Tuesday, May 30, 2023
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SELLERS: Tennessee Should Be a Litmus Test for All 2024 GOP Hopefuls

'In Congress and in state legislatures around our nation, leaders must have the courage to act...'

(Ben Sellers, Headline USA) With the GOP’s primary sweepstakes soon to begin heating up, every hopeful for federal office should be asked the following: Are you a Bill Lee or a Kamala Harris?

While it may seem like a trick question, the answer should be obvious to anyone willing to put in the work needed to salvage the last vestiges of a fallen republic: Kamala, of course.

The contrast in responses between the Republican Tennessee governor and the Democrat vice president exposes the most fundamental—and potentially fatal—flaw in Republican reasoning—which already has led to three consecutive underperforming election cycles as part of a broader losing streak spanning back to 2008.

Somehow, in the span of just two weeks, the lying Left successfully managed to spin a terrorist attack committed by a transgender leftist on a Christian elementary school into a revival of the ’60s era civil-rights struggle, without ever displaying an ounce of integrity in the course of their gaslighting mechanisms.

The reason is that Republicans like Lee are unwilling to fight back and get their hands dirty.


The narrative begins a long time ago, but the present chapter started in late March, when three insurrectionist Democrats conspired with a swarm of anti-Second-Amendment radicals—undoubtedly tapping the same Antifa network as the 2020 race riots to plot their attempted coup on the Tennessee legislature.

How does one know that this was an attempted insurrection and not simply an unruly gathering of political dissidents asserting their free-speech rights?

Because Democrats wrote the playbook and set the precedent in their response to the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol uprising.

Jan. 6 video footage from inside the Capitol showed that many of those who entered what Nancy Pelosi referred to as a “temple” to democracy (arguably in violation of the Constitution’s separation of church and state) were sufficiently reverential as the toured the building, sometimes with police escorts in tow.

But that did not stop Democrats from going all in on one of their most audacious hoaxes yet.

Not only did Merrick Garland’s Justice Department prosecute thousands of U.S. citizens for entering their own Capitol building, but leftists in Congress moreover tried valiantly to force the removal of rival lawmakers by claiming—on tenuous, anonymous accounts from a magazine notorious for its false reporting—that they were part of a “cabal” to overthrow the government.

Their scheme failed, but not until after a protracted lawfare assault that cost precious resources for candidates including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and former Rep. Madison Cawthorn, simply for being outspoken conservatives.


At no point did any level-headed Democrats step in to denounce the brazen political smears and to warn that having one party unilaterally attempt to disqualify its political opponents was, in fact, setting the U.S. on a path to Stalinism.

That is, of course, until state Reps. Justin Jones and Justin Pearson were expelled for what was unquestionably a violation of the state’s rules by brining bullhorns on to the Tennessee House floor and inciting the frenzied crowd to assault police officers.

The protest alone was an act of unbelievable projection, on one hand. While America has yet to see the contents of the manifesto written by a transgender terrorist in Nashville who killed three adults and three children on March 27, it is safe to assume that it involved leftist rantings.

Likewise, a Louisville bank shooter who followed suit in an April 10 attack on his former workplace was revealed to have made many threats and rants against Republicans on his social media.

But tone-deaf though the anti-gun protesters may have been in trying to deflect blame onto Republican lawmakers for defending gun rights in the aftermath of these attacks, it might have been protected free speech but for the involvement of three performative progressives—the two Justins, both black men; and an older white woman, Rep. Gloria Johnson.

A Republican-led push succeeded—temporarily—in removing the two men but fell a vote short of removing Johnson, helping the Left to fall back on another favorite narrative by suggesting it was racially motivated.

The once clean-cut and centrist Pearson even began dressing the part and affecting a phony Southern drawl to mimic rhetoricians like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

And although Harris has never found time in her schedule to visit the border, currently overrun with humanitarian crises that are the direct result of the Biden administration’s failings, nor did she bother saying a word in recognition of the Christian shooting victims, the vice president cleared her calendar and rushed down to lend validity to the absurd spectacle.


While a few may have spoken out in solidarity with the legislature, most Republicans stayed mum once the stench of racism polluted any hope of discourse.

Among them was Tennessee Gov. Lee, who signaled that the issue was a matter to be dealt with in the legislature and not his place to weigh in as the state’s top executive.

Thus, he threw state House Speaker Cameron Sexton under the bus. Within days, both of the ousted lawmakers were back in the House, grandstanding more than ever, as left-wing media gloated that they had become rising stars in the party.

There is no telling what sort of menace the emboldened activist Left may now become, with Sexton and his fellow Republicans chastened for daring to demand order and hold public officials accountable for violating decorum.

But that is just one of the many ways Democrats have been able to act with impunity simply by wielding the bigger bullhorn and controlling the narrative.

Democrats also took a major victory lap over the indictment of former President Donald Trump—even though the case against Trump could not be more contrived.

As with the Tennessee statehouse insurrection, they did so with full knowledge that they might easily find the tables turned on them at some future point.

Obama, Biden and both Clintons—not to mention former vice presidential candidate John Edwards—all have evaded charges in situations much worse than the alleged hush-money incident for which George-Soros-backed Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg finally capped off his yearslong probe with more than 30 ridiculous felony counts.

Why aren’t guilty Democrats quivering in their boots that they may likewise face the wrath of red-state prosecutors, such as Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares?

Clearly they know that all of the Kamalas—the high-profile leaders who are willing to lie shamelessly and exploit tragedies for political gain—stand shoulder to shoulder with them.

Republicans like Lee, meanwhile, must play by a different rule book altogether out of a noble sense of duty and propriety—or else a fear of mutually-assured destruction that Democrats no longer recognize.

It is clear that the two frontrunners in the GOP stakes, former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, are fearless and willing to take the heat.

But without others like them to make sure there is a strong and rigid counter-narrative to repel the Left’s skulduggery, it is a losing proposition.

Those who opt to elect weak, conflict averse Republicans still hoping to take the high-road won’t see the treachery that lies directly underfoot until it is too late.

Ben Sellers is the editor of Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/realbensellers.

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