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Okay, so I know conventional wisdom dictates that this is a death sentence to anyone who pushes it. But read the above post about MTSU's latest public opinion poll. Does it not suggest that conventional wisdom is, like, way wrong?
Following the presidential election, even the most liberal of liberals would admit that while the rest of the country was changing -- in a big way -- Tennessee was not. Obama was crushed here, and Republicans could have taken over the legislature if not for Democratic scheming and their own ineptitude.
But scroll forward just a few months. As the economy gets worse, you find Tennessee beginning to reflect the mood of the rest of the nation. Republicans continue to plummet in the polls, perhaps because their only idea for a renewed economy is more tax cuts. As MTSU notes, "only 24 percent (of Tennesseans) say congressional Republicans are doing enough to cooperate with Obama."
This, my friends, this is what political geeks refer to as a sea change. Which means it's time for a charismatic, enterprising Democrat to put an end to Tennessee's system of Plantation Economics...
Think about it: What better populist issue is there than the income tax? For years Tennesseans have been voting against their economic interests. Republicans were better at selling fear than Democrats were at selling equity. The sales tax forces normal people to pay a much greater percentage of their income, and we have the highest food tax in the country. Meanwhile, it forces us to have a Third World government, where education is perpetually underfunded, and the governor is even considering blowing off federal stimulus money to the jobless, though we already have one of the most miserly unemployment systems in the country.
Can anyone really be in favor of this?
But conventional wisdom says the people are stupid, that they'll only respond to gays, guns, God, etc. The MTSU polls says otherwise. It suggests that people are far more worried about putting food on the table, finding work, making ends meet. They're so into it, in fact, that a liberal black guy has far higher approval ratings than the troglodytes of the legislature.
Call it class warfare if you will, but now seems the perfect time to ride this mood. The state's Republicans offer little more than liberalized gun laws and tax cuts, and seem incapable of offering anything else. By contrast, Democrats have something meaningful to offer: economic equity.
Yes, it would take an eloquent, brave, charismatic pol to make the case. And, no, there's not a statewide Democrat commonly associated with any of those traits -- especially the bravery part.
But what if, dear reader. What if...