Mon. Jun 24th, 2024

Stooges mistaken for doctors in Gem of a Jam. Courtesy

Written by Charles Pearce, Esquire. Source/post @RSN.

It’s been a while, so let’s check in on what’s happening in the states which, as we all know, are the Laboratories Of Democracy, and which these days seem under the control of a research syndicate made up of Doctor Frankenstein, Doctor Mengele, and Doctors Howard, Fine, and Howard.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Virginia House Of Delegates is merrily pushing along a “personhood” amendment similar to the one roundly rejected by the notoriously blue state of Mississippi a few months back. This is the brainchild of a state Delegate named Bob Marshall, who is a bit nutty even by anti-choice standards. Delegate Bob is also a little unhinged on the subject of gay people.

(He’d also like Virginia to issue its own money, despite the many bad things that happened to Virginia the last time they tried that.)

So, you would think that cooler heads might prevail in Virginia, and that a bill deemed too radical in Mississippi, and proposed by the legislature’s village idiot might get shuffled off to some dank subcommittee so as not to embarrass the entire Commonwealth. You, of course, would be wrong about this.

Let us move along, then, to Kansas where, just in time for Valentine’s Day, a bill is being debated today that would allow the state to nullify – there’s that word again – any local anti-discrimination statute passed by any city or town in the state. (Tennessee’s already done this, by the way.) You would think that cooler heads might prevail in Kansas, and that all those proud conservative boasts about “devolving power” down to the local level would come into play to defeat such an overreach by the state government. You, of course, would be very wrong.

Our last stop is in Arizona, which seems bound and determined to vote itself back to the Stone Age, one law at a time. Not only would this bill get dozens of books chucked out of the curriculum, it apparently is so badly written that it would make a criminal out of any teachers who went home and said to a friend, “This fucking new law about what I can teach belongs in North Fucking Korea.” One of its sponsors is a state representative named Lori Klein, who previously became famous for pulling a gun on a reporter in the middle of an interview, and for defending Herman Cain from charges of horndoggery by stating that he’d never dogged her, “and I am an attractive woman.” (No jokes. Remember, she’s packing.) You would think that cooler heads might prevail, and Arizona would be tired of being the national poster child for bad laws and wingnut overreach. You, of course, would be extremely wrong about this.

I hate to keep harping on this, but what you’re seeing in the state legislatures is the activity of the Republican farm team. The people voting for laws springing from the mushy brains of people like Bob Marshall and Lori Klein are the young Republicans who, a few cycles from now, will be running for Congress, probably from safe Republican districts that they’ve helped draw up, and aided immeasurably by voter-suppression laws that they’ve helped pass. Most of them will be the products of the vast conservative candidate manufacturing base – the kids at CPAC, the College Republicans, the various Christianist organization. They will not equivocate. They will not moderate. And they are the future of the party. Anyone who thinks the Republican party eventually again will have to “move to the middle” (this translates from the Punditese to “regain its sanity”) isn’t paying attention. In 2006, the Republicans were handed a defeat every bit as epic as any one ever handed to the Democrats. They did not pause to give it a second thought. Their resolve hardened. They ran what few “moderates” were left right out of the party. And, in 2010, they got a wave election that not only gained them the House of Representativse, but also the legislative majorities in the states that are now producing these goofy-ass laws, and a lot more seriously dangerous ones as well. And, even then, they blew a chance to retake the Senate by running sideshow freaks like Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell. They didn’t care.

They do not stop, even when they’re losing. The country told them, through the 1998 midterms, that it didn’t want Bill Clinton impeached. Bill Clinton got impeached. In 2005, everybody including their Democratic colleagues told them that they were going off the cliff in their meddling in the life and death of Terri Schiavo. There were gobs of polling data to back them up. The Republicans kept meddling even after Ms. Schiavo passed.Is there any evidence that the Republicans are moving “toward the middle” in their presidential contest? Ask poor Willard Romney if that’s the case. The current frontrunner is a nutball ultramontane Catholic who lost his last race by 18 points, at least in part because he was one of the more noxious of the Schiavo meddlers.

The fact is that the presidency is not really that important to them. They have found a way to make it impossible for any Democratic president to govern as a Democrat. Their real goal is in the legislatures, federal and state, where they have been able to exercise their power on the issues they care about. They will not change themselves. They are going to have to have the wingnut flogged out of them over several losing election cycles, and they’ve arranged things in the states so that may not be possible. The president should not be talking about “Congress” and “Washington,” and expect the country to clue in that he’s nudging and winking in code about the Republicans. He should make it clear that one of our two major political parties is now an extremist party from its lowest levels to its highest echelons. This should be an issue in the campaign as imporant as income inequality or campaign finance, but it won’t be. Barack Obama’s just not built that way. And, out in the states, things are getting crazier by the day. In Virginia, by the way, Bob Marshall’s running for the U.S.Senate in 2012. In any party that was halfway sane, they’d have sedated him by now.

Ni shagu nazad, Stalin told the Red Army when the Germans invaded.

Not one step backwards.

Stalin would have loved these guys.


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