Earlier this month, House Republicans in Tennessee became the subjects of widespread condemnation after they voted to expel two Black Democrats, Reps. Justin Jones of Nashville and Justin Pearson of Memphis, for joining an anti-gun protest on the House floor in the wake of the Nashville elementary school shooting. The GOP legislator turned up one vote shy of what they needed to expel a third Democrat who took part in the protest, Rep. Gloria Johnson of Knoxville, who, by the way, is white.
So, now, in recently leaked audio footage, House Republicans can be heard getting embarrassingly whiny about the criticism and about being called racist, which is strange since they’ve apparently worked so hard on building a reputation for being racist.
The audio was first published last Thursday by the Tennessee Holler, and it’s just basically a GOPathetic white tears-o-thon of public figures who are suddenly really sad about media scrutiny and how it has tarnished their reputations by, well, showing them being exactly who they are.
Here’s who got caught crying on tape, according to MSNBC:
Those heard on the audio reportedly included Tennessee state Reps. Jason Zachary, Johnny Garrett, Scott Cepicky, William Lamberth, and Jody Barrett. The Tennessean, which confirmed the audio came from a closed caucus meeting on Monday, reported that the recording had been edited and didn’t include some other members who spoke during that meeting. Neither NBC News nor MSNBC has independently verified the authenticity of the audio. The Tennessee House GOP released a statement in response to the audio saying it had “no comment about private conversations.”
Apparently, some of the GOPoor-little-tink-tinks feel they would have looked a little less like a Klan Kaucus if they had only successfully voted to expel Johnson along with Jones and Pearson, who were both eventually reinstated last week.
“This would’ve been bad anyway, but good God, we were called—it brought the racism into it,” Cepicky is reportedly saying. “I’ve been called a racist, a misogynist, a white supremacist…more in the last two months of my life than I have my entire life. I’m going to have to swallow this seeing Mr. Jones back up here, walking these hallowed halls that the greats of Tennessee stood in, and watch them disrespect this state that I chose to move to.”
Really? The “hallowed halls” of the greats? Even during a private conversation the public wasn’t supposed to hear, Cepicky is out here sounding like MAGA Morpheus preaching to the people of Republican Zion while grandstanding about the great conservative Tennessean leaders of yesteryear. He also reportedly remarked that Republicans were “at war for our Republic.” Like, calm down, bro—you’re just getting dragged on social media, not getting defeated at Gettysburg.
It’s also pretty hilarious that any of them believe expelling Johnson would have made a difference, especially since she would have just been reinstated later anyway. State Republicans also failed to do literally anything about Rep. Justin Lafferty (R-Knoxville), despite the fact that he was caught on camera assaulting Jones during the legislative session-turned-anti-gun demonstration.
Certainly, if protesting guns on the House floor shortly after 9-year-old children were killed by a mass shooter is disrespectful to the state, as Cepicky claimed, then lawmaker-on-lawmaker crime being committed on the House floor is also disrespectful, no?
Or, you know, maybe they’re just racist.
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