You can't arrest me, I am all-knowing Rob BrileyState Rep. Rob Briley (D-Nashville) is not known in Republican circles as a particularly nice guy. In a Capitol atmosphere where legislators from both parties go out of their way to get along when the gavel goes down and the legislature adjourns for the day, many Republicans and conservatives avoid socializing with Briley out of session (so I've been told). This is largely because during session, Rob Briley often goes out of his way to treat his political opposition as if they are beneath him. The snotty, uppity character that portrays himself like a know-it-all on the House floor is apparently not an act.
One legislator I talked to once referred to Briley as "the devil," while another simply called him "that man."
People who treat others with such hatred and contempt (regardless of political party) usually get theirs handed to them on a silver platter. My mother used to say to me when I was growing up that "your sins will find you out." Hence, we can truly say that the Almighty works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform. For it was as the House Republicans were meeting this weekend in seclusion for their Caucus retreat that their deliberations were suddenly and unceremoniously interrupted by the news that Rob Briley had been arrested for drunk driving. Briley wouldn't be the first State Representative to get a DUI, so that wouldn't be very big news if it weren't for the fact that he also evaded police, resisted arrest, and vandalized a law enforcement vehicle. It is said that Briley reportedly "went berserk" when told he was going to be arrested.
Rep. Rob Briley (D-Nashville) From The Tennessean.
Briley reportedly returned to the automobile he was driving to finish his adult beverage before taking a field sobriety test. Wilson County Sheriff's Deputies had to approach Briley with guns drawn because he hit a pickup truck in front of him, attempted to flee the scene of the accident, and tried to evade police.
What is Boss Hogg's reaction to all this? Are he and the Democratic Caucus he leads scandalized by Rep. Briley's conduct? Apparently not:
Naifeh (D-Covington), speaking via conference call to reporters, said Briley was battling alcoholism and he was going to help him “get back on his feet.”
“Rob has a lot of pressures on him, and I’m not at liberty to go into those, but he has a lot of pressure on him at this time,” Naifeh said. “And it just was more than he could take at this particular time. And for that, I want to do all that I can to help him.”
I don't doubt that Briley both needs and deserves help, but note that Speaker Naifeh seems to show no difficulty with Briley's conduct whatsoever. If he did have such difficulty, he would take immediate punitive action by removing Rob Briley from his committee Chairmanship (the bizarre irony is that Briley chairs the House Judiciary Committee). It speaks rather poorly of Jimmy Naifeh's leadership of the House that he does not call on Briley to resign immediately, especially considering the gravity of these charges.
Of course, this is a liberal we are talking about, so we don't need to hold him to a high standard. If Briley were a conservative House member, no amount of pleading could call off the dogs. Jimmy Naifeh should keep running his mouth, as the Republicans inch ever closer to a majority every time he now opens it.
Labels: Tennessee politics