Y'all, this is getting sad. I mean, I do appreciate that Sen. Stacey Campfield has devoted himself to being Tennessee's go-to evil villain, but he's so terrible at it. You'd hope we'd get an evil villain like Lex Luthor, and we have the legislative equivalent of Gargamel.
In his first Smurftastic — or maybe that would be anti-Smurftastic — piece of legislation for the session, Campfield is sponsoring a bill (SB0132) that "requires the reduction of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) payments for parents or caretakers of TANF recipients whose children fail to maintain satisfactory progress in school."
Yes, if your kid(s) fail to do well in school, Stacey Campfield wants to starve them. I'll give him points for being evil, but this is hilarious. I mean, what if you have one child who excels at school and one child who doesn't? Campfield is cool with starving the child who is doing well in order to punish the child who isn't? And if a kid is struggling in school, what study has ever shown that a way to get him or her to improve is to reduce the amount of food they get and increase the amount of stress on them? None! No one thinks hungrier, more stressed-out children do better at school. And what if their school just sucks? They get punished because they have a bad school?
But here's the worst part — Lex Luthor has Superman as a nemesis. Say what you want about how terrible Luthor is, his arch-enemy is Superman! Every day, Luthor can go to bed assured that he has matched himself against a worthy and difficult opponent. When Luthor does, rarely, succeed against Superman, it must be so sweet.
Campfield's nemeses are children. Literal, actual children. It's no challenge for a 40-year-old man to defeat a kid. There's no glory in it. You know what people think of a guy who has to win against kids? That he's pathetic. It's worse than plotting against Smurfs. I mean, they're small but at least they're adults. It's like Campfield looked around and said, "Hmm, I don't want to piss off any lobbyists. Who can't afford a lobbyist? Oh, right — poor kids. Great. I'll try to find ways to make their lives worse."
When your opponents are small and defenseless, it doesn't make you look like a big man when you set out to defeat them. Quite the opposite, in fact.