On Friday, Democratic Senate candidate Phil Bredesen came out in support of the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, the same day Susan Collins announced presumably the key deciding vote. The backlash from the DNC and their special interest groups was swift. Numerous political action committees, including MoveOn.org, announced that they would be withdrawing support for Bredesen in a key battleground state in which Democrats were hoping to pick up another Senate seat.
The main (and largely only) argument presented against the election of Bredesen has largely been that he will be a “puppet” of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
I'll be the first to raise my hand and say that I don't agree with probably 90%+ of Schumer's positions and philosophies. What I can say is that if you thought Bredesen would do nothing but be a puppet for Schumer, October 5 clearly proved otherwise. We can argue and disagree all day about how we, as a country, got where we are/were with the nomination of Kavanaugh. But the truth is that we’re now past all of those arguments. His nomination at the time I write this is all but confirmed. There will be other opportunities to nominate and seat SCOTUS justices in the future. The main thing we can all agree on from these past three months is that we can do better and we must do better in the future: in the quality in selecting the nominee and in the confirmation and vetting process.
Phil has an opportunity now to tell the DNC the same thing Joe Lieberman told them on Aug. 8, 2006: “Thanks, but no thanks.” Granted, he had just lost the Democratic primary for Senate in Connecticut, but the basic calculus is still the same. Lieberman went on to win the election as an Independent candidate, not because it was the politically right thing to do, but because it was the best thing for Connecticut. His post-2006 voting record shows that he was willing to cross the aisle if it was the best thing for Connecticut and the best thing for the country.
Tennessee now has the same moment to do the same thing for Phil, and Phil likewise now has the same opportunity Lieberman had in 2006. Bredesen is and always has been a champion for Tennessee. The state saw record-breaking economic growth while he was governor and the argument can be made that he laid the current groundwork for the boom in manufacturing that we’re benefiting from today. He has often bucked party lines to accomplish not what was best for him politically, but what was best for Tennessee.
I have always felt strongly that an independent conscience, free from party lines, is a wonderful thing to have in any political candidate, especially at the federal level. No one should ever be so entrenched in their party lines, philosophy, or money that they can’t or won’t work with the other side to get the important things done for this country that need to be done.
Deep partisan brinkmanship led us to the Kavanaugh debacle. The failure of all of us to leave our own echo chambers and do what is necessary (and not always popular) for the greater good of our country over our personal selves is an embarrassment for all of us that we will one day have to explain to our kids and grandkids. Having an independent Bredesen will force the Senate to listen to Tennessee and force all of us to talk to and work with each other (even the ones on the other side who don't agree with us).
I’m a conservative-leaning independent Millennial that was planning on voting for Phil before Oct.5. I’m still planning on voting for him. I sincerely hope you all can swallow your own pride and partisanship and join me.
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Yes, he did support Kavanaugh. Because he has to if he wants to win. And if he does win, it will be the last time chameleon Phil sides with a conservative.
Tickles me when someone actually falls for this tactic.