Glen Casada should resign as House Speaker

Published 9:57 am Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Tennessee House Republicans Monday cast a vote of no confidence in House Speaker Glen Casada over a series of scandals, but he has rejected pressure to relinquish his leadership post.
Casada has been dogged by calls to resign since it was revealed he exchanged text messages containing sexually explicit language about women with his former chief of staff several years ago, among other controversies. In brushing aside calls to step down, the embattled official has said he has changed and released an action plan designed to build trust among his peers.
Governor Bill Lee quickly responded by releasing a statement, saying Republican lawmakers “sent a clear message and I am prepared to call a special session if the speaker doesn’t resign.”
Many government leaders seem to have lost sight of moral integrity when it comes to public service. Perhaps, that is why it’s hard to trust leaders in government. We elect people to represent our interests, not their individual interests, or the interests of their party machines.
Glen Casada may have been a successful lawmaker and no doubt is at the peak of his career. This makes his behavior especially perplexing. Be assured that everyone’s past will sooner or later catch up with them.
Casada claims he’s a changed person from the days he handled lewd “locker room talk” with his chief of staff. But, in recent days he was slow to dismiss that same chief of staff for off-color remarks and behavior uncharacteristic for a person working for the people of Tennessee.
Did Casada think he wouldn’t get caught or believe that his elevated status put him above the law?
Leaders, like Casada, who lose their way are not necessarily bad people; rather, they lose their moral beings, often yielding to seductions in their paths. Very few people go into leadership roles to cheat or do evil, yet we all have the capacity for actions we deeply regret unless we stay grounded.
Now, for the good of Tennessee, Casada needs to step aside and let someone else lead. His fellow legislators have lost confidence in his ability to lead.
Perhaps Casada’s biggest weakness was failing to have a chief of staff who could keep him grounded. Instead, that person, more than anyone, may be responsible for his fall from grace and power.
We live in a time that people care less about who politicians are as people and more about what platform or party they run under. Unfortunately, even public servants such as Casada think it no longer matters what a person may have done in the past so long as they can help to further an agenda.
As citizens, it’s impossible for us to personally know political candidates. Very few people can speak to their true character and integrity, and that makes it really hard to discern fact from fiction when trying to assess a person.
But, be sure, a person’s past will come back to haunt them. Brett Kavanaugh, who was selected to serve on the Supreme Court, is a good example. Kavanaugh’s Senate hearings weren’t concerned with uncovering the truth. The FBI could have vindicated Dr. Ford’s testimony; it wouldn’t have mattered. The Senate was going to confirm Kavanaugh regardless of any wrongdoing he may have committed because his presence on the court helps to further an agenda.
Casada. Kavanaugh. Look up a list of politicians convicted of crimes committed while in office or accused of wrongdoing. It’s ridiculous. It seems that as a society, we no longer care about who a candidate or an office holder actually is and has been as long as they are a people of our political party.
Unless we hold these persons responsible for their actions, be they past or present, it will be the death of American civility.
Casada must go as Tennessee House Speaker. Tennesseans deserve better.

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