[UPDATE]: It has just come out that apparently Ms. Brink is Rep. Cohen’s… daughter. Which certainly does put a somewhat different spin on things. For one thing, it makes the entire exchange non-creepy. …Sorry about that.
They call that “Jeffrey-Tubing*” where I come from… well, no, they don’t. They should, though.
Anyway, background: Steve Cohen is a miserable little suckweasel of a Congressman from Tennessee’s Ninth District who somehow manages to find primary challengers who are worse than he is, which is saying something. Victoria Brink is, and I am quoting the Hill on this one**, “a Texas State University blonde bombshell featured in a college co-ed calendar.”
In lighter news: it turns out that Steve Cohen of Tennessee just had a lot of bad behavior on his part over the years… rewarded… by the Tennessee legislature. While the federal redistricting process from Tennessee didn’t look particularly unusual at first glance (the 7R/2D Congressional split after the last election was more or less locked in by the process), it turns out that the state legislature’s new Congressional map removes switches out a bunch of Democratic voters used to Cohen for a bunch of Democratic voters who are not – and that part of the voters being moved include a key voting and fundraising bloc (Memphis Jewish voters) from Cohen’s district. If you’re wondering why that’s important, it’s because Steve Cohen is a white Democrat who has been representing a majority-minority district since 2007… and every primary election since then has been vicious. Extremelyvicious. So much so that his likely primary opponent this go-round (Memphis Urban League leader & school board member Tomeka Hart) is apparently planning to play it a good deal smarter: which is to say, a good deal less race-baiting. Which, paradoxically – and coupled with the aforementioned switching of voters around – could seriously threaten Cohen this time.
Personally, I think that Steve Cohen deserves to get destroyed in the primary: he’s a nasty man who tells vicious liesabout people who saved Jews from the Nazis (no, I haven’t forgotten this one). It may take ten more years to root him out of that district, but I’ll see the bigot gone at some point, and then I will cheer. And I applaud the Tennessee state legislature for giving us all some hope that it will happen this year…
But I do have a request for TN-0 Democrats: can you please find a primary challenger for him that isn’t a racist himself or herself, this time around? Your last two primaries have been the political equivalent of the Iran-Iraq war: the most moral option in both was to root for injuries.
President Barack Obama. Hates… his job at this point, probably.
Watch it all unfold. Of the three of them, the closest that I’d come to feeling sympathy for would probably be the President, except of course that Obama’s earned these kinds of headaches, a dozen times over.
[UPDATE] Welcome, Instapundit readers. Do I regret? Certainly the specifics, although you can argue that the principle – standing up against bigotry – was sound.
You know, back in the day, I had a certain sympathy for Democrat Steve Cohen (TN-09): back in 2008 he had been targeted for being a Jew by primary challenger Nikki Tinker, with nary a word of objection made by then Senator and now-President Barack Obama, who Cohen enthusiastically supported. It was obvious, even as early as last year, that this theme would probably be revisited in 2010 by former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton, if a bit more skillfully. At the time, I was disappointed.
My reaction now, given that he likes to call us all Klansmen and Nazis?
The black candidate, former Mayor Willie W. Herenton of Memphis, has argued that Tennessee needs a black voice in its currently all-white delegation. He is running a blistering campaign against Representative Steve Cohen, a fellow Democrat with a precarious hold on the majority black district.
“To know Steve Cohen is to know that he really does not think very much of African-Americans,” Mr. Herenton said in a recent radio interview on KWAM. “He’s played the black community well.”
“This seat was set aside for people who look like me,” said Mr. Herenton’s campaign manager, Sidney Chism, a black county commissioner. “It wasn’t set aside for a Jew or a Christian. It was set aside so that blacks could have representation.”
TN-09 being a D+23 district, the Democratic primary race is going to be of special interest – and this is… well. It’s not so much the sentiments as it is the utterly unselfconscious way that they’re being presented. Remember that full and frank discussion of race we were promised? – because I suspect that this is not what people had in mind.
PS: And one last thing: Steve Cohen did not “consider joining” the Congressional Black Caucus; he was told that he couldn’t join because of his skin color. They’re doing the same thing to Rep. Joseph Cao (R, LA-02), too – although I suspect that changing the ‘R’ to ‘D’ there might have caused them to reconsider.