Tag Archives: rhetoric

Ramsey Decries ‘Terrorists’ and ‘Facists’ in TN Politics

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s bipartisan call for lawmakers to tone down their harsh exchanges over education and the Tennessee Education Association seems to be falling on deaf ears, reports Andy Sher.
Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, who last week charged that Democrats are “bought and paid for by the unions,” on Thursday blasted Democratic leaders, saying their language is “getting out of hand.”
“When we saw [House Democratic Caucus Chairman] Mike Turner standing up on the Capitol last week and calling us terrorists because we’re trying to get a quality teacher in every classroom, that has crossed the line,” Ramsey told reporters.
The speaker also accused Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester of calling “us fascists because we passed a bill that simply says you don’t have to be a member of the [teachers] union to serve on the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement system.
“So has the rhetoric gotten out of hand on the other side? Absolutely,” Ramsey said.

Neither Forrester nor Turner is backing off.
“Terrorism’s a political term,” Turner said earlier this week. “If you look it up, it’s violence or intimidation for political purposes. You don’t think they’re trying to intimidate the teachers for supporting Democrats? That’s what this is about.”
Forrester said GOP “efforts to strip teachers of collective bargaining is extremist.” He charged that Republicans are pushing “a whole ream of extremist bills,” singling out for ridicule a resolution from Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Bill Ketron, of Murfreesboro, that calls for a legislative study on whether to create a Tennessee currency in case of a Federal Reserve meltdown.
“That’s right-wing conspiracy talk,” Forrester said.

See also Andrea Zelenski at TNReport, which has video. Jeff Woods also wrote up the Ramsey remarks.

Haslam Says Tone Down Rhetoric; Summerville Says ‘We Are Warriors’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam on Tuesday urged lawmakers in both parties to tone down their rhetoric as they prepare to take up a series of education proposals.
The Republican governor told reporters after a speech to the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce that he’s been disturbed by the level of discourse at the Capitol in recent few weeks.
“There has been more of a partisan divide, which I don’t think is healthy for solving problems,” he said.
Haslam has proposed bills to make teacher tenure more difficult to obtain and to lift a cap on charter school enrollment. But he has remained neutral on a contentious bill to strip teachers of their collective bargaining rights, which has made him the subject of criticism from both supporters and opponents of the proposal.
“You hear criticism from people on all sides,” he said. “But in the end I’m going to try to solve problems and fix things. That’s why Tennesseans elected me to be governor.”
The governor’s comments came a day after freshman Republican Sen. Jim Summerville of Dickson warned teachers in a floor speech that they shouldn’t try to stand in the way of Republican-sponsored changes to public education.
“Make no mistake, the final responsibility is ours –and we are warriors,” said Summerville, who went on to paraphrase a speech from Shakespeare’s “Henry V.”
“We will bend public education to our awe, or break it all to pieces,” he said.”

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