Governor Haslam is facing a stand-off with his own party today, according to Capitol Hill sources, over what the Tennessee legislature should watch during dinner this Thanksgiving. Sources indicate that hours of intense negotiation have resulted in a seeming impasse, leaving constituents confused as to the impending fate of their elected officials’ holiday viewing future.
For weeks, members of the state legislature’s Republican membership have lobbied to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers face the Baltimore Ravens, a long-time rival of the Tennessee Titans, during dinner this Thanksgiving. “At the core of our party’s argument is one simple question: What can be more American than watching football on Thanksgiving?!” noted Senator Colby Mathers of West Tennessee. “Football goes with turkey just like baseball goes with apple pie, and you won’t convince me, [Lieutenant Governor] Ron Ramsey, or the rest of us any different.”
The Republican delegation of the state’s legislative branch, however, is being stymied by one of their own from the executive branch. “Governor Haslam has been very willing to negotiate with his colleagues on issues such as store-bought versus homemade stuffing, or whether the legislature’s turkey should be baked versus fried. We’ve given a lot of ground and thoroughly demonstrated our willingness to compromise here” explained Kelsey Woodard, a communications intern in the Governor’s office. “However, we have to take a stand somewhere, and the Governor will not be dictated to about what will be watched on television tonight, not even by his own party. If the rest of the GOP holds out against watching ‘A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving’ and the Muppets special with Lady Gaga after that, then he’s willing to simply switch the TV off and let all the Senators and Representatives eat with only each other to talk to. I don’t think any of us want to see it come to that, but it’s not being ruled out at this point.”
Though pundits have speculated that such a standoff could damage Tennessee’s GOP in the long run and leave them vulnerable to attacks from the left, the Tennessee Democratic Party has largely stayed out of this particular fray, claiming they’ve already expended their political capital on an ultimately more satisfying bargain. Speaking with the Rhinestone by phone, House minority leader Rep. Craig Fitzhugh explained “[Democrats] unilaterally agreed to relinquish any say in the evening’s TV choice in exchange for a guarantee of watching the Godfather marathon all afternoon beforehand. Pardon my putting it this way, but it was an offer they couldn’t refuse.”
Haslam picture found at http://blogs.knoxnews.com/munger/2011/01/haslam-we-dont-want-to-be-in-a.html. Ramsey picture found at http://politiqs.com/news/p0205.html. Colby Mathers pic submitted by model/Rhinestone fan.