by Steven Hale
Carrie Underwood is not happy with Tennessee lawmakers, after they passed the Ag Gag bill last week.
Neither is The City Paper's J.R. Lind, who says the bill — which would require evidence of livestock abuse be turned in within 48 hours — would actually serve to protect animal abusers by potentially criminalizing those who would expose them, and take an Orwellian piss on the First Amendment.
As free citizens in our day are wont to do, Underwood tweeted her frustration:
Shame on TN lawmakers for passing the Ag Gag bill. If Gov. Bill Haslam signs this, he needs to expect me at his front door. Who's with me?
— Carrie Underwood (@carrieunderwood) April 18, 2013
As Tennessee legislators are wont to do, state Rep. Andy Holt, offered a half-brained response. From WSMV, after the jump:
That didn't sit well with Holt, who contends the sooner any abuse is reported, the sooner an investigation can begin.
"I would say that Carrie Underwood will stick to singing, I'll stick to lawmaking," Holt said.
If you've spent any time in the basement where this lawmaking is ostensibly done, you can almost hear the smug condescension. You've got a great voice, sweetheart, but we'll handle the important stuff.
As with other legislation before it — voter ID, for instance — it's hard to know whether legislators like Holt foolishly swallowed the ALEC-spun line about this bill — " ... if animals are being abused it needs to come to justice, and it needs to come to justice quickly," he says — or if they know it's bogus and are cynically trying to feed it to the rest of us. In any case, the idea that Carrie Underwood — who is actually, you know, recognizably good at what she was elected to do — just couldn't understand the complex business of being Andy Holt is a laugh.
This morning, Underwood responded:
I should stick to singing? Wow...sorry, I'm just a tax paying citizen concerned for the safety of my family. #NoAgGag wsmv.com/story/22027811…
— Carrie Underwood (@carrieunderwood) April 20, 2013
Consider us #TeamCarrie.
Note: See the comment below from Tennessee Citizen Action's Mary Mancini, regarding a press conference urging Gov. Bill Haslam to veto the bill.