Mayor Andy Ogles Tells Tennessee It’s Time to Take a Stand: We Are in a Cultural War, Spiritual War, and Political War

Mayor Andy Ogles Tells Tennessee It’s Time to Take a Stand: We Are in a Cultural War, Spiritual War, and Political War

 

Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles in the studio to weigh in on the recent rogue staff situation at the Department of Human Resources that has quietly implemented equity and inclusion councils across the state agencies.

Leahy: In studio or very good friend, Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles. Andy, our top story at The Tennessee Star today follows up on this rogue staff at the Department of Human Resources that’s decided on its own without telling the Tennessee General Assembly or apparently the governor, that they’re going to set up equity and inclusion councils all across the state of Tennessee and every state agency.

And we’ll get to that in a bit. Apparently, they’ve implemented it. Here’s what State Representative John Reagan, who is the chairman of the Government Operations Committee in the House said. This is, according to our lead store at The Tennessee Star. He’s formerly asked the Tennessee Department of Human Resources, the Commissioner there, Juan Williams, to explain the Diversity and Equity Council program he wants state agencies to enforce.

In the letter, Reagan requested that Williams justify his actions in a timely manner and explain how much it will cost taxpayers. Reagan told The Tennessee Star that Williams and members of his staff acknowledge receiving the letter, but they’ve yet to formally respond. I’ll give you this quote and see what your thoughts are.

This is from State Representative John Reagan, the chairman of the Government Operations Committee in the House of Representatives. “My concerns about the Diversity and Equity Council will fall into two categories. First, I want to know whether this is an internal policy that is only going to affect people inside their Department or if it is going to affect people outside their Department.

My concern there is because I chair the Government Operations Committee. The second thing of concern to me is I did not see anything related to cost. What is this going to cost in terms of expenditures of doing training or having meetings or whatever they’re going to do? And then does it take away also from their doing of their current jobs?” What’s your reaction to that?

Ogles: Well I think you start at the beginning of a rogue employee. I don’t buy into that. I just don’t. This is now the third Commissioner who allegedly has gone off-script. And at some point, you’ve got to sit down with your commissioners and give them a clear direction and tell them this is how I expect you to govern. And so this is unacceptable. And Commissioner Juan Williams should resign. This does not reflect Tennessee values. And at what point are we going to have faith that our government is actually representing Tennesseeans and not representing some agenda from the left?

Leahy: It sounds like an agenda from the left. And the commissioner is making it appear that Governor Lee endorses this agenda from the left. They had a meeting yesterday, apparently. Now, to me, since this entire program, and I’ve got some more information. It has already been implemented and I’ll give you some of those details on it. I don’t see how one, Williams can stay as Commissioner having misled the Tennessee General Assembly on this program.

Ogles: Of course not. The Commissioner is working at will for the governor. You can be fired at any time. We’re a right-to-work state. But there’s the cause here. End of story. How much it does or doesn’t cost to the Tennessee taxpayer is really a moot point. The bigger issue is this isn’t California. This isn’t Washington and this isn’t Oregon and this isn’t New York.

Anecdotally I had a board meeting yesterday and it does a lot of nonprofit good stuff. But it’s a quasi-state board. It’s for a regional thing. And the federal government had pushed down some language that they ‘recommended’ that we insert into our bylaws. And one of those words is that as far as the discrimination clause is that we won’t discriminate against transgender individuals.

Well, hold on a minute. That hasn’t fully been adjudicated in our courts. And by inserting that into the bylaws, now if you have a situation where a man wants to use the bathroom with a little girl, you can’t tell them no.

Leahy: That is about as crazy as you could possibly get.

Ogles: But I refuse and I object to it. And we did not amend our bylaws to reflect that. And at some point, if we have to, we go to court over it. But this has got to stop. These agendas being pushed down by the federal government and the media. Tennessee needs to be a firewall state. It’s time. We’re at war. We’re in a cultural war. We’re in a spiritual war. We’re in a political war. And buckle up, Buttercup, because it’s time. And we’ve got to start taking stands in Tennessee. Tough stands. And this is emblematic of what’s happening across the country.

Leahy: So yesterday, the head of the Tennessee House Government Operations Committee asked the Commissioner of the Department of Human Resources if this diversity and equity program was just limited to the Department of Human Resource. Andy, a source has provided us with a document. This document comes from…

Ogles: Uh oh. (Laughs)

Leahy: Uh oh. (Laughs)

Ogles: I don’t think they expected it to get out. And then suddenly they got caught red-handed with their hand in the cookie jar. And so here we go.

Leahy: Here’s the cookie jar we’re opening up. So here’s the thing. The Department of Human Resources provides human resource guidelines to every department of the state. Public safety, transportation, and there is another department called the Department of Human Services. That’s separate from the Department of Human Resources. This is a document from the Department of Human Services. I’ll just read this to you.

In the wake of social justice protests and conversations last year, the Tennessee Department of Human Resources, that’s the overarching one, not the Department of Human Services that we got this one from, started a new initiative across state government to foster conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion, to strengthen the employee experience.

All state agencies, including the Tennessee Department of Human Services, have been encouraged to take steps to further this effort. At the Department of Human Services, we are committed to providing an environment in which employees thrive because it’s the right thing to do. Wait for it…in November of 2020, the Department of Human Services, a separate Department from the Department of Human Resources, launched a series of diversity, equity, and inclusion listening services.

I don’t know where the budget was approved for that. I don’t think there was any budget for that. In which nearly 300 employees attended to share their feedback and thoughts. In addition to the subset of the population who attended, 186 employees also participated in an optional session survey after each listening session. Here’s what this resulted in.

There’s a need for additional diversity, equity, and inclusion training, said the employees at the Department of Human Services, following the lead of the recommendation not approved by anybody or any budget, but instigated by the Department of Human Resources. They want to focus on inclusive language in the workplace.

They need more opportunities for listening sessions, education on listening skills, more diverse recruitment teams, more advocacy to diversify teams, and more community outreach efforts. Now, this program has been implemented, according to this document across the state of Tennessee, without the knowledge, apparently, of anyone in the Tennessee General Assembly.

Ogles: Well, again, I can see how the General Assembly would be unaware of some of the things that are happening in government buildings because they’re part-time legislators. Obviously, there should have been some disclosure during the budget sessions, but I go back. You said 300 and 186 participated. So almost 500 employees participated.

Leahy: 300 participated and were in the listening session. This is just in the Department of Human Service. One of a dozen or so departments. And then 186 and filled out surveys after that participation.

Ogles: We’ve got hundreds of employees that participated in this and you’re telling me that somehow someway this didn’t get back to the governor.

Leahy: I’m not telling you that. I’m just saying it happened. It didn’t get back to the Tennessee General Assembly.

Ogles: And so, again, my question is, where are the governor’s people engaging with his respective departments? I mean, you have over 300 employees that are participating in that and someone didn’t call in? This is ridiculous.

Leahy: That was back in November by the way.

Ogles: How about you have fewer meetings with Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg and focus on the business of Tennessee. I’m really troubled by this. This is, again, emblematic of what’s been going on with this ‘third-row commissioner’ in about six months with this administration.

Leahy: So the other rogue commissioner, Penny Schwinn who did this debacle of the well-being checks, that was her idea. They stepped back and stopped that. Who was the other one?

Ogles: So the other one and not a lot about this has been discussed in the media, but you have the former Commissioner of Veterans Affairs who had to resign from office due to a scandal within that department.

Leahy: A scandal?

Ogles: That’s right.

Listen to the second hour here:


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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crom Carmichael Weighs in on Arkansas Transgender Age of Consent Legislation and Offers Corporations a Solution for True Woke Equity

Crom Carmichael Weighs in on Arkansas Transgender Age of Consent Legislation and Offers Corporations a Solution for True Woke Equity

 

Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –host Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio who weighed in on recent Arkansas legislation establishing the age requirement for sex changes and later had an equity solution for all those corporations that won’t speak up against woke culture.

(Governor Asa Hutchinson clip plays)

Leahy: So that is Arkansas Governor ASA Hutchinson trying to explain why he vetoed a bill that would prohibit unauthorized transgender surgery and treatment for youngsters under the age of 18. The Arkansas state legislature has overidden that. Now, what’s interesting is if you saw him on Tucker Carlson, did you see that?

Carmichael: I did see him on Tucker Carlson.

Leahy: And Tucker asked him a very important question. Did you talk to the guys at Walmart about this?

Carmichael: Right. Or Tysons and the big companies in Arkansas.

Leahy: His answer was sort of like humana, human, humana.

Carmichael: Well, and then he said no, and then Tucker pressed him on it. And then he said, I answered the question. The answer is no, I did not. That’s what I answered. No. That’s what he said. What’s more interesting is what he just said now trying to explain it away. And the question is, is the procedure going to be legal on minors or not? It would be akin to someone saying that anyone who wants to get drunk, regardless of age should be able to because it’s a cultural issue and our churches can deal with it.

We don’t need to have laws on those types of things. And by the way, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I know all the science on it. I’m just observing that I know we have laws that people under a certain age can’t do things without parental permission, and in other cases, they can’t do it even if they have parental permission. It’s an age thing.

So in the state of Arkansas, the legislature has decided that people should reach the age of 18 before they’re allowed to have an unalterable, life-changing sex change that you have to be 18. And science is very clear on one thing, and that is the female mind develops and reaches total maturity about five years earlier than the male mind. The female mind is in the early 20s fully mature, and the male mind is in the later 20s.

So the question is, do you want somebody to be able at the age of under 18 to be able to have life-changing surgery, or do you want their mind to mature at least to the age of 18 before they do it? And the legislature in Arkansas said 18 is the minimum age. And Asa Hutchinson disagrees because there’s a lot of woke executives who don’t want that law. For me, this is much bigger than just this law. This gets to what we were talking about before.

Leahy: The CEO and the leaders at Walmart are all in favor of having kids being able to be transgender. That’s one example. In our discussion off-air during the break, you said, well, look, there were 100 CEOs, Fortune 500 companies that had this call and that wanted to go woke and wanted to attack the very legitimate common sense laws in Georgia.

Carmichael: And I gave the reason why they’re doing it.

Leahy: Yeah, for fear.

Carmichael: For fear of the left. They want to be on the good side of the left. Just like Warren Buffett years ago figured out that if he just merely said he should pay more taxes, then Obama would call him his good friend Warren Buffett and the left would not attack Warren Buffett, as at that time, the wealthiest man in America and maybe the world.

But he was the wealthiest man in America, and he wanted to be loved and he didn’t want to be attacked. So the way to do it is to say I should pay more taxes. Now, he didn’t mean it. We know that for a fact, unless he was paying more taxes voluntarily and didn’t tell anybody. But unless he paid more taxes then he didn’t mean what he said, because all he had to do is write a check to follow through on what he said.

Leahy: By the way, apropos of nothing. I just discovered because, you know, I do a little genealogy for relaxation. I just discovered that Warren Buffett is my eighth cousin.

Carmichael: Oh, good.

Leahy: We both descend from John Dickinson, born 1623, died 1676.

Carmichael: Okay, well, there you go. You need to put in for part of the inheritance when he passes.

Leahy: Now I want to go back to what you said, which was interesting. You said there are an awful lot of CEOs that don’t agree with this woke culture.

Carmichael: But they won’t say anything.

Leahy: I was going to say now, I said to you, to which you had a strong reaction. We’re about to hear that again. I said, well, Crom, we need to help those CEOs who are opposed to woke culture and give them help, give them a voice. And you said…

Carmichael: I said, no, you got that exactly backward. And by the way, I’m not in favor of this. I just understand tactics. And I understand that we’re in a competition. And what I’m about to say is not something that I enjoy saying, but it’s something that needs to be done. The NFL, for example, needs to be needs to be told, required as executive order because of whatever emergency you want to claim the NFL needs to have 50 percent female players on the field at all times, and then the appropriate rules to protect their safety.

All players safety, not just the females, but all players. And the result is not that you have rules that are intended to have safety. The result is that there are no injuries. And all of a sudden, now the NFL owners and you say the players, you all were kneeling because you wanted equity. Well, now you’re going to have it. (Leahy chuckles)

Half of you all won’t have a job. By the way, also, everybody will have equal pay. This is equity. And then what you do for the larger corporations that are regulated by the SEC is you highly regulate the pay of executives and then you blame it on these woke companies. Well, then there is gonna be a lot of CEOs who didn’t agree with them but we’re silent, and they’re going to be calling those woke ones up and saying, what the heck are you’re doing? You’re destroying my life too you jerk!

Leahy: Tell us what you’re really feeling.

Carmichael: The jerk was a pullback. (Laughs)

Listen to the full second hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.

 

 

 

 

 

Tennessee State Rep. Scott Cepicky Weighs in on MLB Gone Woke and the Coming Agenda in the General Assembly

Tennessee State Rep. Scott Cepicky Weighs in on MLB Gone Woke and the Coming Agenda in the General Assembly

 

Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Congressman Scott Cepicky to the newsmakers line to weigh in on Major League Baseball’s decision to withdrawl from Georgia, cancel culture, and the upcoming agenda in the Tennessee General Assembly.

Leahy: We are joined on our newsmaker line, by our good friend, state Representative Scott Cepicky from Maury County. Scott, welcome to The Tennessee Star Report.

Cepicky: Michael, how are you doing today?

Leahy: Well, I’m doing great. You are, of course, our favorite state legislator who is a former professional baseball player. You played for the AA Nashville Express and the AAA Nashville Sounds and almost made it to the bigs had not been for a trade between the Chicago White Sox and the Montreal Expos that brought Tim Raines to Chicago. I just got to ask you, what are they thinking in Major League Baseball to cancel the All-Star Game in Atlanta?

Cepicky: Well, you know, Michael it is very troubling what’s happening in professional sports right now and the hypocrisy of all of these other corporations. So you know as well as I do and your listeners, let’s talk about Delta Airlines. If you’re going to go pick up your ticket at Delta Airlines the first thing they ask you for is your ID. Or if you’re going to go to a Nashville Sounds baseball game and you are going to pick up your tickets at will call the first thing they’re going to ask you for is your ID to prove who you are.

I think Georgia has done just common sense. What people are wanting is, hey, we’re not denying anybody the ability to go vote. Just make sure you bring your ID to prove who you are so you’re able to vote. And I think Major League Baseball is really overstepping the boundaries here. And then you mentioned how they are going to Coors Field in Colorado that has voter ID laws.

Leahy: It doesn’t make any sense to me. And what’s troubling to me, you are a member of the Tennessee General Assembly, and according to the United States Constitution and the Tennessee Constitution, election procedures and election laws are the responsibility of the Tennessee General Assembly for federal elections and for state and local also for the Tennessee General Assembly and the governor. What is it with these Fortune 500 companies that are so woke and they think they are the ones who set the rules about elections? What’s happening with that?

Cepicky: Well, my dad taught me a long time ago, he said, Scott, always understand what role you play and stay in your lane. And you’re right. The General Assembly is the one that affects the laws on elections. And the corporations are the ones that hire people to work in Tennessee. Michael, the last time I checked, we don’t have a problem with corporations or people moving to Tennessee because of the laws we have and the lack of oversight of laws.

We have no state income tax and the loan tax structure here in Tennessee is very attractive for corporations to move here. And for that matter, if you look at Georgia with the environment they have Coca-Cola is there. Delta Airlines is there. CitiBank is there and major corporations are there because of the laws that they all live under, but they’re very quick to bite the hand that provides those opportunities.

Leahy: What is the general attitude among your colleagues in the Tennessee General Assembly when they see a woke ridiculous decision by Major League Baseball, by Delta, and by Coca-Cola, to try and force sovereign states to do things that they think are better for the general population?

Cepicky: Well, I don’t speak for all the members, but I know a great deal of us are concerned about how this whole culture is and this cancel culture. If you disagree with them, they want to shut you down right away. And that’s not the way our country was founded. We were founded on differing opinions and trying to find the middle ground. And now there’s no middle ground either.

If you agree with them, then they give you the thumbs up. If you disagree with them, then they want to cancel you out and they want to call you a racist or a bigot. I think we’ve got to get past that as a country. I mean, do you see the poll just like I do? This is probably the most divided our country has ever been, and we need to start to work together towards making our country as great as it used to be.

Leahy: Yeah, I agree with you completely. If I can turn the corner a little bit on that topic and go to the Tennessee General Assembly. I think the chairman of the Education Committee is doing a great job there. What is going to be happening in the last couple of weeks of the Tennessee General Assembly? What’s on your agenda?

Cepicky: Well, in education we worked very hard to make sure that we just don’t overburden our teachers and administrators with just more things to do. We are laser-focused on K-3 education, trying to make sure that all kids, no matter where they come from, no matter what background they have, all children will be able to read, write, and do math so that they can prosper in the four through 12-grade levels.

We are working on textbooks, making sure that they align with our standards and curriculums are aligned to our standards. And lastly, the supplemental materials that you hear that teachers will inadvertently pull something off the Internet that’s confrontational or questionable, and it gets the LEA in trouble that now supplemental materials will have to align the Tennessee standards and our values.

So a lot of work has been done in education. We had a special session with literacy and going back to summer school and getting kids help with tutoring. We are all in. We are all in with making sure our kids know how to read, write, and do math. And then yesterday on the House floor I thought we did something rather appropriate as we recognized Dolly Parton as the first lady of literacy in Tennessee with all she’s done with the Imagination Library.

I think over 152 million books have been distributed through the Imagination Library and 1.7 million Tennesseeans have had the opportunity to experience Imagination Library, including my two children. So a lot of things happening. We’re probably four weeks away from wrapping up the session.

Leahy: You mentioned Dolly Parton. It’s interesting because Scooter and I were talking a little bit about Dolly Parton. Everybody in America thinks highly of Dolly Parton. She’s done a remarkable job not just for the state of Tennessee, but for the country with her literacy efforts.

Cepicky: Oh, absolutely. I mean, as an elected official, I don’t want to get caught up in your position here. I can talk for two hours on education, but Dolly Parton can come up to a microphone and speak for two minutes which weighs 10 times more heavily on literacy. And so we just wanted to make sure that Dolly knew that we appreciated her efforts in education. She knows how important it is for Tennessee to be able to read, write, and do math. And we just wanted to make sure that she felt appreciated by the state of Tennessee.

Leahy: What other big things do you see happening in the final three or four weeks of the Tennessee General Assembly?

Cepicky: Well, you know, the permitless carry. And I’m going to say its permitless carry has passed the House and Senate. It’s gone on to the governor’s desk. There are other bills. Criminal justice reform. There’s a bill coming through the pipeline.

Leahy: I have one question for you. I saw that the House passed what I think is a very good bill yesterday to provide a formal review process for the constitutionality of executive orders from the president. What’s your take on that?

Cepicky: You read my mind. That was the one I was trying to remember. Government operations, the House passed and we’ll have the ability to look at all the executive orders or, for that matter, any law that’s passed by the federal government to make sure it doesn’t infringe on our Tenth Amendment rights or, for that matter, it’s constitutional. There was another bill that’s making its way that will be filed here shortly on vaccine passports opposing those in the state of Tennessee.

Leahy: I saw the bill to review the constitutionality of executive orders coming out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the office of the President. The bill passed 70 to 23, mainly along party lines. But there were two Democrats who voted for the bill. State Representative Johnny Shaw from Boliver, but also John Mark Windle. What a great guy he is.

Cepicky: He has been there, I think since Abraham Lincoln was born. (Leahy laughs)

Leahy: I will tell him you said that if we get him in here.

Cepicky: He has his principles and he will not be swayed from his principles, which is very admirable to him. And sometimes his principles do not align with this party, and he’s not afraid to stand up and take that vote. And he sits two spaces in front of me on the House floor. He’s very well respected up there, the General Assembly. And obviously, he’s well respected by his constituents because they keep sending them back up there year after year after year.

Leahy: When you sit down next to him today on the House floor, just say tell him, hey, please, come in. Michael Patrick Leahy wants you to come in studio on The Tennessee Star Report. Will you do that for us?

Cepicky: I will do that Michael.

Listen to the full second hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio

 

 

 

 

‘Misrule of Law’ Blog Creator Mark Pulliam Gives a Historical Perspective, Defines Nullification

‘Misrule of Law’ Blog Creator Mark Pulliam Gives a Historical Perspective, Defines Nullification

 

Live from Music Row Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed retired attorney and blog creator of Misrule of Law Mark Pulliam to the newsmakers line to outline some aspects of his recent essay regarding nullification in dealing with the Biden-Harris administration.

Leahy: We are joined on our newsmakers line now by our good friend, California refugee, retired attorney, and blogger at Lawliberty.org from East Tennessee, Mark Pulliam, Good morning, Mark.

Pulliam: Good morning Michael.

Leahy: Mark, first, before we jump into the topic at hand, which is, I think, an excellent essay that you’ve written about nullification, which some people are talking about as an option in dealing with the legal but not legitimate Biden-Harris maladministration. I just want to get your reaction to the big story over the weekend. Major League Baseball decides to punish the state of Georgia for passing a common-sense election law that will make it easy to vote but hard to cheat. They’ve moved the All-Star Game out of Atlanta, Georgia. What do you make of that?

Pulliam: It’s bewildering and very concerning to see what’s happening. And I think that Major League Baseball is basically acting as the surrogate for the corporate sponsors that have gotten woke. Corporate America is a result of chasing after a consumer base that they view as having been indoctrinated and therefore susceptible to a social justice message.

And also the leadership of these corporations as a result of a generation or more of affirmative action. And then the top ranks have been infiltrated by woke social justice warriors, and corporate America is no longer concerned about making a profit for shareholders or providing a quality product for consumers. They are like a lot of other echelons of the ruling class pushing an agenda. So not even baseball is free of politics. It used to be. People would go to the ballpark to escape reality. And now it is just one more aspect of this all politics all the time.

Leahy: Yes. It’s utterly detestable to me as a baseball fan my entire life to see this ignorant politicization of the exercise of the constitutional privilege of the state of Georgia to determine their own election processes.

Pulliam: And based on a false narrative. The Georgia law, even after these changes, is no worse than the law of many other states. And then the hypocrisy of it where you have these NBA and baseball and nobody says a word about China. And China is off the charts in terms of human rights violations, lack of democracy, freedom, etc. On top of everything else, it’s cowardly and hypocritical.

Leahy: So I saw this funny meme late Friday night that said, Major League Baseball has announced they’re moving the site of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in 2021 from Atlanta, Georgia to Wuhan, China. And I thought that’s a funny meme. Then there was an article late that night at Breitbart: “MLB Expanding Presence in China While Pulling Out of Atlanta.” It’s incredible.

Pulliam: Well, you’ve got billions of consumers in China thanks to American trade policy that now are wealthy and in a position to purchase American goods. And corporate America shows where its loyalties are when it is chasing after profits in China over the interest of the American public.

Leahy: You know, back in the early 1690s Nikita Khrushchev, who at the time was the head of the Communist Party in the old Soviet Union said, capitalists, will sell us the rope with which we hang them. I’m paraphrasing that. And we thought, oh, my goodness, that might be the Soviet Union. It’s not so much the Soviet Union now. It’s Communist China.

Pulliam: Well, and he took his shoe and pounded it on the table and said, we will bury you! And that is, in fact, what China is doing. And at least back in the Cold War, Americans became concerned with Sputnik and realized that we were falling behind and we needed to catch up. Right now, people are so complacent about what’s going on with China, they still don’t care. There’s just very little in the way of public awareness or concern about this military and economic regression by the world’s largest, most populous, and increasingly dominant country.

Leahy: See, I’m not sure if I agree with that, Mark. I think people do care. But the way it manifests itself is perhaps not as productive as many of us would like. I think to some extent the lack of participation by Republicans and Conservatives in the Georgia Senate special election races because they were so upset about all of the electoral procedures that were not lawful in that state and we’re so upset with the way that the Republican establishment didn’t stand up for the rights of the average voter.

That led to anger which led to non-participation. But you’ve actually written a very interesting article for those of us who have a bit of a history bent about a concept that some states are looking into called nullification. First, tell us what nullification is and what the historical use of the term nullification has been.

Pulliam: Well, nullification is a term that has many meanings. At first, it recently got onto my radar screen because some of the conservative circles I travel in and it’s being offered up as a panacea solution that no matter what happens in Washington at the end of the day, the states and can simply refuse to go along with it and declare whatever happens in Washington to be invalid under the Tenth Amendment on the grounds that the states have the ability to determine what’s constitutional and what’s unconstitutional and we’re not handmaidens of the federal government.

Now that’s the most extreme use of the term. It’s been used and liberals have been using it for a long time to offer sanctuary to illegal aliens and to legalize certain drugs like marijuana that are prohibited at the federal level. And if you go back far enough all the way back to the late 1700s it was used as a way for the states to express opposition to federal laws like the Alien and Sedition Acts.

And the more recent advocates of nullification are using the earlier precedents, the 1798 precedent, and then also in the 1830s when South Carolina was objecting to federal tariff laws and was threatening to refuse to comply with these federal tariff laws. They are using those precedents to show that, yes, the states can defy federal law. The problem with those arguments is that never before in American history have states actually defied federal authority with the Alien and Sedition Acts.

It was basically an elaborate protest that ultimately led to, among other things, Thomas Jefferson who became President in 1800 and who contributed to Congress repealing this objectionable Alien and Sedition Act. And in the 1830s, South Carolina ultimately rescinded its nullification ordinance where they were threatening to defy federal law, in part because President Andrew Jackson was saying that if you try that, we will use military force to crush you. And then also, some of the more recent proponents look back and find comforting words in the Federalist Papers to show that the framers agreed that the states could thumb their nose at the federal government if they disagreed with policies.

(Commercial break)

Leahy: We’ve been talking about the concept of nullification. So, Mark, we’ve talked about the history of it. Where is it now? And why do some people think this is a good idea?

Pulliam: I think people always look for easy, simple solutions, and we are facing unprecedented challenges with what’s going on in Washington. But people should focus on the long run, not the short run. There are no easy solutions. Politics is hard work, and it takes a sustained effort to turn things around. When we’ve seen the Tenth Amendment tried to be used as a magical solution, it didn’t work.

The massive resistance to integration in the 50s. The Tenth Amendment didn’t work for the South when they tried to secede. So people, instead of getting all wrapped up in nullification efforts and passing laws that somehow there will be a magical defense against federal overreaching. They need to be on the phone pushing their representatives in Congress to oppose the Biden-Harris agenda tooth and nail and to use every procedural device to obstruct and delay, just like Chuck Schumer did during four years of the Trump presidency.

And we need to exhort our state attorney’s general to challenge each and every one of these unconstitutional laws if Congress lacks the will to oppose it. And we can’t lose focus that in the long run, people need to devote their energies where they can make a difference. And that’s at the state and local level. And so citizens need to be more vigilant than ever in becoming engaged in their communities and make sure that we are electing the right people to the City Councils, to the school boards, and partisan and non-partisan offices.

People need to be getting involved in their local Republican parties and become citizen activists. And that is how we’re going to turn the ship around. Not by passing magical laws as somehow if we pass them will immunize us from the effects of what’s going on in Washington. That has historically proven to be an illusory solution.

Leahy: So let me play devil’s advocate here. Okay, so step one is to tell your representatives to oppose the agenda of Biden-Harris. Well, they are opposing it right now, but they’re not succeeding, at least in the House of Representatives, because there’s a slight majority, and every single Democrat walks in lockstep with anything Nancy Pelosi wants to do.

There’s not a single constitutionalist among any elected federal Democrat that I can see. And then in the Senate, it’s 50/50 and any tie can be broken by Kamala Harris. Look, you know what’s going to happen. The big deal right now is this Corrupt Politicians Act, otherwise called by the Democrats the Fair Practices Act, something like that. HR1, S1, which is basically going to nationalize federal elections and make it impossible if it were to pass and be implemented to elect Republicans because they’re going to codify the cheating that was done in 2020 and make it even worse.

So when we play Devil’s advocate here, I don’t think that the House is very effective at stopping the unconstitutional laws being passed by the Pelosi-led House. I think Schumer is going to pull every trick in his bag of tricks to jam through this unconstitutional HR1 and then it will be the law of the land. So when that happens, what’s your response to that?

Pulliam: Well, the House has always been a simple majority wins body. Democrats have the majority there and they can pass anything they want, and they have passed virtually anything they want. And this stuff is always stacked up where the log jam occurs in the Senate. And the Senate is not a simple majority-run institution.

We have a very powerful impediment to the majority, imposing its will in the minority with the filibuster rule where it takes 60 votes to invoke cloture to stop debate so effectively at the present time and this has been the rule for 100 years that it takes 60 votes to make anything happen in the Senate. And what we have to do is make sure that our Republican senators do not lose the resolve to vote no on all of these bills.

And there’s a whole list of them. HR1, the ProAct, the Quality Act, the statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico. All these trillion-dollar stimulus bills. There’s a long laundry list of bills that would be disastrous if they were passed. In addition to the filibuster rule, there are all kinds of other procedural rules where you can extend debate. You can delay votes, et cetera. And this is why President Trump, even though he got a lot of federal judges confirmed, a lot of them weren’t confirmed because it took so long to get a vote on each one of these judges.

And we need to use those rules to our advantage, just like the Democrats did when they were in the minority. And so we need not only Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty because I think they’re pretty solid but the entire cadre of conservative Republican Senators Rand Paul, Josh Hawley, Tom Cotton, Mike Lee, and the whole cast of characters know that basically, they are the line between us and progressive hegemony in Washington, and we expect them to fight and to fight hard to keep this agenda from being enacted.

Leahy: But, Mark, they’re going to fight. All 50 Republicans are going to oppose this Corrupt Politician Act that makes it easy for Democrats to cheat and nationalize the elections and gives them extra money from the federal government to cheat. That’s basically what that law does. They’re going to oppose it. I promise you that you’re gonna see some shenanigans going on on the Democratic side. They’re going to do a filibuster carve out. They’re going to do reconciliation. That bill is better than 50/50 that it’s gonna pass using those shenanigans.

Pulliam: Well, I certainly hope you’re wrong, because if the filibuster is breached, then we do have a serious problem. But in that case, these nullification arguments, some of them boil down to simple civil disobedience. How did civil disobedience work out at Ruby Ridge? How did civil disobedience work out at Waco?

It’s not a viable strategy. Look at what happened at the capital on January sixth. We cannot expect that simply by resisting this agenda, that somehow we’re going to prevail and some of these other things that are being proposed, that would pass a law that would create a sanctuary. All of the sanctuary states can up to a point, refuse to cooperate with the federal government, but you cannot prevent the federal government from enforcing federal law.

So I think patriots need to work harder than ever to fight this through legitimate means, through the political process, and through the courts. And I think that a lot of these bills that are being proposed by Biden-Harris that even if they pass, they’re going to be vulnerable to constitutional challenges. And this is why litigation will be important.

I know a lot of people have lost their confidence in the Supreme Court as a result of the election, but I think that we still have a sound originalist majority on the Supreme Court. And if some of these bills pass, they will be vulnerable to challenge. And we have to rely on our state attorney general to fight those battles in court, and in the long run, I think they will prevail.

Leahy: Yeah, but I understand what you’re arguing. I understand your nullification. I understand all of your arguments. I’m just looking at the reality. I would say the odds that the Senate will pass this Corrupt Politicians Act that federalizes all elections throughout the states, which is unconstitutional in itself.

But I think the odds that the Senate actually passes it on 50 to 50 with Kamala Harris providing the tiebreaker by some carve out of the filibuster. The odds that happens in the next 30 days, I think are better than 50/50. So let me pose this question to you. Okay, this law passes. They begin to codify the federalization of state laws.

You start filing challenges in court. That’s a bit of a toss-up it seems to me. Why don’t you think about that a little bit Mark over the break because I think that this is where we’re headed, and I don’t think that just asking senators to pretty please work hard against it is going to be sufficient. So think about that.

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.