the word blog spelled out in letters, a hand on a computer keyword

In our blog, read about the political and cultural issues affecting Tennesseans written from a conservative perspective. Commentaries are typically written by David Fowler, an attorney who served in the Tennessee state Senate for 12 years before joining FACT as President.

Who will be the next TN House Speaker?
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Picking the Next House Speaker

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With the impending resignation of state Representative Glen Casada as Speaker, the question turns to “Who’s next?” As someone who has either served in the legislature or observed it from up close for 25 years, unless some particular things and attitudes…
black horse and red elephant with TN stars symbol
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Will the House Republican Caucus Avoid Riding the Moral High Horse on Monday?

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As I continue to contemplate on the one hand the lascivious nature of the texts exchanged between the House Speaker and his Chief of Staff two years ago and accompanying issues of racism in the state House and, on the other hand, the moral outrage expressed…
Photo of the Tennessee House of Representatives and a silhouette of a man in a suit with a conversation bubble
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Casada, Cothren, Politicians, and Christians

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Earlier this year God broke and humbled me in a deeper and more profound way than ever before, yet it was deeply and profoundly life giving, too. As a result, the events of this week surrounding Tennessee’s House of Representatives, its Speaker, and…
Baby with a hat, symbols for male and female, and the Constitution of the United States
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Tennessee Lawsuit Relies on the U.S. Constitution’s New ‘Dignity Clause’

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Last week three individuals sued Governor Lee and his Commissioner of Health in federal court because Tennessee law does not allow individuals to change their sex on their birth certificate once they have figured out the “sex” with which they want…
Pregnant woman and heart beat monitor
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‘Fetal Heartbeat’ Bill Suffered from ‘Congenital’ Defects

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Monday night, the so-called “fetal heartbeat” bill was put on life support and transferred to a meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee this summer. There’s much not to like about what happened on this bill, particularly some of the parliamentary…
Picture of crosses and a line drawing of a hand on the Bible with Tennessee flag stars in the background
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Oath-Keeping in the State Senate at Eastertime

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Most Christians will celebrate Easter this Sunday and on Monday, the Tennessee Senate will vote on a motion that would pull the so-called “fetal heartbeat” bill out of the Senate’s Judiciary Committee to the floor of the Senate for debate and consideration.…
placing blaming with pointing fingers
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Pointing Fingers and Placing Blame on the ‘Fetal Heartbeat’ Bill

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I met with mixed emotions the Senate Judiciary Committee’s vote late Tuesday to defer a vote on the pro-life “fetal heartbeat” bill until more testimony could be provided during a summer hearing, after which the bill could be taken back up next…
Picture of the Memo related to the heartbeat bill and a sleeping baby
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A Constitutionally Defensible Reason for Supporting the Pro-Life ‘Heartbeat’ Bill

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What is going on in the legislature between the pro-life “fetal heartbeat bill” camp and the pro-life “trigger bill” camp makes no sense to a whole lot of ardent pro-life citizens. The bills seem to be caught up in some kind of power struggle…
A mom holding her baby
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Just How Pro-Life Are Tennessee’s Republican Legislators?

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I’m not sure I know what happened Wednesday when pro-life Republican House members split their vote and killed the pro-life bill that would impose more stringent limitations on abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions on abortion are ever “overrule[d],…
Tanco v. Haslam Final Order and silhouette of a man with a question mark
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Meet My Tennessee Political Hero

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Political heroes are hard to come by these days. But there is a current officeholder in our state who tops my short list. In a lineup of random politicians, you might never suspect he’d be a political hero. Let me introduce you to him and tell you what…

Past Blogposts

Picture of five core competencies of SEL and TN flag on a chalkboard

Is This the Beginning of the End for Public Schools?

Have public schools run their course? Just asking that question will irritate a lot of people, Christians included. But I think we have to ask the question, given an announcement last week by the Nashville Chamber of Commerce relative to what it wants from public education. Those who don’t ask and answer the question may […]

Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus, the TN Capitol, and the American flag

Is the Christmas Story Bad News for Today’s Politicians?

For the last two weeks, I’ve taken a break from politics to share some of my thoughts about the true meaning of Christmas. But when the Christmas story and politics come together, it seems like bad news for most of today’s politicians, Republican and Democrat alike. If too many politicians read it, there may be […]

Sword of the Spirit and Bible against Christmas lights

The Weapon-Wielding Baby Jesus Asleep in the Hay

Last week’s commentary about the Merry Christmas “culture war” was a break from politics per se, and the response to it ran the gamut. Some thought I was wrong, while others agreed; some flat missed the point, and others thought it sounded “kind of scary.” So, continuing my “seasonal break,” I can’t wait to see […]

illustrative manger scene and Christmas tree ornament that says "Away in a Manger"

Why I May Never Say ‘Merry Christmas’ Again

With today’s encapsulation of stories about schools banning certain Christmas songs and Christmas-related words and images, I couldn’t help but think about the protests in recent years over the shift from “Merry Christmas” to “Happy Holidays.” I get that for many these things are a lament about the increasing secularization of our culture and that […]

man in handcuffs with Lady Liberty in background

Criminal Justice Reform on Tennessee’s Agenda

Governor-elect Bill Lee and various state legislative leaders have voiced an interest in working on criminal justice reform during the next legislative session. This is not a topic that I would normally wade into, but it points to what I perceive to be a systemic issue in “reform” efforts in modern politics. Understanding How the […]

Photo ofBill Lee and a man writing notes

An Open Letter to Governor-Elect Bill Lee About His Advisors

Bill, congratulations on your election as our state’s next governor. I followed with great interest both the primary and the general election in which you ran. Our political stories are remarkably similar in some respects, and I hope you will find this particular thought most helpful going forward. Our political experiences are similar in a […]

handshake

Working Across What Aisle?

Now that the election is over, the question in the minds of many is whether those elected are willing to “work across the aisle” with each other. Will Trump and Pelosi work across the aisle to govern? At his very first press conference, Governor-elect Bill Lee was asked if he would have any Democrats in […]

Pittsburgh synagogue shooting: Governor Wolf gives remarks regarding Pittsburgh shooting and participates in vigil

Getting the Right Policy Prescription for Gun Attacks

I’ve never written on gun violence since it’s really outside the immediate purview of the issues dealt with by the organization I lead. But given the latest attack on a group of people and the growing frequency of such attacks, I think it’s time to say something. We need to get straight a bit of […]

Can One Issue Really Define the U.S. Senate Election?

I don’t think about how I vote the same way I did before I got into politics 24 years ago, because now I know too much how the legislative process works once a candidate is elected. That knowledge is important to me. For all the policy differences between Congressman Blackburn and Phil Bredesen, it seems […]

a photo of Phil Bredesen from 2007, Phil Bredesen sticker, Democrat donkey

Don’t Cast a Naive Vote for U.S. Senate

One thing I know from 12 years in the Tennessee Senate and another 12 years trying to work with the General Assembly is party politics and how it affects what legislators do. So, with early voting starting this week and a hotly contested U.S. Senate race on the ballot, here’s what I have to say […]