What a mess. Rachel Maddow made the apt comparison of what just happened in Tennessee to what we saw in South Carolina, when the Democrats found themselves with an unknown candidate winning the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate back in 2008, named Alvin Greene. Here we go again with the nomination of Mark Clayton.
The Tennessee Democratic Party has disavowed its own nominee running against Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) for being a member of a "known hate group," it said Friday.
"Mark Clayton is associated with a known hate group in Washington D.C. and the Tennessee Democratic Party disavows his candidacy, will not do anything to promote or support him in any way, and urges Democrats to write in a candidate of their choice in November," the party said in a statement. "Many Democrats in Tennessee knew nothing about any of the candidates in the race, so they voted for the person at the top of the ticket. Unfortunately, none of the other Democratic candidates were able to run the race needed to gain statewide visibility or support."
The result is a sign of how weakened Democrats have become in the state. Six years ago, Rep. Harold Ford (D-Tenn.) nearly beat Corker, and heading into the last election they held the governorship and five of the state's nine House seats.
Here's more from Mother Jones: Dems Nominate Anti-Gay Conspiracy Theorist for Senate:
Mark Clayton believes the federal government is building a massive, four-football-field wide superhighway from Mexico City to Toronto as part of a secret plot to establish a new North American Union that will bring an end to America as we know it. On Thursday, he became the Tennessee Democrats' nominee for US Senate.
Clayton, an anti-gay-marriage activist and flooring installer with a penchant for fringe conspiracy theories, finished on top of a crowded primary field in the race to take on GOP Sen. Bob Corker this fall. He earned 26 percent of the vote despite raising no money and listing the wrong opponent on his campaign website. The site still reads, "DEDICATED TO THE DEFEAT OF NEO-CONSERVATIVE LAMAR ALEXANDER," whom Clayton tried to challenge in 2008. (That year, he didn't earn the Democratic nomination.)
On his issues page, Clayton sounds more like a member of the John Birch Society than a rank-and-file Democrat. He says he's against national ID cards, the North American Union, and the "NAFTA superhighway," a nonexistent proposal that's become a rallying cry in the far-right fever swamps. Elsewhere, he warns of an encroaching "godless new world order" and suggests that Americans who speak out against government policies could some day be placed in "a bone-crushing prison camp similar to the one Alexander Solzhenitsyn was sent or to one of FEMA's prison camps." (There are no FEMA prison camps.) Read on...