One of Jesus’ most famous sayings is from Matthew 12. He is accused of casting out a demon by the prince of demons and responds, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand?”
Republicans in Tennessee are poised to ignore that wisdom and sacrifice one of their own. State Senator Kerry Roberts (TN-18) has been redistricted out of his seat by having his residence placed in Senate district TN-25 which already has a Senator, Jim Summerville. Roberts was elected to the Senate to replace Diane Black when she was elected to the US House.
I have very serious and very deep reservations about this decision.
There has been little publicity and practically no explanation given. Usually, given a hard or unpopular decision, leaders get out in front of an issue. They explain their actions, take questions and reassure the folks impacted by the matter. Senator Ron Ramsey’s office simply issued a brief press release last Wednesday and made no mention made of Senator Roberts. There is a separate fact sheet for the plan which does contain a brief reference to Senator Roberts near the end.
The plan is not final until voted on. But it is reported by some activists that the vote will be among the first the legislature takes; perhaps as early as today. After months of waiting and with all that is at stake, that would mean the plan would be released and approved in mere days. Even if the vote is delayed to this Friday, that leaves just over a week for public comment, input and discussion.
Nine months ago, the GOP pulled out all the stops for this seat. Bashed by Unions over Collective Bargaining and fearing the issue would energize the Democrat’s base and jeopardize GOP control of the seat, they called, emailed, talked and urged us to help hold this seat.
I remember being on the Capitol steps on March 5, in the rain, with thousands of fired up Union folks a block away. I was backing the GOP and their plans and working hard to get a Republican elected to this very Senate seat. That effort was successful. In last Wednesday’s presser, the Caucus announced they were giving it away.
This Fall the Caucus will no doubt be asking grassroots to work hard to elect new Republicans and help hold seats against Democrat challenges. I cannot be the only person seeing the irony in that. I cannot be the only person wondering why I should bother to help when my work might be discarded without rhyme or reason.
At the moment there are only questions without answers. I put some of them in writing to Lt Governor Ron Ramsey, Speaker of the Tennessee Senate and leader of Tennessee Senate Republicans. His office has not yet responded.
I asked things like: Were plans considered that did not entail sacrificing a Republican? If not, why not? If so, why did we not choose one of them? Is there any record of Democrats in Tennessee, even when they held similar majorities in the Legislature, drawing one of their own out of a seat? It has been suggested the decision was made due to threats of Democrat lawsuits. Could you explain why the decision was made to pick a fight with Republicans rather than Democrats or the Courts? Why choose political enemies over political allies? Why should Conservative grassroots respond positively to the inevitable requests for help in seating Republicans this Fall when GOP leadership doesn’t appear interested in keeping the Republicans it is given? With the decision announced, are there any plans to reconsider and choose a different course?
I don’t feel these are particularly nasty or “gotcha” questions. In fact, they seem quite reasonable to me. I hope answers are forthcoming and that they serve to calm the grassroots. While I wait to see what the Caucus chooses to do, I’ll ask them to reconsider throwing one of their own under the bus.
The wisdom of men, for as long as there have been men, has tried to dodge the “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand” bullet. Wisdom Himself said that isn’t possible. In the end, I guess it all comes down to who you choose to side with …
Is the Sacrifice of Kerry Roberts a Sign of Bigger Problems? by Rob Huddleston @ VOLuntarily Conservative;
Political Payback is Alive and Well by Mike Towle @ The Tennessean;