Everyone older than, say, 30 remembers “Baghdad Bob,” the comical and incompetent liar that served as Saddam Hussein’s mouthpiece during the Desert Storm war. Baghdad Bob was caught on video declaring to the news cameras that there were no American troops in Baghdad, while American tanks could be seen moving across the screen directly behind “Baghdad.”
Now Gov. Bill Haslam appears to have his very own Baghdad Bob: spokesman David Smith.
When a group of 15 legislators from Haslam’s own party penned a letter to the governor yesterday demanding the resignation of his commissioner of education, Kevin “IVFO” Huffman, David Smith (or should we now call him “Doofus Dave”?) donned his best sneering, condescending attitude:
Haslam spokesman Dave Smith accused the group of playing politics.
“Education is one of the most serious issues for the future of our state, and the governor believes there is a more productive way to discuss something so significant than through a letter by a small group of legislators more interested in trying to get headlines than substance,” he said. “Our office reached out to several of these members earlier in the week to discuss their concerns, and it is disappointing they chose a political stunt instead of constructive dialogue.”
Yeah, just one problem with your statement, Doofus. “Reaching out” and “constructive dialogue” for this governor and his staff has consisted of pleading not to say anything so as “not to embarrass the governor” or failing that, threatening legislators who dare speak out with primary opposition. So much for “dialogue.”
As for “political stunts,” we will concede Bill Haslam knows something about that subject. Of course, preening in front of the cameras while promising to give teachers a pay raise, only to take it back a few months later would probably not be a “political stunt” as you define it. Neither would conveniently delaying TCAP scores until 400 education writers were safely out of town. Nope — no stunting going on here, eh? Please, get serious, Dave. You can start with losing the bow tie. It only works on Bo Watson.
The political equivalent of saying there are no American tanks in Baghdad is to pompously declare that approximately 1/5 of the House Republican caucus is somehow playing politics and grandstanding because they dared to bring up a serious subject that governor refuses to address. Over 50 school superintendents (who sent their own letter to Haslam last year declaring they had “no confidence” in Huffman), the thousands of teachers and school administrators who are members of the Professional Educators of Tennessee (who issued a statement yesterday) and the huge numbers of other Tennessee teachers and parents who all agree with the 15 legislators who signed yesterday’s letter ALL must be grandstanding according to you. Oh, and the newspapers and news columnists who have called for investigation and even Huffman’s resignation are engaged in “political stunts?” Looks like you and the governor are going to need a much larger grandstand, Dave.
And we suppose the 82 legislators (out of 93) who voted on March 13th to delay the entire Common Core program for two years were just “a small group of legislators?” Learned to add, Doofus.
Doofus Dave and Gov. Haslam need to turn around and see the tanks.