Oct 29 2012
09:41 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Tennessee Republicans are eagerly anticipating the prospects of a GOP supermajority in the state legislature. This catastrophe will allow them to suspend rules and send bills straight to the floor for a pre-determined vote. They'll be faxing it in except for having to show up every now and then to vote with impunity.

They've already passed most of their signature GOP fantasy legislation in the last General Assembly. We got draconian budget cuts, elimination of agency oversight, tort "reform," union busting, a stacked deck against workers filing unemployment or worker compensation claims, discrimination against gays in state and local government contracts, opting out of Obamacare mandates, the end of teacher tenure, weakened teacher unions, unlimited charter schools, substandard for-profit "virtual" schools, teaching evolution in schools, drug testing for welfare recipients, repeal of voter verifiable voting machine requirements, weakened campaign finance laws, plus a voter photo ID poll tax and other voter disenfranchisement.

How much worse can it get with a Republican supermajority? School vouchers are a certainty. So is second passage of SJR127 to put a constitutional anti-abortion amendment on the ballot. First passage of a redundant anti-income tax amendment is likely. Medicaid expansion will be stalled or curtailed. Guns in trunks will be resurrected. One can only imagine what else they are cooking up. Check ALEC's website for the recipes.

Democrats are running a few good candidates, including three teachers from Knox Co. to fight vouchers. But will it be enough? Magic 8 Ball says "prospects gloomy."

We are superscrewed.

In related news, TNDP Chairman Chip Forrester says he is stepping down after this election.

gonzone's picture

Stacie Unleashed!

Stacie Unleashed!

Stick's picture

Heading for the exits...

This is one of the many reasons why I am doubling down on my efforts to get the hell out of here. Tennessee is my home and always will be... but the crazy it doth burn.

EricLykins's picture

and wheeeere do you you think

and wheeeere do you you think you're going?

Stick's picture

Canada? Seattle seems nice...

Canada? Seattle seems nice... Where ever I can get a job outside of the south.

Rachel's picture

I'm kind of sick every time I

I'm kind of sick every time I think about the possibility of President Romney. Now you've reminded me I've got something else (that's far more probable) to worry about.

reform4's picture

I disagree...

... Rmoney is just the President, he can do some things from his executive position (start another war), but most of the power to affect your daily lives at the Federal level lies with Congress, which is roadblocked.

A TN legislature with a supermajority, however, can drastically affect all of our lives, making birth control illegal, putting guns back in our schools, bars, and churches, eliminating pretty much all manner of due process, criminal and civil. Removing most local environmental protections. Incredibly regressive tax schemes to punish the poor (say, tax food at 20%). Drug testing for anyone they don't consider worth. Bringing back red light cameras and adding surveillance cameras at ever corner. Considering all of the possibilities is horribly depressing.

Rachel's picture

You're disagreeing with me?

You're disagreeing with me? Huh?

I said a Republican supermajority in the Tenn legislature was more probable. Did I say anything about Romney being worse than that?

reform4's picture

No, I just don't read well...


fischbobber's picture


I'm holding out hope that the large turnout shows that the majority of the nation has figured out that if Republicans are running the show, we are screwed.

Most I know have resigned themselves to that, and are readily admitting it in private conversation. It's a strange time.

CE Petro's picture

According to

I'm holding out hope that the large turnout shows that the majority of the nation has figured out that if Republicans are running the show, we are screwed.

According to my teabagger cousin, the 47% is too lazy to go vote. Not sure how he reconciles the high early voter turnout, in many states, with the 47% being lazy.

Of course, he's passing on the meme that Obama is blaming the Frakenstorm on a youtube video...

As far as supermajorities, there should only be one party, in his mind. Period.

Average Guy's picture

As far as supermajorities,

As far as supermajorities, there should only be one party, in his mind. Period.

I come across very few that don't think that way. I'm also betting they are not going to like what they're asking for. Think Bush on steroids.

CE Petro's picture

I have found the discourse

I have found the discourse this year/election season to be quite virulent and intolerant. I honestly don't talk to this cousin anymore (at least until the election is over, and perhaps not then either), because I'm tired of being called a moron by him.

My experiences lead me to a different conclusion than his, and I'm the moron because I won't capitulate and follow his beliefs. And, yeah, the intolerance is akin to Bush the Lesser's "My Way or the Highway"-cowboy-mentality on steroids.

Min's picture

I'm crossing my fingers...

...and hoping we get a few sane Republicans in the House, just enough to be able to stop the worst stuff coming down the pike.

Average Guy's picture

Hope's spring is dry

Sane Republicans like one that knows better than the "Monkey Bill", but hides instead of voting it down because he's scared of what's to his right?

The radical 25% of the GOP that now controls 100% of the Party, will have to exhaust itself. It will, because that's all it can do. Let's just hope it happens sooner than later. The Party theme of blaming the previous Democratic leaders won't be an option for all the social stuff. A lot of TEA-vangelicals think they want their Sunday sermon to last 6 more days and to be under their shepards watchful eye 24/7, but they're going to be sadly disappointed.

They forget, we're all "sinners". Like their son that's come out. Like their daughter that's been raped and now pregnant. Like their nephew living in a low income school district that had his only viable school option taken away. Like their uncle that dies of cancer at 40 because he couldn't afford treatment.

The "sane" will eventually show up, but for now, they're the ones most in need of an anti-bullying campaign. And they're going allow great damage to an entire society while they spend the next days, months and years cowering.

R. Neal's picture



reform4's picture

Hopeful much?

Even with support, I don't see anyone in that party having the courage to stand up to the bullies. Look at Haslam, he has enough political capital, he could have pocket-vetoed (not signed) some of the crazy bills, but he signed them and claimed ignorance later. He's a complete coward.

redmondkr's picture

A Sane Republican

Now there's a concept for you in a party where rape is God's will and homosexuality is a choice.

Min's picture

Which is why...

...I'm crossing my fingers. I may actually light a couple of candles, while I'm at it.

gonzone's picture

I'm not looking forward to

I'm not looking forward to this coming madness. Not much hope in the coming change here in Tennessee. All hail the Pilot God!

gintn's picture

Its a long narrow state with good roads out when necessary!

Tennessee is a long narrow state with good roads out when one needs to escape. Kids who end up in sub-standard charter schools and the poor who can't afford to leave for abortion services and the like are the ones who will suffer! Well-to-do people, including the kids who live in nice neighborhoods, and those who can travel to obtain obtain the services denied within the state will do fine. Don't you just love those who would "screw" the poor! WWJD?

R. Neal's picture

GOP gains supermajority in

GOP gains supermajority in Tennessee House and Senate.

EricLykins's picture

Remember the 23 business days

Remember the 23 business days that Democrats had filibuster-proof majorities in the U.S. House and Senate, and we've lived with the Republican meme of liberals cramming legislation down people's throats for 4 years? Tennessee Republicans are about to show us what a good throat cramming really feels like, aren't they?

Rachel's picture

CAn I think about that

CAn I think about that tomorrow? Too much else to be happy about tonight.

EricLykins's picture

It has spread to Arkansas

It has tainted the waters of the Mississippi and spread clean across Arkansas while you were sleeping. Good morning.

EricLykins's picture

and even a dead Republican

and even a dead Republican could win in the statewide sweep of alabama.

bizgrrl's picture

Wonder how this will affect

Wonder how this will affect our ability to stay in Tennessee.

Stick's picture



Min's picture

I could just cry.

The only hope is that the teachers union and the school board and superintendents' organizations can ally and try to stop some of the worst of what's coming. Otherwise, brown, poor, and hard to educate children are screwed.

fischbobber's picture


As much as I like and respect Anthony Hancock, if I had to elect one person to take on all the idiot republicans in the house it would be Gloria. You go girl. We got your back. Tomorrow morning we're going to get to work on getting you some help.

Factchecker's picture

Not to mention DesJarlais

More Gloria Johnsons and fewer Becky Duncan-Masseys, please.

B Harmon's picture

What about the Gov?

With a supermajority in the legislature they can also override any veto from the Governor. Haslam may have some problems stopping the craziness.

Rachel's picture

They could do that with just

They could do that with just a majority. That's all it take in Tennessee. Which is a totally stupid rule - might as well not even HAVE a veto provision.

EricLykins's picture

And now for some good news

There are a lot of things we used to wonder whether or not we would see in our lifetimes. We used to wonder if Tennessee would catch up to the next big thing 10 or 20 years later, but 2010 was the bounce of a dead cat and in 10 years time (we used to say 100) no one will remember the roadkill party they're having in Nashville right now.

The progressive wave will wash into the Valley soon enough.

Here's an incomplete list from Kenneth Quinnell at Florida Progressive Coalition Blog:

-Democrats have won the national popular vote in every presidential election since 1988 excpet one; during that same time (unless I’m missing something) the combined vote of all U.S. senate seats has been more Democratic than Republican; the U.S. House despite the gerrymandering that gives Republicans the majority, is made up of a combined vote that also favors Democrats. The majority of American voters almost always prefers Democrats and it’s up to tricks in order for Republicans to be in power

[Follow the link for in impressive list of progressive outcomes in Tuesday's election as compiled by the author]

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Thanks, Eric.

I printed it so that I can read it over and over through the months the state legislature will be in session.

EricLykins's picture



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