Williams won his House seat in the first place by vowing to bring home the bacon to Elizabethton. Now, he's trying to make good on that promise in a big way by sticking his snout into a trough of anticipated new federal stimulus cash to fund a $17 million fish hatchery in his district. Williams insists tourists will love this hatchery so much that it'll transform Northeast Tennessee's economy like a new Dollywood. We can see the billboards now: Come for the eggs! Stay for the algae!
This fish hatchery is so egregious that even Ron Ramsey recognizes it as a winning election-year issue. Fish—it's the new pork! That's the catchy GOP zinger. Ramsey held a press conference in which his campaign slogan became the sound bite: "This is a symbol of running things the Tennessee way and not the Washington way, it really is." It was beautiful, and Democrats fell right into the trap.
Playing helpfully to stereotype, Republicans are cutting the state's infant mortality programs.
Gee, wonder if Democrats should talk about that? Pro-life politicians are eliminating funding to save babies' lives. But instead of that, newspapers are filled with denunciations of the fish hatchery.
“They’ve got nine people running for Congress, 150 of them running for governor. This is all about politics. They’re using this fish hatchery because they think they can gain political points about that and there’s more to this than the fish hatchery,” Rep. Mike Turner says.
So Democrats know what the Republicans are doing to them, and still they refuse to drop their support for the fish hatchery. How stupid is that? What a bunch of knotheads.
Democrats can take heart, though. Memorial Day weekend has arrived to kick off our summertime fun, and this pointless session is dragging into its sixth month with no end in sight. Voters eventually will turn against Democrats and Republicans alike as knaves and fools. They should have already.