Why Williams Got Back InIt should not come as any surprise that The Tennessean is framing the readmission of Kent Williams into the Tennessee House Republican Caucus as a "welcoming back" of the renegade Speaker:
"I was surprised a little bit," said Casada, of Franklin. "But I think in the membership's mind this is a way to demonstrate that we are moving on and that we are going to solve the problems of unemployment and the budget's shortfall."
Rep. Stacey Campfield reports that Williams was readmitted to the Republican Caucus in spite of the widespread objections of many members, largely because Williams was seen to be controlling the Republican agenda-nearly every mention of the caucus in the press was between brackets with mention of Kent Williams:
We had a caucus meeting Monday night and allowed everyone to air their feelings
on what Kent was doing. I think the overwhelming sentiment went along the lines
of "He is trying to tear our caucus apart", "he is doing this all for the attention" or "we need to find a way to drop this/ get past this so we can talk about our issues." I did not hear a single person say anything along the lines of they support Kent or he is a good Republican or we want or need him back in the caucus. No one.
The reality is that even the Naifeh Republicans do not trust Kent Williams, because you cannot trust someone who is so willing to lie to their own leadership. One member who was among those who agreed to allow Williams back into the caucus told me why they voted to admit Williams in a very direct way.
"What this is about is perception versus reality. You and I both know what the reality of this situation is. We were there January 13th, and we witnessed things that went unreported in the press, partly because people in the media didn't see and hear all that we saw and heard. What we saw and heard was reality. The average joe on the street didn't see what happened that day, they are just being lead to think that we are obsessing over Williams, when the truth is something else. We can't let that become the story."
On a personal note, I apologize for the brevity of my entries the last couple of days. I have been very ill, and have spent large parts of the day confined to bed and much of the rest drinking hot liquids.