Aug 18, 2009
Senate Republicans throw fake ‘tea party’ during Judiciary Committee meeting
LANSING - Sen. Wayne Kuipers, R-Holland, threw a fake Astroturf “tea party” Tuesday, but the only problem was he chose the Senate Judiciary Committee to do it, and six other Senators had to hear the drivel usually spouted at the fake “tea parties.”
With a boatload of meaningful Legislation the Senate Republicans could take up, like the budget, the workplace smoking ban many people have been clamoring for, laws to make voting easier that has bipartisan support and were passed in the House or the unemployment bills that will give Michigan families running out of unemployment access to $140 million in federal funds. Instead, the committee wasted almost two hours on a pair of resolutions that mean absolutely nothing.
The Judiciary Committee approved - there was no reason to vote against them - Senate Resolution 17 and Senate Concurrent Resolution 4. Both resolutions “affirm Michigan’s sovereignty under the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”
This has been a rallying point for extremist right-wingers since the militia was widespread back in the mid 1990s; it’s no coincidence they are back.
The sponsor- Sen. Bruce Patterson, R-Canton, - said it was a no-brainer. He was right. This was simply playing to the base.
“There is nothing to debate,” he said. “All this does is remind us of what we already agreed to.”
I agree. So, why did we waste two hours listing to extremist Republicans rail against the Democratic administration and crap about “state’s rights?”
Representatives of rightwing extremist groups tramped up to the microphone one after another to read their talking points. We heard from groups like the rightwing Republican Washington, D.C. lobbying group and think tank Americans for Prosperity - the people behind the “tea parties” and disrupting town hall meetings - something called the “campaign for liberty” and even a rightwing blogger who said she helped organize the fake tea party in Lansing.
The hearing raised more questions that were answered. Like where were these people railing about the federal government when George Bush was shredding the Constitution?
Where were these people when Bush conned Americans into a useless war that did nothing but endangered this country?
Where were these people when Bush violated the separation of powers with the signing statements that said he wasn’t going to uphold the law?
Where were these people when Bush was spying on American citizens?
Where were these people when Bush was dictating what we had to teach with no dime left for any child program?
Where were these people when Bush was blowing the cover of undercover CIA agents?
Where were these people when Bush was politicizing the U.S. Justice Department?
Where were these people when Bush was giving no bid contracts to his cronies in Iraq?
Where were these people when Bush was giving out bank bailouts?
We even got a long, rambling speech from former extremist Republican State Representative Jack Hoogendyk, a board member of Michigan AFP and a candidate for just about every office in Michigan.
“The first 10 amendments were therefore added to include the ancient, unalienable rights of Anglo-Saxon freemen so there could be no question as to the strictly limited authority the people were conferring on their central government,” he said.
In an earlier time in this country, the states used the 10th amendment to justify repressive and immoral policies, including slavery, to secede from the union, to deny African-Americans the right to vote and southern states invoked it as a barrier to enforcement of the 14th Amendment and to justify segregation and Jim Crow.