Sunday, May 15, 2011

Who's the "Bull Goose Loony" among Wyoming Congressional Republicans?

Congressional Republicans ponder the "Repeal Amendment" while waiting for their meds 
O.K.. "looniness" isn't a word, at least according to Webster's. You can be loony or looney. I can be loonier that thou, or even the looniest one in the bunch. I can imagine myself as the non-politically-correct "Bull Goose Loony" in an imaginary mental ward ("One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest") or be a member of the "Looney Tunes" stable of animated characters -- Daffy Duck comes to mind.

But looniness is a good descriptor for the legislation issuing forth from Congressional Republicans these days. Wyoming's Congressional delegation was once known as a moderate bunch. Sure, they were all Republicans, but senators such as Al Simpson and Craig Thomas and Mike Enzi usually avoided siding with the Far Right on their looniest causes.

There were causes for concern. During his first term, Mike Enzi sided with Sen. Dr. Bill Frist on Terry Schiavo's right to live a long and healthy life in a vegetative state. Sen. Dr. Frist contended that he could diagnose Mrs. Frist via video and, apparently, that was good enough for Sen. Enzi. It was a tempest in a teapot, like so many of these Far Right causes. Education system not working? Blame unionized teachers and their fat paychecks. Don't like abortion? Force women to view ultrasounds of their fetus -- or charge them with murder after the fact. Budget deficits? Cut taxes for the wealthy and kill Medicare for the elderly and Medicaid for the poor.

As I said, looniness.

Now Sen. Enzi and Sen. Dr. John Barrasso (we don't need no universal health care!) and Rep. Cynthia Lummis (a.k.a. seventh-richest member of Congress) are touting the so-called "Repeal Amendment" which would allow states to get rid of federal rules and regulations they don't like. This is a favorite bugaboo of the Far Right. That damn federal gubment is out to get them with needless regulations about wolves and black-footed ferrets and guns and oil drilling and health care and Gays. Wyoming Tea Partiers, many of whom haver never seen a live wolf, call wolves terrorists and want to be able to shoot them on sight if they wander into their ranchette to munch on Fluffy. But that darn gubment keeps getting in their way.

Meanwhile, as rivers flood and tornadoes drop from the sky or rain refuses to fall, these same people holler for federal disaster relief and scream even louder if they don't get it immediately.

Wyoming is one of those states that pays in fewer taxes than it gets in federal funding. It also has a fair amount of federal land. We have two national parks, Yellowstone being the first in the U.S., and some national monuments, including the first in the U.S. in Devils Tower. We have the huge Wind River Indian Reservation and nuke central at F.E. Warren AFB -- I hear reveille sound every morning from the base's loudspeakers. We have the huge national training base at Camp Guernsey. We have national grasslands and reclamation projects and many millions of federal dollars in our interstate highway system and airports. Wyoming relies on energy and tourism, both heavily subsidized by government infrastructure.

Wyoming will wither up and blow away to Nebraska without federal funding from U.S. taxpayers.

All three members of the Wyoming Congressional delegation will be in Platte County this week. Check out the Platte County Democrats' blog to see the schedule. I am not sure if they also will be in Laramie County. Looked for Sen. Enzi's travel schedule on his web site and couldn't find anything up-to-date.

The Casper Star-Tribune had an excellent editorial today about the loony "Repeal Amendment." Here's the opening:
The last time a coalition of states decided it had the power to nullify federal laws was in 1860, when 11 Southern states objected to the ban on slavery and seceded from the union. We all know how that turned out.  Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., who has decided to ignore history and steer the current states’ rights bandwagon, is sponsoring the so-called Repeal Amendment, the ultimate anti-federal measure. It has almost no value beyond scoring some political points with the tea party crowd and the far right fringe of the Republican Party.


Katy white said...

Dear Michael,


Haven't seen you since the Wisconsin Solidarity meet up at the Capitol steps In January.

Why don't you submit your looney blog to the WTE as a guest editorial? It would be nice to read something from the other side of the aisle besides wRong Reagan and misCal Thomas.

Katy White

Michael Shay said...

Hi Katy. Good to hear from you. The post has lost a bit of its timeliness as our very busy Congressional delegation tackles other loony causes. I'll just have to post an update here.