Letter from the Editor 

In a post earlier this week, the irreverent national political website Wonkette.com labeled the Tennessee state legislature "the world's stupidest imaginable governing body." (See this week's cover story for more on the subject.) Wonkette has taken several (well-deserved) shots at our lawmakers in recent months, but this latest insult came on the heels of the news that several of Tennessee's GOP lawmakers had decided to sign on to a lawsuit demanding that President Obama reveal his birth certificate.

Frankly, it is hard to imagine a stupider and more pointless course of action for supposed adults to undertake. Obama provided a copy of his birth certificate online in June 2008, and it was judged authentic by Hawaii state officials. His birth announcement was in the Honolulu paper in 1961. His mother is American (which makes him a citizen if he wasn't born in the U.S.). State health records list his birth. Do these wackos really think that in 1961 there was a plot afoot to fool the American public 47 years later?

It comes as no surprise that one of the signees is Representative Stacey Campfield (R-Wacktown), whose inability to get a single bill passed in his four-year tenure is exceeded only by the ludicrousness of the bills he has proposed. These include bills to issue death certificates for aborted fetuses, to deny birth certificates to children born of illegal immigrants (who are American citizens), to prohibit classroom teaching about the existence of homosexuality, to allow faculty to carry guns in classrooms, and to allow any veteran to carry a gun at all times, to name just a few.

And speaking of guns, it hasn't been a good week for The Commercial Appeal, which posted the state's searchable database identifying the name, address, and birth date of those with concealed-carry gun permits. After a storm of protest, much of it misguided (several gun-friendly websites posted the names and addresses of Commercial Appeal employees, the great majority of whom had nothing to do with management's decision to post the database), the CA removed the permit-holders' addresses and birth dates from its site but kept the list of names. That half-measure assuaged no one, drawing criticism from those in favor of keeping the posting (you weenies!) and those opposed to it (you fascists!).

The lesson: Aim carefully before shooting yourself in the foot. Twice.

Bruce VanWyngarden

brucev@memphisflyer.com

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Blogs

From My Seat

Inauguration Day: Then and Now

Politics Beat Blog

Cohen Won't Attend Trump Inauguration

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Music Video Monday: Valerie June

Beyond the Arc

Bulls 108, Grizzlies 104: A Game of Ghosts

Tiger Blue

Tigers 62, USF 56

Fly On The Wall Blog

Memphis Bound Gilbert Gottfried Talks Trump, TV, Life on the Road

Politics Beat Blog

Briefs from the Political Week

Politics Beat Blog

In The Age Of Trump, Remember The Killian Documents

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Bruce VanWyngarden

Readers also liked…

  • The Death of Status Symbols

    • Oct 6, 2016
  • Strike Up the Brand

    You know it's going to be a tough day when the first image you see on your laptop is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in a baseball uniform — truly a visual that cannot be unseen ...
    • Jun 11, 2015
  • The Week That Was ...

    I was on vacation last week — on the road, on a boat, in the woods — mostly off the grid, as it were. Did I miss anything? ...

    • Jul 2, 2015
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2017

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation