Sen. Marsha Blackburn isn’t a very bright woman. The Tennessee Republican believes universal daycare is Soviet propaganda, doesn’t believe in climate change, and has done more to defend the intellect of Neanderthals than defend her constituents against the covid-19 pandemic, which infected nearly one million Tennesseans and killed over 12,500. And now, she’s decided to make yet another questionable decision: Rehashing some old beef with singer Taylor Swift.
In an interview with Breitbart this week, Blackburn invoked Swift in a paranoid ramble about “woke” country music and Marxism in America:
“When you talk about country music, and I know the left is all out now and trying to change country music and make it woke. When I’m talking to my friends who are musicians and entertainers, I say, ‘If—if—we have a socialistic government, if we have Marxism, you are going to be the first ones who will be cut off because the state would have to approve your music.’ And, you know, Taylor Swift came after me in my 2018 campaign. But Taylor Swift would be the first victim of that, because when you look at Marxist socialist societies, they do not allow women to dress or sing or be on stage or to entertain or the type music that she would have. They don’t allow protection of private intellectual property rights.”
If you’re wondering where the hell she came up with this nonsense diatribe, don’t bother; Blackburn is obsessed with the specter of Marxist authoritarianism.
But while many on the right stoke these fears in a cynical ploy for attention, she seems quite convinced that a violent Marxist takeover of America is, indeed, in the works, and that she has a responsibility to protect Americans—and, apparently, Taylor Swift—from its influence.
There was one thing Blackburn was right about, however: Her beef with Swift began in 2018, when then-Congresswoman Blackburn was running for Senate. One month before the midterm elections, Swift made an Instagram post in support of Blackburn’s Democratic opponent, blasting Blackburn’s politics in the process:
I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives.
This was a first for Swift, who, until then, was noted for just how little she spoke out about politics. This became a serious point of contention during the 2016 presidential elections: Swift was one of the most famous and influential celebrities in the world, and she was notoriously mum on who she supported in one of the most pivotal elections of both her and her fans’ lifetimes.
(Swift later said her decision not to endorse Hillary Clinton was strategic in that she didn’t want to add her name to the list of high-profile celebrities who supported the Democratic nominee because it would play into then-candidate Donald Trump’s persona of being the candidate for the everyman. She has since regretted this calculation.)
“In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions,” Swift wrote in her Instagram post. “But due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now.”
Blackburn responded to Swift’s comments on Fox News, saying, “Of course I support women and I want violence to end against women.”
Despite the voter registration spike after her post, Blackburn won.
Fast forward to January 2020, when Taylor Swift’s documentary, Miss Americana, hits Netflix. The film documents the making of her 2019 album, Lover, which coincides with the Tennessee native’s anxiety about coming out as a liberal. Also documented: Blackburn’s election victory.
From CNN (emphasis ours):
Later in the documentary, Swift is shown reacting to Blackburn’s election victory, saying she “can’t believe it.”
“She gets to be the first female senator in Tennessee, and she’s Trump in a wig,” Swift says. “She represents no female interests. She won by being a female applying to the kind of female males want us to be in a horrendous 1950s world.”
The pop singer criticizes also Blackburn for her 2013 vote against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and stance against same-sex marriage.
“It’s really basic human rights, and it’s right and wrong at this point, and I can’t see another commercial and see her disguising these policies behind the words ‘Tennessee Christian values,’” Swift says, getting emotional. “Those aren’t Tennessee Christian values. I live in Tennessee. I am Christian. That’s not what we stand for.”
Following the documentary’s release, Blackburn was eager to bury the hatchet with Swift. She released the following statement:
“Taylor is an exceptionally gifted artist and songwriter, and Nashville is fortunate to be the center of her creative universe. While there are policy issues on which we may always disagree, we do agree on the need to throw the entertainment community’s collective influence behind legislation protecting songwriters, musicians, and artists from censorship, copyright theft, and profiteering. The Music Modernization Act was a huge win for creators, and the BOTS Act for fans. Growing support behind the AM-FM Act will close loopholes blocking compensation for radio play. I welcome any further opportunities to work with Tennessee’s and the nation’s creative communities to protect intellectual property and ensure appropriate compensation for their creations. On that note, I wish Taylor the best — she’s earned it.”
And in August, during an interview with Fox Nation’s Tomi Lahren, Blackburn was asked about the Taylor Swift “feud.”
“My door is always open to individuals that want to have a conversation about, ‘How do you improve the lives of Tennesseans, how do you improve the lives of Americans?” Blackburn said. “I have good friends that are Democrats and we have great conversations. I learn from them, and they learn from me ... that’s the way it ought to be.”
It’s unclear what any Democrat would learn from Blackburn aside from conspiracy theories about Planned Parenthood ripping babies in half and selling their parts for cash, but sure.
And now, it’s 2021, and Blackburn is invoking Swift, unprompted, in her inane ramblings about Marxism, women’s rights, and country music. Swift is unlikely to respond, but stay tuned for Blackburn’s next stab at getting Swift’s attention.