"We're at a point where partisanship threatens the fabric of our democracy," Cooley said. The ballroom should have burst into loud guffaws and belly laughs. Cooley managed Phil Bredesen's races for governor—two of the most negative campaigns in state history. Why didn't we didn't hear Conte complaining about her husband's onslaught of negative TV ads in either of those contests? In his little talk at the forum, Bredesen bitched about websites allowing anonymous comments—like that's a threat to our way of life. Please.
As for Ingram, does anyone doubt he will advise Bill Haslam to go nuclear if necessary in the governor's race? Just about as bad is what Ingram is doing now: running a cynical campaign in which the candidate takes no positions, smiles a lot and tries to skate into office without giving any clue about what he might do if he wins. This kind of campaign, which ducks the state's problems, bears some responsibility for the incivility. How can we act like adults and hold serious discussions if the guy who's likely to become the next governor won't say what he thinks about anything? With no positions on issues to differentiate the candidates, everyone slings mud.