‘Hokey Pokey’ is Blackburn’s dance

Frank CagleFrank Talk

You put your right foot in, you take your right foot out, you put your right foot in and you shake it all about. …

Tennessee’s Sen. Marsha Blackburn tried to do the hokey pokey during the Capitol Hill riot. First, she joined a group of Trump senators to tamper with the electoral college. Then after the riot she withdrew her support and now has the die-hard Trumpers angry.

Frank Cagle

Blackburn won her seat (previously held by Bob Corker) with 65 to 75 percent of rural and small-town counties, and she could have kept those voters forever. The only other politician who can get numbers like that is Trump. If she loses the Trump vote her career is over.

If Trump decides to run for president again, he will be on the ballot with Blackburn in 2024. Trump is not known for forgiving people he thinks are disloyal. Blackburn’s future depends on Trump’s future. He can continue in politics. His people could “primary” her.

Her colleague Bill Hagerty almost did the same thing, though it’s not the same. There will be two election cycles by the time Hagerty runs for reelection.

It may be because of all the turmoil in Washington but I’ve been amazed at the lack of attention and the lack of outrage over what Blackburn tried to do to East Tennessee and the state economy.

Sen. Lamar Alexander convinced his colleagues, as his valedictory send off, to permanently fund the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s the most visited national park and the attraction that built Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg and made Tennessee a top tourist destination.

The bill got an overwhelming vote. One exception was that other senator from Tennessee, Marsha Blackburn. While the whole state benefits from tourism, Blackburn evidently thinks the Smokies is a local bill. She voted against the bill.

East Tennesseans should reject Blackburn out of hand. But it appears that Trump-love overcomes what’s good for our community. Trump’s hold on Republican public officials is remarkable. Like watching politicians defending a ridiculous lie they know to be a lie.

Ghost in the machine: One of the theories of Trump’s supporters trying to overturn the election is that voting machines were programmed to change Trump votes to Biden votes. The programming was invented by the late dictator Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and the effort was funded by George Soros.

The Tennessee legislature in on record supporting Trump in his effort to overturn the election. Will the legislators have all the machines tested and audited? Buy new ones?

Or they didn’t believe the BS in the first place? After all, they re-elected Secretary of State Tre Hargett last week. Hargett’s office ran the election. Ironically, the only objection came from Democrats.

Great example: So far eight state House members have been diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus. State Rep. David Byrd is the only one who remains in the hospital, on and off a ventilator. On the Senate side, Ed Jackson was diagnosed last week and one senator is self- quarantined. Efforts to require that masks be worn have been rebuffed.

Pruitt a first: It is said that UT has fired the football coach “for cause” and thus gets out of paying the buy-out in his contract. Jeremy Pruitt would be the first person fired from the athletic program who walked away without getting at least $1 million. Phillip Fulmer, who hired the guy, gets $30,000 per month for three years.

Do you think Pruitt is going to give up his $13 million that easily? He probably has a line of lawyers out his driveway. Soon we may hear that it’s time to move on and settle. Lawsuits are funny things. You never know what will happen. Or what information gets revealed.

Frank Cagle is a veteran newspaper editor and columnist.

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