Yesterday the Tennessean ran a jaw-dropping article in which former Rep. Barry Doss (R-Lawrenceburg) was quoted as saying Rep. David Byrd – who has apologized on tape to 1 of 3 women who say he sexually abused them when he was their high school basketball coach – has admitted he’s “ashamed of his past” but that “God has forgiven him”.
Doss also recently approached Kristina Richardson of Enough Is Enough – Tennessee and defended Byrd by saying that “There’s a lot more people that have molested people than you’re letting on.”
The “everyone does” it defense is an interesting one to use when it comes to child sex abuse.
He even seemed to implicate Governor Lee as someone with skeletons in his closet. The whole thing has to be seen to be believed. WATCH THE VIDEO:
The other man in the video is Kevin Baigert, who runs the Roving Patriots PAC with his wife Laura, and who was involved with helping to launch the Tennessee Star, a right-wing propaganda outlet (whose CEO owes his ex-wife hundreds of thousands in child support).
In the video Baigert tells Kristina that if she wants to go after Byrd she needs to go after Rep. Rick Staples also, as well as Martin Luther King Jr., even though neither have admitted on tape to child sex abuse with teenage girls.
Richardson also makes the astute point that as a Hardin County resident David Byrd is her representative, and Martin Luther King Jr. is not. She then tells the two men she is not being paid, and says she is one of 6 women of Enough Is Enough who are speaking up about the Byrd issue on behalf of the survivors.
Kristina handled herself well. Truly fascinating to watch Doss and Baigert essentially mount the “Everyone does it” defense on behalf of Byrd, whose behavior Doss repeatedly insists he is not “condoning”.
It’s important to note that what Doss does NOT say is “Byrd didn’t do it.”
At the same event we saw Senator Joey Hensley call Byrd a “good person” and a changed man, which tells us that Republicans have abandoned the “Byrd didn’t do it” defense – clearly realizing nobody was buying that – and have now moved on to saying he did it but he’s a new man, a good Christian and that since God has forgiven him we all should too.
Ironically, Governor Lee JUST THIS WEEK signed a bill that removed statute of limitations for child sex abuse that passed the house and senate easily.
So to sum up the Republican position: Child sex abusers should be punished regardless of how much time has passed… unless you’re David Byrd.
The hypocrisy runs deep.
We should note that Governor Lee has left the door open to expelling Byrd in the upcoming August 23rd special session to replace Glen Casada as speaker. Between now and then, everyone in Tennessee should be showing up at town halls and hollering at every elected official to ask ON TAPE if they agree Byrd Must Go.
Salute to Kristina for this video. Please send all other videos of reps being asked our way: TheTNHoller@gmail.com