By Steve Hunley

Candidate Residency Requirements will Change with New Legislation

The hot mess that is the race for the 5th Congressional District is only getting messier. As this is written, the Tennessee State Senate and the House of Representatives are poised to reconcile the minor differences in the Wright – Niceley Bill requiring GOP candidates for federal office in the Volunteer State to meet a three-year residency requirement. No less than four candidates have had their Republican credentials challenged; Morgan Ortagus, David Vitalli, Baxter Lee and Robby Starbuck all face challenges to get on the ballot as Republicans.

David Vitalli recently gave an interview that did little to dispel his status as a carpetbagger. Vitalli readily admitted he was not a “longtime resident of Tennessee” but “got here as soon as I could.” Vitalli dismissed his having described himself as a “JFK Democrat” while in New York as merely an effort to sell some property in the Empire State. Vitalli had stated at some point that he might run for president in 2024.

Ortagus reportedly couldn’t name any interstate running through the 5th Congressional District.

The premise of the House of Representatives, with its membership facing the electorate every two years, is to remain close to the people each congressman represents. The House of Representatives was designed by the framers of the Constitution to be of the people each member represented in Washington. Our own congressman, Tim Burchett, is illustrative of precisely that. Burchett knows every community in Knox County and the differences in those individual communities. The only person in Tennessee’s Second Congressional District whose knowledge of the various towns, cities, counties and hamlets to rival that of Tim Burchett is Jimmy Duncan, Burchett’s predecessor in Congress.

The Wright – Niceley Bill will likely become law within the next two weeks and that’s as it should be because to be well represented in Congress, someone needs to be from the district he or she represents in Washington. The biggest reason the carpetbaggers don’t understand the differences in communities and attitudes of the people is because they haven’t lived here long enough to learn. That is precisely why those same carpetbaggers have to run nationalized, generic campaigns.

Both Tim Burchett and Jimmy Duncan learned politics from the ground up; both licked stamps and envelopes, knocked on doors, drove other candidates, put signs in yards, raised money for the GOP and generally did any task they were given before ever running for office themselves.

The last thing the people of Knox County or Tennessee need are a flock of seagull candidates to swoop in, land, and run for political office.


Liberal Double Standards Reek of Hypocrisy

The treatment received by Ketanji Brown Jackson by the news media is the polar opposite of that given to Amy Coney Barrett by the mainstream media. Jonathan Turley has an excellent piece appearing in USA Today illustrating what he notes as “the dramatically different” attitude of “the treatment of the Supreme Court nominee and the issues considered relevant to her confirmation.”

Turley points out as soon as then-President Trump nominated Barrett, the mainstream media engaged in “unrelenting attacks on her and her background.” Jonathan Turley points out, “Nothing was viewed as out of bounds, from her religion to her personal life to fabricated theories of prior assurances on pending cases.” Turley observes Jackson will receive the kind of “confirmation hearing that was denied to Barrett: respectful and civil.” Still, Jonathan Turley says pointedly, “the Jackson nomination should not be treated as inviolate.” No one could be surprised as soon as Ketanji Brown Jackson was nominated for the Supreme Court, leftists in and outside the media served notice that no criticism of the nominee would be allowed or tolerated; questioning Jackson’s record as a jurist would be considered racist.

Jonathan Turley points to the statement made by Congressman Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, that Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court is “beyond politics.” Indeed, Clyburn said Jackson’s nomination is less about her personally than it is “about the country, our pursuit of a more perfect union.” Turley readily admits he finds “the expected limitations” posed by the Left in the conversation about Jackson’s nomination both “glaring and troubling.”

Turley reminded readers how savagely Barrett was attacked by the Left and the mainstream media for her religion, calling those assaults “disgraceful”, which they most certainly were.

Jonathan Turley points out Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois opposed the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court “because her interpretive approach would work ‘against change and evolution in America that is inevitable and in fact necessary.’” Turley adds by that same standard “every Republican senator could presumably vote against Jackson if they viewed her as supporting liberal interpretative models like the ‘living Constitution.’” As Turley stated in his column, Joe Biden had pledged not to nominate anyone to the Supreme Court who does not hold a liberal view of the Constitution on “unenumerated rights.”

Jonathan Turley’s column clearly illustrates the utter hypocrisy of the Left in this country, who apply different and oftentimes disgraceful standards to those whom they dislike. Ketanji Brown Jackson is no better or worse than Amy Coney Barrett and deserves no special treatment. Jackson does, however, deserve the respect denied Barrett. As Jonathan Turley clearly enunciated in his column, there are certainly justifiable philosophical reasons for senators to oppose Jackson’s confirmation to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Turley’s column is also a reminder of the fact gone are the screech and squawking harridans from the committee rooms of the Kavanaugh hearings. Civility exists when the nominee is a Democrat.


Remember Ukraine When You Pray

The hearts of millions of Americans ache for the people of Ukraine. There has been nothing like the war waged by Vladimir Putin against Ukraine in my lifetime. In fact, the world has seen nothing like it since 1939 when Adolf Hitler invaded Poland and ignited the Second World War. The image of the mother and her two children and their two dogs lying dead amongst the rubble won’t be soon forgotten by those of us who saw it.

The courage of the Ukrainian armed forces is a reminder of the resiliency of those standing up to daunting odds and the terrorism inflicted by a bloody bully armed with nuclear weapons. Thinking Americans are disgusted by a president whose approach to foreign policy has been little more than a disaster in the wake of the shameful retreat from Afghanistan that left one of our own dead. Joe Biden’s foreign policy has been, at best, as frail and faltering as he is; at worst it is weak and disjointed before the host of our enemies.

Russia and China prowl like hungry sharks on the hunt for prey and the people of Ukraine have fought valiantly. It is a stark reminder to thinking Americans why our country should remain strong as well as why we need our military.

All of us should lift up our hearts and offer up our prayers to God on behalf of the people of Ukraine.