Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Lamar vs. Carr: A Comedy for the Ages

Posted By on Tue, Aug 20, 2013 at 2:30 PM

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Lamar Alexander must feel ridiculous right about now. Just when he should have been entering statesman’s status, accepting the respect and admiration of all in the twilight of his public life, he’s been forced to kowtow to the right wingers in his party to try to prevent exactly what happened today: A challenge from the right wing of his party.

Oh how Lamar did grovel! He declared we should eliminate the minimum wage. After Newtown, he said video games are a bigger problem than guns. He even had to pretend to like fishermen and actually went around talking with a straight face about the freedom to fish.

Already stripped of his dignity, Alexander now must go into serious pimp mode, shaking down special interests for greater and greater piles of campaign cash and hustling for votes all over the state. It’s time to break out that lumberjack shirt again!

How much farther to the right can Lamar run? That’s the critical question for this campaign. Which candidate will be the first to put on an Obama mask and walk around with a broomstick up his butt?

Alexander’s challenger—state Rep. Joe Carr—already is a clown. He couldn’t win the GOP primary against Congressman Scott DesJarlais so—what the hell!—he’s running against Alexander instead.

Best known for filing mean-spirited immigration bills in the legislature, Carr also is the dimwit who agreed with Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin that women have some magical way to ward off pregnancy from rape.

In his first year in office, he was caught racking up exorbitant legislative per diem— $18,000 for hotels and meals even though he lives only 30 miles from Nashville. Under attack as a slacker on the dole, he gave this outrageously putrid defense: "I didn't realize that every time I came to the legislature, they did a per diem."

So when Carr filled out forms asking for the per diem, signed for the checks and cashed them, he didn't know what he was doing? Maybe he was knocked on the head on his way to the bank and suffered from temporary amnesia.

Carr’s shortcomings won’t stand in the way of his winning this primary, of course. The tea party is unhinged, as we all know. They’ve convinced themselves that Lamar’s a lib’rel, so he must go even if Carr’s his replacement. The tea party loves goofy. Look at Ted Cruz.

Right wingers say they’re the majority of the Tennessee GOP. But in statewide elections, they’ve been denied victory because too many of them have jumped on the ballot and split up their vote. That’s how Bob Corker and Bill Haslam managed to win party primaries, according to the tea partiers.

Let’s hope no other candidates enter this race so we finally can put this debate to rest. Are the nutjobs and talk-radio blowhards really running the state GOP now, or can so-called reasonable Republicans maintain some modicum of control?

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