Nashville Post Politics: Hard Right

Nashville Post Politics

Hard Right

Hard Right

Posted on November 3, 2008 at 6:56 am

TNGOP Chair Robin Smith makes the case for hard right populist conservatism in Tennessee:

State GOP Chairwoman Robin Smith, though, rejects any notion of a moderate Tennessee electorate or an Obama-built Democratic insurgency growing anywhere near the state’s rural interior.

“Without question, the Obamacrats are strong in the urban areas and the areas where people are dependent on a welfare state,” Smith said. “(But) Democrats in their literature, piece by piece, point by point, if you took their names off, will look Republican.”

She added: “I think it’s absolutely hypocrisy and a lie that they have any coattails of Barack Obama in this state.”

Smith said she thinks there is enough distance between Tennessee Republicans and the heavily criticized national party to allow the local group’s influence to grow in the state, forecasting a full legislative takeover in the near future.

“If we don’t make history in this election cycle, I think we will in 2010,” she said.

Nashville Post Politics: TNGOP Chair Doesn’t See Race As A Factor In The Election

Nashville Post Politics

TNGOP Chair Doesn’t See Race As A Factor In The Election

From Brad Schrade:

Robin Smith, chairwoman of the state Republican Party, said if race were a factor, Harold Ford Jr. wouldn’t have been so successful two years ago in his statewide U.S. Senate bid.

Ford lost to Republican Bob Corker by less than3 points, but, unlike Obama, he spent a lot of time traveling the state and getting to know voters, she said. She also attributes Obama’s lack of success here to issues such as guns, religion and taxes.

“I think it’s more a cultural divide,” Smith said. “They want to cling to their guns. They want to cling to their religion. And they especially want to cling to their money.”

USA Today: Experts: Obama plot detracts from race progress

USA Today

Experts: Obama plot detracts from race progress

“Certainly these men have some frightening weapons and some very frightening plans,” said Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, who studies the white supremacy movement. “But with the part about wearing top hats … it gets a bit hard to take them seriously.”

The Rev. James Lawson, an 80-year-old Freedom Rider who worked closely with Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement and is now a visiting distinguished professor at Vanderbilt University, said he was not surprised by this latest threat to Obama.

He said he has had conversations with fellow blacks at various places, not just the South, since Obama’s candidacy began nearly two years and they have been afraid for Obama’s life.

“In the black community, there’s been all over the country anticipation of his being in harm’s way,” Lawson said. “That is a reflection of the fact that, by and large, the black community still experiences racism when it comes to access to jobs, in unemployment levels, in housing discrimination and predatory lending in housing.”

The alleged plot highlights tensions that both blacks and whites say exist in Helena-West Helena, a predominantly black east Arkansas city that has struggled economically.

Mayor James Valley said he doesn’t believe Schlesselman’s alleged involvement in the plot indicated any organized effort by white supremacists in the city, but said there has been at least a political tension among blacks and whites.

“The white community controls the finances and the black community here controls the ballot box, so that’s where you’re going to see it,” said Valley, who is black.

One Helena-West Helena resident, Larry Johnston, said he was not surprised that white supremacists had been plotting to kill Obama. Johnston, who is white, said he voted for Republican John McCain during early voting and that he didn’t believe the country is ready for a black president.

“You look at all your big cities that have black mayors and you have trouble,” said Johnston, 58. “That’s what I’m afraid of with Obama.”

Nashville Post Politics: Debunking The Debunking Of The Bradley Effect In Tennessee In 2006

Nashville Post Politics:

Debunking The Debunking Of The Bradley Effect In Tennessee In 2000

Via Sean Oxendine:

Now let’s look at the Tennessee Senate race a little closer, since this is often pointed to by Bradley effect skeptics as an example of a race where the Bradley effect didn’t occur. First, it is worth noting that Corker’s lead in the RCP average was certainly inflated by an outlying Mason-Dixon poll showing him up 12. If you remove that poll, you add two points to Ford’s polling average, and the break toward him is much less pronounced.

Regardless, let’s take a look at the white vote over time in Tennessee. SurveyUSA gives us a nice time-sequence of how whites said they planned to vote:

9/9-9/11: Corker 49%, Ford 44%

10/7-10/9: Corker 51%, Ford 44%

10/22-10/24: Corker 53%, Ford 42%

11/3-11/5: Corker 57%, Ford 41%

Final CNN Exit Poll: Corker 59%, Ford 40%

In other words, whites behaved exactly like we would expect them to behave with a Bradley Effect. It isn’t so much that Ford underperformed his polling among whites – though he did – it is that undecided whites steadily broke for Corker.

Nashville Post Politics: Skinhead Sorry About Plot, Not About Racism

Nasheville Post Politics

Skinhead Sorry About Plot, Not About Racism

The family of one of the two skinheads accused of a plot against Barack Obama says the skins were just joshing:

Kayla Schlesselman said Tuesday at the family’s Arkansas home that she talked to her brother Paul and that “he’s sorry about everything he’s done.” He’s accused of hatching the plot with another teen in Tennessee.

She says her brother didn’t like their tiny community of Helena-West Helna because it was prominently black. She also says he believed he was the master race, and would say things like “white power” and “Heil Hitler.”

But the teen’s father, Mike, says he doesn’t believe his son would have carried out the plot and that it was “just a lot of talk.”

Politico: Ben Smith: Tenn. GOP chair draws murder plot parallel

Politico: Ben Smith

Tenn. GOP chair draws murder plot parallel

The chairwoman for the Tennessee Republican Party draws a wild parallel:

“Hate is not a political party, policy statement, agenda or ideology – it is a pure evil that no place in civil society,” said Robin Smith, Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party. “Whether it is neo-Nazi skinheads plotting a racist shooting spree targeting Sen. Obama, or West Hollywood liberals hanging Gov. Sarah Palin in effigy and calling it ‘art,’ or unknown anarchists tossing bricks through the windows of a county Republican headquarters in Murfreesboro, Americans of all political views should be outraged.”

The Palin effigy was crude, but it’s breathtaking to compare that with indictments in a mass murder and assassination plot.

The Tennessee Republican Party has been regularly out front, and occasionally chided, in its anti-Obama talking points, but this one seems to go a bit further.

The ATF’s filings in that case are now online, and describe the skinheads as quite scary and dangerous, but much closer to their mass murder plans than to the presidential candidate.

Nashville Post Politics: Skinheads, Sarah Palin and Bill Hobbs

Nashville Post Politics

Skinheads, Sarah Palin and Bill Hobbs

From the Tennessee Republican Party:

The Tennessee Republican Party expresses its shock and outrage today at the alleged plot by two neo-Nazi skinheadsin Tennessee to go on a shooting spree targeting African-American high school students before attempting to kill presidential candidate Barack Obama.

“Hate is not a political party, policy statement, agenda or ideology – it is a pure evil that no place in civil society,” said Robin Smith, Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party. “Whether it is neo-Nazi skinheads plotting a racist shooting spree targeting Sen. Obama, or West Hollywood liberals hanging Gov. Sarah Palin in effigy and calling it ‘art,’ or unknown anarchists tossing bricks through the windows of a county Republican headquarters in Murfreesboro, Americans of all political views should be outraged.

“The American system provides for Americans to express their political passions on the campaign trail and at the ballot box, Violence, intimidation and threats poison the political process.”

UPDATE: Ben Smith thinks the TNGOP is stretching.

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