Time to reflect back on a prior post in which I discussed potential candidates for the soon-to-be-vacant seat of outgoing Republican senator and cold-hearted savage Bob Corker. In my opinion, the seat is already as good as filled.
By whom? Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Republican from Brentwood.
Here’s what I previously wrote:
“Blackburn is the first major state lawmaker to express interest in Corker’s seat. She has served as a U.S. representative from the 7th District since 2003, representing Nashville suburbs and southwestern parts of the state. She is also the first woman to serve as a U.S. representative from Tennessee. Corker said Wednesday Blackburn has a ‘real interest’ in entering the race.
“If I had to guess whom Trump would endorse right now, it would probably be her. Blackburn was vice-chair of Trump’s transition team. She endorsed him in the spring of 2016. She also defended him after the release of the Access Hollywood tape, which showed the future president bragging about sexually assaulting women.
“Blackburn is against the Affordable Care Act, does not believe in climate change, rejects the theory of evolution and is anti-abortion. All this seems to add up to a perfect Trump-esque Republican candidate.”
Not only has Blackburn expressed interest in the seat, she has since officially announced her candidacy. She even has a website to promote the campaign. She also has far more name recognition than any other candidate in the running.
Other state Republicans now seem to be getting out of her way as she begins her campaign, and many have their aims set on the top executive position in the state, soon to be vacated by Bill Haslam. Haslam said he “doesn’t feel the call to make a Senate run,” saying he would not be excited if he won the position. 2014 U.S. Senate candidate Joe Carr, who unsuccessfully ran against senior Sen. Lamar Alexander in the Republican primary, has also endorsed Blackburn. Like Corker, Haslam has faced criticism for essentially being his own man and not automatically bowing to Trump’s demands over what is best for all Tennesseans. Even Breitbart News is (wrongfully) taking credit for Haslam’s decision.
Here’s a video Blackburn posted to Twitter promoting her campaign:
Before I actually discuss what’s wrong with this video, let me be clear just how much state Republicans are getting out of her way.
2018 U.S. Congressional District 7 candidate State Sen. Mark Green:
2018 gubernatorial candidate, businessman Bill Lee:
2018 gubernatorial candidate Rep. Diane Black:
Even former White House press secretary Sean Spicer is getting in on it:
First off, this video alone shows Blackburn has absolutely no place representing her current constituents, let alone the entire state of Tennessee. Like the president, she is aware, but would rather not give them a voice. This is clear when a version of the video on YouTube does not allow viewers to comment.
“The United States Senate — it’s totally dysfunctional and it’s enough to drive you nuts,” Blackburn says in the video.
You’re right; there’s a Republican majority. What am I missing here?
“The fact that our Republican majority in the U.S. Senate can’t overturn Obamacare, or will not overturn Obamacare — it’s a disgrace,” she says.
What about the House’s role in all of this? It passed an unworkable health care bill that was never even considered by the Senate. The real disgrace is in keeping the inevitable single-payer proposal waiting in the wings.
“Too many Senate Republicans act like Democrats, or worse,” Blackburn says.
So I guess caring more about doing what’s best for your country rather than simply pushing unpopular partisan priorities automatically means you’re a Democrat? Or are Democrats the only people who still care about country over party?
“I know the left calls me a wing-nut, or a knuckle dragging conservative,” she says.
This particular portion of the video prompted action from Twitter. The company told the campaign it would need to remove the mention of the fetal body parts, as it went against the platform’s guidelines and was “deemed an inflammatory statement that is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction.” Like her colleague, President Donald Trump, it’s obvious Blackburn is a serial liar who takes credit for things that are in no way proven to be true. Here’s the Associated Press‘ take:
“Blackburn was the chair of a Republican-run House panel created to investigate Planned Parenthood and the world of fetal tissue research that earlier this year urged Congress to halt federal payments to the women’s health organization. Democrats said the GOP probe had unearthed no wrongdoing and wasted taxpayers’ money in an abusive investigation.
“The panel was created after anti-abortion activists released secretly recorded videos in 2015 showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing how they sometimes provide fetal tissue to researchers, which is legal if no profit is made.
“Fetal tissue research has strong backing among scientists for its value in studying Down syndrome, eye disease and other problems. But Blackburn’s committee report said fetal tissue ‘makes a vanishingly small contribution to clinical and research efforts, if it contributes at all,’ and recommended curbing federal grants for such research.”
Blackburn claims she has “spent [her] entire career fighting to protect and honor life,” but isn’t budging on gun control, a policy with the potential to save hundreds, if not thousands, of lives each year. The video shows her shooting the gun she says she keeps in her purse.
The entire narrative of this ad perpetuates an “us vs. them” mentality to an extent beyond reality. Why would Silicon Valley care to influence one Senate race in a deep-red state? If Twitter really cared about the direction of U.S. politics, would it not have tried to censor Donald Trump’s tweets prior to the 2016 election? Or maybe it would’ve taken action in response to ever-escalating tensions with North Korea, in which one of the president’s tweets was called a “declaration of war” by the DRPK?
It’s pretty rich for Blackburn to manufacture this divide when she’s been given hundreds of thousands of dollars by telecommunications corporations such as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast, organizations with business and cultural ties to other technology companies. We’re supposed to take it at face value Twitter, and Silicon Valley in general, is stocked with liberals seeking to victimize those with whom they disagree. This is simply not true.
Blackburn has since doubled down on her demands, pressuring Twitter Tuesday to apologize for its initial decision to remove her campaign’s video, demanding “the entire pro-life community deserves an apology and explanations for their actions.”
Blackburn is quick to advertise her conservative bonafides, as now more than ever the terms “conservative” and “Republican” are becoming less and less synonymous — subservient loyalty to Trump is becoming more important than adhering to a specific governing philosophy. It is obvious she is trying to align herself with the president and his Cabinet and distance herself from Gov. Haslam and Sen. Corker. It’s also clear she backs Vice President Michael Pence’s expensive NFL walkout, likely a publicity stunt, even though she seeks to curtail government spending.
The video ends with Blackburn sharing a misattributed quote: “Something a great Tennessean once said, ‘One man with courage makes a majority.'”
The only problem? President Andrew Jackson, the man to whom Blackburn is referring, never said that. If she had instead said, “One racist president who defies Supreme Court rulings he disagrees with makes a majority,” then she would have hit the mark.
Again, Blackburn’s video confuses the terms “gender” and “sex.” The two concepts are far from synonymous, but miseducation of this kind is nothing new in Tennessee.
I believe the Republican majority in Congress is already acting like a Republican majority — aside from a few lawmakers who still hold to higher ideals. Blackburn makes it seem as if those who don’t support the president on every decision are not true Americans. She clearly misunderstands the foundational bedrock of American liberty: loyal opposition.
The short-term future of Tennessee’s representation in Washington is abundantly clear.
Firstly, Mark Green — whose tweet of support I mentioned earlier — will become a U.S. representative, claiming Blackburn’s seat. Here’s my take from before:
“Dr. Green is another lawmaker whom Trump would surely endorse. Green was Trump’s original choice for secretary of the army, but he later withdrew himself from consideration. Green is anti-LGBTQ — he has referred to transgenderism as ‘a disease’ and has supported a discriminatory ‘bathroom bill.’ He was also criticized for his insensitive remarks toward Muslims and Latinos.
“Green’s legislation in the state Senate has also been highly criticized. He is a biblical creationist who rejects the theory of evolution. This could appeal to the state’s heavily Christian populace. Nor does it hurt that Green is already on Trump’s good side.
“Green has already declined a run for governor and says he won’t seek higher office in 2018. However, Corker’s retirement represents a perfect opportunity. Green, at least, will surely consider a run.”
Since then, Green has announced his candidacy for Blackburn’s seat. As a dedicated pro-Trumper, he will barely have to try to win.
With all of this in mind, it’s abundantly clear Blackburn — who, come January 2019, will undoubtedly be the next junior senator from Tennessee — is not right for the state, and not right for the country. We can only hope states with more reasonable voters will keep her in the minority where she belongs. ■