Roy Exum: Our Land Of Nothings

Tuesday, March 3, 2020 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

One of my greatest sorrows is that I hold the belief that of every area in the United States, Southeast Tennessee has the worst representation in Washington that could ever be foisted upon its citizens. For 10 years Chuck Fleischmann has been a Republican member of Congress and in all that time has authored 25 bills that haven’t amounted to a ripple on our behalf. That’s right, an average of five every two-year term! In the same time span, Scott DesJarlais has been the representative for Tennessee’s 4th District, a sprawl that includes Murfreesboro, his hometown of Jasper and Cleveland, Tn. and his track record is equally void of any accomplishment.

I fully blame the Republican Party for blocking or disallowing any candidate that has as much as a pulse, and the Democratic Party that, as of this writing, apparently has no candidate to challenge either of these two nothings.

There is an interesting guy from Winchester, Lawrence ‘Doug’ Meyer, and, while he served well as the Chairman of the Republican Party in Franklin County, he lacks the wherewithal or “the Party power” to better DesJarlais in the August primary.

The far-worst news is that the same repugnant Republican machine is force-feeding the most-nothing vanilla Senate candidate in the history of Tennessee upon us in former Ambassador to Japan, Bill Hagerty. As a Nashville child of privilege, Hagerty went to Vanderbilt and its School of Law before morphing into a professional politician. He was high in Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign but when John McCain outdistanced the then-Governor of Massachusetts as the heat was turned up, it was in February before the November election that Mitt threw in the towel.

To be fair, that was eight years ago, long before Romney would turn on Trump in the impeachment hearings. But Hagerty, while speaking to a group in Chattanooga a couple of weeks ago, showed he sorely lacks in character and integrity by now using Romney as a punch line. Good men never turn on a fallen friend, most especially for their own personal gain. This Hagerty has no class. Hagerty’s lack of recall that he once quite gratefully endorsed some juicy “Elect Romney” paychecks is stupefying and further sullies his unknown name in a state where 90 percent of today’s voters never heard of him and will soon wish they hadn’t. This chump ain’t nothing but cheap seats.

Get this straight. Hagerty leaves no doubt he will blindly support Trump mind over matter. A good number of conservative Tennesseans, along with most-assuredly every liberal, dislike Trump’s unnecessary arrogance and his crass manners but with no one trustworthy as his opponent, there is no viable alternative. I like Trump and, while I wish he’d throw his Tweeter in the Potomac and study Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends,” he’s head and shoulders better than any of the challengers who are still left.

After the 115th Congress ended on Jan. 3, 2019, the last Congressional “Report Card” was issued by very factual GovTrack.us. It informed us that is the past two years, Fleischmann authored four bills while DesJarais penned seven over 24 months. Neither Pathetic A or Pathetic B from Southeastern Tennessee had a winning nag, instead both A and B had not one bill – nada -- become law.

I have had nothing to do with either one of them for their nauseated anti-stand against the soring of Tennessee Walking Horses. This is because the sadistic “Dirty Lick” contributed heavily to both men’s election campaigns. The PAST Act (“Prevent All Storing Tactics) is today one of the most popular bills in the current Congress and in the last vote 333 members of Congress endorsed it, while 96 members did not. Among those who voted “neigh” were Fleischmann and DesJarlais, while DesJarlais actually offering a toothless “Horse Protection Amendments Act” on behalf of the “Dirty Lick” that brought guffaws from every corner in the chamber.

In the January 2019 “Report Card,” that kept the scores on all 438 members of 115th Congress, DesJarlais was tied at 285 (he wrote 7 bills) and Fleischmann – whose pen ran out of ink early in the session -- tied at No. 356.

* * *

CHUCK FLEISCHMANN’S REPORT CARD FROM HIS FIFTH TERM IN CONGRESS

Note there are nine members of The Tennessee Delegation in Congress; 7 Republicans and two Democrats. (Chuck Cohen, D-Memphis authored 980 bills between 2017-18)

* -- INTRODUCED THE FEWEST BILLS COMPARED TO THE TENNESSEE DELEGATION: Fleischmann introduced four bills and resolutions in the 115th Congress. View Bills

* -- GOT INFLUENTIAL CO-SPONSORS THE LEAST OFTEN COMPARED TO THE TENNESSEE DELEGATION: 0 of Fleischmann’s bills and resolutions in the 115th Congress had a co-sponsor who was a chair or ranking member of a committee.

* -- GOT BIPARTISAN CO-SPONSORS OF THE FEWEST BILLS COMPARED TO THE DELEGATION: In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 1 of Fleischmann’s 4 bills and resolutions had a cosponsor from a different political party than the party Fleischmann caucused with in the 115th Congress.

* -- GOT THE FEWEST CO-SPONSORS ON THEIR BILLS COMPARED TO THE TENNESSEE DELEGATION: Fleischmann’s bills and resolutions had eight co-sponsors in the 115th Congress.

* -- WAS MOST PRESENT IN VOTES COMPARED TO THE TENNESSEE DELEGATION: Fleischmann missed 0.1 percent of votes (1 of 1,210 votes) in the 115th Congress.

* -- GOT BICAMERAL (“A legislative body having two branches”) SUPPORT ON THE FEWEST BILLS COMPARED TO THE TENNESSEE DELEGATION: The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 0 of Fleischmann’s bills and resolutions had a companion bill in the Senate. Working with a sponsor in the other chamber makes a bill more likely to be passed by both the House and Senate.

* -- CO-SPONSORED THE 2ND FEWEST BILLS COMPARED TO THE TENNESSEE DELEGATION: Fleischmann cosponsored 164 bills and resolutions introduced by other Members of Congress. Co-sponsorship shows a willingness to work with others to advance policy goals.

* -- SUPPORTED GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY THE 2ND LEAST NUMBER OF TIMES (tied with 1 other): GovTrack looked at whether Fleischmann supported any of 32 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the House that we identified in this session. We gave Fleischmann 1 point, based on one point for co-sponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

* -- GOT THEIR BILLS OUT OF COMMITTEE THE 28TH LEAST TIME OFTEN COMPARED TO HOUSE REPUBLICANS (Tied with 26 others): Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Fleischmann introduced two bills in the 115th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

* -- JOINED BIPARTISAN BILLLS 101ST LEAST OFTEN COMPARED TO ALL REPUBLICANS: Of the 164 bills that Fleischmann cosponsored, 12% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican.

* -- LAWS ENACTED: Fleischmann introduced 0 bills that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in the 115th Congress.

 * -- COMMITTEE POSITIONS : Fleischmann held a leadership position on 0 committees and 1 subcommittee, as either a chair (majority party) or ranking member (minority party), at the end of the session.

* * *

SCOTT DesJARLAIS REPORT CARD FROM THE 115th SESSON OF CONGRESS (2017-18)

* -- JOINED BIPARTISAN BILLS THE LEAST OFTEN COMPARED TO THE TENNESSEE DELEGATION: Of the 217 bills that DesJarlais cosponsored, five percent were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican.

*-- GOT BICAMERAL SUPPORT ON THE FEWEST BILLS COMPARED TO TENNESSE DELEGATION (tied with 1 other): The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 0 of DesJarlais’s bills and resolutions had a companion bill in the Senate.

* -- GOT INFLUENTIAL CO-SPONSORS THE 2ND LEAST OFTEN COMPARED TO TENNESSEE DELEGATION (tied with 1 other): One of DesJarlais’s bills and resolutions in the 115th Congress had a cosponsor who was a chair or ranking member of a committee.

* -- GOT BIPARISAN CO-SPONSORS ON THE 28TH FEWEST BILL COMPARED TO ALL REPRESENTATIVES: In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 2 of DesJarlais’s 7 bills and resolutions had a cosponsor from a different political party than the party DesJarlais caucused with in the 115th Congress.

* -- GOT THEIR BILLS OUT OF COMMITTEE THE 28TH LEAST TIMES OFTEN COMPARED TO HOUSE REPUBLICANS (tied with 26 others): Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. DesJarlais introduced 2 bills in the 115th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

* -- INTRODUCED THE 39TH FEWEST BILLS COMPARED TO ALL REPRESENTATIVES (tied with 9 others): DesJarlais introduced 7 bills and resolutions in the 115th Congress.

* -- GOT THE 49TH FEWEST COSPONSORS ON THEIR BILLS COMPARED TO ALL REPRESENTATIVES (tied with 1 other): DesJarlais’s bills and resolutions had 49 cosponsors in the 115th Congress. Securing cosponsors is an important part of getting support for a bill, although having more cosponsors does not always mean a bill will get a vote.

* -- DesJARLAIS INTROCED 0 bills that would have become a law.The legislator must be the primary sponsor of the bill or joint resolution that was enacted or the primary sponsor of a bill or joint resolution for which at least about one third of its text was incorporated into another bill or joint resolution that was enacted as law, as determined by an automated analysis.

* -- COMMITTEE POSITIONS: He held no leadership position on 0 committees and 0 subcommittees, as either a chair (majority party) or ranking member (minority party), at the end of the session.

* -- BILLS CO-SPONSORED: DesJarlais co-sponsored 217 bills and resolutions introduced by other Members of Congress. Co-sponsorship shows a willingness to work with others to advance policy goals.

* -- MISSED VOTES: DesJarlais missed 4.3 percent of votes (52 of 1,210 votes) in the 115th Congress.

* -- GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY: GovTrack looked at whether DesJarlais supported any of 32 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the House that we identified in this session. We gave DesJarlais two points, based on one point for co-sponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

* * *

ON DOUG MEYER’S WEBSITE, where the Winchester native is intent on dethroning DesJalaris, let it be known the career lawman writes neither a boast nor a challenge, but how good is this? Meyer writes, “I pursued this career direction after returning to the civilian world, wearing one uniform or another for the next four plus decades. I specialized in gangs, organized crime and counter/criminal-insurgency operations. In my career, I have been beat, bit, cut, shot at, burned, pee’d on, ran over, betrayed, wrecked, sued and stabbed in the back. Yet I stand. I am a straight-up, straight-edge, and hardcore fighter & survivor. Though I truly prefer cooperative 'team' efforts, utilizing tact, diplomacy and restraint, it is also my nature to run straight at conflict, head-on into chaos, and by myself if I have to. I know exactly who and what I am, and know also exactly 'what I am made of.' I will not be bullied. I cannot be bought. And I fear none but God.”

royexum@aol.com


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