Sunday, September 01, 2002

The Crone Speaks

In her latest editorial, Susan Adler Thorp tries to make cotton candy from a sugar nugget. Nice try.

In a standard political deal, Democrat Walter Bailey has secured the vote of Republican Marilyn Loeffel, giving him the apparent majority needed to become Chairman of the County Commission next session. Big whoop, as they say. Adler would like to make the vast ideological divide between them seem more than it is. I suppose it's the lining up of Loeffel as the next Chairman, after Bailey, that concerns her and this is how she deals with it.

Read how she describes the way the two came to office:
Commissioners make deals all the time. But what makes this deal
odd is that Bailey is one of the commission's most liberal
Democrats. Loeffel was elected to the commission in 1998 by
parlaying her appeal to the local Republican Party's right wing
into votes. She was re-elected without opposition this year.
Bailey "is;" Loeffel had to "parlay her appeal." Makes her sound like a hussy, doesn't it?

In the column's second part, Thorp returns to a favorite theme: money in politics. She would like to compare and contrast the two gubernatorial candidates, Bredesen and Hilleary, to Hilleary's detriment. (Notice how with Thorp it's always to someone's detriment, never to someone's advantage? Such a negative mind....)
Hilleary raised $3.56 million for his primary bid, but was forced to
spend more than half of that war chest to defeat Henry - a large
portion of it in the final weeks of the campaign. Near the end of
the primary campaign, Hilleary reported having $1.17 million on

Bredesen, a former mayor of Nashville and a millionaire who
made his fortune in the health care industry, raised $5 million and
reported having $1.6 million on hand near the end of the primary

Although Bredesen also is raising money again, he is - unlike
Hilleary - a wealthy man. Bredesen can contribute a large sum to
his general election bid, if necessary.
First, note that when it was George Flinn, wealthy businessman and broadcasting magnate, being rich was a very, very bad thing. But with Bredesen it's "made his fortune." Hm.....

But look closer at the numbers. Bredesen outraised Hilleary by $1.5 million dollars, and outspent him, too. But it's Hilleary who must "replenish" his "war chest," not Bredesen.

And note too, the reference to Jim Henry. Reminders of the failed -- actually never-fully-launched -- Henry campaign are here to nudge the reader to keep in mind that Hilleary isn't a "unity" leader, but presiding over a "fractured" party. Whatever success Henry had was the result of the ginning up of his name by state newspapers, and people like Thorp, who hoped to give him and his pro-income tax stance, some small hint of viable life. It's talking up someone and then failing to mention that you were the one who talked him up when you discuss it later. Shameful.

There's this peculiar bit:
In June, a computer disk, prepared for GOP donors and including
an analysis of the 2002 elections by White House political director
Ken Mehlman, revealed that Mehlman believes Democrats have a
strong chance of winning the Tennessee governor's race.
Why does she need to go to this old and lightly reported story to make her point? It's unnecessary. It's a close race, as any political observer can tell you. Again, this is a subtle dig to make Republicans look bad.

The column closes with Thorp laboring mightly still to remind readers that a fractious Republican party is making a best-face case for unity. I have tried to recall her discussing the inner struggles of the Democrats, especially Bredesen's movable stance on the income tax, but I can't think of anything. But I can point you to lots of her "reporting" on her perceptions of Republican difficulties.

Until next time,
Your Working Boy

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