published Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Bring Chuck Fleischmann home from Washington — in August

  • photo
    U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., talks directly to challenger Weston Wamp during a one-on-one debate Wednesday inside the WTCI television studio. The taped show was televised at 8 p.m. on Wednesday night.
    Photo by Tim Barber.
    enlarge photo

By his own back-handed admonition in a debate Wednesday, incumbent U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann handed a license to 3rd Congressional District voters to yank him out of Washington, D.C., come the Aug. 7 state Republican primary.

"Everything the federal government touches, it messes up," Fleischmann said during the debate with GOP challenger Weston Wamp. "The problem is, this is a broken system."

With complete partisan gridlock in Congress, Fleischmann -- who in the debate took every opportunity to point fingers at the Obama administration, Democrats and even other Republicans who simply hint at negotiating with Democrats to find solutions -- is absolutely right. The system is currently broken and people like this four-year congressman who refuse to engage in what we sent them to Washington to do are the reason.

In August, voters -- both Republican and Democrat -- who are fed up with Washington dysfunction need to send Fleischmann home to be a lawyer again.

In a sometimes acrimonious debate, sponsored by the the Chattanooga Times Free Press and WTCI-TV, Wamp, 27, handily bested Fleischmann's finger-pointing and "broken" chorus.

"The country is not interested in worn-out partisan rhetoric any longer. ... People want common sense to make government work," said Wamp, son of former U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, who held the 3rd District congressional seat for 16 years.

Fleischmann, who signed a tea party pledge not to raise taxes, said he told Obama "No, no, no" to more debt and that the country needs to "get the federal government out of our lives and out of our way."

And, no, he won't vote for Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker's proposed gas tax increase to fund roads and transportation, nor will he vote for immigration reform. Common Core in education is "big government." He would vote to defund EPA. And Sen. Lamar Alexander, (R-Tenn) "does deserve credit" for helping to restructure the Inland Waterways Trust Fund -- the funding mechanism for the stalled Chickamauga Lock project.

"But first it had to pass the House ... and I didn't have to go over and sing like a liberal to Nancy Pelosi to get that done," Fleischmann said.

Of course, the funding still isn't there for the Chickamauga Lock's completion, and Fleischmann hasn't said he would vote to allow a user-fee sought by barge companies to help finish work there. In the debate, he said he "is open" to discuss it. Wamp said he would support it.

At one point, during Fleischmann's anti-compromising rants, Wamp said: "I feel like I'm sitting across the table from an angry congressman."

That got a laugh, but Wamp's next comments about Congress members of all stripes rolling up their sleeves, talking, holding hands and finding solutions got the more important response: nods.

Wamp reminded Fleischmann that his apparent arch enemy, Barack Obama, won't be president in two years, and that there is "an opportunity for conservatives to favor the environment."

Fleischmann alluded to Wamp as his second "Democrat" opponent. (Mary Headrick, physician, is unopposed on the Democratic primary ballot.)

The incumbent made clear over and over again that he believes Republicans can't and shouldn't talk or negotiate with Democrats.

Wamp shook his head. "Where we (as conservatives) don't agree, is that Democrats have cooties, and we can't talk to them," he said.

Given Fleischmann's inability to understand how political discourse and compromise created and grew our democracy, he can serve no purpose in Congress. In fact, he already has served little purpose in Congress.

Democrats cannot miss this opportunity to help Republicans ensure that all of us have a congressman or congresswoman who truly believes in government and understands how to make it work for us again.

It is time for a crossover vote.

Let's send Chuck Fleischmann home in August.

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aae1049 said...

So, your pick for congress still uses the term that people have "cooties." How long out of high school?

July 3, 2014 at 12:39 a.m.

"gridlock" Yeah, in other words do what Democrats want. When libs dominate that's fine, but when there's opposition it's called gridlock.

July 3, 2014 at 6:21 a.m.
inquiringmind said...

Chuck would have us believe he is a one man army fighting President Obama, not the ostrich ignoring global warming caused by climate change. Wamp at least tagged CF for what he is, all sound and fury but no substance. I'm voting in the repub primary.

July 3, 2014 at 6:38 a.m.
conservative said...

Why did you deliberately leave out the words "man made" before "global warming?"

July 3, 2014 at 7:29 a.m.
inquiringmind said...

It is intuitive

July 3, 2014 at 8:23 a.m.
conservative said...

As in not based on facts but feelings.

So, why do you expect Rep. Chuck Fleischmann to share your feelings that man is causing global warming?

July 3, 2014 at 8:35 a.m.
sagoyewatha said...

You can hear Wamp's campaign quotes in any rest room in town by pressing the "start" button on the hot air hand dryer.

July 3, 2014 at 8:50 a.m.
adolphochs said...

Other than to flip a coin to decide in which primary to run, I'm not sure how Weston's decision was made. Now I understand Mary Headrick's endorsement of Weston. If she can't win, why not have a Democrat run in the Republican primary?

July 3, 2014 at 9:40 a.m.
bret said...

Weston clearly won the debate and didn't have to really say anything to do it. He simply allowed Chuck Fleischmann to show exactly who he is ... an angry Tea Party idiot who can only repeat debunked GOP talking points from 2008, and who refuses to even talk with anyone who doesn't drink his Kool-Aid. Chuck forgets that many in his district, including the majority of Chattanooga and Hamilton County residents, are Democrats and that he is supposed to represent them as well. Also, as a US Representative he writes laws for the entire nation and the last time I checked there were more Democrats than Republicans.

For his part Weston did little to counter Chuck's lies. They are Republican lies, after all. Like when Chuck claimed that many states are going bankrupt because of Obamacare. Weston should have said "Name one," rather than agreeing with the lie. When Chuck amazingly claimed that everything in the US has gotten worse since he's been in office Wamp could have pounced on that as well by saying,"Maybe it's time we get someone else in office." I guess Chuck doesn't have any investments since the stock market has more than doubled since Obama took over, easily disproving his lie.

I'll give Chuck Fleischmann credit for one thing ... he had an answer for every question. Unfortunately, that answer was, "Open up more oil wells."

July 3, 2014 at 10:46 a.m.
bret said...

Is it true that Rhonda Thurman just entered her name as a write-in candidate?

July 3, 2014 at 10:55 a.m.
bret said...

Last night's debate produced a clear winner ... Mary Headrick.

July 3, 2014 at 10:56 a.m.


The people know how, but are afraid to govern themselves.

Malleus Deum

July 3, 2014 at 11:19 a.m.
inquiringmind said...

definitely based on facts

July 3, 2014 at 2:47 p.m.
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