OtherArea: New England
I wonder if Santorum's Tennessee victory could be attributed mainly to the crossover vote instead of my traditional Republicans? Under Tennessee's crossover rule, even Democrats, liberals, and leftist can theoretically cross over to vote in the Republican Primary even though doing so precludes them from voting in the Democratic Primary. Could any liberal-to-leftist state voting blocs have decided to cross over into the G.O.P. Primary to vote for Santorum, NOT because they support his right-wing voting record, but to simply damage Mit Romney whom these liberals and leftists may view as the NATIONAL Republican front-runner? In other words, was Santorum's win in Tennessee a genuine state voter mandate or a ploy by progressive voters to weaken the Republican Party?
Do I understand correctly that the state legilsature has, at least temporarily, defeated Campfield's bill? I hope so.
Once again, the Republicans are trying to out-right wing one another instead of appealing to the middle.
Congradulations, Congressman Cohen for introducing the anti-slavery bill that formally apolozizes for this destructive institution that has causes our country and the whole world much misery. It took a lot of courage for you to do so. You make me proud once again to call myself a Tennessean. I used to live in Tennessee from early childhood until I moved up north some 25 years ago. Keep the faith.
As I followed the results of Tennessee's vote over a thousand miles away in my current home of Western Massachusetts, I was amazed that the bottom part of the Republican ticket did better in Tennessee than its top. To be sure, McCain carried the state, but by a much smaller margin than Lamar Alexander's or Marsha Blackburn's victory. A similar thing happened in 2000 when Albert Gore, Jr. barely lost to "W" Bush. Further down the ticket, Bill Frist, and House Republicans achieved far greater victory margins over their Democrat opponents than "W" did over Gore. To me, this seems the inverse of the pattern of other ex-Confederate states where the Republicans generally did better at the top of the ticket instead of viceversa. I wonder what this will mean for Tennessee.
One more comment: I hope that the Republican victories in Tennessee won't mean the end of the more moderate wing of the state Republican party in a situation where the party's far right wing will try to muscle out the moderates and pragmatists from the party in a cocky effor to claim total credit for the state Republican victories. In the past, Tennessee has had quite a few moderate Republicans (and at one time, even a few liberal/leftist and dovish Republicans like the late Congressman Howard Baker, Sr. who helped defeat draconian male military conscription measures in 1952 during the Korean War in which Truman and the Pentagon tried to ram Universal (as opposed to Selective) male conscription down the throats of our male 18 year olds). Later on in that decade, Baker, Sr. refused to sign the pro-segregatonist Southern Manifesto and voted for the two major civil rights laws of 1957 and 1960 and still win re-elections to the Second District with landslide majorities. Baker, Sr. also supported Federal aid to education and occasionally sided with organized labor when it was unpopular for even many northern Republicans to do so. His son, Baker, Jr. also opposed Barry Goldwater's 1964 attempt to privatize TVA and to appeal to white racism. Twelve years later, Baker, Jr. supported Gerald Ford instead of Reagan's try for the 1976 nomination for the presidency. What will happen to these more moderate Republicans? Will Tennessee's GOP degenerate into another dogmatic extremist group like many Rocky Mountain and Deep Southeastern states with no room for moderates and other non-conservatives?
I read with interest your article about Eisenhower. Another major factor, if not the most important factor explaining Eisenhower's presidential popularity was his decision in 1952 to run as a peace candidate promising to end, not win--mind you--, but to end the Korean War. His famous, "I shall go to Korea," speech just two weeks before election time virtually sealed his victory over Adlai Stevenson, who made the mistake of not distancing himself enough from Truman's already unpopular quagmire in Korea. Eisenhower's promise to find a face-saving end to Korea was popular not only with the electorate at home but especially with the U.S. ground troops who absorbed most of the hardships and casualties from that civil war. Indeed, Eisenhower's promise to end the Korean Way may have been a bigger factor in his narrow Tennessee victory than the race issue was--at least, I'd like to think so.
Eisenhower's use of the Korean War's unpopularity to win the 1952 election bore an errie resemblance to the 1968 election over Vietham when Nixon ran as the peace candidate while painting Hubert Humphrey as a puppet of LBJ's unpopular war. The main difference was that the 1952 election ushered in Republican majorities in both Congressional houses as well as Ike's Oval Office victory, while the 1968 election did not dislodge Democrats from their control of both legislative houses.
At least once a year, I like to visit Memphis all the way from Massachusetts chiefly to ride the very trolleys that Bruce VanWyngarden has a hard time with. While Boston has one of the best transit systems in the country, Springfield in the western part of the state, has one that lags behind several Tennessee systems, including Memphis.
To be sure, I share alot of VanWyngarden's frustrations about Memphis's trolley and bus system for similar reasons. Unlike VanWyngarden, however, I support the concept of streetcar/light-rail, trackless trolley (which Memphis once had between the Fall of 1931 to the Spring of 1960), commuter rail, motorbus, and water transit, to provide an integrated land system to move people safely and comfortable around the metropolitan area to get to their destinations.
I have had far less trouble than VanWyngarden has had whenever I use the trolleys. On Madison and Pauline, where I stay at the Red Roof Inn, the trolley is usually there by 6:20 AM and does run anywhere from every ten minutes to twenty minutes. I have never had to wait long for a trolley--they run far more often than the buses do. As for the change, all transit systems in the U.S. require exact change and have done so for over 35 years. If the trolley system failed to state the fare structure at the stops, then MATA is remiss and needs to work on its customer service performance.
The vehicles are currently too slow most of the time except when they are on a right of way. When they are on the right-of way or on Madison Avenue, they can pick up a good deal of speed depending on the driver.
MATA needs more cooperation between the city and county and needs people who are dedicated to the effort to reduce Memphians' over-dependency on their private autos. An integrated, multi-modal transit system of rubber and rail can be the best way to meet this if planners and residents plan out the routes for maximum ridership and future expansion.
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