Wednesday, August 06, 2008

But now she's gone, and I don't worry, I'm sittin' on top of the world

Some of you may remember that one of the first co-bloggers we added here was Wintermute. Charming, intelligent, with a great ear for roots, blues, and Americana music.

He left some time ago, and we miss him, but the cause for which he left was a good one: Helping out Steve Cohen (D-TN09) retain his seat. Cohen is a great Democrat; here he is wiping the floor with a pathetic Alberto Gonzales:

Cohen's primary opponent, Nikki Tinker, is a horrible person, supported by Rahm Emmanuel and DLC leader Harold Ford.

Here's Howie Klein's take on sTinker:
Tennessee holds its primary tomorrow and all eyes are on Memphis, where progressive freshman Steve Cohen, who is white and Jewish, is being challenged by a vicious anti-Semitic, racist pawn of ex-Congressman Harold Ford. It's been a very ugly race-- and the ugliness is all on one side, Nikki Tinker's. Steve Cohen was first elected in 2006 with the help of Blue America and we have enthusiastically endorsed him again.

Indeed. What made it an ugly race? Find out here:
Tinker, who is African-American, insists that her decision to run for the 9th District seat held by Cohen, who's white, is not about race. "I've said all along I'm trying to represent all of Memphis," Tinker told the editorial board of The Commercial Appeal.

The position doesn't square with Tinker's latest attack ad, which features footage of a Ku Klux Klan rally as Tinker supporter Walter Bailey challenges Cohen's July 2005 vote on the Center City Commission not to recommend the removal of a statue of Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest from the Medical Center park.

The vote has little relevance to the consistently strong civil rights record Cohen has built during 24 years of service in the Tennessee Senate and two years as the representative of the majority-black 9th Congressional District.

The winner of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Award of Excellence for Public Service has sponsored bills and lent his support to initiatives with symbolic as well as substantive value to African-American citizens.

But wait, there's more:
Just days after airing a racially charged ad connecting Cohen with the Ku Klux Klan, the Tinker campaign is up with a new ad not-too-subtly questioning his religious convictions.

“Who is the real Steve Cohen, anyway?” a narrator says as a child is heard praying in the background . “While he’s in our churches clapping his hands and tapping his feet, he’s the only senator who thought our kids shouldn’t be allowed to pray in school. Congressman, sometimes apologies just aren’t enough.”

The apology line appears to be a veiled reference to Cohen’s just-passed legislation in Congress that apologizes to African-Americans for the “fundamental injustice” of slavery and racial segregation.

"He’s never voted against prayer in school. It’s an out-and-out lie. This is desperation upon desperation," said Cohen campaign manager Jerry Austin. Cohen planned to hold a press conference Wednesday morning to respond to the new ad.

Cohen already has been the target of an anti-Semitic mailer was distributed earlier this year in the district. The flier said that "Cohen and the Jews HATE Jesus" and called upon "Black Christians" to support one "Black Christian" and oppose "this opponent of Christ and Christianity."

Nice. Tinker has also been an embarrasment to EMILY's list:
EMILY’s List president Ellen Malcolm issued a statement Wednesday evening condemning Tinker’s most recent ad. The group, which endorses Democratic women who favor abortion rights, has been Tinker's most prominent backer.

“We were shocked to see the recent ads run by the Nikki Tinker for Congress campaign. We believe the ads are offensive and divisive,” said Malcolm. "EMILY's List does not condone or support these types of attacks.”

Poll numbers I have (7/4/2008) show Cohen 63%; Tinker 11%: Towns 5%; undecided 20%.

And because Wintermute suggested it, here's Howlin' Wolf doing "Smokestack Lightning":

Update: Via email, from Steve Cohen, regarding this post: "thanks. big winner"

Update 2: from the Memphis Commercial Appeal:
Cohen won 79 percent of the vote, greatly expanding his base of support from the 2006 Democratic Primary he had won with 31 percent of the vote on a very crowded ballot. Nikki Tinker polled only 19 percent (she got 25 percent in 2006).

"It says Memphis has come a long, long way and that people who were counting on racial voting to prevail are thinking of a Memphis that doesn't exist anymore," Cohen said. "The people of Memphis are more sophisticated voters that deal with issues and someone's record and not simply race."

Wow. 79% of the vote. That's truly a landslide. Congrats, Steve.