Tuesday, December 02, 2008

My "Incessant" Posts With a Purpose

I had planned to write about something totally different today, but Matthew Colter Hurtt has forced me to discuss the Speaker Pro Tempore one more time, largely because I fear he may confuse the people.

Mr. Hurtt is apparently of the opinion that A.C. Kleinheider has been using my "incessant" discussion of the Niceley-McDaniel race for Speaker Pro Tempore as fodder, since Matthew thinks that it is completely irrelevant:

Speaker Pro Tempore is a largely-ceremonial position (in this legislative body) given to someone for some sort of political points.

All you’re doing at this point is giving Kleinheider something to blog about!

Of the last 19 days, Kleinheider has written something about your disgust for Representative McDaniel, who voted for Naifeh, on 8 of those days! That’s 42% of the last almost-three weeks!

As usual, I care little for what Matthew (or anyone else) thinks of whether or not I blog on about Steve McDaniel. I've not been doing this for fun and laughs, and despite what Matthew or anyone else may think, I really don't have anything personal against Steve McDaniel. My intent was to show that the man has behaved like a closet Democrat, and I think that is pretty self-evident.

Matthew may be confusing the office of Speaker Pro Tempore with that of Deputy Speaker. For while the Speaker Pro Tem does not often preside over the House in Tennessee, he or she does have the ability to walk into any committee of the House and vote a bill up or down, just as the Speaker does. Bill Dunn, who is not a man out to seek any leadership position for the sake of his own advancement, once told me that from a personal perspective-if he were only considering himself-he would like being Speaker Pro Tempore for that very reason.

He is correct that the office of Speaker Pro Tem has been "guaranteed" to others in the past as reward for their vote or political points (see Tennessee Senate, Williams, Mike, and Kurita, Rosalind), but there are serious powers that come with it and it is a position elected by the House for that reason.

The Deputy Speaker never presides under normal circumstances, and his or her primary duty is to communicate with extra-legislative bodies, such as the National Conference of State Legislators, and to have a nice office and appear to be doing something productive. It is a ceremonial position often given to someone deserving of some more influential post, but the Speaker has run out of candy to pass out.

Given these realities, I am sure that at least some can see why I thought it important that a conservative should be Speaker Pro Tempore. I did not write all that I did to give Kleinheider fodder, I wrote it to state uncategorically where I stand and why.

Perhaps it did not also occur to Matthew (I am sure it did to those who pay attention to this weblog on a daily basis) that I just might have thought it to be a good thing for our district, which has for so long been ignored under Jimmy Naifeh while those Republicans who went along with him got the goods, if our Representative were chosen as the Speaker Pro Tempore of the Tennessee House.

As I said yesterday, I hope McDaniel proves me completely wrong.

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At Wednesday, December 03, 2008 4:23:00 PM, Anonymous Toni said...

David - I would have preferred Nicely to McDaniel for Speaker Pro-Tem. My position was this was not a battle I choose to fight. Glen is well aware of the consternation surrounding McDaniel moving into this position. He is also well aware there are those of us who will be watching what happens on the Hill. The bigger issue to me seems to be that McDaniel needs to be replaced by a conservative Republican or Republicans need to increase their majority so they don't need to reply on RINO's in situations like this. I think it's good that people have been vocal with the Republican caucus and need to continue to be vocal and involved. I appreciate your insights.


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