Who Is to Blame?There seems to be a thread in the blogosphere developing among commenters, many of whom like to remain mysteriously anonymous, blaming Jason Mumpower for Kent Williams' betrayal of the Tennessee House Republicans:
Here's a news flash, Kent doesn't like Jason Mumpower. A
bunch of people don't like Mumpower. Get over it.
This is how you tell a good Republican from a bad one, or someone who is not really a Republican at all. You support the nominees of your party for legislative leadership positions. Sometimes this requires swallowing one's pride and sucking up one's gut, but this is what you do. Why? A house divided against itself will not stand.
As anyone who actually makes a habit of reading this weblog knows that when Jason Mumpower ran against Bill Dunn for the House Republican Leadership, I enthusiastically supported Dunn. When Mumpower defeated Bill Dunn, I was not a happy camper-and I pretty much made that known to the world. However, I reached out to Leader Mumpower and Leader Mumpower did the same for me. He has been gracious and kind, even when we have both acknowledged from time to time that we do not always see eye to eye. Jason Mumpower is the Leader duly elected, and in an election for Speaker of the House, were I a member of that Caucus my vote would go to Jason without any reservation or purpose of evasion-because that is what you do on votes like Speaker of the House-you stand behind your Leader as a show of unity. Leave your disagreements with the Leader for another time. As Frank Niceley pointed out to me after the infamy on the House floor “you don’t hold those things, otherwise I’d have a problem with everybody in the Caucus who ever campaigned against me or said something bad about me-it is childish and people need to grow up and vote right.”
One has to hand it to the House Democrats-they did what they had to do and did so with no moral qualms about the deception involved, or what such a maneuver would to to the personal, professional, or political climate of the House. The initial Democratic response to this concern is "what about Rosalind Kurita?" I don't know if Kurita personally guaranteed her floor vote to John Wilder or not-if she did, Wilder was indeed wronged. However, Kurita did not attempt to set herself up as Speaker of the Senate, nor did Ron Ramsey offer that to her. The Democrats did more than the Republicans have been able to do-they united to achieve a working majority. That is something that Kent Williams really doesn't seem to care about, but he sure is happy being Speaker.
I do not wish ill upon Kent Williams, but I do hope and pray that he comes to understand that the hurt which he brought about impacted so many more people than merely Jason Mumpower or even the House Republican Caucus. Even Kent Williams is capable of seeing the light.