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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

End the Wilder era

This is by no means the first time, but I wholeheartedly agree with Scene editor Liz Garrigan that Tennessee's Lieutenant Governor John Wilder should be replaced when the General Assembly returns in January.

Last year, when a handful of state lawmakers were indicted on bribery and corruption charges, Wilder condemned not the behavior of profiteering and unscrupulous public officials but instead the federal government for offering “bait to get someone in jail.” His interest is with the small cadre of those who have embalmed him politically, not with the millions of Tennesseans who count on sound policy regarding health care, taxes and other state issues.

We frankly find it troubling that, during 35 years of power, Wilder has yet to risk his hide over any meaningful principle, issue or ideology. As a speaker with nothing worthwhile to say—and, we might add, a tenuous grasp on both standard methods of communication and basic English grammar—his greatest political accomplishment is self-preservation...

We’d urge party elders to try again in the upcoming legislative session. Keeping a cartoon character behind the Senate podium is a good way to get Tennessee on The Daily Show, but that’s about it.

Well said. Here's hoping Tennessee has a new speaker of the Senate in 2007.

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