In looking forward to the coming legislative session, State Rep. Jake Zimmerman, D-Olivette, acknowledged that he will be working with a number of unhinged members of the Missouri House. He waved Cynthia Davis aside as by no means the most wackadoodle of them and called to the attention of the audience at West County Dems two Republicans who have outdone even Cynthia.
Jim Guest, R-Pluto (pictured at right), believes that the government has been implanting electromagnetic chips in citizens’ brains in order to control them and torture them. Blink. This assertion was striking enough to get Guest a mention in a New York Times article about a British psychologist who tracks the crazies on the internet. Unfazed by the notoriety of one of its members, the House leadership, as Fired Up! points out, has granted Guest tacit support by appointing him chair of the Real ID and Privacy Committee.
Ed Emery, R-Lamar, is out there too. In 2006, he inserted language into a special committee report claiming that abortion causes illegal immigration. Seriously. (We’ve killed so many of our babies that now we have to have Mexican workers come here to fill the gap.) Democrats on the committee refused to sign the report, but nine Republicans signed it.
“It makes complete sense if you’re insane. … These are our colleagues. But that’s okay. Such has ever been the way with state legislatures. It wasn’t so long ago that an Arizona legislator introduced a bill to change Pi from 3.14159 to 3.10 so that it would be easier for math students.
So anytime Zimmerman is tempted to get impressed with himself, he says:
“I look in the mirror and I remind myself that I make the same salary and have precisely the same job as Jim Guest and Cynthia Davis.
The upside of all their nuttiness is that it’s so easy for Democrats to point all that out in campaigns. And besides:
“There are serious and substantive Republicans. That creature exists, but that creature has been drowned out and dominated by the folks who are in charge of the current team.”
In fact, Zimmerman thought he had found one of those serious, substantive types last year. He and Brian Yates, R-Lee’s Summit, co-sponsored some ethics legislation that included such ideas as forbidding ex-legislators to become lobbyists for a year after the end of their term–you know, the sorts of ideas that are already in place in Illinois for god’s sake. And Zimmerman looked forward to pressing that legislation again this year. Until he found out that Yates–after blasting Republicans for their corruption–had resigned. To work for a PayDay company. As Fired Up! points out: “H’ray usury!”
In any case, Zimmerman predicts that the House Republican caucus won’t listen to the anonymous Republican rep who wrote the caucus a letter accusing Jetton and the new House Majority Leader, Steve Tilley, of interconnected corruption and urging Republicans to clean house. Not gonna happen. Here’s what will happen:
“And so while this session will be filled with sturm und drang–we will fight about the budget; it will be ugly. But remember that at the end of the day the only ballgame they’re gonna be playing is to leave the difficult decisions in Jay Nixon’s lap. When all the budget fight is boiled down,that’s what they’re going to be about. And there’ll be sturm und drang over women’s reproductive rights as there always is. (cell phone ringing) There will be meaningless fights picked over immigration (cell phone ringing) as there always is. (cell phone ringing) It’s for me, Ken. (Laughter)”
Democrats will continue to spit into the wind talking about ethics reform, campaign finance reform, early voting and green jobs. They won’t be heard, but then again, neither will the Republicans in a way. Their tired memes about abortion and immigration are losing their appeal and, more important, Republicans are fighting among themselves.
That’s what you want to see when you’re a member of the minority party.