Democrats Nominate Nutcase for Senate In Tennessee; Could Have Been Adverted
Written by Michael Allen Monday, 06 August 2012 17:04
In 2008 a strange fluke in American politics happened that turned out to be one of the most bizarre events of that election cycle. Of course Iâ€™m talking about Alvin Greene, the inarticulate, mentally-deficient Air Force flunkey who won a statewide primary without even campaigning and became the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate from South Carolina.
That watershed moment shouldâ€™ve been a wakeup call to the democratic establishment. Now history has repeated itself and a true lunatic has become the Democratic nominee for Senate in Tennessee in the form of Mark Clayton. Heâ€™s not just dumb, heâ€™s deranged. He believes in the existence of FEMA prison camps, the existence of plans for a NAFTA superhighway, and opposes abortion rights for women and equality for gays.
Obviously Mr. Clayton is a real winner
who embodies the values of Tennessee Democrats. Oh wait; except for he doesnâ€™t,
as the Tennessee Democratic Party lambasted him, saying that heâ€™s a member of a
hate group. Of course, this could have been prevented.
The man who couldâ€™ve stopped it is none other than Howard Dean.
After an amazing insurgency in the 2004 Democratic primaries, followed by a screaming fall from grace, Dean found grace as chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
While in that position he formulated the 50 State Strategy, allocating funds to candidates even in deep red states that were long thought unwinnable. This campaign paid off in 2006 by restoring Democrats to the majority in both House and the Senate. It ultimately led to Obama winning races in North Carolina, Indiana, which hadnâ€™t sent a Democrat to the White House since 1964, and even one electoral vote in Nebraskaâ€™s second congressional district. Obama isnâ€™t expected to be competitive in any of those contests in 2012.
For some reason, unbeknownst to all but a few democratic political insiders, none of whom are talking about it publically, President Obama really, really doesnâ€™t like Howard Dean. They ousted Dean as DNC chairman; they didnâ€™t give him a position in the White House, and after the withdraw of Tom Daschleâ€™s nomination for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dean was passed over once again, despite healthcare being his signature issue, and notwithstanding his supporters in the party making a vocal push for Deanâ€™s nomination to the position.
How did Alvin Greene and Mark Clayton win statewide primary races in the first place?
It is not as if there wasnâ€™t a serious candidate running against Greene in 2008, in the form of Charleston County Council member and former state legislator Vic Rawl, or against Clayton in 2012 in the form of actress turned activist Park Overall.
The problem is that these candidates didnâ€™t have funding from any national or statewide Democratic organization to get their message out. The problem is that the party doesnâ€™t want to spend money on races it canâ€™t win.
Let this be a wakeup call to the Democratic establishment. They have to spend money on underdog races, especially when itâ€™s a race as serious as one for the office of the United States Senate, simply to ensure that the candidate actually represents the views of the party.
Is a Democrat going beat Bob Corker in Tennessee in 2012? There is virtually no chance of that. Did Vic Rawl have any chance of unseating Jim DeMint? Extremely unlikely. But in a race for senate, a statewide race for federal office, itâ€™s important that the candidate, even if theyâ€™re assuredly going to lose, be serious in nature and have the effect of raising issue awareness and registering voters.
Thatâ€™s what Deanâ€™s 50 State Strategy was all about; using each election cycle as a springboard for the next one. And sometimes maybe a candidate just might win an extremely unlikely race, as Sen. Jim Webb did in Virginia and Sen. Jon Tester did in Montana in 2006.
The nomination of Mark Clayton in Tennessee is not a failure of the people of Tennessee. They didnâ€™t know the candidates because there was no media awareness. The failure is on the state, and more so, on the national party for inadequately finding, funding, and promoting a real candidate.