Local, state ‘Blue Wave’ not happening for Democrats
Perhaps, dear reader, you’ve heard of the “Blue Wave” supposedly cresting this November. The bombastic behavior of America’s commander in chief allegedly will brew a storm of discontent and blow Democrats into power. But ahead of the deluge swirls a “Democratic Delusion.”
State Rep. John Ray Clemmons, a Democrat from West Nashville, came to West Knox County a couple of weeks ago to stir those hoping for a surge that washes away repugnant Republicans in Tennessee. His hope rose when Democrats had too many attendees to meet in a banquette at some organic, gluten-free, non-GMO eatery.
“You feel the momentum, you feel the energy … you had to move to another venue that’s bigger to facilitate all the people, that doesn’t happen on its own,” Clemmons said.
Yes, it took some doing to whip up enough Democrats to have to move their meeting to a pancake place. Clemmons revealed the depths Tennessee Democrats have plumbed.
“Electing nine (new) Democrats across the state of Tennessee, including some right here in this county, is possible,” Clemmons said. “With nine more friends in the state house, if we can break that (Republican) super-majority, we would have quorum power.”
Democrats cling to a mini-minority in Nashville. Only 25 Democrats serve at the pleasure of Tennessee voters in the lower house while 74 Republicans absolutely rule Tennessee. Clemmons’ dream of achieving “quorum power” would be quaint if not so absolutely pathetic. Clemmons spoke of “getting this state back on track.” Perhaps he’s spent too much time imagining myth – like a Tennessee Blue Wave – to actually understand Tennessee’s true track. Tennessee’s Republican super-majority in the General Assembly, in partnership with Tennessee’s Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, presides over a robust, real-life economic renaissance.
Unemployment in July was 3.5 percent for the third month in a row. Most Tennesseans who want a job have a job. Tennessee again has a lower unemployment rate than the national rate, which stands at 3.9 percent, below what for decades has been considered “full employment.”
Maybe Clemmons wants to get the Volunteer State back on the track the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate, former Gov. Phil Bredesen, had the state on when he left office. In January 2011, when Haslam took over from the Democrat, unemployment stood at 9.5 percent, more than double the current rate and higher than the national number.
Clemmons and Democratic wave seekers may have missed the results of the primaries earlier this month. He specifically talked about House Districts 13, 14 and 89. In District 89, which includes Farragut, 9,033 Republicans turned out to nominate Justin Lafferty. Only 2,753 Democrats voted for his November opponent, Coleen Martinez.
In District 14, Jason Zachary received the GOP nod from 10,927 voters while Democrat Justin Davis got the majority of only 3,609 Democrats. Even in District 13, where former Democratic state Rep. Gloria Johnson is trying yet again, Democrats did not match Republicans in numbers. Some wave, eh?
Polling doesn’t show even a Democratic swell. A survey by non-partisan Gravis Marketing earlier in August shows President Trump’s Tennessee approval rating at 54 percent, Republican Bill Lee leading Democrat Karl Dean 51-40 for governor and GOP Rep. Marsha Blackburn leading Bredesen 48-44, hardly auguring a “Blue Wave.”
“This isn’t some big, far-off dream or fantasy,” Clemmons told the desperate, if determined, Democrats. Actually, it is more like a hallucination. Or just another Democratic delusion.
Greg Johnson writes from the right, with a worldview rooted in Appalachia, informed by international travel and a career in capitalism. Follow him on Twitter @jgregjohnson. Visit his Greg Johnson Opinions Page on Facebook. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.