published Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Roberts: Finding a political home gets harder

There was an old Tex Ritter song about the boll weevil "just looking for a home." Politically speaking, I feel like the boll weevil. I no longer feel that I have a home and think most people feel like I do.

I cannot switch to the Republican Party like Curtis Adams and Bill Knowles. When I look at the Republican candidates for Congress, I realize that's no fit home for a boll weevil or a poor old homesick boy from downtown Watering Trough.

On one hand, you've got incumbent Chuck Fleischmann who has a parrot somewhere up his bloodline. Since day one, he has never done anything but parrot the useless shibboleths of the right wing. If he ever had a good idea, it perished in his head from loneliness.

Then there's Ron Bhalla, whose idea of being a congressman is to become an adding machine and let us do all the hard work of researching the issues before Congress while he tabulates what we want and simply casts his vote that way ("the technology is there"). The main reason for having a congressman is to have someone to think deeply about issues and a staff to research them. We need a man with judgment, not an adding machine.

Then there's my old pal Scottie Mayfield, who served with me on one of those time-chewing panels appointed by governors to advise them on what to do about things like dog racing. I like Scottie. I like his dairy. Got a tour one time and was impressed.

The only bright thing Scottie has done was to use his dairy's colors in his signs. First thing he said when he announced was that he couldn't think of anywhere he disagreed with the incumbent.

Why run? So you just think you are a better politician? Do good politicians run and hide while the others are hanging out their own drawers on the clothesline of hand-to-hand debate for all to see? Do they blast the liberal media then give their supporters a list of the main points they should make in letters to the liberal editors? I am sure Lee Anderson is surprised to know he has been a part of the liberal media for half a century.

Then there's Zach Wamp's son, Weston. They all say he's "immature," but being raised by Zach, he forgot more about politics by the time he had his first diaper change than all the others will ever know. He's the only one talking about completing the Chickamauga Dam lock, and that's the main thing on people's minds.

We encourage the young to participate in politics, then when an intelligent young man announces for office, we say "he's too immature." My son was smarter than me when he was 14 and has become quite wealthy and successful. Weston Wamp will do well whether we elect him or not. But the more you compare him to them, the better he looks.

Maybe he does too much thinking to get the support of the moneychangers in the temple. I don't know about you, but the more money a man raises, the more I distrust him. His allegiance is not to the well-being of boll weevils or poor old guitar strummers like me.

• • •

Next week I will discuss the Democratic Party as a shaky home.

Email Dalton Roberts at

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JSprng said...

Interesting Op-ed, Dalton. I actually have been following the congressional race fairly closely. I suppose what bothers me is that the Times Free Press in weeks past, has printed non-factual articles on Scottie Mayfield, and it seems as if you are defending the paper. Scottie did not say he couldn't find anything he disagreed with when compared to the incumbent. He was misquoted. He in fact said that he had not studied Chuck's voting record enough yet to make that determination. I asked him about it when I met him. But of course, that is not what got printed. Then, the Times Free Press had a debate and the rumor was that it was going to be televised. Not true. It was only available over the internet, and you could barely hear it. There were no more than 150 people at UTC for the debate. Three candidates - all supporters in the audience. I wouldn't have debated, either. Scottie Mayfield may not be a dynamite speaker, but I've met him and believe in him. He is different. He is fresh. And he has my vote.

June 12, 2012 at 11:28 a.m.
John_Proctor said...

The defection of Curtis Adams and Bill Knowles (and Steve Wilson in Walker County) to the Republican Party raised the collective IQ's of both parties significantly. Neither Barry Goldwater nor Ronald Reagan would recognize today's Republican Party with its use of the cross as a club to bludgeon its followers into line and beat the others to death.

I am looking forward to your "shaky home" Democratic piece as I expect it will be equally honest and insightful.

June 12, 2012 at 2:17 p.m.
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