The Ribald Reign of King George the Second

Just How Loony is the GOP?

Republicans in the Congress are downright bonkers, to get right to the point.

Over the past decade, it's become fashionable to speak kindly of one's opponents in the name of "civility." "Civility" would require that we assign the kindest, most well-meaning motives to the Republican politicians who are in charge of our federal government. If we can't say something nice about our opponents, these genteel rules dictate, we must not say anything at all.

But what if it's just not true? What if the GOP-dominated Congress intends to screw the American people royally? There are times when "civility" has to fall by the wayside in the interest of candor. It seems clear we are in one of these times.

The best way to assess the motives of politicians is to look at what they do, not necessarily what they say. Republican members of Congress sure talk a good game: they say they love Mom, Apple Pie, Jesus, T-ball, Bald Eagles and Liberty. But take one look at what the GOP is proposing to do and it's hard not to conclude that Republican politicians are off their rockers.

Don't believe me? Just check out a few examples of lunatic legislative efforts by your friendly neighborhood House Republicans:


Certifiable Loony #1: Rep. Henry Hyde
Goal: Prevent Others From Talking About Abortion
That's right, even just talking about abortion. Well, let me give the Republicans a fair shake - international family planning organizations would be free to talk about abortion in a negative light. They'd just be prohibited from saying abortion might sometimes be a good idea.

George W. Bush's very first official act as President was to block the funding of family planning organizations. Bush's first executive order, issued on the 28th Anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision, prohibits the funding of family planning organizations overseas if those organizations use their own privately raised funds to lobby their own governments in favor of less restrictive abortion laws. Although Bush justified his order by saying that "taxpayer funds should not be used to pay for abortions," taxpayer funds were not in fact being used for those purposes, since that's been illegal since 1975. The executive order places a gag on family planning organizations worldwide, keeping them from simply discussing abortion issues if they want badly needed U.S. funds.

If Bush counted on passive acceptance of his gag order, he counted wrong. A coalition of free-speech advocates and family planning organizations supported Rep. Barbara Lee of California's fight in the halls of Congress to reverse the Bush decision. Rep. Lee's effort to curb Bush's gag order succeeded with a vote of reversal by the House International Relations Committee.

Unfortunately, this victory for liberty was short-lived. Bush apparently thought that curtailing the speech of his opponents was important enough to give it another go. Just last night (May 16, 2001), a GOP coalition led by House Republican Henry Hyde voted in the House of Representatives to reinstate the gag order.

Does the Hyde-Bush gag order strike you as sheer lunacy? Then do something about it (click here to read more).


Certifiable Loony #2: Rep. Jo Ann Emerson
Goal: Outlaw Birth Control
H.R. 77, proposed by House Republican Jo Ann Emerson, would amend the U.S. Constitution in such a way that personhood, in a legally binding sense, would extend to all "unborn offspring at every state of their biological development," from conception onward. Some forms of contraception (the birth control pill, the IUD) work at least in part by preventing zygotes (fertilized eggs) from implanting into the wall of the uterus. These forms of contraception would be outlawed by the amendment.

Does Rep. Emerson's effort to outlaw birth control strike you as downright loony? That ain't the beginning of it. Read more here.


Certifiable Loony #3: Rep. Bob Barr
Goal: Legalize Political Assassination
H.R. 19, put forth by House Republican Bob Barr, nullifies existing executive orders to formally legalize the assassination of political figures by U.S. military and inteligence. To be specific, Barr's bill would cancel President Gerald Ford's order that "no employee of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination." (executive order 11905)


Certifiable Loony #4: Rep. Bob Stump
Goal: Make it Harder to Register to Vote
The National Voter Registration Act of 1993, known as the "Moter Voter Actl," made it possible for people to register to vote when they registered their vehicles at the DMV. As a result, many millions more than before are registered to vote.

In House Republican Bob Stump's world, this is a bad thing. His bill, H.R. 189, would make it harder for people to register and get out to vote by repealing Moter Voter. Right now, he and fourteen fellow lunatics are pushing this effort to shrink the voter rolls. Every last one of these folks is a Republican.


Certifiable Loony #5: Rep. Sonny Callahan
Goal: Take Away American-Born Babies' Citizenship
The way that U.S. citizenship works is pretty simple when you get down to it: if you're born in this country, you're a citizen. Leave it to House Republican Sonny Callahan to come up with a way to change that. Callahan, along with 11 others (not a single Democrat in that bunch, mind you), has thrown his support behind H.R. 190, which would deny citizenship to American-born babies if their parents aren't themselves citizens. Such a change would move us toward the German model of citizenship, in which families who have lived in Germany for generations are denied citizenship because they lack the "virtue" of a German bloodline.

This particular lunacy isn't, mind you, a fleeting Republican effort. Bills almost identical to this one have been pushed by the GOP for years in the Congress. Fortunately, Democrats and independents have stood in their way - so far.


Certifiable Loony #6: Rep. Peter King
Goal: English Only Ballots
One of the ways that Mexican-Americans used to be kept from exercising their right as citizens to vote was by using an English-only ballot. That was made illegal under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, but some would like to legalize this and other tactics again. House Republican Peter King's bill, H.R. 280, would not only make English the official language of the United States, it would also specifically repeal the provision in the Voting Rights Act that provides for ballots in languages other than English. Making ballots available in languages other than English hurts no one. Restricting ballots to English only effectively disenfranchises millions of citizens - most of whom just so happen to have a dark shade of skin.


Certifiable Loony #7: Rep. Dick Armey
Goal: Raise Taxes on the Poor, Eliminate Taxes on Corporations
The most prominent Dick in the U.S. Congress has introduced a bill this year, H.R. 1040 (how clever), that would increase the income tax rate for low-income working Americans from 15% to 19%. Meanwhile, his bill eliminates taxes on corporations. Hmmm...what are the priorities of the Republicans, d'you think?


Certifiable Loony #8: Rep. Van Hilleary
Goal: Force Schools to House Discriminatory Boy Scouts Chapters
House Republican Van Hilleary proposed a legislative amendment that was adopted by the Republican-dominated House. This amendment requires local school districts to ignore local and state anti-discrimination laws if those laws keep the Boy Scouts of America from meeting on school property due to the BSA's discriminatory by-laws regarding sexual orientation and religious affiliation. In other words, even if local communities have passed laws prohibiting school support of the discriminatory Boy Scouts, the Republicans would require schools to disregard local laws, and require those schools to go out of their way to make space for anti-gay Scouts meetings. So much for the vaunted Republican principle that schools should be locally controlled.


This is just a sample of the downright crazy direction Republicans in the Congress want to take us in. The bills described above expose the real Republican agenda: religious absolutist, xenophobic, machiavellian, elitist and just plain mean. After a decade of timid liberal pussyfooting, the nutty GOP agenda has been advanced to the shameful detriment of our country. If we really believe, as most Americans do, that the path Republicans are following is wrong, then we must make sure that they can't impose their bizarre will on the rest of us. It's high time we voted the bums out.

Aisles of idiocies straight from the brain of "Dr. Evil" Cheney (channeled by the pen of "Skippy" Bush) can be found at the official website of The Ribald Reign of King George the Second.

Cmon, kids! Let's sing along to "The Kennebunkport Hillbilly".

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