If the Republican caucus has a coherent strategy for narrowing the Democrats’ near super-majority in the state House, you wouldn’t know it from the steaming pile of crazy-ass bills their members have already introduced. Sure, there are always a few extreme or downright bizarre bills dropped each session from both sides of the aisle, but never before has one caucus gone so far off the deep end, and in such overwhelming numbers.
And if Democrats play their cards right, you gotta think that this is gonna hurt the Republican brand next November.
Exactly how crazy are we talking about? While how about HJM 4010, a House Joint Memorial sponsored by Representatives Condotta, Shea, Klippert, Kretz and McCune, that asks Congress to do away with both the Federal Reserve and paper money:
NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully pray that the Congress of the United States, and particularly, the legislative delegation to Congress of the State of Washington, use all of their efforts, energies, and diligence to protect all the citizens of this nation from potential, unprecedented losses in the value of take-home pay, retirement income, insurance policies, and investments as a result of the Federal Reserve’s ongoing inflation of our unbacked paper money by passing legislation (such as H.R. 2756 to repeal our nation’s legal tender laws, H.R. 4683 “The Free Competition in Currency Act of 2007,” and H.R. 5427 the “Tax-Free Gold Act of 2008”) to help restore gold and silver money in accordance with the Constitution, then phasing out the Federal Reserve System and its inflationary paper money, the Federal Reserve Note (as in H.R. 2755).
That’s right… these Republican legislators want our currency to consist entirely of gold and silver coins. Yeah, that’ll get our economy moving.
Now I know what you’re thinking: there’s only five Republican sponsors on that bill. It just isn’t fair to categorize the entire GOP caucus as off their collective rockers based on this one joint memorial.
So how about HB 2709, the Washington State Firearms Freedom Act of 2010 (Shea, Ross, Kristiansen, Haler, Klippert, Taylor, McCune, Short, Hinkle, Course, Dammeier, Parker, Johnson, Angel, Bailey, Orcutt, Roach, Schmick, Fagan and Condotta), which attempts to exempt any firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition manufactured and retained in Washington state from federal regulation.
Or HB 2712, the Washington State Sovereignty and Federal Tax Escrow Account Act of 2010 (Shea, Condotta, Kristiansen, Klippert, Haler, Anderson, Taylor, Short, Kretz, Crouse, McCune, Hinkle, Ross, Roach and Schmick), which requires that all federal taxes be remitted to the state, and held in escrow, and includes the rather startling threat that any action by the feds against a WA citizen for complying with the act (you know, like not paying the IRS your taxes) would be considered a “hostile and unconstitutional action against Washington state and its citizens,” against which the state would take “all necessary measures.”
And then there’s HB 2708, the Washington State Energy Freedom Act of 2010 (Shea, Condotta, Kristiansen, Haler, Klippert, Herrera, Taylor, Short, Kretz, McCune, Crouse, Rodne, Hinkle, Parker, Dammeier, Ross, Angel, Bailey, Roach, Orcutt, Schmick, Fagan and Smith), which exempts seeks to exempt Washington state from any federal fuel economy or greenhouse gas emission standards. That’s 23 of the caucus’s 36 members!
And all three of these clearly stupid and unconstitutional bills include the following clearly stupid and unconstitutional provision:
Any federal law, rule, order, or other act by the federal government violating the provisions of this chapter is invalid in this state, is not recognized by and is specifically rejected by this state, and is considered as null and void and of no effect in this state.
That’s right, nearly two-thirds of the Republican House caucus have signed their names onto crazy-ass bills that attempt to assert that state law trumps federal law whenever state legislators say it does. Which raises the question: what the fuck have they been putting into their tea?
Well apparently, “tea” is the operative word here. The crazy-ass teabaggers are rallying in Olympia on Thursday, and this apparently has Republicans running scared… so scared that they’re willing to make themselves look like… well… a bunch of crazy-ass teabaggers.
Republicans apparently fear that unless they appease the teabaggers with the kinda crazy, paranoid, right-wing, pseudo-constitutional bullshit that makes Ellen Craswell look like Dan Evans Lyndon LaRouche look like John Adams, they’ll face a Teabagger Party primary challenger… so much so that some Republicans reportedly plan to put “Prefers GOP/Tea Party” next to their names on the ballot this year.
How else to explain why, with the Legislature facing a $2.6 billion shortfall one year after passing a devastating all-cuts budget, the House Republican caucus has made redefining the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution they’re number one priority this session?
One would have thought that with the crappy economy and the ongoing budget woes and the Democrats already having stretched their majorities to likely unsustainable numbers, the GOP might at least pretend to run to the middle in the hope of winning back a few swing districts. Instead, it looks like what’s left of their party is dissolving like a sugar cube in cup of hot tea.
Man, is this gonna be fun to watch.