But for all the good the new rule did, it didn't curtail the crazy, as some observers hoped. As Pith as painstakingly cataloged (see here and here and here and here just for a little taste of the batshit) the hardliners, frothers and tin-foil hatters have been working overtime to humiliate Tennessee so far this session. (Sorry, Rep. Dunn.)
Back again this year are all the pointless, time-wasting states' rights bills purporting to nullify one federal law or another or to deny the federal government the right to enforce federal laws in Tennessee. One by Sen. Mae Beavers and Rep. Judd Matheny—the legislature's dynamic duo of nutjobbery—creates a joint House-Senate committee to decide which federal laws and executive orders that Tennessee should ignore. Even Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, who takes a back seat to no one when it comes to pandering to the tea party, is a little queasy about some of these bills. Ya think?
"The last thing you want is some rogue sheriff out here deciding what's unconstitutional," he says. How about Mae Beavers?
If you want to really limit bills, here's an idea: Let's require all lawmakers to prove they have some rudimentary understanding of how our system of government works—say, an 8th grader's understanding—before they are allowed to introduce any bill. Now that would really get the guvmint off our backs.