I'm a conservative. I have no great faith in politicians. If they manage to do their job reasonsably well, and don't too egregiously mess things up (see Don Sundquist), and actually handle a serious problem or two, then I proclaim them better examples of the species (as we all know they're not homo sapiens.)
I think that that is part of the problem with the Bush-dislikers (not the haters, those are on the Left, mostly) who seem to expect the man to manage the Global War on Terror, be its best spokesperson, charm the bribed into supporting our side, cut taxes, cut expenditures, end welfare as we know it, keep America safe from terrorism, fix the immigration problem with Mexico, never ever give in on any issue that the other side really wants even if it is not that important and kinda stupid, do all this without adding any new powers to the gov't even reasonable ones, and do this all with the media and the other side in a fact-free insane frenzy bent on destroying you, and make it look easy.
I really like and respect Bush, but evidently my respect for him is outshone by those of the Bush-dislikers. Me, I just thought he was a good, tough man; they think he's an archangel.
So then we go to Bredesen. He's done a few things that won't sit well with people. Okay, thats what leaders are for. TennCare was widely acknowledged as being messed up before he came along.
He came up with a plan to fix it, and he tried to squelch other plans to fix it. It might not be the wisest, but its understandable given how other plans can end up draining off vital momentum for a plan.
He played politics with it. Planned to drop people now, and then add them in an election year.
He said that the biggest problem was that he was risking his future as a pol. That's why I like him. He played serious. Not like most pols who are a bit of a joke. But some people whom I like think thats not nice for him to consider his pol career as serious; he should have always kept the fact that people's lives, 320,000 of them were more serious, ever uppermost, even in private communications.
And no, he's not allowed to assume that that would be obvious. He's got to make sure its spelled out by whomever types up his memos.
I understand that if my life was on the line, I would be sensitive. But I think that most people could call this innocent.
This does bring up the issue...he admitted that his policy would kill people. Thing is, most major policies kill people. Raise the speed limit...obviously people die. Lower the speed limit...and surprisingly...other people die. See that would slow down the economy, make research more expensive, possibly get some people on the margin fired and then some of them might commit suicide or have a heart attack...
So, I'm not sure if he's guilty of anything more than acknowledging the politically incorrect truth.
There's of course, the mass of money in the reserve which should be put to better use, but using it to avoid reforming TennCare doesn't seem like a good idea to me. Using it on a properly reformed TennCare and on paying off our debts sounds possible.
The fact that some fellow conservatives dislike this worries me. And I'm still thinking about my support for Bredesen.
But what I worry more about is people, specifically Republicans, playing Dem politics. Its real easy to say "Bush bad, I have a better plan." I'd like to see that better plan.
I'm willing to accept that Bredesen is not wholly virtuous, and that his plan has some serious flaws. Show me someone better, with a better plan, with a decent chance of success.