Mississippi is the most conservative state, reveals a Gallup Poll, but, Montana, according to the Associated Press, is the most certifiable.
In a brazenly biased piece aimed at discrediting the newly-elected legislators who were inspired by the Tea Party movement, the AP ominously described their vision of government (for the Big Sky state) as a “a place where officials can ignore U.S. laws, force FBI agents to get a sheriff’s OK before arresting anyone, ban abortions, limit sex education in schools, and create armed citizen militias.”
Wow. That’s the AP’s snarky, shorthand way to shortchange some of the conservative newcomers’ concerns about the proper role of government and social engineering. For instance, the slam on “limiting sex education in schools” refers to a bill by Rep. Cary Smith, of Billings, which would give parents the opportunity to have their children opt out of age-inappropriate K-12 sex education programs in the public schools.
The part about officials ignoring U.S. laws refers to a push by Rep. Derek Skees, of Kalispell, for the legal principle of nullification which allows individual states to take a stand against federal statutes that they deem unconstitutional. (Think ObamaCare or the Real ID Act.)
But rather than discuss the merits of the issues, the AP chose to mock lawfully elected Republican representatives, working within the system, by allowing words like “laughingstock” and “kooky” to describe their efforts to bring a little relief, a little liberty to the citizens of the Last Best Place. And ladies and gents, this ain’t your grandpappy’s Montana. Believe it or not, government is now the number one employer in a bodacious state brimming with natural resources. Meanwhile, a couple of bills also being proposed – one to require that drivers’ license tests be administered only in English and another to require employers to use the federal e-verify system – indicate that illegal immigration is a concern.
Clearly these legislators deserve a gold star for their efforts, but don’t look to Montana Democratic Governor Brian Schweitzer to give out any props.
He went out of his way to insult the Tea Party legislation and legislators.
Schweitzer told the AP that he has acquired a new “cattle brand” with the word VETO and that a “branding iron” is in the works. “Ain’t nobody in the history of Montana has had so many danged ornery critters that needed branding,” said Schweitzer.
Such an autocratic air and disdain for the democratic process could serve the governor well, if, when his current term expires, he would like to return to Libya (where he once worked) where soon there may be a job opening for his “brand” of leadership.