Democrats Are Angry With This Tenn. Dem Who Said He’d Vote for Kavanaugh Democrats Are Angry With This Tenn. Dem Who Said He’d Vote for Kavanaugh – NTK Network

Democrats Are Angry With This Tenn. Dem Who Said He’d Vote for Kavanaugh

Phil Bredesen's decision to declare his support for Kavanaugh may have been politically necessary in a red state like Tennessee, but it cost him enthusiasm from the Democratic base.

By NTK Staff | 10.16.2018 @10:00am
Democrats Are Angry With This Tenn. Dem Who Said He’d Vote for Kavanaugh

A “slap in the face.” “[I]ncredibly stupid and ill-timed.” “I’m gonna need a good stock of Tylenol in my medicine cabinet.”

Those are the conclusions of local Tennessee Democrats after ex-Gov. Phil Bredesen (D-TN), now running for U.S. Senate to replace retiring Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), came out in support of Judge Brett Kavanaugh a few weeks ago.

Bredesen’s decision may have been a political necessity in Tennessee, a red state where the once-popular former governor is now polling behind Trump supporter (and Trump-supported) Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) in the U.S. Senate race.

His decision may have also cost Bredesen support from the Democratic base in Tennessee, however small. Two new profiles, one from liberal Mother Jones and another from the Nashville Post, drive that point home.

Mother Jones interviewed a local Planned Parenthood leader and an Indivisible chapter founder in the state, among others. Both liberal leaders expressed deep disappointment in Bredesen.

“It felt like a slap in the face,” says Francie Hunt, who serves as the executive director for Tennessee Advocates for Planned Parenthood and the event coordinator for Power Together Tennessee, the state’s arm of the Women’s March. “We were working really hard to get our folks to make sure they were writing and calling in to the senators here in Tennessee to oppose Kavanaugh.”

…“We know that when he is elected and we hope he is, we will have our work cut out for us,” says [Indivisible East Tennessee chapter founder Sarah] Herron. “We’re looking at a very exhausting six years—I’m gonna need a good stock of Tylenol in my medicine cabinet.”

The Nashville Post, meanwhile, talked to some county leaders who were also disappointed with Bredesen.

“I thought Bredesen’s comments were incredibly stupid and ill-timed, but I’m still voting for him and encouraging everyone in my county to do the same,” wrote Michael Briggs, chair of the Unicoi County Democratic Party. “It’s time to act like a unified party. No purity tests, please. That’s what go us into the current mess.”

…Grainger County Democratic Party Chair Brett Powers wrote that, though he found Bredesen’s decision was “disheartening,” he would “take somebody that stands with us 70% of the time than a woman that will be [with] us 0%!”

This represents the difficult position Bredesen is in. As the Post profile indicates, many of these activists will still vote for Bredesen in November, believing he’d be better as a U.S. senator than Blackburn. But his Kavanaugh decision has dampened enthusiasm for his campaign, and may starve Bredesen of the volunteers he’ll need to get out the vote in the last few weeks.

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