When the early voting begins this morning for the Aug. 2 election, the only thing that we know for sure about the four men running in the Republican Primary for Congress is that three of them will lose. When that happens, those same three – all promising to be financially conservative -- will have spent well over $1 million in campaign donations with no way to ever get a penny of it back.
As you envision what $1 million could do if it was instead used for the public good, I think it is clear some of our country’s best and smartest leaders wouldn’t dare get inside the political arena because we are repeatedly told that what was once a noble calling has gotten a little sleazy. It seems to be more about money and lobbyists and huge “political action committees.
In the last two years, many feel the United States Congress has been the worst ever in our country’s history. The endless partisan bickering, the lack of civility, and the dysfunctional leadership on both sides of the aisle have resulted in lowest public-approval ratings ever. A cast of clowns from both parties has quite literally embarrassed the American people.
With that thought alone, I am voting for Scottie Mayfield today to replace Chuck Fleischmann in Washington. It’s all about getting the job done and who I feel will best represent me and those who I love. Chuck is a nice guy, but, aside from the crowd’s ineptness, he wasn’t exactly an all-star in my view. Weston Wamp is too young to have “been through the fire yet,” as old-timers say, and Ron Bhalla doesn’t have the hitting power.
Look at it this way: I was reading an interview that Dan Patrick had not long ago with Adam Dunn, the Chicago White Sox player who is barely batting over .200 but who has hit 25 home runs already this year. Dunn was asked about his crummy batting average and he appeared as befuddled as any present-day Congressman when asked. “Don’t you think if I knew what the problem was I’d have fixed it?” said the baseball player.
Congress can’t seem to fix anything. Let’s try another analogy -- Dunn, who played briefly for the Lookouts, offered another wonderful parallel when he told the radio host something like, “Yeah, I’ll be honest … when it’s in the second inning with nobody on and two outs, I’m swinging for the seats. But when we are down by a run with guys on first and second in the eighth inning, all I want to do is hit something that will advance the runners.”
It seems to me too many in Congress have gotten selfish and forgotten how to “advance the runners.” I’m not accusing Fleischmann of anything but he was there and should be held accountable. He was supposed to represent us but seemed to get swept up in a partisan mess. As one observer commented, “Chuck hasn’t done anything bad but he hasn’t done anything good. While he was in Washington a newspaper article said he became a millionaire, so at least he did something.”
The rest of the primary ticket is pretty easy to figure. Senator Bob Corker has made me pretty proud and his opposition is pretty lame. I will not vote for either candidate in the State Senate primary because I know them both, saving my bullet for the November duel instead, and we need to put Richard Floyd back in the Legislature.
Locally I believe Jim Coppinger has excited a lot of people since he took over as county mayor and deserves a chance to stay. So does Bill Bennett as assessor of property. I’m already on record for leaving David Norton in General Sessions Court and I always vote anyone unopposed, thinking it might encourage them.
There are other races on the ballot but since they are not in my district, I think the people involved should rightfully decide without any help from me. The experts say the August turnout will be light, the majority of the voters coming from the older crowd, but I can’t imagine anyone not voting. I think it is one of the most patriotic things we do because every vote counts in our country’s future.