Friday, January 19, 2007

Rick, you tried to warn me....

The first time I met the Freedonian, we got into an argument over Rosalind Kurita, who I insisted would have been elected to the United States Senate over Bob Corker if only Chuck Schumer and the DSCC had not gotten in her way. It was a lengthy but fun argument, with each agreeing to disagree.

Once Rick is your friend, he has your back. Despite his concerns, he agreed with us that Ford was not a good candidate, and fought the good fight on Daily Kos, warring with those who had drunk the Kool-Aid for Ford right alongside us crazy bloggers.

He was also there for us when Rosalind Kurita stunned us all by casting the vote that elected Ron Ramsey as Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the Senate, not once wagging an "I told you so" finger when clearly, it was his right to do so.

Today, however, angered at how Kurita's move A) gave the Goopers the majority and the Senate chairmanships that will injure all Tennesseans making less than six figures a year, and B) angered at how her Memphis supporters (his friends) had been hurt by this, our Freedonian went medieval on Kurita. Here's a taste:

First, her "reasoning" is ludicrous. More from her email: "The most basic tenet of democracy is that the majority rules. In the Tennessee state Senate, Republicans have held the numerical majority for three years. Yet, we were in a "peculiar" situation where the minority continued to keep the majority in the form of the Lt. Governor. That is not our democracy."

As AC Kleinheider pointed out, if that was the case... Then wouldn't she be helping the Republican majority out on every vote? And since when is it incumbent upon a state senator elected as a Democrat to help level the playing field for Republicans? Does Alex Rodriguez feel the need to help out the other team because the Yankees' enormous payroll puts them at an unfair advantage (Okay, given A-Rod's record last year, that could be a bad example)?

If Wilder was so incompetent/corrupt/whatever negative description you want to apply to him, wouldn't the proper time to have voted against him be the caucus? She couldn't be bothered to do that--- In caucus, she voted for Wilder. Earlier in the day, she voted again for the Democratic senators to stand as one behind Wilder--- And then cast the crucial vote for Ron Ramsey. And what of Ramsey?

What about the man calling the dances on this legislative landscape that Kurita and her conscience helped to create? "We'll have a little more of a pro-business agenda. I'll make sure the Commerce Committee leans toward the business side. Things like tort reform that we've sought will be brought to the floor. "

First, it would be difficult for the law in Tennessee to carry "a little more of a pro-business agenda". We are already a state where just cause for termination sounds like some crazy liberal ideal. There's not much to Tennesee Employment Law, and what little there is can be subverted by the current system of "at will" employment. "No, I didn't fire him because he's black/Hispanic/gay--- But I don't have to list an official reason".


And what happens to someone that IS terminated unjustly? Well, that's where the second part of his statement comes into play: "Things like tort reform that we've sought will be brought to the floor". Tort reform--- The Republican stealth campaign to destroy the rights of the working class. Wrongfully terminated? Too bad--- Tort reform will restrict your rights to legal recourse. Hurt in the workplace? Welcome to the wonderful world of Republican-imposed damage caps. And no one is isolated from having to pay the high cost of tort reform--- Even if your job is "safe", you will, through your taxes, absorb the cost. After all, what happens to the employee who's injured too badly to work again? Rather than his medical costs being absorbed by the employer that provided the unsafe working environment, the tab will be picked up by you and me.

Sexually harrassed in the workplace? Too bad. Tort reform. Women's groups would do well to remember this the next time Kurita comes around begging for money.

These are the priorities of the man that Kurita handed the Senate over to. Well, that and maintaining a Tom DeLay-style money laundering operation. This is the product of Rosalind Kurita's "conscience".

How bad is it? The new chair of the Judiciary Committee, where "tort reform" will be hashed out, is Mae Beavers, who doesn't even have a freaking law license!!!

Oh, we got chairmanships, Thelma Harper is at Government Ops, Tommy Kilby, who is not running for re-election in 2008, will chair Conservation, and Joe Haynes will chair Ethics. Did I mention that, for her thirty pieces of silver, Kurita was named Speaker Pro Tem? How delightful.

Rick, thanks for having our back and not going medieval on those of us who believed in Kurita when you had every right to do so. We had to learn the hard way, I guess.

What a fun two years we will have!


Freedonian said...

Steve, my friend, my brother---

I took no joy from being right. I expect the absolute worst in human nature, so I love it when I'm proven wrong. Sadly, I seldom am.

There will be no finger wagging, no "I told you so"--- For I hate being right on this one, and there's some level of joy involved in the whole finger wagging bit.

All I will do is beg my friends, my fellow politicos to remember that the enemy of their enemy is not their friend--- In politics moreso than most other walks of life.

Pam, Derek, Chris, David, Frank, Kibs, Bryan, Bob, Dabness, Brad, Desi, and of course, you, Steve--- None of you ever need to worry. Waging war alongside all of you is an honor, and I do always have your backs. And I know you have mine.

Thank you, my friend.

Dabney said...

Freed -

I also very glad that you have my back in wars that are spoken and unspoken, known and unknown.

I am sad that Kurita, a woman who I came to respect during her campaign, is now seen as both a traitor and a loser. She brought this on herself, but it is still sad to see.


Sharon Cobb said...

I've been waiting for you to come out of denial before posting over here. I don't like to rub salt in an open wound.
Now that the wound is closed, I want to share with you what she just said in the morning paper.

In the Tennessean this morning, Rosalind calls herself a unifier, and she is happy with the appointments made for committees. She went on to say she wants to de-emphasize party affiliation.

In other words, she's Tennessee's Joe Lieberman.

Freedonian said...

In the Tennessean this morning, Rosalind calls herself a unifier

Yup. She's a uniter, not a divider, huh?