I Have So Many Questions about the Campfield-Ramsey Fundraiser Affair

Read this and then come back here. Please.

Okay, here are my questions:

1. Is this proof that Campfield can spell and use proper grammar when it suits him?

2. Or does he already have a new executive assistant doing this stuff for him?

3. Didn’t his last executive assistant get fired for campaigning on the taxpayer dime?

4. Why in the world would Ramsey fundraise with Campfield? Especially in Nashville? I would love to sit outside that fundraiser and see who from here is giving money to Campfield. Because I would laugh at those dumbasses every time I saw them.

5. Was sending this email really a mistake on Campfield’s part or a way to try to undo the sting of getting his executive assistant fired by showing that he hadn’t pissed off Ramsey so much that it personally hurt Campfield, even if it cost the job of the executive assistant?

6. If Campfield is trying to outmaneuver Ramsey, that’s going to be hilarious. But, if Ramsey is throwing his support behind Campfield, well, good luck with that.

David Fowler Continues to Need a War on “Christianity”

I think Jeff’s 100% right here. Fowler needs an “oppressed” group of which he’s a part in order to fund-raise off that group. Winning–as he has–is literally the worst thing that could have happened to him. If there’s nothing to fight for (or against), there’s no need to donate to him. He’s got to keep drumming up crises which then only he can solve.

The fact that he’s putting people’s lives at risk to do so is pretty… well, amazing, to put it mildly. But he’s got no choice. If he doesn’t raise the stakes to some ridiculous level, how can he keep people’s wallets open?

Someday, there will be a scandal. A man can’t have that kind of single-minded drive to impose his morality on others without there being a scandal. And when it happens, I’m going to laugh and laugh and laugh for a million years.

Scott DesJarlais Continues to Impress

As I’ve said, repeatedly, nothing about Scott DesJarlais’ current behavior makes me think he’s not still an abusive asshole. Here’s one more example:

DesJarlais said he believes in “grace and redemption,” adding, “I think God gave me a second chance.”

“And I think unless some people see some sort of political advantage to grace and redemption … they don’t want to practice it on their own,” the congressman continued.

“I don’t know what the reason is behind that, but I know God’s forgiven me. … I simply ask my fellow Christians and constituents to consider doing the same for me.”

Yes, he’s literally asserting the “God has forgiven me, why can’t you?” defense. Here’s the thing. Part of being an abuser is that you want to be in charge, wholly in charge, and able to do what the fuck you want without consequences.

It’s very convenient that an abuser can know the mind of God and decide that God thinks you’ve been mad or too slow to forgive for too long.

Very convenient.

The kind of convenient that makes a person suspicious that God’s got nothing to do with it.

Scott DesJarlais is a Big Ole Liar

You have to give him credit. He motherfucking gaslit his whole district, just told them up was down with enough conviction that they believed him. And now? Now here’s the story of the three abortions, the multiple affairs with patients and other folks. And the pattern of him just lying and lying and reshaping the world to smooth over his controlling, abusive behavior.

I don’t say this lightly. I’d like to believe he’s somehow not this man anymore, but the fact that he continues to lie and to do so in such an egregious manner makes me think he hasn’t. But I’m terrified for his current wife.

This man seems to be motivated solely by what’s convenient for him at the moment.

Scott DesJarlais Keeps Making His Ex-Wife’s Case

I don’t know Scott DesJarlais’s ex-wife, but the more he is in the public eye, the more plausible her stories of abuse become. It’s not just the “cajoling his mistress into having an abortion while trying to get out of taking her” stuff. Now his campaign is threatening to call the police on the Chattanooga Times-Free Press. This is not a man who’s used to being in positions where he can’t be controlling.

If you want people to not believe that you abused your ex-wife, you can’t really go around forcing your mistress to have an abortion, trying to gaslight voters over it, and then going thermonuclear on anyone who doesn’t go along with your made-up version of events.

At the least, it proves that you have and will deploy the skill set used by abusers when necessary. At the most, it proves that your ex’s accusations are probably true because it seems to be the only skill-set you have.

And what’s funny is that that cartoon is pretty yucky. DesJarlais had the moral high-ground here. If he’d come out and said “Wow, you know, for the media to continue to bring up and now make jokes about what was the darkest time in my life is pretty vile.” who could have disagreed with him?

But he’s just not the kind of guy who is willing to be vulnerable, even when it is obviously the stronger position. For him, it’s just continually striking out, over and over.

Like I said, the more he does, the more I believe his ex-wife.

I Guess Being a Dude is More Complicated than It Looks

Scott DesJarlais now says, “During this conversation I was incredibly frustrated. As such, I used rather strong rhetoric in hopes that it would lead to her admitting the truth — that there was no pregnancy.”

Now, see, to me this

“You told me you’d have an abortion, and now we’re getting too far along without one,” DesJarlais tells the woman at one point in the call while negotiating with her over whether he’ll reveal her identity to his wife. They then discuss whether he will accompany her to a procedure to end the sort of life the congressman now describes as “sacred.”

“You told me you would have time to go with me and everything,” the woman complains.

“I said, if I could, I would, didn’t I? And I will try,” DesJarlais says. “If I can [find] time, you’re saying you still will?”

“Yeah,” the woman answers.

–sounds like a man who is trying to pressure a woman into having an abortion while weaseling out of taking her to do it. After all, if she’s not pregnant, it’s going to be pretty strange when they end up at the clinic in Atlanta, you know? That place she’s trying to get him to go with her?

To my way of thinking–and again, I’m not a dude, so maybe it works differently–if you don’t believe a woman is pregnant with your child when she says she is, you say something like “I don’t believe you’re pregnant. Let’s go get an ultrasound. Right now.” You don’t whine about wishing she would go to the abortion clinic without you.

I mean, is DesJarlais arguing here that his strategy was to be such a big, annoying baby about the whole thing that she’d finally just throw up her hands and say “Whatever, you know, I’m not even really pregnant. Never call me again.”?

I think the truth is much more likely that he is exactly the man his ex-wife has accused him of being–an abuser who is used to being able to control the women in his life through threats against them or against himself. And this “I was engaged in Level 3 Trickery, where I was only pretending to love abortions when they’re convenient to me, but was really just trying to get this woman I fucked to admit she wasn’t pregnant without just accusing her of not being pregnant” is his attempt to use the same manipulative tactics he’s used on the women in his life on the voters.

He’d better hope this woman never comes forward to tell her side of things.

Oh, Please, Scott DesJarlais! Tell Me Again How Pro-Life You Are!

A doctor has an affair with a patient. She gets pregnant. He pressures her into having an abortion. He tape records himself pressuring her to have an abortion so that he can prove to his wife that their affair is really over. He then goes on to become a darling of the Tea-Party congressman.

It’s hilarious.

But the very fact that it went down this way tells you why it won’t matter. DesJarlais and the voters who vote for him think any abortion they might need is fine, fine, fine and if they have to go to Atlanta to get it or save up for someone to go to Chicago or whatever, well, mistakes happen and anyone in his situation can understand. It’s only abortions that the rest of us might need that need to be illegal, because we want them for bullshit reasons that mean we’re trying to get out of our responsibilities.

If DesJarlais had been caught advising some random woman to have an abortion–a woman we can’t be sure actually deserves it–that might play against him. But since he was pressuring a woman he no longer had use for? Well, what else would you have him do?

It won’t matter.

It’s hilarious, but it won’t matter.

The Thing that Frightens Me Most about Governor Haslam

The thing that frightens me most about Governor Haslam is that, if you listen to him, he’s very up-front about the fact that he has no fucking idea what he’s doing. Take, for instance, his response to the DCS clusterfuck of lawbreaking and dead-kid hiding.

“The death of one child in Tennessee is too many,” Haslam said in an emailed statement. “I am currently reviewing the data to better understand how we rank with other states when you compare apples to apples in how we’re collecting and accounting for the information. I’m also reviewing historical data for Tennessee.”

Let me just reiterate–DCS acknowledges they’ve knowingly been breaking the law for some great length of time and the Governor’s response is to “review the data.” See how we rank with other states. Well, my god, is there some acceptable ranking for “number of dead kids a state’s department of family services can illegally hide from state legislators?” Like, oh, well, Tennessee only hid 31 dead kids, but this other state hid 32, so we’re not doing so bad?

What should happen when you have a department breaking the law is that the people responsible for that department–who are responsible for the law-breaking–are put on leave until you can fire them.

But Governor Baby is busy running the state like a giant corporation, where we collect data and compare ourselves to our competitors and everyone sits around making and then passing around report after report. Things that should register as affecting real people are just data points to be theorized over.

Governor Baby, if he’s going to run the state like a business, should run it like a small business where, when someone in your company does something illegal, you act as if you, yourself, are responsible for stopping it and making it right, because you are.

But the difference between a small business owner–someone who’s out on the sales floor regularly, who knows everything about the product he’s trying to sell–and Bill Haslam’s CEO state-running model is that there are very few, say, John Deere dealers who think they can just step in to owning a Dairy Queen successfully without having to learn some really Dairy Queen specific skills. Nothing in your oil changing training is going to teach you how to put a pretty loop on the top of your soft serve, you know?

And yet, Haslam has been our governor for two years and he’s still not gotten his head around the fact that you can’t just swap CEOs of a state like you can of a corporation. Or that you can’t lead a state while keeping the reality of that state at arm’s length.

It’s time for Haslam to look our state straight on. Not compare it to what other states are doing. Not try to force it into some corporate model most people in the state have no experience with. But look at this state as it is right now and figure out how to govern this.

Let’s Raise a Toast to Sherry Jones

First, Joe Carr shoots off his mouth:

Carr would explain later on that he agreed with Akin that women did indeed possess certain biological means to close themselves off against pregnancy in cases of violent rape. He further thought that Republicans had no business telling a bona fide Republican primary winner what to do.

Then Sherry Jones calls a rat’s ass a rat’s ass:

Rep. Joe Carr has shown today what many of the women in the General Assembly have known for a long time—he is completely and totally unfit for office. Claiming that women’s bodies possess the ability to “close themselves off” from pregnancy in cases of violent rape is not only biologically inaccurate, it is offensive to each and every Tennessee woman who has ever been the victim of rape. Tennessee Republicans are continuing their march to the extreme ideological right at the expense of our mothers, daughters, wives and sisters. It’s time for Rep. Joe Carr to apologize for his ignorant remark and for the Tennessee Republicans to end the war on women.

And then Carr tried to weasel out of the mess:

State Rep. Joe Carr, R-Lascassas, denied telling a reporter that he agreed with U.S. Rep. Todd Akin’s theory that victims of “legitimate rape” seldom carry pregnancies to term, but he stood by his position that the Akin should not be pressured to leave the Missouri Senate race.

The Memphis Flyer reported this morning that Carr told its correspondent to the Republican National Convention that he believes pregnancies terminate automatically after a rape, a medical fiction sometimes advanced by opponents of abortion. The remark — which the Flyer summarized and did not quote directly — came after a lunchtime speech by GOP strategist Frank Luntz in which Luntz asked members of the Tennessee delegation to demonstrate by show of hands whether they agree Akin should step aside.

See that “telling a reporter” nonsense? Baker doesn’t say that Carr told him that he agreed with Aiken, just that he said it later. So, in actuality, Carr doesn’t deny saying it, just denies saying it to Baker.

So weaselly. So hilariously weaselly.

Anyway, Sherry Jones. I want to high-five her. I wish I could vote for her.

On Rats’ Asses

Oh, Jim Summerville.

I have thoughts. None of them are “What kind of jackass would do this?” because, obviously, Jim Summerville would. But mostly I’m curious to watch how this played out among Republicans.

Y’all know that I’ve long thought that a certain, rather large faction, seemed to have made no plans for how to actually lead, since they were busy trying to figure out how to both be on top and to frame themselves as underdogs rallying against their overwhelming enemies. And you know that I’ve long thought that there are some Republicans who seem to be disappointed that they are only the overwhelming victors and that they are not capable of punishing their enemies by completely and utterly ruining their lives.

And I think Summerville has often positioned himself in these two camps–both as the plain-spoken defender of what’s right against the forces of immorality and as someone who believes he should get to punish his enemies.

But it seems like that’s a fine line for a party to walk. The Republicans knew they had voters on their side to redistrict and to undo some (seemingly) unfair Democratic practices (I put seemingly in parentheses because I think they took the opportunity to both undo some unfair practices and to undo some that could just be spun as unfair. I think both of those things are to be expected.). They made some pretty radical changes to education. And even with all that, there is still a small, but really vocal minority that wants even more.

But the line the Republicans have to walk is that you can only tear down so much before you have to turn the corner and govern. If you can’t make that pivot, you’re going to lose your moneyed backers. And you’re going to lose moderate voters.

So, what’s interesting to me is watching Dolores Gresham show such self-assured leadership (no, that’s really not a sentence I ever thought I’d be typing). If there was any dithering, it happened so far behind the scenes I’ve caught no whiff of it. And it happened so quickly that it seemed like she heard about it, gave the situation some careful consideration, and then did what needed to be done.

People, that’s more than the Governor has managed to do in his first term. Let that sink in. Dolores Gresham has out-led the governor.

But, anyway, I’ve got my eye on this. Some Republicans are doing a good job of turning that corner (or at least looking like it). Others, obviously, not so much. It’s going to be an interesting session.

An Evil Soul Producing Holy Witness is Like a Villain with a Smiling Cheek

You remember my new working definition of bearing false witness, that it’s “freeform gaslighting. You know what the truth is. You reserve the right to live in the truth for yourself. And yet you happily keep the people under your influence from the truth so that you can benefit from their fear and uncertainty.”

Well, check this nonsense. Remember when David Fowler was all “Poor people are like animals and we should stop feeding them“? Well, now he’s all

Bob Smietana of  The Tennessean recently wrote about a personal Facebook post of mine. He said I claimed there were “too many people on food stamps” and indicated my solution was to “stop feeding them.” This is false.

When he asked what my post meant, my explanatory statement to him, in full, was this: “The obvious point of the post is that government can foster and create dependence on government. Human beings can become reliant on the government. Ironically, the government even recognizes that beings can become reliant on others for their well-being, but doesn’t seem to see that when it comes to human beings. Government creating human dependence on government demeans human dignity and is antithetical to human freedom government is intended to protect.”

Dependent on the government for what, though? Food stamps. Literally food.  I’ve got my issues with Smietana who seems to think “religion” means “Whatever the Southern Baptists say” but he is completely right about this and David Fowler is lying and he knows it. He’s now at the point where he’s just making shit up about what he said so that he can keep the people on his side gaslit.

But his acting like an abuser doesn’t just stop with “I’m going to deny saying what we both know I said and demand you treat me like I said something else.”

No, people, now he’s crying about how mean liberals are. You see, he compared poor people to animals, but he’s the real victim here.

It’s rich. And then he drags poor Jesus into this mess:

But for us Christians, as long as we are speaking the truth and doing so graciously, then we need to grapple with something Jesus said:

Blessed are you when men hate you and ostracize you, and cast insults at you and spurn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. Be glad in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets. Luke 6:22, 23 (NASB)

If we Christians remain silent when accused of being hateful, then we need to ask ourselves this question: “Were these words meant to be encouragement to stand firm when called a ‘hater’ or was Jesus wrong on this one?”

Of course, William Shakespeare is right about this. “The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.” Fowler’s followers ought to consider that.

David Fowler Needs a Literal Come to Jesus Meeting

Let’s be clear. David Fowler is like an evil Lloyd Dobler. He doesn’t sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. He runs a lobbying organization. If our country were a pure, straight-up capitalist system, he’d be shit out of luck because he has nothing to put out in the marketplace for people to purchase. If he lost his job, he would have to get another job snookering people into giving him money in exchange for him sending out self-aggrandizing press releases, because he has no other discernible skills. He is skating by on the goodwill and generosity of his supporters.

In other words, capitalism works under the assumption that you make something I can consume and I will pay you what the market will bear for it. David Fowler makes nothing that can be consumed. He doesn’t help make anything that can be consumed. He gets by solely by convincing people that he can be a better advocate for their positions than they could be. Probably because they have real jobs and don’t have time to be standing up at the State Capitol all day.

If you had to choose who has more value–the guy who takes your money at the Quik-Sak and who needs food stamps to feed his kids or David Fowler–the Quik-Sak dude is literally contributing more of value to society every day he shows up to work since he allows you to buy gas and coffee and snacks and pee when you need to than David Fowler, who is taking your money to play with his friends all day.

And you know, playing with your friends all day is good work if you can get it. But when you forget that you’re just extremely lucky and not actually contributing that much to the world?

It’s pretty ugly.


Steve Gill Should Keep in Mind that Chronos Ate His Children, Too

There’s so much about Jeff Woods’ story that’s just jaw-dropping. It goes back a little bit to what we’ve been talking about with the Tea Partiers really seeming to have an expectation that their enemies will suffer and not being able to handle the fact that their enemies just lost and are really sad and disappointed.

But it’s more the blatant “We will eat our own now that we’re done eating our enemies” mindset I find amazing. Here are a bunch of people who either clearly don’t understand the American project or have given up on it but still want to be elected into office in order to spread their obviously unconstitutional chaos.

And Steve Gill can knock Frank Cagle all he wants, but Cagle is right:

“My main thesis is that they’ve kind of made an industry out of being indignant, and they’ve got followers and contributors and a radio audience,” Cagle says. “Now that they’re in charge, what are they going to do? You still need money and ratings and you need to keep everybody ginned up. So what do you do? Well, you just get even more radical.”

And not just because I’ve been pointing this out in their efforts to make abortion and gay marriage double super secret illegal. They are motivated by outrage and a desire for suffering. And the fact that the people they want to see suffer are not outrages them.

The truth is that you can forget Democrats here for a second. Conservatives deserve better than this. But if they don’t find a way to wrestle their party back from the people who have no interest in the American project, they’re not going to get it.

It is ironic, though, isn’t it? The very people who claim to love America more than anyone hate how we’ve decided to govern ourselves.

Governor Baby: Radical Leftist?

I think the thing is that the Tea Party really did expect their enemies to be smote. And the fact that Governor Baby can be a petulant baby conservative who just can’t help but oppress gay people–so sorry!–and he still gets this shit?

I’m sorry, but that is hilarious and kind of sad at the same time. I mean, even if you wanted your enemies kicked in the face before we’re run out of the state, who thought Haslam was the guy who was going to do it?

When You Win on Outrage, What Do You Lead On?

Frank Cagle’s got an interesting column up over at Metro Pulse about how the Republican infrastructure in Tennessee was built with the power of outrage and how, now that they’re in power, the Republican politicians haven’t found a way to diffuse that outrage into something that’s not going to bite them on the ass, too.

Hence the situation where twenty-three Republicans have primary challengers.

I think part of the problem is that there’s been this underlying rhetoric of “When we get into office, we will make them pay.” But all the ways that Republican politicians have made “them” pay don’t really feel viscerally satisfying to people who are not also politicians. I live in Nashville, for instance, and I am neither really aware of nor greatly upset over whose offices have had to move where and whose staff has been cut. I don’t feel personally insulted by it. Same with redistricting. Eh? So what? Republicans won. I expected them to redistrict in their favor.

And I’m not trying to downplay the assault that women’s health is under in this state, but I suspect that, since so few places actually perform abortions in Tennessee that, if Republicans could persevere and get them all shut down, it, too, wouldn’t feel like they want to feel.

Because they want to feel like they’ve won. The whole thing. That their enemies have been vanquished and that the state is now safe once more for good conservative, Christian folks. And that just can’t be. No one is ever actually completely vanquished. Especially not when your battles are mostly rhetorical.

The problem is, I think, that a lot of conservative Tennesseans feel like they were promised this moment. And it’s not coming.

I don’t know what Republicans do, instead, but I am genuinely and not snarkily interested in seeing if and how you take a political movement that expects one thing and massage them into accepting another.

The Faultline to Watch

The State Legislature just passed a law written specifically to try to force Vanderbilt to do what the Legislature wants. Vanderbilt is the largest employer in Middle Tennessee. They have the best trauma unit in the area. And their Board of Trustees just met and declined to force the University to do what the Legislature wanted. It’s nickname has been, for as long as I’ve lived here, the 800-lb. gorilla. Oh, and did I mention that the Trustees read like a Who’s-Who of conservative moneyed types?

I have no doubt that the Republicans will remain in power for a while. But as of tonight, I now have deep doubts as to whether these Republicans will or if the fiscal conservative money will start flowing to challengers to the social conservatives.

This will be the fight to watch. Because we had just been talking picking on poor people and women. Now we’re talking about money and people who can’t even explain what their bills do trying to tell people with money what to do.

it’s a perfect storm of all of Tennessee’s terrible, albeit charming, weaknesses. We have conservative politicians who don’t trust universities because they think they’re full of godless hippies–failing completely to understand just how traditionally conservative a place like Vanderbilt is. You have smart, well-educated conservatives who will be appalled at the notion that people so stupid and hick-y would dare tell them what to do. You have people like Ron Ramsey who have a chip on their shoulder about schools “better” than the one he went to. And you have conservative business people who are now nervous that the state legislature might find all kinds of conduct of theirs worth… let’s not call it “legislating.” Let’s call it “advising them to get out of the pickle they’re in.”

That is a powder keg. And I’m not sure how it’s going to explode. Haslam hasn’t vetoed anything, but he’s never faced a bill that so clearly had implications for the types of people who fund re-election campaigns.

If he does veto it, that will tell us something.

If he doesn’t veto it, that will tell us something else.

Plus, I forgot to see what happened with the PAC legislation this afternoon, but if they’ve taken the limit off of donations, and then passed this legislation… oh, ho ho ho ho. I know it makes me a bad liberal, but I love the unlimited PACs. Look at what Gingrich and Santorum were able to do to Romney. And now imagine the walking-around money that the TNGOP just pissed off.

I could be wrong, but I think we’re about to see a social conservative/fiscal conservative civil war.

Also, I think this gives you a hint of how precarious Beth Harwell’s position is. This kind of anti-university vitriol splashes on her.

A Few Facts about Tennessee

Fact: The Republicans control both branches of the legislature.

Fact: We have a Republican governor.

Fact: They still act like the Democrats are pushing them around.

Fact: Anyone who would cut funding for hospitals and then shows up for church on Sunday is probably going to be surprised when he finally meets Jesus.

Fact: They can blame Democrats all they want, but the truth is that the Republican caucuses are fracturing and leaders can’t keep their people in line.

Everyone’s Puppets, Everyone’s Pulling Strings

Ron Ramsey’s now lecturing the Chamber of Commerce about their inappropriate focus after all he’s done for them.

It would be hard for you to overestimate how hard I’m laughing at this. I can feel the Chamber bristling from here, but what are you going to do, gentlemen? Republicans don’t expect to lose their majority for the next twenty years. They’ve only been in power two and they’re already tired of you trying to boss them around.

Oh, man, this is going to be fun to watch.

Frank Nicely, Please, Shut Up

Yes, when I think “stripping states’ rights,” I think the 14th Amendment. Jesus Christ.

Rep. Frank Niceley, R-Strawberry Plains, provided what he called “a little history lesson,” relating that two Oregon state representatives were kidnapped by “radical Republicans” when state ratification of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was in issue during the 1860s. Two men masquerading as the kidnapped legislators then voted for ratification, which passed by one vote in Oregon, Niceley said.

The kidnapping thus effectively “changed the course of history” and “stole power from the states,” he said. Passage of the school board bill, he said, could lead to similar situations.

I am speechless. Just speechless.



Phil Bredesen, Break out the Green Vest of Comfort, Your State Needs You!

Lord almighty, read this post from Joe Powell and then come back here and tell me if there isn’t some way that we can’t force Phil Bredesen to come back here and be Governor Haslam’s governor tutor? Completely non-partisan, just “This thing is called a legislative body. It makes bills. Then it’s your job to decide whether the bills are a good idea and to veto them if they’re not” type stuff.

Because I think it’s becoming dreadfully apparent that Haslam does not know what the hell the office he ran for and won actually does.

There are Worse Things to Build a Party Around

You know, they already say Tennessee Democrats are too far to the left of most Tennesseans. I say, then, that we just go ahead and be too far to the left of most Tennesseans.

There are much worse things to build a party around than legalizing weed and protecting “transvestites.”

I also love it that, when Turner accuses the Republicans of being obsessed with sex, their reply is to insinuate that he has a small penis. Like that’s supposed to convince us that you’re not weirdly obsessed with sex? Maybe we need to make Mike Turner some shorts he can pull on over his pants that say “My eyes are up here” with an arrow pointing Representative Maggart away from his crotch.

Look for the Tell

I once blogospherically knew a guy who had a run-in with his wife. They later divorced. He sent an email to all his friends to tell his side of the story and I came into possession of that email through third-hand means. His side of the story was incredibly convincing–about how she had really secretly been the violent one and how she’d verbally abused their children and, he seemed to insinuate, physically abused at least one of them and how he was going to try to get custody of the children.

And I–raving feminist bitch and thinker-of-very-low-thoughts of this dude–was like “Wow, that sounds horrible!” I was reading through the thing and I felt like I was reading the truth. I felt bad for him. Through hundreds of words devoted to what a shitty marriage they’d had and how terrible she was. I was buying it–and I hate him.

And then at the bottom, he said something like, “and of course when I get custody of the children, I will let her have generous visitation.” And it was like a record scratch in my brain, because, believe me, if someone had treated your children the way this guy was claiming his wife had treated their children, you would be asking for no visitation and then making your lawyers push for supervised visitations, if you couldn’t cut off all contact.

One thing or the other had to be true–either she really was a monster or you’d feel fine with her having generous visitations with your kids. Both things just aren’t plausible. That made me look back over the rest of the email with a more discerning eye. And there was a whiff of bullshit under the whole thing.

I don’t know what went on between them, but I’m putting more stock in the police report than his explanatory email, you know?

I was thinking of that–how this first dude just had to push the story a little farther than necessary, make it almost too perfect, explain away everything that might make his audience uncomfortable–when I was reading this story about Representative Hawk. Because in that story there’s one little detail that gives a whiff of bullshit to the whole thing. Remember, he’s claiming they argued, she pulled a gun on him and the baby, and he fled to a friend’s house. He doesn’t know where she got those bruises. (I guess this is the “Crazy bitches are crazy. Amirite?” defense.)

Keeping that in mind, read this:

Hawk, 43, denied striking his wife and said he didn’t know how she had received the bruises. He said he had taken his daughter out of the house following the incident and urged a neighbor to call 911, but the neighbor urged him to let the situation cool off before calling police.

Now, imagine that your neighbor and his small child showed up at your house saying that his wife was threatening to shoot him. That she had a gun and had aimed it at him. Let me repeat. A distressed neighbor shows up at your house claiming his wife has a gun and is threatening to shoot him.

In what world do you urge your neighbor to cool off before calling the police? A woman with a gun is running around threatening to kill people in your neighborhood and you’re all “Oh, let’s give it a few minutes to see what happens?”


I suspect he just needed a story for why, if she’s the aggressor, she called 911 first.

And yes, I suppose it’s possible that crazy bitches are crazy. But I’m thinking the odds are pretty damn low in this case.

You want to feel even better about this story? (And by “better,” I mean “worse”.)

Hawk accepted handshakes and well wishes from fellow lawmakers at his desk before stepping out of the chamber to meet with reporters.

Yep, you can get out of jail for beating your wife, hightail it to Nashville where you get to tell your story to the state-wide media, and then accept well-wishes from the people who make laws about women.

What kind of well wishes, one wonders? “Hey man, don’t worry. You’ll beat this thing like you did the last one?”