NASHVILLE — In November, the Tennessee Republican Party won a historic victory: its first majority in the state House of Representatives since 1869. But on Monday morning, just as the legislative session was about to begin, the party voluntarily gave it up.
In the latest flourish of a twisty melodrama that has consumed the General Assembly for weeks, the party chairwoman stripped the speaker of the House, Kent Williams, of his Republican Party membership, citing “dishonor, deception and betrayal.” Because Mr. Williams represented the party’s one-vote edge in the House, Republicans no longer control the chamber.
I was wondering how to approach this item until I found this quote from one of William's peers:
“What’s kind of the big insult around here, he had prayer with these guys,” said Robin Smith, the Republican Party chairwoman.
According to this rationale, it's not merely bad enough that Williams didn't keep his campaign promises, he sinned by working with those atheistic librul Democrats. And he slighted his fellow Believers in the process. Bipartisanship, therefore, isn't merely date rape - it's a crime against The Party and against God.
I have little hope of finding much to like about the sausage-making that is state government. Williams' actions are hardly likeable whatever the outcome. But the Republican response - truly the acts of God's Own Party - highlight just how wise the Founders were in stipulating the separation of Church and State.