Tennessee state Sen. Frank Niceley has been around for a while. He’s the kind of special scumbag that supports big government subsidies for guns but opposed his own Republican governor’s deal to expand health care coverage to Tennesseans back in 2015.
On Wednesday, Tennessee legislators passed a “nearly $900 million spending package aimed at clearing the way for Ford Motor Company’s $5.6 billion investment into an electric vehicle and battery factory in West Tennessee.” About half a billion of that money is going directly to Ford Motor company in the form of “incentives.” State Sen. Nicely, seemingly having next to nothing to do with it, decided to try and get his face connected to this legislation anyway and stood up to make quite the speech where he changed the history of the Civil War in our country from the North accepting the surrender of Confederate troops by Robert E. Lee. Apparently April 9, 1865 didn’t mark the end of the war. No, it seems to mark only the beginning for people like Niceley.
Niceley relates a hilarious story about his grandson asking him if “the south really [did] lose the war between the states?” He’s talking about the Civil War, and it was one set of states that wanted to continue running a cheap labor economy based on chattel slavery, versus the rest of the United States. That’s what he’s being asked about. But Niceley has a hilarious little quip for that: “I said well son, it’s too early to tell.”
I’ll give a few moments to stop the laughing. I’ll also give you this sobering reminder: Then-General Robert E. Lee, realizing he was surrounded and his war lost, said, “There is nothing left for me to do but go and see General Grant and I would rather die a thousand deaths.” Unsurprisingly, Robert E. Lee really hadn’t “rather” wanted anything, as he surrendered to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and then died about 5.5 years later.
Many in the chamber laugh at that piece of treason and racism. It’s a joke for sure, except it clearly isn’t a joke, as Niceley goes on:
FRANK NICELEY: I said if you compare their northern cities to our southern cities, if you compare their debt load to our debt-free states, if you compare—look at all these great companies like Ford Motor Company, Smith & Wesson, coming down south. I think I can tell my grandson: the war between the states is going on, and we’re winning.”
Here are some facts compiled by The Tennessee Holler and put on the video (but they can also be sourced elsewhere):
- 37.7% of Tennessee’s total general revenue comes from federal aid. Though, depending what year and which study you look at, that number might be closer to 40%. Either way, it’s in the top 10 or 11 in the country! That’s a lot of Northern cities funding Niceley’s pretend success. Mr. Niceley, like the entire Trump family, is one of these “welfare queens” we have heard to watch out for.
- Smith & Wesson, which recently announced it would be moving its headquarters down to Tennessee, has been flailing financially in recent years. The hope is that looser gun laws will help the killing-machine maker rebound.
Tennessee is a state in the thick of a pandemic health crisis, with a GOP leadership that has pushed anti-mask mandate violence. The Volunteer State has had schools close down because of surging cases, and continues to elect people like Frank Nicely into office.
And while white supremacist apologists will tell you that he’s making an economic point about conservative, big-business politics winning the day, they would be lying. The results are in: Without money from the “Northern cities,” the South can’t run the way it’s run. And all of this lip-service to a pretend outcome to the Civil War that the South decidedly lost militarily, economically, and morally has only led to this:
Here’s the state senator’s contact info:
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