Political Gossip, Satire, and Analysis from MT's Capital City "...an uncanny knack for sharp insider information..."--AP "...amazingly accurate inside info..."--Politico.com "...a viral sensation..."--Markos Moulitsas, Daily Kos "Among the best state-based political blogs in the nation."--Washington Post
Other inductees include GOP Rep. Alan Hale (R-Basin) who said that DUIs laws are destroying small business was featured on MSNBC (VIDEO here.) Rep. “Birther” Bob Wagner (R-Madison County) has appeared on CNN‘s Anderson Cooper 360 to discuss his belief that President Obama is not a U.S. citizen, and Rep. Joe Read (R-Ronan) was featured on the Colbert Report for his legislative resolution declaring that global warming is good. Then there was Derek Skees, Rep. from Whitefish who proposed that Montana “nullify” all federal laws. Rep. Greg Hinkle (R-Thompson Falls) was mocked on Fox News, as was GOP Sen. Jim Peterson, for his frivolous bill to put the “Code of the West” into Montana law and for his proposal to make spear hunting legal. And there’s David Howard, the legislator whose Facebook page is devoted entirely to anti-gay rhetoric, and Tom Burnett, that programs to combat hunger are not needed in America because we have so many fat children. And let’s not forget our Congressman, who says that the EPA is using drones to spy on ranchers. I’m sure I’m missing some others….there are so many…..
Now that Republicans have brought national attention to the Montana Legislature, it’s fitting to take a closer look at some of the reasons behind the fame: the unique qualities of GOP legislators and their supporters of which you may not yet be familiar.
Representative Pat Ingraham (R-Thompson Falls) places such high esteem on the English language that she voted to require that drivers license exams be given only in English (House Bill 302 by Rep. Janna Taylor, R-Dayton). Her esteem is also apparent in the video below, in which Rep. Ingraham demonstrates her ability to come up with new, never before used words such as “revelant” while speaking to the Montana House of Representatives.
Derek Skees (R-Whitefish Kalispell) is beyond a student of constitutional history. In fact, he’s a teacher of it down at the local Perkins diner chain. However, the bills he’s presented this session demonstrate that he not only understands constitutional history enough to teach a class at Perkins, he even has a working familiarity with historical documents of which college professors have never heard. Listen to Rep. Skees’ unique historical insights as he presents yet another nullification bill, HJ 20. (Click here to hear “Magna Carter.”)
No one loves learning more than the Lewis and Clark County TEA Party, the group that sued the Helena School District to stop them from teaching kids about basic health, presumably to allow more time for other topics, such as great literature. As pointed out by commenters here, Conservative TEA Party leader Tim Ravndal values Shakespeare as a particular favorite.
So perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised, with the degree of learning and knowledge our lawmakers demonstrate, if these same individuals do not remember one small fact: where in history the road to nullification ended –with the firing on Fort Sumter, in 1861, and finally in defeat at Appomattox, in 1865 when the Civil War finally ended. They will undoubtedly recall for years to come the events of 2012, when many of them will be up for re-election. That’s when we should remind the public of the demonstrated knowledge of our lawmakers, the evidence of which will benefit us all.