Rebuffing any and all efforts to chart a compromise, Speaker Jimmy Naifeh and his cohorts have taken the ship of state over the falls, into new vertical territory. The state has been in partial shutdown for 18 hours now and, horrors, nothing's happened. The world didn't end. Fire and brimstone didn't consume the state. Little children didn't fall over dead. Schools are still teaching and criminals are still locked up.
Instead of doing the obvious and giving up on the IT, Naifeh has held on doggedly, creating the most poisonous atmosphere ever to settle over the Capitol. This is a sad day for Tennessee politics.
So after being missing for the whole year, doing nothing of note and getting no press mention I can find, Lt. Governor John "Where Am I?" Wilder finally wanders in to offer the 6 percent tax plan. Clearly, that's another firewall put up by the pro-income tax legislators to block movement away from it. And then Wilder gives a rambling, confused and baffling speech to the Senate last week. Folks who believe that Wilder is a feeble puppet of Naifeh have just been given strong ammunition. This man needs to retire--or be retired--soon.