There's a trend taking place in American politics today, and it's a butt-ugly trend being orchestrated by the uber-conservative Tea Party. One of the reasons our government has become so dysfunctional is because reasonable people can no longer compromise with the other party for fear of alienating the baying hounds of their own political base. Republican incumbents fear nothing more than being "primary-ed" by the knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing troglodytes of the Tea Party... in most cases, they know they'll never lose their office to a Democrat, but they just might get rolled out by someone further to the right from their own Party.
Here in Tennessee, we have two U.S. Senators who have made the mistake of being reasonable on a few issues. While progressives might find them both far too conservative for our tastes, there are some on the flaming right who see them as Republicans in Name Only, the dreaded RINOs Rush Limbaugh warned them about. Sen. Bob Corker and Sen. Lamar Alexander are both wealthy, successful politicians with impossibly high approval ratings here in Tennessee, mainly because people like me who find them routinely goose-stepping along with the GOP leadership are in the minority in Tennessee. In fact, we're so far down in the minority in the Volunteer State no one seriously believes a Democrat will ever hold statewide elected office again. Therefore, the only thing an incumbent Republican has to fear around here is a primary challenge from another conservative.
News has just broken that Sen. Lamar Alexander will be challenged by a current Republican State Representative from here in Murfreesboro, as Rep. Joe Carr is set to announce his intention to run against Lamar in next year's primary election. Carr had previously announced as a challenger to U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais (another asshole we could do without around here), but he's been getting swamped in the polls by another challenger for that primary election.
So, since he's already raised some cash, and because it doesn't look like he'll win the primary battle to oust Dr. Feelgood (see yesterday's rant about DesJarlais, photo below), Joe Carr has tossed his hat into the ring to accept the backing of the Tea Party in a primary challenge against Lamar Alexander.
State Rep. Scott DesJarlais (Asshole-4th Congressional District TN)
Talk about tilting at windmills...
Joe Carr has about as much chance of defeating Lamar Alexander in the upcoming GOP primary as I have of winning an Olympic gold medal in figure skating, and I can't skate. Or figure, for that matter.
But Carr is eager to be seen as a teabagger favorite, and he'll get a lot of cash from out of state knuckle-draggers who see Lamar's voting record as a problem. Here's how Carr summed up Lamar Alexander's record:
Carr said Alexander votes in accord with President Obama 62 percent of the time.
“If Lamar Alexander votes with Barack Hussein Obama 62 percent of the time, he’s voting against Tennesseans 62 percent of the time,” Carr said.
On a personal note, I've met Rep. Joe Carr. He knocked on our front door a couple of years ago when he was first running for office, handed me a flyer with all of his conservative bona fides listed along with his all-important church credentials, and then grinned at me with a mouth that seemed to have at least sixty or seventy teeth in it. When I looked over his to-do list of campaign promises and told him I didn't see one single thing on his flyer that I agreed with, he seemed genuinely shocked.
"Are you serious?" he asked, with a chuckle.
"Not one fucking thing. You've knocked on the door of the only liberal left in this part of the state, I guess. I don't support one thing you stand for. Not one."
And the next day I went into town and got a yard sign for his opponent, and it was the only blue sign in a neighborhood of red ones for that year's election.
I don't have to worry about Joe Carr becoming a U.S. Senator, at least not anytime soon. Lamar Alexander might not be my cup of tea, either, but at least he's got the money and name recognition to keep this asshat from rolling him out of office.
But this campaign will give Carr the name recognition he'll need for future campaigns, and don't be surprised if you folks in other states don't start seeing that toothy asshole on the news more often somewhere down the line.