This is what happens when a bunch of flaming racists get so drunk on their power, and feel so secure in their gerrymandered seats that they just don’t give-a-fat-rats-azz anymore. And they’re going to keep right on doing it, no matter how much it damages the rest of the party.
Just a quick recap. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone that the two black House members that were expelled by the Tennessee House were the youngest, most progressive, and most outspoken. Like AOC and Ilhan Omar, they weren’t there to suck up, make friends, or be popular. They were there to represent their constituents, and that’s what they did.
And somebody had to put those cocky African Americans back in their place, and the TN GOP was just the Klan to do it. Personally I thought the Houser GOP showed admirable restraint in not walking into the chamber wearing white robes and pointy hats. And then the GOP knucklehead who cast the tie breaking vote that saved the sole white woman facing expulsion came right out and said that they only voted that way because she was white. And just so you don’t think this ass clown was a one-off, it took seven GOP votes to save her seat.
Thanks to skillful media management by the TN Democrats, this literally became national news as it happened. MSNBC carried the debate and first expulsion vote wall-to-wall, without commercial interruption, and checked in regularly on the other two. And when it was all over, two black legislators in a state House, with less than a year of service combined, became national martyrs and rock stars. The Vice President flew to Nashville to meet them and rally, and the President invited them to the White House. And the Tennessee GOP came off looking like a bunch of Jim Crow-Bull Conner troglodyte throwbacks.
And right on cue, the national GOP stepped right on up to stand in solidarity with the haters. While the nation heaped scorn and shame on the Tennessee House, the national GOP stepped forward holding up umbrellas. By their shameful silence, the GOP showed where their hearts and true interests lie.
But there’s one nice thing about bone stupid. It tends to stay bone stupid, if not get even more bone stupid. There will be special elections in 90-120 days, and the district councils will choose temporary replacements until the elections. And one district council is already talking about meeting on Monday to appoint the same expelled member right back to fill his seat. He has already said he will run in the special election. And the second expelled member is seriously considering it.
Which places the Tennessee House as well as the national GOP in a nutcracker. If the district councils replace the expelled members with the expelled members, and the House Speaker swears them in, then the entire racist exercise was for nothing. And the legislators will become even more emboldened to aggressively serve their constituents, collecting that fame chip.
And if the House Speaker refuses to seat them, then they’re just doubling down on a debacle that has already made them a national embarrassment. Especially if they win the special elections. The GOP used a stroke-of-luck event to toss them out. How do they justify refusing to reseat them when they haven’t even had the chance to do something wrong yet? They’ve boxed themselves into a corner. But just an FYI for you. When confronted with that scenario by a reporter a GOP House member proudly said, Good! Let ’em come back. We’ll just kick ’em right back out again.
The African American community already had some reasons to be bullish on 2024, like the first female black Vice President, and the first black woman on the Supreme Court. But nothing is going to a better motivator than the specter of going back to the 1950’s. And by their silence, the national GOP is signaling loud and clear that this is exactly where they want to take them.
And it’s a wake up call for other minorities as well, such as Latinos and AAPI voters. If it can happen to African Americans in Tennessee, then it can happen to them as well if they get too big for their britches.
But here’s the biggest danger for the national GOP. With even a whiff of Trump anywhere near the ballot, they’re going to get resistance from moderate GOP white suburban voters, especially women. And those voters tend to be rather intolerant of overt racism. They’re trying to raise their kids better than that. Every Democrat running in a swing district would have to be an imbecile not to repeatedly call out his opponent to take a public, hard and fast stance on what happened to The Tennessee Three.
A reporter recently wrote an article titled FOX News followed its viewers down the rabbit hole. And that’s solid truth. FOX traded journalistic integrity to pander to their low IQ base. And created a racist, conspiratorial Q-Anon GOP base. And GOP candidates and incumbents in safely gerrymandered districts are going to play exclusively to that base. Which is fine for them, but it puts everybody in competitive states and districts in grave danger. Stupid is as stupid does.