**NOTE: This is a satirical post- except the part about the rules change- Knudsen’s new power to block bills is not a joke, it’s real.**
Honing in on an issue that could become the cornerstone of a possible 2016 Gubernatorial campaign, embattled TEA Party Speaker of the House Austin Knudsen said this week that he would do everything in his power to block the twenty-first century.
“Liberals have perpetrated the myth that the twenty-first century can’t be stopped–that there’s nothing we can do about it,” Knudsen said. “’They have no concept of personal responsibility. This buck stops with me. ”
Knudsen has been scurrying to put in place every possible mechanism to halt recognition of the current reality. But not everyone agrees with what members of Knudsen’s own party see as a personal power grab. The TEA Party leader is planning to come in on the first day of the session to change the rules under which our laws are made to provide himself with additional opportunities to block…well, pretty much anything: from 21-century infrastructure to 21-century education, water compacts everyone else passed decades ago, and even modern medical coverage.
Knudsen said that, as Speaker of the House, “I’ve got me the power to stop any bill in danger of passing by sending it back to the House Appropriations committee for TEA Party Rep. Ballance (R-Bitterrooter) to kill. A majority of legislators used to be able to vote to stop me from doing that, but this year I’m changing the rules so that they need 60 votes to stop me, see.”
Explaining his strategy, Knudsen said that he and fellow Republicans like Debra Lamm (R-TEA Livingston) and Tom Burnett (R-TEA Bozeman) were exploring ways to stop funding any items in the Montana budget that pertain to the current century. “We cannot stop time, perhaps, but we can defund it,” Knudson said.
Lamm agreed. “I don’t see this as a light switch where all the sudden a new century is dumped on Montana,” she explained, “I do think we need a logical transition and study period … to be reasonable about what we can handle.”
Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock has proposed starting with the present date and–even looking at how the state’s actions could benefit future generations–as the most accurate and effective way to proceed. The governor has long favored focusing on smart and realistic strategies that have already proven to be successful–something governors of both parties in other states have done.
But TEA Party Appropriations Chair Nancy Ballance argued that such decisions are better left in the legislature’s hands, not the governor’s. She expressed disappointment that Bullock or a representative hadn’t been more engaged in discussions with her earlier, saying he had ignored the deliberations of a blue ribbon panel legislators had convened to look at the impacts the 21st century would have on the state. “Pasteurization may have worked in North Dakota for 150 years, but that ain’t how we do things in the Bitterroot.”
Tom Burnett agreed. He said there is a good chance that, in a public school classroom, our children will adopt 21-century ideas and the kind of knowledge that they can apply in a 21-century economy. “Understanding how liberals indoctrinate our youth with Satan and Communism may may help us develop strategies that more effectively stop the 21st century from happening.”
In a scathing attack, Burnett laid blame for the twenty-first century squarely on the shoulders of someone he accused of “abusing his executive authority and ignoring the rule of law” to make it happen: President Obama.
“Much like Obamacare, the twenty-first century is something that Montanans never asked for and do not want,” Burnett said. “It don’t take an ivory tower degree to know that nowhere is the 21st century mentioned by the Constitution. That is a fact.”
h/t Borowitz report