Los Angeles Politics

Beyond Warped – The Hugh Hewitt Show

Mon, Apr 10, 2023  | 
By John Schroeder

Beyond Warped

As the weekend progressed, my efforts focused on celebrating Easter, I watched the story of the expulsion of two, with a third narrowly escaping, Tennessee lawmakers somehow warp so badly that it has lost complete touch with what actually happened.

Supposedly reputable outlets have done entire profiles wherein the events leading up to their expulsion are never mentioned –  never.  It is as if their misbehavior and malfeasance is completely unimportant.  I said at the time that I had no doubt, they, and clearly their supporters, felt as if the ends justified the means.  Even if you think such true, it does not entitle you to simply erase the means.  If people are to judge they need to know the story, and yet the story has been completely disappeared.  According to AP, here is the simple facts of what happened:

Resolutions have been filed against Reps. Gloria Johnson, Justin Jones and Justin Pearson after they led chants from the House floor with supporters in the gallery last Thursday.

The article depicts one of the legislators in front of the House with a bullhorn!  Here is the account of the TN House Speaker:

“They made the choice to lead a protest from the House floor, which has never happened in the history of the state of Tennessee. They explained disruptive behavior to the extent to where we had to shut down the session where we’re having bills to have passed legislation to such disregard for 45 minutes and they led the protest to the people in the balcony to disrupt the proceedings of the House while we were in session,” Sexton said. “I thought it rised to the level of expulsion and all three members we didn’t pick the members they chose themselves, who were going to come up there. And so we put them all three up for a vote for expulsion.”

Sexton also carefully explained that the House set a precedent for the punishment of holding a protest on the house floor. In his words, Sexton said it does not matter to him if someone is a Republican, Democrat, Independent, or Green Party member, “At the end of the day, if you do that on our House floor in Tennessee, you should be expelled.”

According to Sexton, the House was not saying that protest was wrong outside the capital, outside the chamber, or at all. Rather, he said that members of the body in the camber are bound to follow House rules, and under those rules and the state constitution, members cannot protest on the house floor.

The left-leaning media (meaning most of media) have since been flooded with stories about anything but what actually happened. We’ve heard that the expulsion was racist.  We have heard that the legislators had their freedom of speech denied them.  Distractions!  The biggest distraction of all is endless recounts of the Covenant Presbyterian shootings.  Tragic and heinous as those shootings were, to quote my parents, and everyone else’s, “Two wrongs do not make a right!”

The perfect illustration

The entire thing is so childish it would be comical were it not so consequential.  A child, busted with its hand in the cookie jar, will try to deny the reality plainly obvious.  “I wasn’t getting a cookie, I was putting the cookie jar back so older sister would not get in trouble.”  Who believes that when the kid has a cookie in its hand and crumbs on its lips?  My wife gave me the perfect illustration as an Easter card – see it at left.

The truly troubling thing is people are buying into it.  A lot is just laziness – they do not bother to consume enough news to get the full picture since no media outlet seems to be telling the whole story.  But there is also a lot of confirmation bias in there as people seek the “news” that fits their viewpoint, not to mention a heaping helping of agenda before facts.

Like everything else, we seem to have taken Rahm Emanuel’s advice to “never let a crisis go to waste,” just a bit too far.  People thought they saw, in the awfulness of the Covenant Presbyterian shootings, an opportunity to enact gun controls in a state virtually without them.  There is something morally twisted in using the deaths of children, before the bodies are even cold and the mourning complete, as a political mallet – but what these legislators did was a step beyond even that; they turned it into a political howitzer and assumed it gave them license to do as they pleased.  That’s not just twisted – it is reprehensible.

Here is the question I have.  At what point does it become a straightforward lie?  I do not have an answer, but I know that in this instance the obfuscation is so rapid, so overwhelming and so extreme that we may have crossed that point. The legislators acted wrongly.  They bore consequences for their actions.  Everything else is a distraction.

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About the author

Martha Fredrickson

Martha is the Senior Editor for Inside LA Politics. She has extensive experience and knowledge in the Los Angeles political arena through her work with various political figures in and around Los Angeles.

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