Thursday, March 28, 2013

Everything I Thought I Knew About Tennessee Politics Is Wrong

Posted By on Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 5:30 AM

One thing I can't figure out about Tennessee politics is who, if anybody, has political pull right now. In the old days, you could count on the chamber and the health care industry and the right-to-life people and a handful of others all having a lot of pull.

But one thing the super-majority has exposed is that outside of the NRA, no group has enough clout to guarantee things go their way. Over at the Nashville Biz blog, for instance, there ran a post Wednesday morning that read, in part:

With Gov. Bill Haslam’s self-imposed, end-of-the-month deadline looming on Medicaid expansion, and an expectation that he will make his decision Tuesday morning, the state's largest business organization came out Tuesday in support of expanding the state's Medicaid program.

It used to be that if the chamber wanted something done, it more than likely ended up done. But we all know how the Medicaid expansion decision turned out. And we've seen the anti-abortion folks scrambling for relevance.

So, I just wonder if there's any group left (again, other than the NRA) that lawmakers and the governor are afraid of. And, honestly, I wonder if these folks have so little influence now, why will they bother to open their pockets to elected officials during the fundraising season?

For the first time in my blogging career, when I look at the political landscape, I don't really feel confident I have any idea how it will shake out.

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