By Steve Hunley

Georgiana Vines, the whirling dervish of a political columnist for the Knoxville News-Sentinel, let her political slip show last week.  Georgiana wrote a lengthy column detailing the lack of bipartisanship of Tennessee’s two U. S. senators, Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty.  More to the point Georgiana noted how many of the Biden administration cabinet appointments the Tennesseans had voted against.  I have racked my brain trying to remember any similar detailing of Democratic senators not being bipartisan in voting to confirm Trump appointees during the last four years.  With the exception of a handful of Democratic senators, most notably Joe Manchin of West Virginia, the entire Democrat contingent in the United States Senate pretty well moved as a block.  I marvel at the reasoning employed by those folks who wring their hands and cry for political civility and bemoan the failure of bipartisan cooperation.  Oddly, it sure does seem to me this particular wailing is always done by the professional members of the news media who are Democrats.  Well, if they aren’t Democrats, they are certainly progressives.  And in case if you think my frequent commentary about the mainstream media in this country is confined to me, I think it is interesting to note the comments of a judge of the federal court of appeals who has just come out and said what is obvious to every thinking person: the media is BIASED.  Lawrence Silberman, senior judge of the Washington, D. C. Court of Appeals, has called for the Supreme Court to revisit its decision protecting the press.  Silberman noted the combination of the leftist news outlets, along with big tech and academia have combined to create “a frighteningly orthodox media culture.”  Silberman, in a recent dissenting opinion to an active case, wrote he believes the Supreme Court should revisit the 1964 New York Times v. Sullivan decision, which requires plaintiffs must prove “actual malice.”  Judge Silberman wrote the growing power of the media is “so dangerous” precisely “because we are very close to one-party control of these institutions.”

Silberman, a recipient of the presidential Medal of Freedom, wrote, “Two of the three most influential papers (at least historically), the New York Times and the Washington Post are virtually Democratic Party broadsheets.”  The judge also noted the news section of the Wall Street Journal and most television media outlets also skewed heavily to the left.  Silberman concluded a “one-party control of the press” poses a very real threat to “a viable democracy.”  Let’s use a word simply adored by leftists: diversity.  How much diversity of opinion do you suppose there was in Josef Stalin’s Soviet Union, Mao’s Communist China or Hitler’s Nazi Germany?  None, but all media outlets reflected the same opinion.

Up until the last grab bag multi-trillion dollar “stimulus” package, every other stimulus bill had bipartisan support.  Democrats have been rabidly partisan for quite some time, yet Georgiana chose to write about our senators not voting for various Biden cabinet picks while noting Old Joe “has put together one of the nation’s most diverse group of cabinet secretaries and advisors, but Tennessee’s two U. S. senators have not backed most of his selections in confirmation votes.”  Well, Georgiana, I’ll grant you Old Joe has put together a package of mighty diverse picks, but diversity doesn’t necessarily equate to qualified.  Georgiana swoons over Pete Buttigieg, whose entire experience as an administrator was running a town of 102,037 people, and nominated to serve as Secretary of Transportation.  The U. S. Department of Transportation alone employs quite nearly 55,000 people, or more than half the number of the entire population of South Bend, Indiana.  But Georgiana gushes Pete is the “first openly gay person to be confirmed to a cabinet post.”  Who could forget Mayor Pete’s stirring speech following his nomination to serve as Secretary of Transportation and his declaration of his passionate love of trains, planes and automobiles?  Why Mayor Pete’s love of transportation caused him to pop the question to his future husband at an airport.  You know, if Old Joe had nominated my little dog Sophie to serve as Secretary of Transportation, she would be the first Jack Russell ever to serve in a president’s cabinet.

Likewise, Georgiana noted both Senators Hagerty or Blackburn voted for the nomination of Katherine Tai to serve as U. S. Trade Representative who she carefully pointed out will be the “first woman of color to hold the trade representative post” as well as the “first Asian American in Biden’s cabinet…”   Of course Georgiana liked detailing the “firsts” of the most diverse presidential cabinet in our country’s history and noting the opposition of Senators Hagerty and Blackburn to many of those nominees.

There was Miguel Cardonas, the former secretary of education for the State of Connecticut, who is now the U. S. Secretary of Education.  As might be expected, Cardonas is a pretty good friend of the teachers’ unions, hence the lag and indecision on getting back to in-person learning.  It was Cardonas who wouldn’t directly answer the question posed to him by Kentucky U.S. Senator Rand Paul, who wanted to ask the secretary designee about transgender athletes being able to participate in girls’ athletics.  Cardonas evaded the question, murmuring something about being for opportunities for all students.  Well, trans students have the same opportunities to play sports that every other student has, but what is being overlooked is the fairness to girl and women athletes.  That doesn’t really matter in the diverse universe of a woke country.  Old Joe Biden also already issued an Executive Order about that, allowing transgender athletes to compete in girls’ sports.

I reckon good ol’ Georgiana could claim Tennessee hasn’t had any Democrat United States senators for a spell, so she couldn’t do such a comparison during the last four years.  My retort to that is thank God for Bill Hagerty and Marsha Blackburn.  They’ve been far more bipartisan than, say, the Democrats in the House of Representatives have been.