Kamala went to Tennessee to meet with Democrats expelled from Legislature

AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

When is an insurrection not an insurrection? When Democrats do it. As Ed pointed out, when Democrats lose control of themselves and create chaos and havoc, say, on the floor of the Tennessee House of Representatives, it’s righteous protesting.


Imagine if a group of Republicans had done that in a blue state’s legislative session. Do you think that Democrats would have acted any differently than how things were handled in Tennessee? Maybe instead of only two of the three instigators being punished, all three of them would have been. The truth is that the results would have likely been the same as in Tennessee.

Two young black freshman representatives, both named Justin, grabbed bullhorns and stormed the floor of the Tennessee House of Representatives and incited the protesters in the gallery to join them in loud objections to what was happening on the floor. Rep. Justin Jones and Rep. Justin Pearson advocated for gun reform measures a little over a week after a mass shooting at a Christian elementary school at the hands of a transgender murderer. Using bullhorns, the two men instructed protesters to chant, “Gun control now!” and “No action, no peace!” The chaos that ensued made it impossible for lawmakers to do their work. The Justins had the goal of disruption and that is what happened.

There are rules in all professional situations, though, and that includes the legislative process. There are rules of decorum and courtesy for colleagues because we are not supposed to be animals. Civilized human beings don’t march onto a meeting floor and scream through bullhorns at their colleagues.

The two black men were joined by a 60-year-old white woman legislator, Rep. Gloria Johnson. As I watched the event at the time in news coverage, it was not clear to me why she latched on to the two young men. She didn’t carry a bullhorn. She just seemed to tag along and randomly raise a clenched fist in the air as she marched with them. Maybe she just wanted to get some publicity.


The two Justins and Johnson were allegedly so overcome with emotion over the fact that gun control legislation wasn’t being pushed a week after the horrific school shooting by the transgender murderer that they lost all control and had to start the chaos on the House floor. Not all Democrats thought this was acceptable behavior, though, because some of them talked to the Justins and finally got them and Johnson to leave the House floor.

The three lawmakers were up for a vote on expulsion due to their behavior. The Tennessee House has a supermajority of 75 Republicans. The results are Jones 72-25, Johnson 65-30, and Pearson 69-26. Johnson was not expelled, by one vote, but the two Justins were. Now the cry is racism. The white woman remained but the black men were kicked out. Because of course. The main reason for Johnson not getting expelled was that she didn’t carry a bullhorn and was less disruptive.

Jones and Pearson called for protesters to return to the Capitol when the House is back in session on Monday. There is no doubt at this point that Rep. Jones is looking to make a name for himself off the backs of dead children and adults. A Republican who has an office next door to Jones said Jones told him he wanted to be expelled and to get the publicity for it.

After Tennessee Republicans were accused of racism in their ousting of two Black Democrats, GOP Representative Bryan Richey defended the vote, claiming one of the expelled lawmakers, Justin Jones, told him that he wanted to be kicked out.

Richey, who voted to expel Jones but not Pearson or Johnson, said racism was not a factor. He said he believed the three Democrats deserved to be punished for their actions but was not in favor of removing any of them from the House.

Richey told Newsweek in an email that he and Jones spoke in his office this week where the Republican told his colleague that he felt the Democrats’ decorum breach did not warrant expulsion.

“I shared with him that I was in favor of them staying,” Richey said. “He communicated that he was receiving a lot of national attention and that the members of Metro Council said they planned on reappointing him. He shared that he didn’t care if I did vote yes because he was coming back. Throughout this conversation it felt like this is what he wanted to happen.”

“I have respect for Rep. Jones and his commitment to standing up for what he believes,” Richey continued. “I expect Rep. Jones to be back in the General Assembly before we gavel back into session this upcoming year.”


It was all theatre. He isn’t concerned about gun legislation. He wants to advance his career. He went on CNN and told Don Lemon that the Republicans are big meanies. Besides, he’ll be back in no time.

“What happened yesterday was a very sad day for democracy,” Jones said. “The nation was able to see we don’t have democracy in Tennessee.”

Jones confirmed if he is reappointed to the seat by the 40-member Nashville Metro Council, he would serve. “I have no regrets. I will continue to stand up for my constituents.”

Nashville City Council Member Russ Bradford told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota he would be voting to send Jones back to the State House.

“That is who the people of House District 52 elected this last November and so it’s very important that, unlike my state legislature, I will listen to the voice of my constituents and I will do what needs to be done to support democracy in this state,” Bradford said.

He’s right about one thing – Tennessee and America are not democracies, we live in a constitutional republic. As such, he is not guaranteed a vote on any subject he would like to vote on. There are rules and the Legislature has a process. Them’s the breaks.

Nonetheless, Kamala came to town to coo over the Tennessee Three. She met with all three of them. All have called the action by the Legislature racist, vindictive, and oppressive. Kamala’s all about dividing, not uniting, and this was a good opportunity to do that. She flew into town the day after the expulsion vote. If only she was so speedy in doing other things, like checking on the southern border…


“Let’s not fall for the false choice, which suggests that you’re either in favor of the Second Amendment or you want reasonable gun safety laws, we can and should do both,” Harris said in her remarks at the Fisk University chapel.

“The underlying issue is one that we are witnessing, over and over again, this community experienced it firsthand just 11 days ago,” she continued, referencing a mass shooting that devastated a Nashville school last month.

The vice president applauded the three lawmakers that had faced expulsion votes, saying they “chose to lead and show courage.”

“And they understood the importance, these three, of standing to say the people will not be silenced, to say that a democracy hears the cries, hears the pleas, who hears the demands of its people who say that children should be able to live and be safe and go to school and not be in fear,” she said.

Harris also used the moment to convey the administration’s seriousness about democracy, which a White House official told CNN earlier Friday was one of the objectives of the trip.

“We understand when we took an oath to represent the people who elected us that we speak on behalf of them,” she said. It wasn’t about the three of these leaders. It was about who they were representing. it’s about whose voices they were channeling. Understand that – and is that not what a democracy allows?”

Elected officials are supposed to represent all of their constituents. Kamala acts as though all American voters want more gun control, just because she does. She’s as phony as the Justins and Ms. Johnson.


Biden spoke to the Tennessee Three on Thursday night. He blamed Republicans for gun violence, as he does.

“Rather than debating the merits of the issue, these Republican lawmakers have chosen to punish, silence, and expel duly-elected representatives of the people of Tennessee,” the president said. “A strong majority of Americans want lawmakers to act on commonsense gun safety reforms that we know will save lives. But instead, we’ve continued to see Republican officials across America double down on dangerous bills that make our schools, places of worship, and communities less safe.”

Biden is running for re-election. We’ll hear a lot more of this in the coming months.

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