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The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Tenn., Sam Venable column

By Sam Venable, The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Tenn.
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

June 04--Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey is a man on a mission. He's determined to purge Tennessee of any link to the evil "D-word."

Apparently he won't be satisfied until "R-language" is spoken on every tongue from Memphis to Mountain City.

This no-holds-barred partisanship is completely understandable, of course. It's what politicians do. It's how they live, breathe and have their being.

And it follows the rule of "What Goes 'Round Comes 'Round." There was a time when Democrats dominated Tennessee government the same way Republicans do these days. So in many respects this is political bidness as usual -- while the other 99 percent of us get on with our lives.

Ramsey's latest targets are Tennessee Supreme Court Justices Cornelia Clark, Sharon Lee and Gary Wade -- each of whom had the gall, the audacity and the unmitigated impudence to have been appointed by (cover the children's ears!) former Gov. Phil Bredesen, who showed similar gall, audacity and unmitigated impudence by being a "D."

Ramsey wants these judges rejected in the Aug. 7 retention election. He has been traveling the state, arguing Clark, Lee and Wade are "soft on crime" and "anti-business."

Such a far-fetched notion is laughable not only to the other 99 percent of us but also to a pair of significant "R" names: Gov. Bill Haslam and House Speaker Beth Harwell. Both have taken a noticeable bye in this hissy fit.

One can only marvel where the nonsense will eventually lead. If this latest bid to make Tennessee "red to the roots" is successful, anything's possible. Just remember you read it here first when Ramsey charts a course to:

Remove blue from the light spectrum and have its wavelength assigned to red.

Declare open season on bluebirds, blue jays and blue-winged teal, complete with a $100 bounty per, while elevating cardinals to state bird status.

Deny BlueCross BlueShield access to any insurance program in Tennessee, referring all health-related matters to a greatly expanded Red Cross.

Remove blue-suede shoes from the gift shop at Graceland.

Honor the red fox, red maple and red pepper, respectively, as official state mammal, state tree and state veggie.

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Forbid architects, engineers, designers, drafters and construction crews from speaking the demonic word "blueprint."

Encourage bankers to redline and deny all "D" loan applicants.

Move the state capital from Nashville to either Red Bank or Red Boiling Springs, as determined by a vote of "authentic, patriotic and deserving" Tennesseans bearing their "R" identification card.

Have mercy.


(c)2014 the Knoxville News-Sentinel (Knoxville, Tenn.)

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Leave trial and error behind with this powerful tried and true presentation.