The mixed bag in Nashville
I just finished a tiresome (if only because of lack of familarity) first week in my new position, and I get home from work tonight not knowing what to think of Republican fortunes in the State of Tennessee.
There was some extremely surprising news from the State Senate today, as State Senator Don McLeary of Jackson officially switched parties and joined the Republican Caucus. That may not be all that surprising considering that McCleary often votes with the GOP, but we all know that in this part of the country, it isn't all that uncommon to see legislators cross the aisle to vote with the other party without crossing the floor to join the opposite political formation. I can't read Senator McCleary's mind, nor have I had any sort of contact with him, but I would venture to say that his decision to cross the floor has as much to do with the Democrats' shameful and hypocritical conduct on what we can now call the "Ethics Question," as it does with any ideological affinity he may feel for the Grand Ole Party.
Just as the Republicans manage to increase their Senate majority to two, their largest majority in that body since the conclusion of the Late Unpleasantness, we learn that many Republicans in both Houses have signed on to key provisions of Bredesen's non-plan. There is now a compromise measure that will be voted on by both houses Monday, and it is questionable whether that measure will change the heart of the ethical situation in the Legislature or not.
I said from the beginning that this Special Session may be a waste of time and dollars. With each day that passes, it proves to be just that. Just adjourn before you cause any further damage-you can at least claim you were being fiscally responsible.