Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tennessee Republicans and Their Troubles

Posted By on Tue, Jul 10, 2012 at 4:34 AM

Steven Hale already covered the NRA vs. TNGOP thing (here and here), but I'd like to talk about it as a symptom of a larger problem peculiar to Tennessee Republicans.

Republicans are, to speak generally, made up of two groups. There's the "I know I'm better than you" crowd, like the folks who attended Romney's fundraiser last weekend and said things like:

"But my college kid, the babysitters, the nails ladies — everybody who's got the right to vote — they don't understand what's going on. I just think if you're lower income — one, you're not as educated, two, they don't understand how it works, they don't understand how the systems work, they don't understand the impact."

Then there's the "Fuck you, you're not better than me" crowd, which is made up of a lot of social conservatives, conservative Christians, and Tea Partiers.

What's interesting to me about the NRA fight with the GOP leadership in this state is not exactly the angle that Hale picked up on — the humor in discovering that the GOP is now going to be held to the positions they've taken for years, which is indeed funny. But I'm most fascinated by this angle:

Why, exactly, can't a regular person keep his gun in his locked vehicle at work? Ignore all the real reasons. Think about it just from the gut. It's the archetypal conflict between these two factions — the "I'm better than you" people don't want the "Fuck you, you're not better than me" crowd doing things on their private property that they don't approve of. I'm not sure the "fuck you, you're not better than me" crowd gives two shits about whether what they want to do meets with the approval of the "I'm better than you" crowd.

But I'd lay money that we're going to see more of these conflicts erupting within the Republican Party. And I don't have any guesses yet as to how the Republican leadership is going to bring these two competing factions together. Hell, I'm not sure it even can be done.

But it is, as they say, where the action is, so I'll be watching it.

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