DizzyTown is as much a Democrat as the next All-American Chattanoogan. Hell, we still have McGovern stickers on our Volvo—and we still believe in change and Obama (if less than we initially did). But Hamilton County Democrats are Doomed, with a capital D.
Truth is, while we don’t adore the crop of current candidates on either side, we give the Dems props for even trying. For even local party leaders must know its over before it’s even begun.
As is mostly true, their aim is high, their goals lofty, their sense of right essentially right. What’s wrong is the party’s inability to produce a candidate who can muster as a penny’s worth of enthusiasm. Ten-dollar potluck fundraisers featuring aging civil-rights figures would be fine if the playing field were anything but a vicious Thunderdome. A low-rent, Atari-level Thunderdome, but a Thunderdome nevertheless.
Incumbent Chuck is going to spend a cool million or more to fend off Young Weston and a possible spending spree by The Milkman of Athens. Little if any of that cash will be spent repelling his Democratic opponents.
So it’s no surprise that we spend our time, if not our dimes, mulling the Land of the Lost in search of a sympathetic-sounding Republican to cast our lot with. “Stop whining and pick a side,” the Facebook Peanut Gallery tells us. Don’t be so cynical and skeptical, you Nattering Nabob of Negativity, they routinely repeat to our dart-tossing, clever-if-hardly-subtle asides online.
Already weary so early in the year, we find ourselves second-guessing our admittedly partisan leanings. Can we support a Republican? No, not really. But we can’t see a Democratic victory. Not on this budget, not in this district.
The South once heavily supported Democrats in national and presidential elections. That tide turned long ago. Now they’ve tilted right, they want it all. Can so many people be so wrong? Sure. But in the high-stakes baccarat game of modern politics, local Democrats can only afford the penny slots. Good luck with that.