Good News From Tennessee

Kudos to the Republican voters in the Volunteer State who last night nominated Bill Haslam as their candidate for Governor. Haslam fended off challenges from two more conservative candidates who challenged him on a host of issues, including raising taxes while Mayor of Knoxville.

One of those challengers, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, was caught on video suggesting that Islam is a cult. It would have been a sad day if he had won. The other candidate, Rep. Zach Wamp, told voters he wanted to restore the state to “Judeo-Christian values” which is a kind of code in some circles for pursuing a rightwing agenda. Ramsey garnered on 22 percent of the vote and Wamp took 29 percent. Haslam garnered an impressive 48 percent.

I am a lifelong Democrat, but it is not good for the country to have either party too beholden to their more extreme elements. The lesson from Tennessee is that a record of moderate governance can still win at the polls. It is an important lesson.

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