Since Republicans retained control of the Missouri House and added three seats to their Senate majority in the November election, we can probably expect lots of the same old same old in the next legislative session–with Jay Nixon’s potential veto as the only variation on the Bizarro world themes of past sessions. Bills already filed for the 2009 session indicate that the Republican guardians of our moral well-being will make a valiant attempt to fiddle while Missouri’s economy and infrastructure continue to slowly burn.
If you want evidence, take a look at last Wednesday’s (Nov. 2) St. Louis Post-Dispatch where Tony Messenger observed that “It’s bill-filing season in the Missouri capital city, and that means that state lawmakers are thinking about outlawing certain behaviors.”
According to Messenger, among the naughty behaviors that are keeping righteous Missourians awake nights and moving their intrepid Republican legislators into action are “beer bongs, Jell-O shots and Mardi Gras beads on Missouri rivers.” They’re against them in case you wondered.
Not all the efforts to smite the ungodly are quite as amusing, however. The Missourian reports that Representative Cynthia Davis, the Holy Republican Scourge from O’Fallon, will reintroduce legislation that would (1) require doctors to inform women abut abortion alternatives; (2) force doctors to “to provide information such as color photographs of a fetus, a video, and questionable assertions that a fetus can feel pain during an abortion; and (3) make it a crime to coerce a woman into an abortion. According to the amazingly well-informed Davis, “the primary reason women get abortions is pressure from family members or a spouse.”
If making legal abortions more difficult does not rock your boat, then you might be happy to see this little gem come up:
Another bill filed for the session would ban welfare recipients from receiving help if they test positive for drugs. Recipients would only be tested if the Social Services Department has reason to believe they are on drugs.
So … if you try to get welfare in Missouri and Social Welfare thinks you look like a drug-user, you could be forced will to run a gauntlet of inconvenience and humiliation before they give you any help.
Of course, when we consider the actual achievements of our Republican lawmakers over the past few years, maybe we should be glad that they are content to waste time on what one hopes will be, with the help of a Democratic governor, nonstarters like these dogs. For instance, when it turns out that we have no recourse against AT&T, now nicely deregulated, we all might begin to think wistfully about the frenzy over beer bongs on the river.