The Reward of LoyaltyThis morning, I heard from a fairly reliable source that while Frank Niceley's chances of being chosen Speaker Pro Tempore by the Tennessee House Republican Caucus look promising, that "sweetheart deals" are being made to some Middle and West Tennessee Republicans so that they will cast their vote for Steve McDaniel. What is meant by "sweetheart deal?" Very likely, it is something along the lines of "vote for McDaniel and get this committee, that chairmanship, this consideration, or that special appointment." At this point in the game, whether that is happening is officially a matter of rumor, though I have no trouble believing that the source who told me this is on to something (and no, before readers jump to conclusions, the individual who told me this is not Stacey Campfield or Frank Niceley).
Steve McDaniel doesn't have the ability to make promises like that, so who, pray tell, might be charming GOP Caucus members in such a way?
What does it say to Tennessee Republicans about the state of our House Caucus when the Leader of that Caucus does not even believe that he can get the necessary majority to be elected Speaker of the House without attempting to give away an office which by right belongs to the Caucus to determine? As the Leader, he should be able to command the votes to be elected Speaker based on the fact that he is Leader of the majority party and has been nominated by that party for Speaker. He should not have to buy the votes of members of his own party in order to claim that which should go to a Republican member by virtue of the Republican majority alone.
Instead, he must promise the number two position in the House to someone who has previously demonstrated no loyalty to the party or the Caucus in order that he might insure his own position.
That is not a majority, it is the butt of a bad joke. It is not leadership, but lust for power. It does not demonstrate unity, but division that is falsely healed by trying to buy people off or shut them up.
If what I heard earlier today has any truth at all to it, it demonstrates that Frank Niceley has a very credible candidacy for Speaker Pro Tempore, otherwise there would be little movement to try and stop him. The second thing that the rumor demonstrates (even the existance of the rumor, whether true or not) is that the Leader does not believe the Naifeh Republicans have the loyalty of a rabid dog.
Republicans should be concerned not that there is a challenge to insure that a conservative is made the Speaker Pro Tem, but that the Republican candidate for House Speaker apparently has to bribe his way to the majority that the voters decreed belonged to his party on November 4th.
In other words, it means that the new Republican Speaker will have gotten his position by playing the same games that his predicessor played with the people's House. What a glorious new day in Nashville!
For the record, Frank Niceley has informed The World that he believes that Steve McDaniel is an honorable man and will keep his word and vote for Mumpower for Speaker regardless of the outcome of the Speaker Pro Tempore vote in Caucus. Niceley says that if he loses to McDaniel, he will support McDaniel on the floor.
Frank Niceley was elected as a Republican and will vote as one when called upon to do so in a leadership vote. It isn't the fault of loyalists like Niceley that there are some so-called Republicans who can't be trusted to remember the party that supported them. Yet it is the loyalists who are being asked to shut up and put up with those who supported the old regime being put into positions of power while the people who worked for this day of majority are given the table scraps.
That is not the change Tennesseans voted for November 4th, and if you are a Republican and are represented by a Republican in the Tennessee House of Representatives, please call your local Representative and ask them to support a real conservative, Frank Niceley, for Speaker Pro Tempore of the House.