GOP Thinks It's Going To Beat Phil Bredesen By ... Shitting On Ben Folds And Jason Isbell? LOL OK
Just recently, Nashville made headlines because at long last, it stopped growing at a rate of 100 new residents per day. Clearly the city is dying now. Oh no! Only 94 new people a day! Possibly because cardboard boxes in Nashville are currently one million dollars, a little more if they have marble countertops!
We are yr Memphis Wonkette, and Tennessee's two large cities have a bit of a longstanding rivalry -- Memphis got IKEA first, and then Nashville was going to get one but that plan got fucked, so now Nashville has retaliated by building a four story Restoration Hardware with a bar, a grille, and probably sandy man-made beaches, we don't fucking know what is in that thing. But the fact is Memphis and Nashville are two very different cities, and the rivalry is mostly for #jokes. Memphis, historically and currently, is a lot more like its fellow river cities like New Orleans and St. Louis, whereas Nashville's path more closely resembles Atlanta. (That's right, Nashville. We just said your river DOESN'T COUNT.)
The thing that unites the cities is that they are HOLY SHIT BLUE, surrounded by seas of red. However, out of Tennessee's population of just under seven million, close to half are in the Memphis and Nashville metro areas. Blue islands also exist in Knoxville, Chattanooga, and a handful of other places like the college towns of Murfreesboro and Sewanee. However, the state was still red enough in 2016 that Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 26 damn points. We'll see if the GOP pulls similar numbers in 2018. We doubt it.
Beloved and well known Democrat Phil Bredesen, who used to be the governor, won his primary for the Senate race to replace Bob Corker, as expected. Also as expected, his opponent will be certifiably batshit CongressMAN Marsha Blackburn. (She does not like being called a congresswoman. Were she to be elected to the Senate, we assume she would be fine with being called "senator.") Meanwhile, Karl Dean, the very popular former mayor of Nashville, won his primary for the governor's race, also as expected. The only unexpected result was that after GOP Rep. Diane Black decided she would quit Congress once she was elected the new Republican governor of Tennessee, she went and lost her primary to a newcomer named Bill Lee. LOL Diane Black, U R IDIOT.
Did we mention how the polls look for Bredesen right now? They look pretty good, though the race is still tight. Put it this way: Bredesen's numbers are better than Beto O'Rourke's in Texas, and the GOP is shitting itself worried Ted Cruz might actually lose in November. Tennessee is redder than Texas. Oh, the perils of running an extremely batshit Republican against an extremely popular former Democratic governor, both of whom are completely known quantities to Tennessee voters! (Beto O'Rourke's struggle in Texas -- which is completely fucking surmountable -- is that he is not yet well known to many Texas voters. He'll fix that.)
We bring all this up for two reasons. One is that the National Republican Senatorial Committee thinks it is a good idea to run against Bredesen by shitting on ... Jason Isbell and Ben Folds? Two extremely well known (and wonderful) artists, popular especially among millennials and Gen X-ers (cough VOTERS) in cities like Nashville and Memphis, AKA the Music Cities?
The political arm of U.S. Senate Republicans accused Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Phil Bredesen of partnering with "the unhinged left" by holding a rally headlined by musicians Jason Isbell and Ben Folds in Nashville set for Monday evening.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee went on the attack against the two critically acclaimed artists ahead of the Bredesen rally, fundraiser and concert Monday night at 5:30 p.m. at Marathon Music Works.
And what, pray tell, did Ben Folds and Jason Isbell do to be called the "unhinged left" by the NRSC? Did Ben Folds go all antifa on one of his pianos? (Yes. Every day. It's kind of his thing.) Nah, it's just that Ben supported Bernie in 2016, and Jason Isbell said he can't see God in Trump voters. (Neither can God, according to sources close to God.)
Did the NRSC consult with local Republicans to find out if this was a good idea, or are Tennessee Republicans just that clueless/hopeless? Do they have any fucking idea how loved those two guys are in Nashville? Do they get that this election is 100% about turnout, which is working in our favor these days (thanks Trump!), and that part of how we win this is by bringing Shelby (Memphis) and Davidson (Nashville) counties out to vote like their lives depend on it? Are they working their way up the musical totem pole to finally close the deal by shitting all over Dolly Parton? Because that would go over well.
Also: is this all they got? Is this what that Blackburn strategist meant when he said their strategy was to kill Bredesen's campaign with "death by 10,000 cuts"? Are these two of the cuts? We better stock up on at least TWO more boxes of Band-Aids, if so!
Isbell thinks it's funny:
I’ve been in the paper a few times now, but this one is my favorite. This is one I’ll be proud to show my grandkids. https://t.co/rUhhalbmfE— Jason Isbell (@Jason Isbell)1534784199.0
"Our candidate is bugfucking nuts and everybody likes Bredesen so ... Yeah! Fuck that piano guy, and also that guitar guy who used to be in Drive-By Truckers and who's so well respected he was the Country Music Hall Of Fame's artist in residence last year!"
The other reason we bring this up is purely anecdotal. Y'all remember during Alabama's special Senate election, Wonkette's Fakakta South, an Alabamian, predicted that her state was about to give America a wonderful Christmas present and vote for Doug Jones instead of the accused pedophile? She was damn right, but she wasn't basing it on polls or anything like that. It was based on how it felt on the ground.
We were in Nashville this weekend for a wedding, and we stayed with friends in the southern suburbs, spitting distance from Brentwood. These are Nashville's RED suburbs, where things are very ritzy, and driving by some of the houses, you begin to feel a little pang of sympathy in your heart for Muffy and Chet, who obviously sacrificed when they gave up that 11th bedroom so they could afford a second swimming pool for the property. Next time, they'll have learned their lesson that 10,000 square feet really is a bit tight for a family of four, and will go ahead and do 15,000.
Know what else we saw driving those streets? Bredesen signs. Karl Dean signs. Fuckin' MILLION of 'em. A Marsha Blackburn sign here and there, and a few more for Bill Lee. (Dean's race is going to be a bit harder than Bredesen's, but it's still doable.) In other words, they are literally Rockin' the Suburbs, just like Ben Folds did, Rockin' the Suburbs, except Phil Bredesen's talented.
We haven't checked Memphis's similar suburbs, but we plan to pack a snack and go on a drive tonight to see what we can see. (UPDATE: An intrepid commenter on Facebook was in the very tony and also red Chattanooga suburb of Lookout Mountain this weekend, and noticed the same thing we saw in Brentwood and Forest Hills and Belle Meade.)
Again, this is all about turn-out, and it's following similar patterns to special elections and primaries in 2017 and 2018. Bring out black voters, bring out women, bring out Millennials and Gen-Xers, and we can do it.
We guess Republicans have decided those avenues are closed to them, especially when they're running Marsha Blackburn against a Democrat who won EVERY ONE OF THE STATE'S 95 COUNTIES when he ran for re-election in 2006.
Let's vote our asses off and prove those Republicans right. Wanna help make that happen? HIT UP THE BREDESEN CAMPAIGN.
All right, you may have an OPEN THREAD now.
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