Jim Cooper And His Local Bloggers

I found this exchange from Nashville bloggers defending Blue Dog Jim Cooper quite funny:

Itís really amazing how much effort national progressives are putting into going after Jim Cooper. . . . A political operative, the cityís feminist conscience in the blogosphere and a former Music City Democrat have all picked a side ó against the national interlopers. Is Coop the most progressive congressman Nashville could produce? Certainly not. But is that enough a reason to turn him out?

If you are a progressive it is. But what is funny to me is the language - "outside interlopers?" (And this blog really seems clueless. Lost Cause anyone?) You would think someone in the South would have a little more tact with their language (think "outside agitators" during the 60s.) In any event, the "city's feminist conscience" (though note the walkback here) seems not to exactly have her finger on the pulse of Cooper's district:

So, the national folks can just decide they donít like how things are going here and swoop in and pretend to be voicing the will of some silent majority of Nashville voters who donít think Cooper is liberal enough?

(Emphasis supplied.) Funny how this local blogger has no idea that Cooper's district was polled and it turns out the Music City's feminist conscience does not speak for Cooper's constituents:

Research 2000 poll of the Tennessee 5th Congressional District for Daily Kos. 8/17-19. Likely voters. MoE 4% (no trend lines)

Favorable Unfavorable

Jim Cooper 47 41
Barack Obama 66 25
Phil Bredesen 58 29

This is a Democratic district. Obama won it easily 56-43. Even John Kerry won it in 2004. Yet Blue Dog kingpin Jim Cooper thinks being a pain in Obama's ass is smart politics.

The funny part about the complaining about "interlopers" is these people have self appointed themselves the voice of Jim Cooper's district. We saw a lot of this during the Lieberman run in 2006. Here's the thing (always been the thing for me), let the people decide.

If Cooper is as popular as these "local experts" think, then he'll win without breaking a sweat. If he isn't, then maybe he is doing something wrong. What are these "local experts" afraid of?

Speaking for me only

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    The phenomenon is universal (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by Steve M on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 11:31:57 AM EST
    People everywhere think that uninformed folks from elsewhere need to butt out of their local politics.

    Consider the poll from last week that found 60% of New Yorkers think the White House shouldn't get involved in the governor's race.  In theory, Paterson is deeply unpopular and you'd think those who oppose him would be thrilled that someone, anyone, would allegedly give him a push to step aside.  Not so in practice.

    Heck, even reasonable people like Larry and myself had a way of getting our back up when people with no clue about NYC would start ranting about Bloomberg.

    And politicians have won elections all over the place by campaigning on the fact that their opponent is getting support from "outsiders."  Although I think it's extra effective in the South!

    Did Larry take his jacks and go home? I (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by oculus on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 11:43:01 AM EST
    miss his comments here.

    I dunno (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Steve M on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 12:02:49 PM EST
    I suspect he is just busy.  I miss his comments as well.

    Some of us who had more than a clue (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 11:40:07 AM EST
    ranted about Bloomberg, because we thought there was a better option.

    And to be fair to Larry, he never said shut up, he said "you're wrong."

    If they are happy with Cooper, so be it, but don't pretend you are pushing for the progressive view when you do.

    As for Paterson, I think if he wants to suffer a humiliating defeat in a primary, that is certainly his perogative.

    And Obama can ask him not to run. and he can say no, I am running.

    Not sure what the problem is there.


    Well sure (none / 0) (#12)
    by Steve M on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 12:02:30 PM EST
    Speaking only for myself, I never resented informed commentary.  It's the people who only knew enough to complain about Bloomberg inviting the RNC to New York, or the ones who didn't even know that but just thought everyone ought to vote him out in hopes of creating some kind of national narrative that Republicans are on the downswing.

    People have different opinions about Freddy Ferrer.  Some felt he would have been a quite capable mayor, some felt the opposite.  But it sure gets old listening to lectures from people who don't know the first thing about him, but who insist that you're obligated to vote for him simply because he's a Democrat.

    Mind you, on the national level, there is at least some salience to the "vote for a D" brand of argument because of the parliamentary aspects of government.  But in local races, pfft, give me a break.


    the ones who felt opposite (none / 0) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 12:08:33 PM EST
    were uninformed. Now it is one thing to sayu I do not know about him. but that's not what I would read.

    It was the same people who said Dinkins was a bad mayor and Rudy was a good one.


    Well (none / 0) (#15)
    by Steve M on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 12:18:25 PM EST
    let us not disagree over bygones, on this beautiful LVM (Lions Victory Monday).

    Going along with your theme (none / 0) (#18)
    by jbindc on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 12:37:09 PM EST
    And I'm certainly not suggesting these people are "uninformed" while getting involved in local politics, but then I saw this story.

    Love the timing.


    Change your mind about Cuomo running? (none / 0) (#16)
    by andgarden on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 12:19:26 PM EST
    Yep (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 01:05:18 PM EST
    Paterson's support with A-As has cratered.

    Cuomo does not even have to run. Just have his name on the ballot and go after the GOp.  Never even mention Paterson.


    Seems right to me (none / 0) (#23)
    by andgarden on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 01:18:29 PM EST
    The question is, will Paterson go quietly, and what if he doesn't? (IMO, that cuts both ways for Cuomo).

    I think he goes quiet (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 01:31:07 PM EST
    I think he wanted more time before the trigger was pulled on him.

    I think Obama mishandled the situation. Paterson would have gone quietly in the face of the polling.


    Are we "outside interlopers" (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by Zorba on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 11:49:59 AM EST
    if we express opinions on anyone in Congress, or even send money to anyone running, in any state, for the House or Senate?  They may represent their districts/state, but as long as they are voting on bills that affect me, yes, I have a right to express my opinion of them, and the right to help someone else who may mirror my interests.  When you have the power to vote on national issues, the rest of the nation has a right to take an interest in what you're doing.

    OK, then. (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by LeftWingCracker on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 12:42:12 PM EST
    I live and blog in Memphis, and I would love to see Cooper knocked out.  However, pissing on the local blogosphere is at best condescending and at worst ignorant.

    In Nashville, they see the GOP closing in around them, as most of the collar counties (a couple of which have slivers in the 5th District) are trending Republican.

    Plus, you have the conundrum of people who hate Congress, but like their own person, or the "he may be a SOB, but he's OUR SOB".  Add to that, the fact that many of them know him personally, and you have ambivalence.

    I see what the numbers say, but if this doesn't come from the ground up, and it ISN'T, this has little chance of working.

    BTW (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 01:04:08 PM EST
    Neither you nor 3 bloggers on Nashville know what will come up from the ground.

    My suggestion is if they support Cooper just say so and stop sniping and those that do not.

    BTW, they may want to stop pretending they are liberal while they are at it.

    It's really easy too. for example, I an a Centrist.


    Carpet baggers? (none / 0) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 12:58:49 PM EST
    "self appointed themselves..." (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by lambert on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 10:22:32 PM EST
    Yeah, I hate it when that happens.

    Well, you can't beat something with nothing (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 11:02:41 AM EST
    So, some other local folks have to find someone willing to primary him. Any Nashville state senators looking for a promotion? (There's got to be a lone liberal in the bunch).

    Of course (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 11:15:36 AM EST
    Where is there candidate? Well, I am not from Cooper's district, but if they found a Ned Lamont- type (Tennessee style of course), I am pretty confident that the money would be raised.

    Yup, (none / 0) (#17)
    by andgarden on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 12:20:10 PM EST
    Guaranteed to be a cheaper market to play in than CT too.

    Only a Lamont type could have ever made that a race.


    But you can talk about it (none / 0) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 11:04:08 AM EST
    You can consider it and promote debate on it.

    Jim Cooper (none / 0) (#3)
    by lilburro on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 11:06:47 AM EST
    has an online fanbase?  Who knew?  "A true statesman"?

    It's a strange tack for a "feminist" (none / 0) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 11:09:44 AM EST
    to take as well in my opinion because healthcare access is a basis for some general equality.  I don't know what to make of it, but I don't know what to make of a lot of Southern "feminism". I'm still supposed to know my place down here and I have no manners.  And I don't express how grateful I'm supposed to be often enough.  Just ask Miss Laura.

    "Outsider?" That is how they think. (none / 0) (#7)
    by hairspray on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 11:35:19 AM EST

    Some of the comments to the first link (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 11:43:45 AM EST
    reflect belief in 11 dim. chess re Cooper.  If it comes down to it, he will support a public option.

    Ugh, I get so tired of reading (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 03:10:24 PM EST

    Hope you aren't referring to my comment! (none / 0) (#27)
    by oculus on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 03:22:21 PM EST
    I know your retirement (none / 0) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 04:09:50 PM EST
    accounts aren't what you were expecting, but have you resorted to washing hogs now too for a living?  Of course I wasn't referring to your comment.  I'm reality based.  At least I keep telling myself that :)

    Not yet! (none / 0) (#30)
    by oculus on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 04:11:07 PM EST
    Outsiders really should tread lightly (none / 0) (#25)
    by Gisleson on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 03:01:57 PM EST
    No one likes outsiders butting into their local politics. I'm still "recovering" from the Netroots' decision to back Al Franken in a wide open race over a year before the Minnesota primary. Outsiders didn't realize that Al was the most conservative of the candidates we were looking at, and they had no clue how Al's baggage would play in Minnesota. And they didn't bother to ask any locals if they should get involved.

    It's very bad politics. Al Franken would have benefited immensely from a more competitive primary. Had he had to fight a little harder for the nomination he probably wouldn't have won by a wider margin and could have been seated in January instead of July.

    Yes, you have absolutely every right to support  anyone you like anywhere you like. But it's not smart politics to overtly interfere in a race you cannot vote in until after the primary.

    Calling out a Blue Dog doesn't offend me, but that's not what this is about. This is about ACT BLUE raising money for primary opponents. ACT BLUE and others should feel free to fund candidates after they have been chosen, but should tread very lightly before the primary.

    If candidates do not want people to (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by MO Blue on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 03:47:57 PM EST
    interfere with races in their states, they need to stop soliciting campaign funds from people outside their states.

    I get requests for contributions from candidates outside my state all the time and this includes requests for primary races.


    and round and round it goes (none / 0) (#33)
    by Gisleson on Tue Sep 29, 2009 at 02:03:14 PM EST
    Am I the only progressive who's noticed that campaign finance reform seems to have disappeared from the left's agenda?

    Gee, they solicit us so we give them money, and then the candidates remind us it takes a lot of money to win and round and round it goes.

    Out of state money for primary races is a big part of campaigns costing too much.

    But mostly I fear the netroots is about to have its collective nose rubbed in the first rule of politics: all politics is local.


    Heh (none / 0) (#34)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Sep 29, 2009 at 05:45:26 PM EST
    Yep. Like in Montana and Connecticut and Maryland. And in affecting pol behavior in PA, CA and other parts.

    My gawd, did you just wake up?


    Absurd (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 04:22:44 PM EST
    They should solicit for any candidate they support.

    I'm running against Congressman Jim Cooper (none / 0) (#35)
    by Eric Pearson on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 08:15:14 PM EST
    I want to announce I'm running against Congressman Jim Cooper, and I'll be filing officially in January.

    I must admit I never will like politics, or Congressman Jim Cooper.

    I'm a family man, a father of two and a grandfather of two with another grandchild on the way. As such, I'm very concerned about them and the future of our great Nation. We all know something needs to be done within Washington, and if I'm elected I'll make the difference. At the very least, I will rattle their tree big time.

    Eric Pearson
    Email: EPearson@DemocraticReformParty.com
    Home phone: (615) 883-8670

    Not really a Democrat (none / 0) (#36)
    by MikeLawson on Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 02:40:30 AM EST
    For the record, this future candidate against Jim Cooper is NOT a real Democrat, he was a registered Republican in Florida, and espouses some pretty far-right conspiratorial ideas. He created his own "party" called "The Democratic Reform Party" to specifically call for Democrats to not vote for any incumbents he thinks are "socialists" or are corrupt. He is using imagery and logos from the DNC, and wants to give the impression he's somehow part of the party. He has a link to report "Crimes by Democrats" to the FBI, but doesn't encourage reporting of "crimes" by any other political party. He wants you to not donate to the Democratic Party of TN or the DNC. He thinks we should join him in his faux-Democrat anti-Democrat crusade. He make outrageous claims like "We the people have not been able to read the health care bill"

    I strongly suspect that if by some miracle above this guy got elected (which he won't) he would turncoat into a Republican faster than Dick Cheney can fire birdshot into his hunting buddy's face. I'm a family man with kids, too. I'm concerned about our great nation as well. That doesn't qualify me to run for Congress, and I'd never switch parties and then try this sneaky business of trying to undermine the Democratic Party, claim to be a Democrat and run against Cooper. Cooper's too conservative for me, I'm not Blue Dog fan, but don't be deceived, Eric Pearson is a Red Dog in a Blue Dog's clothing who reeks of used Tea Bags. He's trolling left-leaning websites posting his intentions to run, but doesn't disclose that he despises liberals, and is on a "socialist" witch hunt.

    When did Eric Pearson become a Democrat and why?

    Let's face it, if Jim Cooper is too liberal for Eric Pearson, well, what's that say about Eric Pearson?