To listen to the folks that attended the “Tea for Two” rallies last weekend on the Capitol grounds in Tennessee, the numbers tell the story. There were far more TEA teachers and Union protestors present than there were Tea Partiers.
TEA supporters don’t want you to look at the fact that virtually all of their supporters were bused to the capitol as opposed to putting their own dollars into gasoline to go into their own cars which they themselves drove on their own time to the Capitol to let their voices be heard. They want it to be about the numbers.
And so it is. But what numbers? Here are a few other numbers for you. These ought to have particular attention paid to them by TN GOP House members on the Education Sub-Committee when they consider their vote on whether or not to allow HB 130 out of Committee.
Yesterday was election day for the special election to fill Diane Black’s Senate seat. The election was won by Republican Kerry Roberts who, from the beginning, went on record as supporting the end of Collective Bargaining for teachers. The unions pulled out all the stops to defeat him. They emailed, direct mailed, called, robo-called, door knocked and everything else they could think of to defeat Roberts using all the traditional Union rhetoric. Roberts was anti-Teacher, anti-Worker, was an opponent of Worker Rights and all the rest. Impressive numbers.
Roberts, like Scott Walker in Wisconsin, stayed on message and never wavered.
The results of the election? The numbers that matter were Kerry Roberts: 8,827 votes (67.16%); Ken Wilber: 4,316 votes (32.84%). Roberts won by better than a 2 to 1 margin. Voting is behavior which more closely resembles attending a Tea Party than attending a TEA rally. Voters give up their own time and drive themselves to the polls on their own dime to cast their ballot. There are no flashy charter buses and nuclear sound systems. There’s just the privacy of the voting booth and the urgency the voter felt to get there. Those are numbers worth paying attention to.
Here are some other numbers. 2 – the number of GOP House members it will take to prevent HB 130 from reaching the floor of the entire TN House and be voted on by representatives of all 6,000,000 Tennesseans. Whatever the personal feelings of these Representatives and whatever the concerns of their constituents, they will have the opportunity to vote them when the entire House votes on the matter. But for 2 people, especially two Republicans, to vote to prevent the interests of all 6,000,000 Tennesseans from even having the opportunity to be represented in an up or down vote are numbers I cannot countenance. Especially when the Democrats boast that such tactics were the ones they employed for years. Hopefully the GOP members of the House Education Sub-Committee will do their job by the numbers and won’t do a number on the rest of Tennessee!