Tuesday, April 22, 2008

"5000 Illiterate peasants"

Good freakin' God! The Colorado legislature has, in the person of State Rep. Douglas Bruce, a louder, crasser, and just plain more obnoxious bigot than our own Russell Pearce.

From his speech Monday on the floor of the House, courtesy DenverPost.com -
"We don't need 5,000 more illiterate peasants in the state of Colorado," Bruce,
R-Colorado Springs, said during debate on a bill to speed up a temporary
seasonal worker program.

At least Pearce and his ilk spout the overtly racist speech only on the campaign trail (Operation Wetback, National Alliance emails); once the legislative session starts, their main outlet for hate speech is their bill proposals (their actual speeches in support of their bills tend toward syrupy and smarmy.)

It should be noted that Rep. Bruce, in his short stint in the Colorado lege (took his oath of office in January), has exhibited a, ummm....flair for controversy (read: lunacy) that would earn him a spot in the leadership of Arizona's Republican Party.

In just a few short months, he has...

...ticked off the entire lege by delaying the start of his appointed term to lengthen the limitations on his possible terms (from 6 to 8 years);

...assaulted (kicked) a photographer on the floor of the House (censured);

...ticked off his own Republican caucus by refusing to co-sponsor or even vote for a resolution honoring the military (removed from an influential committee);

...attacked his primary opponent in the upcoming elections in fliers placed on the desks of some of his Republican colleagues (that primary opponent already has more support among the GOP faithful in his district than he does.)

In Colorado, he was kicked off of the podium for his efforts; here in AZ, they'd probably elect him as Majority Leader.

There's consideration of sanctions against Bruce for his speech, with the possiblities ranging from reprimand to outright expulsion from the House.

While his remarks were utterly vile and should be repudiated by the entire Colorado House, he should *not* be removed from office, for two reasons -

1. Free speech is a principle that must apply to *all* speech, not just *speech we like.* If it doesn't, the principle is meaningless.

2. We need this guy and the Pearces of the world to be the public face and voice of the anti-immigrant zealots. Every time they open their mouths, the bile they spew dissolves more of any veneer of civility they once covered themselves with.


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