As national Republican leadership continues to tout a push to re-imagine itself as a party beyond the scope of aging, heterosexual, White men in to cultural homogeny, its actual GOP members in positions of power at the state level are keeping it real…reductive.
Last week, Missouri state Rep. Mike Leara (pictured) proposed legislation that would make it a felony for lawmakers to propose any bill that would regulate firearms. In Leara’s bill:
…[A]ny member of the general assembly who proposes a piece of legislation that further restricts the right of an individual to bear arms, as set forth under the second amendment of the Constitution of the United States, shall be guilty of a class D felony.
Isn’t that mature?
Meanwhile, two weeks ago, Virginia Delegate C. Todd Gilbert managed to successfully kill a bipartisan proposal to protect LGBT state government employees from discrimination. Despite the bill passing the Virginia Senate by a 24-16 majority – all Democrats and four Republicans – Gilbert felt there was no “proof” that anti-gay discrimination exists.
Among all the people who spoke, there was not a single example of one that was discriminated against in public employment. I challenge those in the room to bring forth an example. I was told the following year that there would be a line out the door of people with examples of having been discriminated against in public employment. There was not a single example anyone that felt that except that abstract fear that we’ve heard testified here today.
Speaking of discrimination, Virginia congressman Rep. Bob Goodlattetold NPR that while he is against bipartisan proposals allowing undocumented immigrants to earn a path to citizenship, he is all for the expansion of “a guest-worker program for immigrant-labor-dependent U.S. agriculture.”
In other words, a program that would make certain that foreign labor is available to do American agriculture’s “dirtiest jobs.”
Funny enough, former White House senior adviser David Plouffedismissed the notion that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and his push for immigration reform would magically save the GOP from scaring away Latino voters for the foreseeable future.
“And by the way: the bigger problem they’ve got with Latinos isn’t immigration,” Plouffe said in the New York Times’ magazine article. “It’s their economic policies and health care. The group that supported the President’s health care bill the most? Latinos.”
Kansas’ contribution to the stupid slate is the Kansas House Education Committeeintroducing a bill that would mandate that teachers question the scientific basis of global warming.
Yes, Kansas Republicans want teachers to instill anti-intellectualism in its students.
And in the woman-hating portion of this post, Tennessee’s Rep. John Duncan says he’s not sure where he will support the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
“Every bill is given a motherhood-and-apple-pie title,” Duncan said outside the House chamber. “But if you voted [based] on the title, you’d vote for every bill up here. If we’d all done that, the country would have crashed a long time ago.
Duncan went on to say he opposes domestic violence against women because “most men can handle [violence] a little better than a lot of women can.” His vote won’t be dictated by compassion for women and a disdain for forms of violence; instead, it will be dictated by cost.
Not to be outdone, gay Republicans have been once again blocked from the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
In a new poll released by USA Today/Pew Research Thursday, only 22 percent of voters bothered to identify themselves as Republicans — a record low. I think I’ve done a good enough job explaining why that is.
Zoom, look at this GOP makeover go!
Michael Arceneaux is a Houston-bred, Howard-educated writer and blogger. You can read more of his work on his site, The Cynical Ones. Follow him on Twitter: @youngsinick