The Democratic party needs young progressive representation in the legislature if we are going to fight an ever more radical GOP. Their Senate Caucus is on track to get younger and more rightwing with the possible inclusion of Stacey Campfield and Brian Kelsey, and we need voices in the legislature who will take them on, without having to fear voter backlash. That is why in our urban areas especially, we need fresh voices who are up to the challenge, whether it be in District 58 where Steve Turner is challenging Rep. Mary Pruitt, or now Sen. District 21 where Jeff [Yarbro] is taking on Sen. [Doug] Henry.Meanwhile, one of Nashville's only blogging council members cautions voters not to forget about wisdom, gravitas, and substance over the fresh horses and sweet new darlings of the Democratic chatter class:
I learned today that Senator Henry has a challenger in the next election. I rarely get into partisan politics and elections other than my own. But, before all the "he's old and needs to be retired" talk starts, I would like to weigh in and tell you a few things about my experience working with him ....
Senator Henry and I had a number of conversations about how the lax borrowing practices of local government were affecting Nashville as well as other city and counties across the state. What I learned from those conversations is this:
1. Senator Henry is old and I doubt he will dispute that.
2. Senator Henry has a keen grasp of government finance and debt practices.
3. Senator Henry has forgotten what most people will ever know about Tennessee's budget and finance.
Naturally, I am biased in favor my constituents - of which Senator Henry is one. But before we starting talking about how old he is let's also find some time to talk about what he knows and how he serves the people of Tennessee.
Ready for the election year bombardments to distract you from the broader, day-to-day dimensions of politics that directly affect your lives? An election is kind of like happy hour: you patronize someone else for an interesting way to distract from the routine and requirements of your actual life as long as it doesn't become your actual life and consume everything else.