This Is What Happens

Does anybody remember the protests by legislators in Tennessee?

Probably not so let me enlighten your mind….

In an extraordinary act of political retaliation, Tennessee Republicans on Thursday expelled two Democratic lawmakers from the state Legislature for their role in a protest that called for more gun control in the aftermath of a deadly school shooting in Nashville. The House, where Republicans have a supermajority, voted to expel Reps. Justin Pearson and Justin Jones. A vote to remove Rep. Gloria Johnson failed by a single vote, the AP reports. The chamber has used the punishment only a handful times since the Civil War. Most state legislatures possess the power to expel members, but it is generally reserved for lawmakers accused of serious misconduct, not used as a weapon against political opponents. In a tweet, President Biden called the expulsions “shocking, undemocratic, and without precedent.”

Republicans said the punishment was in response to the Democrats’ behavior last week as hundreds of protesters packed the Capitol to call for passage of gun-control measures. While demonstrators filled galleries, the three Democrats approached the front of the House chamber with a bullhorn and participated in a chant. The protest unfolded days after the shooting at the Covenant School, a private Christian school where six people were killed, including three 9-year-old children.

Apparently it is a damnable sin to protest the murder of children… least in Tennessee.

This seems a bit extreme considering the number of ‘violations’ some of the legislators have had in the past and still held their positions….

What violations?

The Tennessee House chamber where Republicans expressed outrage this week at a breach in decorum was filled daily, for years, by the sound of their colleague ringing a cowbell to mask the lack of applause. A lawmaker’s office chair was urinated on by a fellow Republican, a reporter who used to cover the GOP-controlled House writes in Politico. The quick expulsion of two Democrats on Thursday for supporting a protest was of a piece, Natalie Allison says. “The place has been defined by partisan vitriol, pique, scandal, racism and Olympic-level pettiness for years,” she writes. Here are other actions committed by Republican House members in the past that did not lead party leaders to remove them:

  • Lynching suggestion: In a committee hearing in March about capital punishment, Rep. Paul Sherrell asked if he might offer an amendment to include “hanging by a tree” as a method of execution; the state has a history of lynching. An uproar followed, but Sherrell has not been reprimanded or censured.
  • Sexual assault allegations: Three women accused Rep. David Byrd of sexually assaulted them when they played on a basketball team he coached. They were minors at the time. Byrd denied the accusations, but a recording captured him apologizing to one of the women without specifically saying what he was sorry for, per WSMV. GOP leaders twice blocked attempts to remove Byrd, per the Washington Post. “You have to balance the will of the voters and overturning the will of the voters,” said Speaker Cameron Sexton in 2019.
  • Historical revision: Rep. Justin Lafferty described the Three-Fifths Compromise as necessary to end slavery during a 2021 debate on the House floor. Historians were among those who objected to that interpretation.
  • Slurs: Republicans joked twice publicly in 2020 about Black people eating fried chicken. A lawmaker speaking about his bill on sanctuary cities used the term “wetback.” The chief of staff for a former House speaker texted, “Black people are idiots.” Other texts showed the speaker endorsing disparaging and sexual comments the aide made about women.
  • Mean tweets: An investigation in 2019 found that Rep. Rick Tillis was behind an anonymous Twitter account filled with gossip and criticism of lawmakers and staffers. It was his chair that eventually was soaked with urine.

This situation is pathetic…is this what has become of our so-called democracy?

I weep for this country.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


4 thoughts on “This Is What Happens

  1. Given the history of Tennessee with lynchings and the like, I am not surprised that their blood lust would extend to children as well.

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