Nikki Tinker tried to use a version of the southern strategy in the Tennessee Democratic primary. It's the altar of hate politics that folks like Nixon, Pat Buchanan, Lee Atwater, and Karl Rove worship on. Appeal to people's base instincts, play to their fears and prejudices. Time and again it has worked far too well, whether that's scaring people about rioting black hordes or about how limp wristed liberals will give Al Qaeda the keys to the White House.
Tinker went right to the playbook of racial and religious bigotry. She tried to set herself up as the authentic sister against the white Jewish interloper. She was easily able to convince increasingly clueless national organizations like Emily's List to support her simply because of her gender. But something happened. She got her butt kicked.
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) overwhelmingly defeated attorney Nikki Tinker in a racially-charged Democratic primary in Memphis that received national attention.
With 89 percent of precincts reporting, Cohen leads Tinker by a 60-point margin – 79 to 19 percent. The AP has called the race for Cohen.
The people of Tennessee's 9th congressional district looked at the candidates and decided that they would elect one of their own. Their own, in this case, was Rep. Cohen.
Yet again, the people who seek to divide us are, as Stephen Colbert would say, on notice.
(ADDENDUM: This is, as usual, clearly good news for John McCain.)