I read with great interest your "open letter" published in today's Tennessean. While a New Yorker, my last two employers were based in Tennessee so I've been privileged to spend much time in your great state and read your note from the mindset of an "almost" Tennessean.
Your letter spent much time praising Ronald Reagan accomplishments and heck I don't blame you; he was the greatest president this country has had in my lifetime. You also talked about your achievements as Governor of Tennessee, and its nice to see someone proud of what they've accomplished. However you haven't been governor since Fred Thompson decided to leave the Senate to Play District Attorney Arthur Branch in Law and Order and that was ten years ago. And unless the news reports are wrong (and they sometimes are) you are not looking to return to the governor's mansion in 2014, but are running for reelection to the Senate.
It was also nice to see that Fox News'/ Former Governor Mike Huckabee said nice things about you, isn't it great when your friends give you support?
I don't have a problem with any of the above. I take issue with your statement that you "stay true to my conservative ideals." What you may believe to be conservative values is not quite in sync with what others consider conservative ideals.
Allow me to provide you with a few examples:
- Your 2009 decision to confirm ultra-liberal Sonya Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.
- Co-sponsoring a bill to establish an internet sales tax.
- You Supported/Voted for the Gang of Eight Immigration bill which granted amnesty to illegal immigrants without firm provisions to protect our borders.
- Your Vote for the Start Treaty, where the US gave up plenty and received little. And I am sure the vote had nothing to do with the $6 billion dollars for a uranium processing facility in your state that just happened to be approved soon after your vote. Now I know its good to bring in dollars to the state, but what good is it if the country isn't protected?
- During consideration of the FAA reauthorization bill this past February John McCain (R-Ariz.) offered an amendment to end the Essential Air Service program, which provides subsidies to airlines to maintain unprofitable commercial airline service to certain small communities. A conservative would say the federal government should not be in the business subsidizing private airlines to maintain service in places the marketplace doesn't warrant. You voted against the amendment.
- Your vote in favor of the Fiscal Cliff deal which punished success with higher taxes and then turned around and spent the additional revenue (plus) on new programs.
- Your vote to allow the EPA to implement Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology regulations a program which even Obama’s own Small Business Administration pointed out will be economically disastrous. (After your vote the Times Free Press ran an editorial titled “Lamar sells out,” in which the paper lays out the economic impact of the regulation and how you got $200,000 worth of friendly ads from a liberal group for voting in favor of it). I know you just wanted to save your supporters the expense of donating to your re-election.
Now Senator I do not want to give the impression that you never support the Conservative point of view. For example you are a veracious opponent of Obamacare. But when you put it all together you remind me of the old broken watch which is correct twice a day, only by accident.
Sir, you may be a very good and loyal Republican, but you are not as you contend a person with many conservative ideals.
As an "almost" resident of the great state of Tennessee, I am happy that conservative groups will put up a candidate to oppose you in the primary. Let's see how my colleagues in Tennessee vote.
Whoever wins the primary; I will be supporting the GOP candidate because I am tired of hearing four painful words, "Majority Leader Harry Reid." I hope that you pledge to do the same, which is another conservative value.