Let’s start a discouraging day with a bit of good news: A judge in Texas has rendered Nick Anderson’s cartoon moot, blocking Governor Abbott’s directive that the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services investigate parents of transgender children for abuse if they allow their kids to receive positive psychological and medical treatment.
We shouldn’t need the courts to turn aside such an ignorant and hateful policy, and the unaddressed question is how such an ignorant and hateful person was ever put in such a powerful position in the first place.
So let’s address it, because Abbott is hardly the only example of the rise of Idiocracy in America.
Nor are other examples hard to spot.
Granted, not every ignorant, hateful idea makes it into law. Ann Telnaes notes the effort by a Missouri hatemonger to pass a law that would allow the state to prosecute its citizens if they left to obtain abortions in other states, which should not be confused with the effort by a different Missouri hatemonger to outlaw the termination of ectopic pregnancies.
The former seems based on the Dred Scott decision, with the slight adjustment that it is women, rather than Black people, who have no rights that the white man need respect, combined with a touch of the Fugitive Slave Law that required people in free states to return the human property of people in slave states.
As for terminating ectopic pregnancies, the important thing to know is that such tragic things cannot possibly result in a living infant and can quite easily result in a dead woman.
Obviously, the proposal is not “pro-life” in any imaginable way, but we already know that logic, facts and science — much less empathy, mercy and kindness — do not apply in the dark corners of our national spirit.
We even have outbursts of stupidity that don’t involve genitalia: Some dingbat in New Hampshire’s state legislature proposed amending the state constitution to include secession from the United States.
Granted, it was voted down 323-13, but the fact that 13 gormless eejits voted in favor of it makes that good news seem a bit like finding out that you only have cancer in a few of your lymph nodes.
Much of the nitwittery that takes place in Concord (No, not that Concord) stems from our absurdly large legislature, which has a legislator-to-citizen ratio so low that you can basically get elected without having to leave your barstool.
Which only explains why our State Capitol is full of screwballs; it doesn’t excuse it.
Telnaes takes a second swing at hatred and ignorance, noting that, while Florida hasn’t voted on secession, they do seem to be vying with Texas to come up with the most uniform, across-the-board set of backwards, stupid, hostile laws.
And they aren’t just off-the-wall proposals from isolated nincompoops: Their legislature has passed an anti-gay bill and Gov. De Santis took the time to chew out a group of students for wearing masks, while Senator Rick Scott promotes a platform for the national GOP that would end Social Security and Medicare while raising taxes on poor and middleclass families.
They’re also working to keep schools from saying mean things about slavery and racism in history class, and Clay Bennett (CTFP) recalls a historic photo and confrontation to suggest what these bigots mean by making America great again — they want to go back to the days before the Civil Rights Act, back when everybody was white except for the help, and nobody was gay, not even Joe McCarthy’s favorite lawyer or the head of the FBI.
Point being that standing in that doorway didn’t exactly plunge George Wallace into obscurity, as the Presidential Elections five years later showed.
While up there in North Carolina, David Cohen notes that Rep. Madison Cawthorn, who very nearly attended the US Naval Academy except for not being admitted, and who very nearly competed in the Paralympics except for not trying, very truly was pulled over for driving on a revoked license, for a second time.
Again, the problem is not that Cawthorn seems fundamentally incapable of telling the truth. It’s that the good citizens of North Carolina voted him into office.
Though I guess he couldn’t vote for himself, since he’s reportedly on record as saying voters should have to show a valid driver’s license at the polls.
We could go on, but we live in a world so impatient that people turned TLDNR into TL;DR because, well, it was too long.
Fortunately, Deb Milbrath cuts to the chase and points out that we don’t have to name each and every ignorant, bigoted, hateful legislator individually, because they’re willing — even eager — to wear a Scarlet Elephant on their chests.
Certainly, there are silly people on the other side of the aisle who spend their time coining phrases like “defund the police” that turn off voters, and mounting critiques of their own president’s State of the Union speech.
They are a different kind of purist, however, and their ideas are things like universal health care, good education and clean drinking water such that, even if they somehow got their way, their proposals wouldn’t hurt anyone.
Which is theoretical, since voters seem far more eager to criminalize women’s health choices, bully LGBTQ+ children and deny that slavery was unpleasant than to approve any of that libtard stuff.
Jeff Danziger (WPWG) allows us to close this unpleasant entry on a hopeful note: Just as social media seems less full of aggressive, contentious opinions since the Russian troll factories lost access, so, too, he suggests, the freezing of oligarch moneys could impact the upcoming 2022 midterms.
Our system of permitting anonymous dark money support makes it hard to trace who’s giving what to whom, but Bill Barr discovered that the idea of Russian meddling in our elections was so preposterous that he didn’t even have to release the full Mueller Report.
It’s like slavery: If you stop telling people that it ever happened, then it never did.
I have a sneaking suspicion that, when it comes to the current reality we truly need to deal with, Pros & Cons (KFS) may be disastrously close to the truth.
Oh, Phil, if only it were just Mississippi …