Anyone who doesn’t believe the U.S. Congress – and more than a handful of states – aren’t screwing us over big-time isn’t paying attention. From student loans to national defense to control of our own health decisions – we’re being politically raped.
Taxes are being shifted to the least able to pay – personal rights are being attacked as never before in our times – anti-abortion Republicans are acting like safecrackers in the night – legislatures are running amok creating and passing bills with no prior public notice – Congress has turned its back on our repeated requests for action on dozens of issues we want solved – politicians at both levels are acting with a “voter-be-damned” attitude because they’ve perverted election districts to assure themselves near-lifetime job security.
No one – no one- can argue with these statements. Proof is overwhelming. Much of the congressional and legislative system is unresponsive to the electorate. And yet – something’s not happening. There’s no significant outrage. Anywhere. No one’s taking to the streets in numbers large enough to affect change. Recall petitions aren’t circulating by the hundreds. Few new faces are coming forward to challenge the bad guys – and bad women. Tens of millions of people are being hurt – some severely – and yet – silence.
Though I’ve been silent, too – stewing about this for many months – the North Carolina legislature finally sent me screaming over the edge this week. Late at night – with absolutely no advance notice – even to Democrats in the same legislative body – NC Republicans attached another Draconian anti-abortion rider to a motorcycle safety bill – a motorcycle safety bill - and rammed it though. No notice. No hearing. Not even on the agenda or bill reading calendar. Just whipped it out of the committee chairman’s drawer, slapped it on the table, waived the legal requirements for public notice and public hearings, and shot that sucker into the system. As we used to say, “wham-bam-thank you, Ma’am.”
North Carolina Republicans have used dishonest – and I’d bet illegal – maneuvers before in their handling of legislative matters. But never like this. And never with a subject that is of such deep, personal interest to millions of people in the state. Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Texas “lawmakers” have used this same underhanded “bum’s rush” scheme, too. All Republicans. The subjects are always the same: anti-abortion or limiting voting access for minorities. And many of them look you straight in the eye and say, “We’re doing the Lord’s work.” Yeah, if your lord’s name is Vader. (more…)