Excerpt from a Tennessean story on U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper’s unhappiness with defeat of Gov. Bill Haslam’s leadership abilities and Republican legislators’ killing his Insure Tennessee proposal — the sort of thing the congressman thinks might mean hope for the state Democrats down the road.
(H)e thinks the GOP running to the right will save the Democrats — “Not just to the right, but crazy stuff, embarrassing stuff,” he added. He calls it overreaching by Republicans: the conservative wing of the party highjacks the moderate agenda, irking Republicans who are closer to the political middle than the fringe.
“It’s like we used to hear a lot 20, 30 years ago, what (President Ronald) Reagan used to say: ‘Well, I used to be a Democrat but the party left me.’ Now a lot of people are saying, ‘I used to be a Republican but the party left me,'” Cooper said.
“I don’t want to disclose any confidences, but some of the most important Republicans in the state are feeling that way right now, and that’s a significant sea change. It’ll take a while for it to be felt, but it’s having a big difference.”
Republicans are pretty confident with their current footing in Tennessee politics, so Cooper might have to wait a while to see that difference come to fruition.
But he could still be in office if (or when, he hopes) that happens. Cooper’s running for re-election in 2016, and said he’ll continue to serve as long the voters will have him.