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Neoconfederacy and the Tennessee Two

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Above: the lodestar of Tennessee Republicanism

Amazingly, the story from Tennessee actually got worse over the course of the afternoon:

The Tennessee House voted on Thursday to expel two Democrats one week after they interrupted debate by leading protesters in a call for stricter gun laws in the wake of a shooting that left six dead at a Christian school.

The extraordinary punitive action against the Democrats — Representatives Justin Jones and Justin J. Pearson — for an act of protest marks just the third time since the Civil War era that the Tennessee House has expelled a lawmaker from its ranks and threatens to further inflame the partisan rancor within a bitterly divided state.

An effort to expel a third Democrat, Representative Gloria Johnson, who had stood by the two men in the front of the chamber and joined in the chants during the protest, fell short by one vote.

The expulsions of two of the state’s youngest Black representatives, carried out before lawmakers were scheduled to leave for the Easter weekend, were a stunning culmination to a week that saw the conclusion of the funerals for the six killed in the shooting, hundreds of students and teachers walk out of school to protest at the General Assembly and a vitriolic debate about democracy in the state.

You can accuse Tennessee Republicans of many things, but subtlety is not one of them:

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