The economy is a shambles. The unemployment rate is double digits. A flood has devastated Tennessee. So aptly enough in the theater of the absurd at the Capitol, the curtain fell on the 106th General Assembly in the wee hours of the day with a big fight between Rep. Susan Lynn and Sen. Mae Beavers over a political trick Republicans hoped to play on Democrats.
Mothra and Godzilla stomped out into the marble hallways at 1 in the morning to do battle over the Health Freedom Act. It accomplishes nothing, so naturally both of them were dying to take credit for it in their Senate primary contest. Unfortunately, it didn't pass because the House and Senate couldn't agree on exactly how meaningless it should be. Lynn and Beavers will have to settle for blaming each other for killing it.
Now reporters will start putting together their weekend stories on what the legislature accomplished this session. They'll write about guns and abortion and resolutions telling off Washington for this and that. But with the exception of a little bit of tax relief for flood victims, which Democrats managed to toss into the state budget at the 11th hour, they won't find much to say about help for Tennesseans struggling in this economy.
Even the TV talking heads have figured this out: "Have they wasted time and taxpayers dollars debating frivolous issues?" Rhori asks.