Before I get started, I feel compelled to point out that the title of this post should not be viewed as a challenge by the GOP majorities to get even more ridiculous in the waning days of the legislative session.
I’ve said it before and I will most certainly say it again…It’s really, really hard to be from here sometimes, and this session of the state legislature has proven especially trying for those of us with a liberal bent and a modicum of sanity, or even those who don’t see vile and odious tyranny that’s just waiting for the opportunity to enslave us all around every corner.
And as over-the-top as the legislature has been in past sessions, this year, it has become a caricature of a bad parody of a surrealist dreamscape. Those of us who have been horrified in the past by republicans who equate an expansion of SCHIP with slavery, guaranteeing a woman’s equality and right to choose with “The War of Northern Aggression,” legislators who believe hunger is a motivator for poor children and anything Ed Emery ever affixed his mark to in his entire time in the House.
But this year, they’re making past sessions look sober, staid and downright sane. This year, about the only thing that might surprise me would be if the GOP caucus got liquored up and fired on Ft. Leonard Wood.
But as the legislative session wore on, they became increasingly more unhinged and histrionic. I thought they had achieved wingularity with SJR 45, a nasty little piece of unconstitutional legislation that one could imagine resulting from an open marriage between nullification, interpolation and sessionism. SJR 45 is a proposed tea-stained amendment that would have to make it out of both chambers of the General Assembly before being put on the ballot, and if passed, give the state the authority to ignore federal laws that the state doesn’t like — you know, like ObamaCare. The proposed amendment would achieve nothing but debt incurred defending a wingnut nullification fantasy that would certainly be found unconstitutional as an assault on the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution, and fortunately hasn’t cost us anything yet because it is still stuck in committee.
But that doesn’t mean anything to these morons, and it will be a cold day in hell and over the cold, dead carcasses of every wingnut in the House before the state Senate get’s the final word on crazy. But don’t take my word for it. Just get a load of HB 1534…
HB 1534 — FEDERAL HEALTH CARE REFORM LAW (Bahr)
COMMITTEE OF ORIGIN: Committee on General Laws
This bill declares that the General Assembly finds the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed by President Obama exceeds the powers granted to Congress under the United States Constitution. Therefore, it is not law and is altogether void and of no force. It is the General Assembly’s duty to enact any measure necessary to prevent its enforcement within this state.
No public officer or employee of this state has any authority to enforce or attempt to enforce any aspect of the act. Any United States official, agent, or employee who undertakes any action within this state that enforces or attempts to enforce the act in violation of these provisions will be guilty of a class A misdemeanor. Any person who has been subject to any action attempting to enforce the act within this state will have a private cause of action for declaratory judgment and damages against any person violating these provisions.
Wow. That is some world-class wingnuttery right there.
And who needs to fire on Ft. Leonard Wood anyway, when you can just arrest and imprison federal employees of the Department of Health and Human Services for doing their jobs and setting up exchanges that will allow Missourians who couldn’t otherwise afford health coverage to access it.
Never mind that the idiot who sponsored it and the idiots who support it are freakin’ delusional if they think a state — even one as awesome and great as Missouri — has the right to pick and choose which federal laws they will enforce and which ones they won’t. Nor can a state legally and constitutionally pass legislation barring enforcement of a federal law, nor legislation that criminalizes official actions undertaken on behalf of the feds, and finally, a state sure as hell doesn’t have the right to sue federal officials for monetary damages for fulfilling the duties of their job.
And unlike SJR 45, HB 1534 isn’t languishing in committee. It passed the house with a comfortable margin — 108-44 — with every republican voting for it, and eight scurrilous, mangy blue-dogs aligning themselves with the Crazy Caucus. Meanwhile, lack of access to care out-state means that people die needlessly. Literally.
You know what I would like to see? Legislation mandating that when these crazy, grandstanding, unconstitutional stands are made and codified into state law that the SPONSORS of the legislation have to pay the attorneys to defend it, not use state resources. They are the ones, after all, that put “personal responsibility” on such a high pedestal…Of course that will never happen.
So instead, we have a state legislature that has been, for the most part, possessed. The spirit of John C. Calhoun has clawed his way out of the depths of hell and has taken over the bodies of all the republicans and at least eight Democrats in the Missouri state legislature.
That makes more sense and is easier to get my head around than the fact that I live in a state with enough dumbasses, morons, idiots and cretins to elect these malefactors and Neo-Confederates to the state legislature in super majority numbers.