Tuesday, April 10, 2012

When Will Haslam Be Brave Enough to Take on the State Legislature?

Posted By on Tue, Apr 10, 2012 at 5:28 AM

Honestly, people, I had thought that maybe we should beg Phil Bredesen to put on his Green Vest of Comfort — which he wore during the 2010 flood in order to let people know he was there to make everything OK — one last time and make his way downtown to make everything OK for Bill Haslam. You know, bring him up to speed on what a governor does, how one projects an air of authority while not getting incredibly bogged down in legislative politics, and how one deals with or ignores one's critics.

But our situation is so dire that I'm no longer sure a green-vested Bredesen can help.

Here we are as the legislative session is winding down and Haslam's saying:

"We're redefining accountability, and you'd be hard-pressed to find 100 lines of print in any paper of the state," Haslam said. "Now, today in the Legislature there's a conversation about saggy pants and what they should do there."

"So we have to go to our friends in the media and say: 'Really?'"

Where is a blogger even supposed to start with this? Haslam's just plain wrong that his "reform" efforts aren't getting attention. I suspect what he means is that they're not getting positive attention.

But the disconnect between saying "in the Legislature there's a conversation about saggy pants" and "so we have to go to our friends in the media and say: 'Really' "?

Bill Haslam, WTF?! Nobody in the media wrote the saggy pants bill. Nobody in the media sat around and debated it in committee. If you have a problem with the saggy pants bill, why don't you take it up with the people who proposed it and voted for it? This is like Haslam came home to find his house ablaze and blamed the fire department for drawing attention to the flames.

Cara Kumari has the most insightful take I've read on this nonsense. She's right when she says, "I dare say, there are more kids wearing saggy pants to school than people who will be directly impacted by the elimination of the inheritance tax." You should read the whole piece.

Amen. The media covers these stories because they matter to Tennesseans. If it bugs the governor that there's so much stupid legislation, he needs to put on his brave face and go down and have a talk with legislative leaders. Otherwise he's just "redefining accountability" to mean pouting at the people who notice that he's not leading.

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