published Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Fleischmann ducks for cover

It would be hard to name a winner in Monday’s debate between incumbent Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, the Republican who holds Tennessee’s 3rd District Congressional seat, and Dr. Mary Headrick, his Democratic challenger. That’s because it takes two to participate in a debate. Fleischmann, as is his custom, refused to do so. He would not directly address the concerns raised by his opponent. Instead, he provided audience members with obviously well-rehearsed talking points and self-serving remarks. District voters deserve a more engaged representative. Headrick is that person.

Headrick, running an uphill campaign against a well-funded opponent in a heavily Republican district, pointedly and properly challenged Fleischmann to talk about his and his party’s stance on the economy, health care, taxes, the demise of the middle class, the struggle of the working poor and the GOP penchant for serving the rich at the expense of the less well off. He responded with diatribes against President Obama’s health care law and by attempting to tie Headrick to what he called the president’s “tax-borrow-and-spend policies.”

That’s playing to the Republicans in the district. It is not engaging in debate with a knowledgeable challenger who has facts at her command, who is unafraid of public scrutiny and who clearly outshines the incumbent.

Headrick also challenged Fleischmann to explain his unbending allegiance to his party’s partisan agenda and his heavy reliance on fat-cat and multinational corporate donors to bankroll his candidacy. He couldn’t or wouldn’t. The incumbent offered only more of his usual rhetoric: demands for an unaffordable tax cut, unspecified reductions in government and unthinking opposition to President Obama. That kind of talk and avoiding debates make up the congressman’s personal formula for success. He’s determined to stick to it. No additional debates are scheduled.

That might be good 3rd District politics, but it thwarts voters who want more meat and less sizzle to their politics. It’s hard to measure a candidate like Fleischmann who refuses or is incapable of open-ended conversation with the electorate. He prefers, instead, to parrot the party line, confident that will promote his re-election.

It might, but Fleischmann should show more respect for constituents by addressing issues that concern them. He’s not talking much about funding for the Chickamauga Dam lock, for instance, though what happens to it directly affects his district. He won’t talk, either, about his strong allegiance to party leaders and his refusal to cast votes that would anger them — even when such a vote would be beneficial to his constituents.

Fleischmann obviously prefers a cowardly coast on shallow sound-bites to election day, rather than risking original thoughts that might wound him. So much for an authentic platform and a series of high-profile debates with a superbly qualified challenger. That leaves him in the shadows touting a recent magazine article that said he’s the second-least-likely congressman to be involved in scandal — a poor retreat from explaining and defending his suspect political positions.

District residents may approve of Fleischmann’s personal conduct, but they should be concerned about additional embarrassment brought to the district by re-electing a do-nothing congressman with little to show for his first term. Headrick, a physician with a formidable record of working to improve the lives, health and prosperity of all Tennesseans through her medical practice and her volunteer work, is the far better choice for District 3.

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carlB said...

Thank you for writing this very good Factual opinion comparing Mary Headrick to Chuck Fleischman.
Mary Headrich gives us the chance to see if voters are really interested in using their judgment/choice for doing the best for TN and this Republic by voting for her instead OF voting for what the Republican Party is wanting to do.

October 10, 2012 at 11:15 a.m.
tipper said...

I agree. Outside of clinging to the Republican Party line, I cannot think of one thing Chuck Fleischmann has done for the 3rd District. One can only hope that being entrenched in such a red state stronghold, people would take a look at Fleischmann's record, refuse to rubber stamp his election, and vote for Mary Headrick on the basis of how she could assist the constituents.

October 10, 2012 at 2:58 p.m.
dao1980 said...

Uh Oh! Watch out JR, them dern ol' red-commies is comin' ta git yins! Yer best make peace with yer goat and drink up all yer PBR fore they git yeeeee!

aaaahahahaha, I don't even know what this Headrick lady's platforms are, but your response to her mention is indicative of some serious slack-jaw cousin-kissin, livestock-huggin, good ol' fashion southern "ignurnce".

It's good to know "shmart" folks like you make up the emotional bases that sustain party politics at it's "american public serving" finest.

October 10, 2012 at 3:18 p.m.
dao1980 said...

sweet! I've always wanted to be a bigot... I think..

Now, do you mean the "using my voice and vote to deprive others of equal rights over my inability to accept new ideas or ways of life" type of bigot?

Or.. maybe the "eager desire to laugh at and enjoy the comedy in obvious and blatant stereotypes".. type of bigot?

Which one is it? I feel like one is waaaay more enjoyable and rewarding than the other...

Oh, and what's wrong JR, no more rants for us about how the socialist commies are ruining "Amuuurica"? Don't tell me you're unaware of your own shtick?

October 10, 2012 at 4:22 p.m.
carlB said...

JonRoss said... Headrick is just another slippery Obamist. An obvious hardcore socialist and probably a closet Marxist.

REPLY:

JonRoss, you apparently have a "one track" thought process? Where does the truth the proper balanceand, and doing what is best for this country and the people enter into your thinking process? So, if people do not think and interpret our crisis conditions as you want them to do, does that indicate that they are wrong?

October 10, 2012 at 4:29 p.m.
una61 said...

Reminder to Harry: Fleischmann wins easily over Headrick and Romney wins Tennessee.

October 10, 2012 at 6:32 p.m.
tipper said...

Even a chimpanzee could win in Tennessee as long as it's a Republican--and be about as bright as one, too.

October 10, 2012 at 7 p.m.
carlB said...

JonRoss said... So apparently it is an insult to refer to someone as an "Obamist" ? REPLY;

Who said it was an insult?

October 10, 2012 at 7:41 p.m.
carlB said...

JonRoss said... answers to carlb questions: 1. No 2. Outside of the corrupt thuggery of the Obama regime. 3. Yes

REPLY; Just as I thought. Not any surprise to me.
This does not create a problem for me, but it appears that you have a biased judgment problem?

October 10, 2012 at 7:46 p.m.
carlB said...

tipper said... Even a chimpanzee could win in Tennessee as long as it's a Republican--and be about as bright as one, too.

REPLY:

tipper, what you said appears to be the judgment that the voters are using to elect the people who are supposed to have "all" of their constituents best interest in mind not just the people who might have been "fooled" into voting the Republicans back into control.
What is the term about people acting to cut off their noses inspite of their faces? It is hard to understand the bias and the bitterness that the opponents of President Obama are showing without regard to what will happen to this Republic by taking away the role of government in preventing another great depression.

October 10, 2012 at 8:16 p.m.
carlB said...

una61 said... Reminder to Harry: Fleischmann wins easily over Headrick and Romney wins Tennessee.

Reply:

una61, What ever happens during this 2012 General Election, it is the voters' choices to decide on who is telling the truth and wants to move this Republic "FORWARD" out of the 2007 deep recession instead of taking it back the mind set of the 1929 great depression before the new deal policies of FDR. How many people have read the history of what really caused the 1929 great depression and how the USA was able to get out of it. Where did the money come from when the people were put back to work?

October 10, 2012 at 8:40 p.m.
CathyB3 said...

Socialist??? He, he, he! Just look at who is sitting on low energy rates in the lap of TVA. Used the interstate system lately????

October 10, 2012 at 10:16 p.m.
una61 said...

CarlB - I'm stating what will be the results of the 2012 General Election in TN. Another reality is that Liberal, left-wing Democrats have a ZERO chance of being elected in TN.

October 10, 2012 at 11:01 p.m.
carlB said...

una61, I do not know any "Liberal, left-wing Democrats" running for any office. My point is that if there are extreme thinking elected people in control on either side of the middle balance, problems will develop. These problems will always create Long-term unsustainable conditions which have to be reversed and balanced out. A long list of the many conditions which were not corrected can be found in their affects on our present problems, passesd on by the last administration.

October 11, 2012 at 12:18 a.m.
una61 said...

CarlB - My point is that Republican voters control state and district elections.

October 11, 2012 at 1:42 p.m.
carlB said...

I see signs that the voters here in TN showing more interest against the Republicans.

October 12, 2012 at 12:02 a.m.
bret said...

Chuckie won't discuss the issues because he can't.
He is the epitome of an empty suit.

October 12, 2012 at 2 a.m.
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