Saturday, May 31, 2008

 

When is it right to take on an fellow party member in a primary?- Steve Cohen edition

I've always found it difficult to believe that an incumbent has veered so horribly awry on policy that it is necessary to give him the boot in a primary. Lieberman in 2006 comes to mind (I personally was for the incumbent in that race, but no matter, the war was/is a major issue that defines the party). In an issue that is related to policy, but I find to be different, ethics is another issue in which I believe a primary challenger is just. Take Albert Wynn in '06 and '08 (the war was also an issue on policy), his ethical standing on taking lobbyist monies while at the same representing the voters of his district are shady at best. The final and perhaps I believe the most important time for a primary challenge is when the incumbent is doomed to lose in the upcoming general electorate. Claire Mccaskill challenge of Governor Bob Holden in the 2004 Missouri Democratic Gubernatorial primary is a prime example.

These three are the scenarios I personally feel a primary challenge is just.

I for the life of me cannot see any of them in Tennessee's 9th congressional district. Let's first say why incumbent Stephen Cohen is being challenged.... he's white, Jewish (yes you know that scary religion), and gosh darnit, he might even be get this one.... GAY (unsubstantiated, but he is single in his later years)!!! Of course, Tennessee's 9th is a black majority district. Thus, having a white representative is simply unacceptable. I mean because you know... race shouldn't matter... until it does matter. Despite the fact that Cohen won his 2006 primary by 4,000 votes (granted the race was split along racial lines)... was endorsed by the Black Mayor Tennessee... and then won a majority of votes in the general election over a black and white opponent (not splintered along racial lines).... Oh and in case you are wondering, Cohen has the most liberal voting record of all the congressmen in Tennessee (certainly more liberal than fmr. 9th district Congressman Harold Ford (and I love Harold Ford)). He has done right by his district and done it in style.

But you know the saying, the wheel goes round. And so it does in the 9th congressional district in Tennessee. Cohen is being challenged in a primary by Nikki Tinker. Tinker is African-American... and a woman. That's about it... she's no more liberal than Cohen (she's probably less so). I personally don't see how she will be a better representative.

Now, I get the point... African-Americans have gone through a whole hell of a lot... and they have the right to elect a representative in the 9th that represents their interests. But I don't see how Cohen isn't their man... unless of course you are just voting on race.... which I guess is okay... sorta... well no not really (JMHO).

Now, the Congressional Black Caucus didn't allow Cohen in... which I find acceptable (but disagreeable) because he wasn't Black... despite the fact that he represented a majority Black district. But I do find it absolutely deplorable that Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones is campaigning for Tinker.... Is it that she feels that a White congressman cannot adequately represent a Black district? Because I know that it cannot be based on the issues...

Now, Emily's List has come out in favor of Tinker.... Emily's List against a candidate in Cohen who is so pro-choice he honestly makes pro-lifers shiver at the mention of his name. Its because get this.... Cohen is a man... Jeez louise. Instead of spending money on challenging pro-life candidates, Emily's List is wasting money on a congressman who represented woman's rights pretty gosh darn well.

This whole thing is pathetic.

Comments:
I agree that Congressman Cohen has done a fine job for the 9th district and should be returned to Congress.

FYI, Stephen Cohen is not gay.

I am his brother, Martin Cohen, and can 100% assure you of that being a fact.

End of story.

Martin Cohen
Monterey, California
 
When will Nikki Tinker give up?!? This is beneath ANY self-respecting politician to strive for such a new LOW. Tinker has been after Cohen for far too long, and for no other reason(s) than his RACE & RELIGION. Cohen has devoted his entire life to the improvement of his community and country. It has always been his dream to represent those that need a voice, and (AGAIN) he is being ruthlessly insulted and needlessly threatened by a jealous, petty, and unappreciative woman. He is a fantastic family man, and a wonderful addition to our United States Congress. It has always been his dream to represent those that need a voice, and now he is being needlessly threatened by this jealous, petty, and unappreciative woman. I can not think of anyone better to represent the interests of his community, because he so tirelessly fights for his electorate with such passion and enthusiasm (that would only be misconstrued by someone with a heart of stone).
As a side note, Congressman Steve Cohen is NOT gay, but in the laughable and highly unlikely event that he were, I would still love him unconditionally, because he is not only my Uncle, but one of my heroes – his experiences in politics has taught me that there will always be someone waiting in the wings to drop a sandbag on you during your big number, and you just need to remember that a moving target is always harder to hit.

Lexi-Kitty Corey
Los Angeles, California
 
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