Jimmy Naifeh's BS degreeThere are many times when I would like to believe that Tennessee House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh is actually a nice guy. After all, I am friends with many Democrats, and have met more than a few who serve in the State Legislature. I am thoroughly convinced that the likes of George Fraley, Gary Moore, Dennis Ferguson, Mike Turner, and John Wilder are first-rate human beings, even if I often disagree with them politically. I have had encounters with each one of the aforementioned Democrats (and even a drink or two with a couple of them) and I find them to be kind, genteel, considerate, and all of them strike me as being folks who are in the General Assembly for the right reasons-they came to help their community and serve others. Even when they are wrong (which they often are), they are wrong in the right spirit.
Then there is Jimmy Naifeh, who must have a degree in BS:
This year, the House of Representatives has been faced with a number of bills dealing with the topic of guns. As a gun owner myself and someone who supports the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the issue of gun ownership is a personal one. While I have and will continue to defend Tennesseans’ right to bear arms, I also recognize that with that right comes the need for responsibility. That need for responsibility led me to cast my vote against these bills.
I had the advantage of being in the room when Naifeh showed up in committee to put the knife through at least two of the aforementioned Second Amendment bills. The atmosphere before the meeting began was clearly one of the Democratic power structure in the House putting on a show, and the whole proceeding had the pre-gavel appearance of a carnival. It was obvious that Jimmy Naifeh was there to cajole his boys and gals into line-not unlike the day last year when he made himself look like a dictatorial megalomaniac in the House Agriculture Committee in an attempt to force the Bredesen's tobacco tax through.
Mr. Speaker, I know that House rules give you the ability to vote in any committee on any bill at any time. You ought not use that power to force your will upon the House, as you often do. The rules are what they are, and you can go into a committee and vote as you please, but these rules are structured in such a way that the person who really runs the State of Tennessee is the Speaker of the House of Representatives-and anyone who observes how things work on the Hill would have a fairly easy time concluding that your powers are immense. Your ability to control the affairs of government in this State is much greater, by comparison, than the influence the Speaker of the U.S. House has over national affairs.
Considering that your power is as great as we know it to be, your claim to be pro-second amendment rings very hollow. Someone who is truly supportive of gun rights would not jump through hoops not merely to defeat pro-Second Amendment legislation, but to quash it.
I'm with the Uncle-let's publish your gun information for the world to examine, and let's see how you like it.
(Hat Tip: Katie Allison Granju)
Labels: Tennessee politics