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Outsiders vs. Insiders: Resurgent ruling class plots to un-Cork(er) a Tennessee surprise

It doesn’t happen often but every once in a while a headline jumps out with such force that you can’t help but click on it.

Such was the case last week when perusing Politico, which offered a teaser titled, “Corker weighs his options as GOP frets about losing Tennessee.” Huh? What? Anytime Bob Corker’s name appears in the news you Bob Corkerhave to glare and when you add the contention he may be reconsidering his pledge to retire from the senate -- and the GOP is supposedly worried about losing in redder than red Tennessee -- you must dig further.

Politico’s Burgess Everett reported, “Retiring Sen. Bob Corker is ‘listening’ to Republicans urging him to run for reelection, according to a person close to him, a development that would quell anxiety among Republicans over losing a must-win seat to Democrats this fall.

“The two-term Tennessee GOP senator decided to call it quits in September amid an on-again, off-again dispute with President Donald Trump that has eroded his standing with the party’s base. But now a faction of Republicans in Tennessee and Washington are worried that the favorite for the Republican Senate nomination, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), could lose the general election — and with it the Senate majority.

“They want Corker to get back in to hold the seat and preserve waning foreign policy experience in the GOP. And there are signs that he is open to it, despite the steep climb a Republican primary might entail.”

Waning foreign policy experience? Have they forgotten Corker was the driving force behind the senate’s rubber-stamping of Obama’s disastrously stupid Iran nuclear deal? If the only attribute you offer is bad experience, maybe it’s best not to mention it in conversation.

The Politico story cited a recent poll claiming Blackburn narrowly trails the likely Democrat candidate at this point, suggesting the seat may be in play. So what? The campaign hasn’t even started yet. Heck, the GOP primary hasn’t even been held (won’t take place until August).

Who or what motivated Politico’s Everett to report on such a thing? This sick rumor sounds like it comes straight from the mouth of Mitch McConnell or some establishment consultant on K Street who’s too clever by half and figures if you plant a malevolent seed in everyone’s brain that Corker may be thinking about reneging on his pledge – and, Tennessee would be in play without him – that there will be some sort of bum rush by the party faithful to beg Corker to crank up his campaign machinery again.

A better way to put it is -- what a bunch of cr-p, a total fabrication of the facts on the ground to try and preserve the lofty position of a wishy-washy swamp lizard and noted Trump antagonist in the senate.

Granted I don’t live in Tennessee and my experience with it consists of passing through a couple times on I-40, traveling on one occasion to the Smoky Mountains hamlet of Gatlinburg and then attending a University of Tennessee football game (Good ‘ol Rocky Top!) in 1996, but I don’t think it requires extensive familiarity with the Volunteer State to surmise any Republican would start with a huge advantage there against his or her Democrat opponent.

To even suggest Tennessee is in peril is the establishment’s latest desperate attempt to strike fear into conservatives’ hearts that what happened to Roy Moore down in Alabama could just as easily repeat itself in Volunteer-land. Simply put, that’s crazy -- especially with a candidate as solid as Rep. Marsha Blackburn. Is the ruling class planning to dig forty years into Blackburn’s past (as they did to Moore) and report on some trumped-up unsubstantiated claims of immature impropriety? Did she skip church one Sunday and go drinking or something? Or get a tattoo?

Everett’s story quoted a couple RINOs (including former Gov. Don Sundquist) saying they wouldn’t support Blackburn no matter what. Here we go again. Sundquist is apparently still steamed that Blackburn opposed his push to impose a state income tax when she was in the state legislature around the turn of this century. That should tell you something right there – another spineless elitist carrying a grudge who’s willing to sabotage the national agenda for personal spite. How pathetic!

Blackburn’s response to the notion she couldn’t win was proportionate to the charge. Melissa Quinn reported in the Washington Examiner, “Marsha Blackburn’s Senate campaign slammed anyone suggesting the Tennessee congresswoman can’t win the November general election as a ‘sexist pig.’...

“’Anyone who thinks Marsha Blackburn can’t win a general election is just a plain sexist pig,’ Andrea Bozek, a spokeswoman for Blackburn’s Senate campaign, told the Washington Post. ‘She’s the best fundraiser in the country and is beating Phil Bredesen in several polls. We aren’t worried about these ego-driven, tired old men. Marsha has spent her whole life fighting people who told her she wasn’t good enough and she will do it again.’”

Blackburn is an outspoken social conservative who’s taken the lead on causes near and dear to the movement – no wonder the establishment dreads her so much. It won’t be long and the elites will claim if Blackburn wins that Democrats will tie future Republican candidates to her as an example of the “extreme” views of the GOP. It’ll happen – just watch:

Announcer’s sinister voice: “Do you really want to vote for a candidate who will work side-by-side with ultra-rightwing extremist Marsha Blackburn? She wants to deny women their absolute right to reproductive healthcare choices. Vote Democrat on election day.”

Establishmentarians probably figure since they were successful in convincing Senator Marco Rubio to reconsider his pledge not to run in Florida in 2016 that they can accomplish the same thing by stirring up hysteria about losing a crucial senate seat. The circumstances are totally different in Corker’s case, however, not the least of which is Tennessee’s conservative orientation and the presence of a well-known and highly regarded conservative frontrunner who’s extremely popular with the base.

In Florida during a presidential election year the GOP needed a “name” candidate on the ballot with Trump to drive every possible Republican voter to the polls – to not only retain the senate seat but also carry the state for the presidential ticket. Trump himself repeatedly urged former whipping boy “Little Marco” to get back in the senate race, clearly with a belief Rubio would help him win. Marco did as instructed and Trump carried Florida. It worked.

What’s the rationale to try the same thing in Tennessee for a midterm election? Are they seriously worried conservatives won’t turn out for Blackburn like they would for Corker? Are they nuts?

Nuttiness seems to be contagious these days but it provides an indication of how desperate the establishment is to retain dominion over the DC swamp. Of course Democrats claim Trump is irreparably tarnishing the brand of the party too. Liberal pundit Juan Williams wrote at The Hill, “The GOP used to be one of the two great American political parties. It gave the country some of the best statesmen of the last hundred years: Jacob Javits, Everett Dirksen, Edward Brooke, Howard Baker, Bob Dole and John McCain.

“But in the age of Trump, there are no more GOP profiles in courage — only profiles in cowardice.

“It’s time for all Republicans to speak out against Trump’s corruption. If not, their party will be forever damaged by the time this Trump horror show fades to black.”

Williams specifically took Speaker Paul Ryan to task for ignoring the passionate pleas of the Obama holdovers at the Justice Department and FBI to prevent release of the true-to-a-fault Nunes memo which was corroborated and even expanded upon by the Senate’s Grassley/Graham memo. Democrats have nowhere to run and hide from the daily truths being exposed concerning corruption in the highest reaches of Obama’s law enforcement.

So their inevitable response is to attack Trump for merely suggesting there was wrongdoing in the previous administration and accusing officials of intentionally working to benefit his opponent. Does Williams not read the reports of what’s going on? As a liberal commentator Juan is paid to write and say such things, but does he really believe them?

It’s heartening to see Speaker Ryan actually sticking up for his president and conservatives in the GOP. Instead of taking the easy road and yielding to the cries of swamp creatures like John McCain, Jeff Flake and yes, Bob Corker, Ryan appears to be listening to the concerns of House conservatives on the #Russiagate scandal as well as on immigration. It was hard to find reason to praise Ryan in the past but for now he’s doing a respectable job.

Needless to say things must change in Washington after the DOJ/FBI deep state scandal. If there isn’t a complete purging (and prosecution) of those responsible for breaking the law, nothing good will come from dragging the country through the experience.

Victor Davis Hanson wrote at National Review, “Attorney General Sessions must find muscular, ambitious, and combative prosecutors (preferably from outside Washington, D.C., and preferably existing federal attorneys), direct them to call a Grand Jury, and begin collating information from congressional investigations to get to the bottom of what is likely one of gravest scandals in post-war American history: the effort to use the federal government to thwart the candidacy of an unpopular presidential candidate and then to smear and ruin his early tenure as president.

“Only another prosecutorial investigation, one way or another, will lead to resolution, take the entire mess out of the partisan arena, and keep the anemic Mueller investigation honest — with the full knowledge that if its own investigators have violated laws or used tainted evidence or in the past obstructed justice, then they too will be held to account.”

Hanson is correct; if the scoundrels who fanned the Russian collusion lie aren’t forced to account for their actions it will only invite further misconduct in the future. Democrats should realize similar skullduggery could just as easily be perpetrated against one of their own candidates the next time. What if it was proven someone in the Sessions Justice Department spied on the “Bernie Sees 2020” candidacy and then tried to steer the election to Trump?

I think we’ve seen this episode before – it was known as Watergate. At the time liberals thought what Nixon did – and the subsequent cover-up – was the worst and most atrocious breach of the public trust ever. But Nixon was a Republican so the media treatment was justified…what a collection of hypocrites!

Much as we’d like to hope otherwise the establishment has not been vanquished by the recent successes of conservatives and the Trump administration. The fact they’re now trying to bring Bob Corker back from retirement indicates the swamp creatures are still very much alive.

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