A record high number of states are now governed solely by a one-party majority – which can then generally pass whatever legislation it likes. People don’t typically pay attention to state legislative races, and gerrymandered districts enable less-informed voters to pull the straight ticket and vote in all members of one party. The results can be hilarious… and terrifying. My State Did What?! focuses on the bipartisan foibles of state government, especially around corruption, womens’ health and reproductive rights, and LGBT issues.
So this week, Republicans don’t want to believe that true things are true.
This is new because…well, it’s not new. But it’s still important to cover.
In Oklahoma, we have the latest battle in the science wars, in which the first political party to be against the facts of science as currently known (just because!) has now brought forward a bill that takes the evolution “fight” to a whole new level. Take it away, Mother Jones!
Gus Blackwell, the Republican state representative who introduced the bill, insists that his legislation has nothing to do with religion; it simply encourages scientific exploration. “I proposed this bill because there are teachers and students who may be afraid of going against what they see in their textbooks,” says Blackwell…Stated another way, students could make untestable, faith-based claims in science classes without fear of receiving a poor mark.
Dinosaurs existed with people! Evolution doesn’t exist! Give me an A! The Republicans said so! And these are the people who decry individuals who take welfare as entitled sad-sacks who feel like the government owes them something. Way to go on individual responsibility! Way to go on limited government! Government should be too small to fit into a corporate boardroom, but just small enough to fit into a teachers’ grading pen or an expectant mother’s uterus.
Continuing on to Alaska, where this week, a legal question considered settled since the Civil War was re-opened by a state legislature determined to troll the gun rights debate, just because. Some people think that some common-sense background checks and maybe even an assault-rifle ban might make sense, given that since the Newtown tragedy, 1900 Americans have been gunned down.
Not Alaska Republicans. Lo, Anchorage Daily News!
The bill would extend the reach of a law passed in 2010 by asserting that any firearm, firearm accessory or ammunition possessed by anyone in Alaska was not subject to federal law…Chenault’s bill declares that any “federal statute, regulation, rule or order” taking effect after passage of House Bill 69 would be invalid in Alaska if it restricted semi-automatic firearms or magazines.
Any federal agent who attempted to enforce those future federal laws would be subject to prosecution by the state on misdemeanor charges.
The federal agent’s reaction, though, is the most priceless part.
“Well, this is interesting,” said Karen Loeffler, the U.S. Attorney for Alaska and the chief federal law enforcement official in the state.
Oh, Karen Loeffler. Poor you. You, like the rest of us, thought that we’d decided that federal laws supersede state laws back in 1865, when the Civil War happened. But no. Apparently not.