Monday, December 15, 2008

Tennessee making a strong case to be stripped of its statehood

I've never been a fan of Tennessee. Any state that's brought us Harold Ford Jr. and the UT football team is already enough to get on my bad side, but recently they've taken things to another level.

First off, Harold Ford was made a full time commentator on all of the MSNBC shows during the election season, and this has continued into the present. Now I know this isn't directly the state of Tennessee's fault, but since they spawned him, I have to hold them partially responsible. Unless he is answering the question "Do you think that your support of the Iraq war and terrible economic policy had something to do with the fact that you were the only democratic senator in a competitive race to lose during the "sea-change" election of 2006?", Harold Ford should not be on television. Period.

Second, another recent sign that Tennessee was up to no good came when the New York times released this election map.

Now maybe Tennessee and Arkansas just LOVED John Kerry and really hated Obama's tax plan, but something tells me that wasn't the reason they went so strongly against the national trend.

Then today, I read this: (via Ta-Nehisi)
So I was driving through western Tennessee on my way home for the holidays and I saw a sign for the "Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park" along the interstate.
Hmm... Nathan Bedford Forrest. Where have I heard that name before. Oh right. First Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Or as the Tennessee Environmental Department calls him, "the intrepid Confederate cavalry leader."
Nice. Naming a state park after a Klan leader. And not just any Klan leader, this guy is a former confederate general who ordered the massacre of 200 black union prisoners of war. It was such a horrifying event that even a confederate soldier described it this way in a letter:
"The slaughter was awful. Words cannot describe the scene. The poor, deluded, negroes would run up to our men, fall upon their knees, and with uplifted hands scream for mercy but they were ordered to their feet and then shot down. I, with several others, tried to stop the butchery, and at one time had partially succeeded, but General Forrest ordered them shot down like dogs and the carnage continued. Finally our men became sick of blood and the firing ceased."
Hearing a story like that really makes you want to name a state park after the guy, doesn't it?

I always have a token state that I demand should have it's voting rights stripped until DC gets theirs, and it's about time for a change. I used to pick Utah, because few people have attempted to do more damage to this city than Orin Hatch, but recent events have pushed it over the edge towards Tennessee.

When you stop naming your state parks after Klan leaders, stop letting Harold Ford protégés run unbelievably offensive ads, and stop getting blown out by shitty PAC 10 teams in the first game of the season... then we'll talk.


  1. So you think Tennessee should lose their voting rights because they're "obviously" racist, but you blame Harold Ford's loss on his policies? Connect the dots.

  2. @Anonymous: Good point, and with ads like this you really can't deny that racism played a role in his loss. I think his policies played a major role in his loss as well, since during that cycle Jim Webb and Jon Tester managed to pull out wins in mostly republican states(admittedly where race wasn't a factor) running strongly against the war and very populist campaigns.

    I guess with Harold Ford I just get frustrated that he's given a platform to speak about what's "the right course for democrats" when he's argued consistently against the strategies (50 state) and policies (against the war, populist rhetoric on the economy) that have been successful in elections.

    So admittedly that wasn't much of a coherent argument I laid out, but I just can't stand Harold Ford and he is definitely one of the reasons I'm losing patience with Tennessee as a state.

    And in fairness, I don't think anybody's voting rights should be taken away, I simply think that maybe if we take the voting rights of people that "matter" (Read: don't live in DC), that it might increase the willingness to do something about the place that hasn't had voting rights... ever.

    And if you have to choose a state to be the guinea pig, I feel like naming a state park after a klan leader moves you to the top of the list.