Stephen Fincher, a member in good standing of the congressional Tea Party caucus and an unabashed member of the Republican Party’s right wing, struck some unwontedly moderate-sounding notes Tuesday night as the featured speaker at the annual Master Meal event of the East Shelby County Republican Club.
Noting that he was “the first Republican to hold this seat,” the 8th District congressman from Frog Jump in Crockett County called for unity among all Republicans of whatever faction. “This is a two-party system. We cannot eat our own. We must stay united if we’re going to beat Barack Obama and the Democrats,”he said.
And Fincher, who spoke before a packed house at the Great Hall of Germantown, urged caution regarding a proposal by some Republicans to force a shutdown of the government rather than allow the funding of Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act)..
“If we do a CR [Continuing Resolution] without Obamacare, [Senate Democratic Leader] Harry Reid is going to put it right back in and sent it back to the House,” Fincher said.
Then, after asking for a show of hands over the proposition that "the President will be right back on campaign trail, and IRS scandals and Benghazi and all that will be swept under the rug, and he will use this to keep control of the Senate in 2014,” Fincher said, “I think that’s what’ll happen….I think he’s baiting us, he’s trying to divide us.” The congressman advocated instead a strategy of delaying the onset of aspects of Obamacare.
But Fincher made it clear that, in proposing discretion, he was not advocating that Republicans surrender their principles. “If we fall, it won’t be because of the Democrats. It’ll be because of the Republicans not standing up.”
Other speakers at the annual East Shelby GOP affair included Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, Shelby County Republican chairman Justin Joy, and state Republican chairman Chris DeVaney of Nashville.
Devaney defended a decision by the National Republican Committee to keep NBC and CNN out of the GOP’s future televised-debate plans as the penalty for those networks’ pursuing program projects relating to potential Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.