Cooper Sits Down with Nashville Scene
Stuck in the Middle: U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, punching bag of hardcore liberals, puts up his dukes in a wide-ranging Scene interview
By Steve Cavendish and Steven Hale
(Reprinted from the Nashville Scene)
We've lost track of how many times we've heard it from Democrats over the years: Jim Cooper's a great guy and really smart and ... he's a Republican, right?
Actually, he's not. If you comb through his voting record, you find that he's a solid Democrat who tends to differ with his party mostly on fiscal issues. And while the Scene, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, named him Nashville's best conservative in our Best of Nashville issue this year, you'll find him hanging out somewhere in the middle of the political spectrum.
It's that middle ground that can drive some Democrats nuts. He voted against aid for Hurricane Sandy victims. He voted against a bill that would have restricted the NSA's activities. He's a critic of President Obama's health care plan. In a largely Democratic town, some of those votes have riled his base of support.
So we asked the congressman to talk about those votes and more. Be warned: The picture of Washington he painted when he sat down recently with Scene staffers Steve Cavendish and Steven Hale ain't pretty.