Saturday, June 18, 2005

KS : Dominionists, Anti-suffragists and Creationists Oh My!

Kansas is rapidly outpacing Florida in the Race to become the butt of the national Joke.

We can do all the sociological and Ethno-political studies we want on Kansas, but the events of this week convince me that its simpler than that. Basically Kansas jest ain't right.

Now most states would be content with One national embarrassment. And Kansas certainly had that in spades when the Topeka School board decided to make like a revival production of Inherit the Wind and put evolution on trial.

But one, moment of utter stupidity is not nearly enough for KS. Keeping with their "Racing back to the Dark ages" theme, They've also come out this week alone against Women's Suffrage (?!) on the State level; and The separation of Church and State on the National level.

Yes, you read that right, Kansas has officially Hit for the Wingnut Cycle!

The first "hand upside the forehead" moment came when a female state senator and opponent of women's rights to Vote announced her candidacy to be the State's Top Election official :

TOPEKA, Kan. -A state senator who once said that giving women the vote was a symptom of weakness in the American family now wants to be Kansas' top elections official.

Sen. Kay O'Connor announced Wednesday that she is seeking the GOP nomination for secretary of state next year. O'Connor, 63, has served in the Legislature since 1993.

Warning! do not stare directly at the Irony in the above paragraph as permanent nerve damage may occur.

In 2001, O'Connor received national attention for her remarks about the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1920, which gave women the right to vote.

"I think the 19th Amendment, while it's not an evil in and of itself, is a symptom of something I don't approve of," she said at the time. "The 19th Amendment is around because men weren't doing their jobs, and I think that's sad. I believe the man should be the head of the family. The woman should be the heart of the family."

Yeah, those women and their silly superfluous brains, why should they get their own vote when their husband's vote will do just fine to speak for the will of the family?

Even scarier than her unbalanced pronouncements on the rights of Women, is the fact that she's been re-elected twice, and survived a recall attempt since making those statements!

Of course now she's got bigger fish to fry and is running for statewide office, where such evidence of mental incompetence might actually hurt, rather than help her chances. So, she's turned to a time honored GOP, Tradition. Although she's never retracted the statement, much less apologized for it; she's declared it Old News and is going to simply ignore the comment from here on out.

On Wednesday, she dismissed the controversy -- which included an unsuccessful drive to recall her from office -- as "silliness." She said she does not believe voters will consider it a significant issue.

of Course not, well the ones that can still vote anyway.

But even that wasn't the most stupid-Scary thing to slink its way out of the Flattest Place on Earth this week.

When you are looking for a staggeringly stultifying display of Wingnut Asshattery, who is the one man you can always count on? That's Right Sen. Sam, "the Brownie" Brownback. And this week he didn't disappoint. Instead week he gave a Shout out to his Dominionist homies by co-sponsoring The Constitution Restoration Act of 2005
(and for those of you who left your secret Dog-whistle Decoders at home, go Google "constitutional restoration")

Now this lovely Act Sez three very scary things:

1) `Sec. 1260. Matters not reviewable

`Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Supreme Court shall not have jurisdiction to review, by appeal, writ of certiorari, or otherwise, any matter to the extent that relief is sought against an entity of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer or agent of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official or personal capacity), concerning that entity's, officer's, or agent's acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.'.

Or, if for some odd reason you don't speak lawyer. This bit uses a little used quirk of the Constitution to forbid the Supreme Court from hearing cases where state and local officials try to cram their religion down other's necks.

Now maybe I dozed off during School House Rock, but I don't remember the part where between being passed by the Congress, and signed by the president, the Bill was assumed bodily into heaven to seek holy imprimatur. So I always kind of thought the sovereign source of Law was The Constitution of perhaps even the Will o' the People, but apparently I was wrong. Apparently God besides having three persons also has three branches, a legislative, executive and judicial, who knew?

But wait, there's More:


In interpreting and applying the Constitution of the United States, a court of the United States may not rely upon any constitution, law, administrative rule, Executive order, directive, policy, judicial decision, or any other action of any foreign state or international organization or agency, other than English constitutional and common law up to the time of the adoption of the Constitution of the United States.

Any decision of a Federal court which has been made prior to, on, or after the effective date of this Act, to the extent that the decision relates to an issue removed from Federal jurisdiction under section 1260 or 1370 of title 28, United States Code, as added by this Act, is not binding precedent on any State court.

Now see not only did we need to get God back in charge of the judicial system, but we have to root out those damn foreign ideas of liberalism and the rule of law that are pervading the judiciary, especially those pesky wartime treaties and Intenational Declarations of Rights and the like. Amurican Judges should only look to Amurican law by gum!

Note ironically that they ARE allowed to base a decision on English Common law, but only up until the time they stopped burning witches and putting people in pillories. (which incidentally, if strictly applied would re-legalize trial by combat, but I won't bore you with the details of that)

And since Sen Brownback is completing a trifecta of stupidity, its only appropriate that he offer a bonus bit of stupidity to round out the bill

To the extent that a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States or any judge of any Federal court engages in any activity that exceeds the jurisdiction of the court of that justice or judge, as the case may be, by reason of section 1260 or 1370 of title 28, United States Code, as added by this Act, engaging in that activity shall be deemed to constitute the commission of--
(1) an offense for which the judge may be removed upon impeachment and conviction; and
(2) a breach of the standard of good behavior required by article III, section 1 of the Constitution.

You remember that whole "we appoint judges for life so they are immune from transient political pressure to decide certain cases in certain ways" thing? Yeah, well, never mind. See now that they're firmly in power (and own the voting machine companies) They're not so keen on that whole "independence" thing. They'd much prefer a leashed judiciary that can be removed at the drop of a hat, rather than that whole old free thinking kind.

Wow. Just wow. Putting evolution on trial (while, ironically enough, trying to fund a bio-tech research bill) was a breathtaking move; opening debate on a subject most people thought had been settled almost 100 years ago. Now this gets followed up with a State politician speaking openly about denying women the franchise, and taking a Sledge hammer to high wall of separation between Church and state.

While everything may be still up to date in Kansas City, the events of this week prove that no progress, no advancement is truly safe. We call ourselves progressives and over the years in hard fought battle after hard fought battle we have indeed made a lot of progress. The world is a safer, more caring and humane place because of our efforts. What Kansas is teaching us though is when you stop pushing forward, the other side starts pushing back as hard as they can, and no gain of the last century no matter how ingrained into our national fabric, is safe against the Wingnut Assault.

Lets stop complimenting them by calling them Republicans, as they have very little respect for the Republic itself, and apply their real name: Regressives. They are a political movement that is basically pissed that the 20th century even happened and if they have their way, we'll all be partying like its 1899 any day now.


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