Ah, this is more like it.
After a streak of flattering culture profiles from big-name outlets, Nashville's relationship with the national media is getting back to normal.
The news that several county chapters of the state Republican party have adopted resolutions condemning Gov. Bill Haslam for, among other things, hiring a Muslim woman and retaining an openly gay staffer. The story, first reported by Chas Sisk at the Tennesseean, has now been picked up by Politico and Talking Points Memo.
The Politico story essentially sums up the situation, but at TPM, brave reporter Eric Lach got on the phone with a couple of GOP county chairmen. The result is ... well, click through the jump:
Stewart County party chairman, Kyle Mallory, told Lach that he was "more bothered by [Samar Ali's ties] to the Obama administration than her religion. Ali is the recently appointed international director at the Department of Economic and Community Development who was singled out in the resolutions because of her Muslim faith.
Mallory declined to comment on opposition to gay staffers at the Department of Children Services, telling Lach he didn't "know how to respond appropriately to that one."
Williamson County chairman, Kevin Kookogey, however, sees a more urgent crisis.
Kevin Kookogey, chairman of the Williamson County Republicans, was more forthright. (In Kookogey’s view, the counties all agree on the Shariah issue.)
“To date, the Haslam Administration has displayed an unfortunate ignorance to the threat of Shariah,” Kookogey said in an email to TPM. “They seem willing to accept the claims and defense of the Muslim Brotherhood at face value, refusing to even consider that, perhaps, those bent on destroying Western Civilization might just be infiltrating our institutions. … It is not like this has never happened before. The Muslim Brotherhood is following the blueprint of the Communists, who infiltrated the highest levels of government and society in the 1950’s. Shariah, however, is an even greater threat, because it has cloaked itself under the auspices of a religion, thus confusing the uninformed."
Lach also includes comment from ECD spokesman Clint Brewer and state GOP chairman Chris Devaney, defending Ali's appointment, as well as indications that the Carroll County chapter is having second thoughts about the resolution.
What makes this even more astounding is that the trigger for these county uprisings seems to be some hurt feelings over unreturned correspondence.
Mallory said the resolutions had been spurred by conversations between conservatives on Facebook. He also said that the issue was born last year, after “14 to 16 [county] chairs” wrote a letter to Haslam asking, “when are you going to start getting rid of a lot of these liberals and hiring some conservatives?”
“We got no response, not even a ‘we got your letter,’ nothing,” he said. “That kind of set several of us off.”
As for the Muslim Brotherhood's conspiracy to infiltrate state institutions on the backs of highly qualified lawyers who grew up in Waverly, Tennessee? DEVELOPING.