All your Grammy winners and Nashville connections in glorious color photos!") contained at least one flash of brilliance amid all the repackaged USA Today "McPaper" news... Local columnist Gail Kerr wrote a scathing article in which she blasted a Tea Party member of the state's legislature for having filed a legally questionable bill to prevent city, county, and state governments in Tennessee from using the Affordable Care Act health care exchange website, and to cancel contracts of any firm doing business with city, county, or state government if THEY use the health care exchanges. Kerr laid into local state Senator Mae Beavers in a snarky, sarcastic manner that made my blog post on the bill look absolutely Pollyanna by comparison. It was an epic takedown of a legislator who only files bills if she can pose as the most conservative person in the building, making sure her positions are always just to the right of John Birch. In short, it was a beautifully written cruise missile right up Mae Beavers' ass.
I was so impressed by Kerr's column that I responded directly to her email address, and by leaving a comment in the on-line version of the Tennessean. Out of curiosity I went back to the on-line comments section, and what I found there was quite telling, in a sad sort of way.
For every person who left a thankful note under Gail Kerr's column, there were several hateful rants from conservatives. Anyone who spoke in favor of her sentiment and against the bill Senator Beavers had filed was attacked, ridiculed, and in some cases told to "leave the state".
I've finally come to the conclusion that this is exactly what's wrong with this country, and what's wrong with the GOP these days: liberals and progressives are willing to play nicely with willfully obtuse people, but the angry, elderly, white base of the state's GOP can't even tolerate the words of moderate Republicans. And in their eyes, anyone to the left of Ayn Rand Paul and Louie Gohmert is a closet liberal.
While the GOP currently holds filibuster proof majorities in both houses of Tennessee's legislature, as well as the governor's office, it's hard to see how this knee-jerk naysaying is going to evolve into a long term political lock for Tennessee.
After all, at some point someone is going to have to recognize the fact that we're going to (sooner or later) run out of old, angry white men as a voting majority in this state, and in this country. Since the GOP seems determined to chase off any demographic that doesn't fall into that description, they're as doomed as dinosaurs.
Maybe that's why they're so angry all the time?