by Jeff Woods
We've all enjoyed a good laugh over the ridiculous rhetoric of the tea party and its allies—Susan Lynn, Glen Casada, Ron Ramsey and Zach Wamp, et al. But seriously, isn't it time for the adults to step up to reassert control over state politics?
Kudos to Bill Frist for calling BS on the tea party demands to sue to nullify health care reform. As House Democratic caucus chairman Mike Turner pointed out last month, we settled this issue 150 years ago at Appomattox.
Too bad Frist isn't running for governor. We could use someone with a little gumption. Gov. Phil Bredesen must have misplaced his. In his first public comments after Congress enacted the health care overhaul, he seemed to encourage a lawsuit.
"I think it's an uphill battle in terms of the Constitution,” he said then, “but it's a legitimate issue and I have no complaints against attorney generals who are putting it forward."
Now, after his remarks helped raise the pressure on Attorney General Bob Cooper to sue, the governor is backtracking and expressing concern about politicizing that office.
Bredesen should have taken a cue from the Democratic governor of Arkansas, Mike Beebe. He was quick to denounce the idea of his state joining the lawsuit.
"They tried it here in Arkansas in '57 and it didn't work," he said, comparing the tea party efforts to his state's attempt to block black students from attending public schools. "I think you got to tell people the truth. And if I understand the law, the truth is the federal government can't just be defied by the state governments."