The World According to Oatney
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Mumpower Will Be Positively RememberedSome honest thoughts about the decision of Tennessee House Republican Leader Jason Mumpower not to stand for re-election to the House:
When the history books of Tennessee are written, however, and our own period is remembered (we hope) for future schoolchildren in this State to study at a certain age, I believe in my heart that Jason Mumpower will be remembered for the exceptional figure that he truly is. Mumpower will not be noted for greatness because it was he who "led the Tennessee House Republicans to their first majority in history" since many others beside him worked for that day for so many years. Rather, he will most be remembered for having been elected to the House at an age so young, 23, that people reacted with some wonderment, and remained a member for so long that he managed to be chosen as House Republican Leader at an age (33) when many people interested in public life haven't even contested their first election. He will now leave the House celebrating his 37th birthday roughly a month and a half before his successor is chosen. At 36 years old, Jason Mumpower has managed to be in public life long enough for many people to have had a very full political career, and most folks who have been in the business of politics for 14 years and decide to leave the stage do so in the closing years, not the prime, of a very full and active life. Mumpower's exploits are positively enviable and yes, heroic.
Bill Gibbons Gives It UpShelby County District Attorney Bill Gibbons officially dropped out of the Governor's race earlier this afternoon:
One has to feel for Bill Gibbons because it seems that the only Republican east of Memphis who wasn't aware that Bill Gibbons didn't have a snowball's chance in Hades was Gibbons himself. It was painfully obvious to me that Gobbons was not in it to win it at last July's Statesmen's dinner, when receptions for both Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and 3rd District Congressman Zach Wamp were well-attended, while Gibbons' event-though not exactly a poor draw-was kind of an afterthought. Lt. Governor Ramsey, Wamp, and Haslam each managed to generate a lot of excitement Statewide, while Gibbons' presence in the race caused talk that he was inadvertantly aiding the two non-Haslams.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
We Have A Leadership Vote in December...Tennessee House Republican Leader Jason Mumpower has decided to leave the Tennessee House of Representatives:
Mumpower has been seen as a controversial figure to many from the day he became Leader in December of 2006, especially since he defeated an extremely popular conservative in his own right, Representative Bill Dunn of Knoxville. Regulars to my work will recall that I was a passionate Dunn supporter. Mumpower's effort to win the House Speakership last year fell flat after Mumpower claimed to have secured all 50 votes. I watched from the House floor that day embarrassed for Jason Mumpower, and for our party as well as Kent Williams bargained with the Democrats to become Speaker.
The Natives Are RestlessWe live in a very uneasy nation:
With that said, as demonstrated by the actions of some people on Capitol Hill in Nashville yesterday, people are almost irrationally angry, and the folks who are demonstrating this anger are not crazed lunatics agitated by Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, but are ordinary everyday Tennesseans and Americans who feel as though their voices have for too long been ignored, and now decisions are being taken which impact them very directly and they see their governmentcompletely ignoring their wishes and doing so in such a public and arrogantly unrepentant fashion. Anger can lead to irrational and completely inappropriate activity, and as Hannity and Limbaugh would both be keen to remind all of us, we have a local election in May, a State Primary in August, and a General Election in November in which to send the one message all politicians understand-removal from their posts by free votes of the people.
History is written by the victors however, and at some point after the outbreak of the American Revolution, the founders of our Republic went from being brigands, rioters, and rustic rebels to being revolutionary freedom fighters. There was a moment in history when there was no other option but grapeshot and powder, because talk and writing and begging and pleading did no good. Our leaders would do well to remember this, because Congress has shown that they are unwilling to listen to the protests and pleadings of their constituents, so if the ballot box later proves to also be of no correction to their ridiculous and tyrannical behavior, one fears that they may learn that the founders armed the citizenry for a reason that had nothing to do with hunting.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tea Party Legislative SchoolThe tea party movement is a breath of fresh air in our political process-now participants need to be taken to school on legislative procedure:
I wasn't up at the Capitol today, but I know how loud and raucous the tea partiers were because I was watching the hearing on the internet and could hear the boos and hisses when the bill was rolled, and the cheers when the committee did something the crowd approved of. It is encouraging to see so much interest, but the leaders of the tea party in Tennessee who are new to politics (and not all of them are, see Ken Marrero) need to remember that people like Bobbie Patray have been doing this kind of work for years and they know the ropes. Rather than make blanket assumptions about what the rolling of a bill means or how the rules of procedure work, try watching committee sessions or House floor sessions and learning how basic procedure works? Yes, we know you don't have time to watch them live every day-most of us don't. That is why all of these hearings and House and Senate sessions are archived on video at capitol.tn.gov .
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Cloud-cuckoo landTennessee House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner has shown us the other side of himself:
This debate has revealed another side to a lot of people. It has shown us a John Boehner who was not long ago seen as a dry, dispassionate federal Leader who has emerged as a fiery fighter for conservative ideas and a potential future Speaker of the federal House of Representatives. We've seen a Bart Stupak who was once a passionate defender of human life at all costs sell his soul for a promise that even the White House Chief of Staff admits is empty. Unfortunately, Tennesseans can now see our own State House Democratic Caucus Chairman, a man who I always believed was, if nothing else, a genuinely decent human being who was wrong on politics but right on temperament. Instead, Mike Turner has shown himself to be everything his harshest Republican opposition has always said that he was-a mouthy, angry, underhanded, untrustworthy union thug with little decency and no manners. I never wanted to believe these thing about Turner, he has always been nice to me...but in calling the political opposition racist because it is becoming apparent that the Democrats are about to lose an election partly on States' rights, Mike Turner is allowing his political enemies to dictate the terms of the debate, and making the worst images of him come to life for all of Tennessee to see.
Monday, March 22, 2010
The Struggle Now BeginsDemocrats are about to get a lesson on the Tenth Amendment thanks in part to the Tennessee General Assembly:
The national Democratic Party prefers to ignore the Tenth Amendment and the question of States' Rights, but in their vote this week they have invited a great struggle over State sovereignty such as has not been seen in nearly a century and a half. This political war will go on until the leviathan has either destroyed the States entirely, or it is forced to kneel to its creators.
Destroying the StatesStates are already preparing to fight this so-called "health care" bill:
Perhaps most alarming for States like Tennessee, which collectively knows all about having to clean up the sad mess of a failed government health care system in TennCare, is that under this legislation which appears to be headed toward passage, we could be placed on the hook for unfunded mandates potentially hundreds of billions of dollars beginning in 2016.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
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