Tag Archives: tolerance

Sunday Column: A Move Toward Tolerance of Politicians’ Mistakes?

Maybe, just maybe, a new and more tolerant attitude toward allegations of misdeeds by Tennessee political figures could be developing these days.
Consider that, a few years back when the Tennessee Waltz scandal broke, leadership of the state Republican Party, both publicly and privately, pressured then-Rep. Chris Newton, R-Cleveland, to resign from the Legislature immediately after his indictment. He did.
In contrast, Democratic Party leaders of the day — that was in 2005, when Democrats still controlled the Legislature — offered a more muddled public response, while some, but not all, in leadership positions pushed their party’s three indicted officeholders to resign. They did, but after considerable foot-dragging while the GOP had a field day denouncing corrupt Democrats.
The Republicans, arguably, were less tolerant of misbehavior by their own than were Democrats. And they rejoiced in Democratic misdeeds.
Consider that this year, we currently have three Republican representatives — Jim Cobb of Spring City, David Hawk of Greeneville and Curry Todd of Collierville, all of whom were House committee chairmen when the 107th General Assembly began — under criminal indictment.

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A Democratic Security Breach and the Tolerance Paradox

This week’s Scott McNutt Sunday satire targets the state Democratic Party “security breach” that allowed Mark Clayton’s election as U.S. Senate nominee.
Unlike the recent embarrassing incursion at Oak Ridge’s Y-12 nuclear facilities, in which three aging peaceniks broke through security and vandalized property and that led to a massive personnel shake-up and the removal of the manager there, state Democratic management has stated it will keep itself in place while working to oust the invader who exposed its shortcomings.
Regarding the incident, state Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester said, “I have the strongest possible confidence in Chairman Forrester. I also firmly think that nobody could have anticipated the breach of the party. And I’m confident Mr. Forrester will do everything humanly possible to plug the hole in our security and evict the infiltrator — that tea partier in donkeys’ skins — from our precincts. Let me say in conclusion: Heck of a job, Chippy.”
Puttbrese confirmed that his confidence in himself remained undiminished as well, although he declined to add, “Heck of a job, Brandy.”
…For his part, Clayton says he’s not trespassing, that the Democratic Party is his home and he has every right to stay.
“Because my conservative social beliefs dovetail with the Republican platform, people ask me why I didn’t run in their primary,” Clayton said. “Some of my views may be extremely Republican-like, but the Democratic Party is supposed to be the party of inclusion, acceptance and tolerance. So why should a Republican be barred from running as a Democrat?”
In response, Democratic officials referred to the tolerance paradox: that tolerance mustn’t tolerate intolerance.