These petitions, posted on the White House website, ask the Obama administration to "peacefully grant" Tennessee and others the right to withdraw from the union and form its own government. As of Wednesday morning, the Tennessee petition had met the 25,000-signature threshold needed to initiate a response from the White House. (We're all waiting with bated breath!)
This is, of course, counterproductive and a waste of everyone's time and tax dollars. Who's to blame?
Here's what I told The Memphis Commercial Appeal:
Brandon Puttbrese, spokesman for the Tennessee Democratic Party, called the secession petition "radical nonsense" that is "a direct result of the tea party extremism and intolerance we have seen from elected Republicans in Tennessee."For far too long, Republican politicians have been stoking the flames of hate toward supporters of health care reform, immigration reform, teachers, women, LGBT rights, and on and on.
"Sadly," Puttbrese said, "this kind of extremism only breeds more of the division and rancor that is prohibiting our leaders from making progress on putting Tennesseans back to work and protecting middle class families."
In a rare showing of backbone, Tennessee Gov. "Waffle House" Bill Haslam immediately condemned the frivolous petitions. The Tennessean:
Gov. Bill Haslam said Tuesday he’d heard about Tennessee’s petition. He’s not a fan. “I don’t think that’s a valid option for Tennessee,” he said. “I don’t think we’ll be seceding.”So Haslam feels his input is important on meaningless Internet petitions, but unnecessary on serious questions of ethics and integrity. When confronted with the question of whether it's ever appropriate for a doctor to have sex with his patients, how did the governor respond?