Monday, February 09, 2009

Why Williams Has to Go

Today is the day when we discover whether Kent Williams will be removed from the Tennessee Republican Party for failing to support the Republican nominee for Speaker of the Tennessee House:

Williams' party status has been in doubt ever since he joined with House Democrats to become speaker on Jan. 13. Even before the vote, the party had threatened to strip Republican lawmakers of their "bona fide" GOP status if they voted for a Democrat for speaker.

QuantcastAt issue was Williams' commitment to support the Republican Caucus nominee, House Majority Leader Jason Mumpower. Williams and the other 49 GOP members had signed a pledge to support a Republican for speaker and speaker pro tem. He ended up voting for himself for speaker and a Democrat, Lois DeBerry, for the No. 2 position.

Williams has insisted that he had only pledged to support a Republican, and he did — himself. He has acknowledged defying expectations, though, saying, "things change" when asked about his votes.

If anything changed, it was that the Democrats made Kent Williams an offer.

There has been no small debate about whether or not to remove Kent Williams from the Tennessee Republican Party. If Williams is removed today, the Republicans will lose their majority. Losing the majority hasn't been the primary reason why the proponents of keeping Williams in the party say that he should remain Republican. Some have argued that if the party boots Kent Williams, he becomes a political martyr and can argue to his very Republican constituents (who may not generally follow the daily doings of the General Assembly) that his party has been hijacked and made an example out of him. His own lies and deception to the party would be summarily ignored. Whereas if he leaves the party for the 2010 election-when he cannot run as a Republican-he is much more likely to be handily defeated.

Although I agree with this logic in principle, the reason Williams must be removed from the Republican Party is far more basic. If the party fails to remove him, it will send a message to those "Republicans" in districts far less likely to make a martyr of them for being booted that threats of action by the party for failure to support the Leadership are only that, and that there is no serious consequence for helping to keep the House under Democratic control.

Kent Williams has to go in order to enforce party discipline.

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At Monday, February 09, 2009 5:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the name of party discipline then let's get rid of McCain, Snow, Spectre, Haslem, Ramsey (he did appoint 4 Democrat chairs 2 years ago). Party discipline is sounds very SSish.

At Monday, February 09, 2009 7:09:00 PM, Blogger East TN Conservative said...

First of all i think he should go. Second This is a major screw up. There is no GOP voice in East TN standing up and defending nor telling exactly why this has to happen. This will put Mumpower, Ramsey, and Shipley in trouble next time around. There is a sucking sound being filled by our news outlets reporting half truths.

At Tuesday, February 10, 2009 2:53:00 PM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

Anon-party discipline is how successful political parties function...obviously you need some political science courses.

At Thursday, February 12, 2009 3:57:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"when he cannot run as a Republican-he is much more likely to be handily defeated"

All due respect to you Dave, apparently they don't teach Carter County politics in those political science classes. Even Jerome will probably understand that it is ridiculous to run against him unless he really messes up between now and the electsion (which may well happen).

Also, it's a little insulting to the people of Carter County and alot of us up here who are upset about this (including alot of us who do not support Kent Williams and never have) to say we don't follow the day-to-day funtions of the state legislature (ie. we don't have the facts). We don't believe the State party needs to get involved in local primaries with no input from us. Also, we aren't the ones that violated Ronald Reagan's 11th Commandment.


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