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The Post-Dispatch always refers to Senator Jane Cunningham, R-Chesterfield, as Calamity Jane. Fair enough. After all, she’s the lady who could tell Professor Harold Hill what the pool tables of 2008 were, because she spoke at a right wing “educational” conference last year on the topic of the “homosexual agenda in our public schools” and introduced her good friend State Rep. Sally Kern of Oklahoma, who believes that:

You know why they’re trying to get early childhood education? They want to get our young children into the government schools so they can indoctrinate them. …. And they’re going after our young children, as young as two years of age, to try to teach them that the homosexual lifestyle is an acceptable lifestyle.”

But if you can’t build on last year’s lunacy, you’re a shark that doesn’t keep moving: politically, you’re dead. So now Cunningham has promised:

to sponsor a state constitutional amendment to protect Missourians “against attempts to socialize health care through the ‘public option’ health care mandate currently under consideration by Congress.”

If approved by the Legislature and state voters, Missourians would be allowed to opt out of any health care reform passed by Congress. If you don’t want be forced to buy insurance under an “individual mandate,” that would be OK. You don’t want to provide your employees insurance, that would be OK, too.

Her proposition would put us among the dozen looniest states in the country.

The P-D editorial does a fine job of explaining Cunningham’s rationalization for ignoring the federal government. She and other tenthers believe that the tenth amendment of the U.S. Constitution grants the federal government the right to do only what the Constitution specifically mentions. Everything else is the province of the states. Never mind that:

Article VI, paragraph 2 of the U.S. Constitution – the so-called “supremacy clause” – says that federal laws and treaties are “the supreme law of the land” and that state judges should uphold them, even if state laws or constitutions conflict.

This is why we no longer have separate but equal schools and separate water fountains and rest rooms. It is why we have voting rights and all of the other heinous incursions into states’ rights brought about by the civil rights movement. George Wallace and Lester Maddox are dead.

The Post confines its critique of tenthers to health care. But don’t try telling me that Jane Cunningham doesn’t believe the rest of their malarkey, doesn’t oppose Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the GI Bill, even the federal highway system.

If we could just get her on record about that federal highway exclusion, it would be a hoot to film her driving down Interstate 70 to Jeff City next January.