Out of Step

April 6, 2023

I feel like something’s really afoot here with the Tennessee State House’s expulsion of two young, black legislators. The two black men — Justin Jones and Justin Pearson — and a white woman, Gloria Johnson, have been challenging the legislature to deal with the recent mass shooting at a Nashville church school in which 3 kids and 3 adults were killed by a woman with an assault rifle. But the super-majority State House isn’t budging on gun laws.

But as the small minority of dems in the Tennessee State House spoke up in defense of the victims, and in alignment with the folks who elected them, they were shut down (like mics cut off, for example). So the two black legislators and the woman got louder and more aggressive.

But the majority wouldn’t listen. They are old, white, male and conservative, and gerrymandered their way to this super-majority and don’t have to listen to any damn dems, much less in-your-face black men and an uppity woman, and they certainly don’t have to change any gun laws. In fact, they, and a lot of the other red states are doubling down on the most extreme of gun policies. ANd not only gun laws. Red states are pushing the limits as far out as they can on all kinds of conservative policy. All this post-Dobbs abortion crazy, the book banning, anti-trans, all the nauseating anti-woke hysteria. Another commentator likened it to stacking sandbags: they are going as extreme as they can to protect against the rising tide of changing demographics. They fear societal and cultural change, they know they are a dying breed, they know the demographics will change the landscape… so they are digging in and doubling down and trying to pass a whole lot of outrageous laws… as protection against what’s to come.

And their (over) reaction to the efforts of Jones, Pearson and Johnson to get Tennessee to respond with decency and common sense to the recent school mass shooting by expelling them on a technicality is ill considered. In the end, they only expelled the two young black guys. The optics suggest blatant racism.

As Van Jones said tonight, it was more about propulsion than expulsion. They have just elevated two voices for a generation. That republican legislature has made a big mistake he said, (for their cause), by making those two young men famous.

Those legislators supporting the expulsion did so on the grounds these dem rabble rousers were disruptive and violated the rules of decorum. That’s rich. If you’re a republican today, you have no ground to stand on with that argument!

Anyway.. it feels big, especially in the context of the big win in Wisconsin two days ago (voters elected a democratic judge who shifts the political balance on their State Supreme Court). Especially as the 2022 election signaled great shifts in voter attitudes post-Dobbs and resulted in unexpected dem wins all over the place (like the dem sweep in Peter and Maya’s state of Michigan!). And especially as those spineless reps keep being forced to line up behind their now-indicted-with-lots-more-to-come, twice-impeached loser of a party leader on a road to nowhere. The criminal guy cannot possibly win (absolutely will not), but they can’t cross him. So, stuck with him they are. It is just hilarious.

And as heinous a move as the Tennessee legislature just made, it’s just one more indication of how far gone the party is. Supremely out of step with the majority of Americans. As they’ve been for years. And I’m hoping it’s catching up to them bigly.


This is a statue that sits on the Capitol grounds in Atlanta, GA. Here’s what Tony said about it:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: