Wednesday, May 15, 2013

It may be time for the Capitol Police to start searching legislators for crack pipes...

...'cuz some of them seem to be killing off their brain cells at an alarming rate...

On Tuesday, the House gave its approval, by an almost-completely party-line vote, to SCR1016.

That SCR places a proposed amendment to the Arizona Constitution on the ballot in 2014.  If passed by the voters, it would add a clause to that document stating that Arizona could "nullify", or ignore, any federal action, law or rule.  AZBlueMeanie at Blog for Arizona has a great rundown of that here.

This post is merely about a little over 40 seconds of the House debate on the measure, specifically Rep. Steve Smith's "explanation" of his vote.  He used his "explanation" of his vote to respond to the previous speaker, Democratic Rep. Albert Hale, the only Democrat to vote in favor of the measure.  Hale felt that such a measure would prevent the federal government from taking land and sovereignty from Native peoples and nations.

Note: There's no actual debate during final votes on measures at the lege, just legislators "explaining" their votes.  Some of the explanations get a little long-winded and even bombastic.  Smith was neither long-winded nor bombastic, but after watching his quiet certitude on the historical rightness of unbridled imperialism, I considered adding a third descriptor to the previous sentence - "drug-addled".  However, lacking the results of an independently administered and analyzed drug test, I chose not to go there.

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The text of his "explanation" (emphasis added) -
Mr. Speaker, I think just since we're talking a little bit about history, I think it would be fair to point out that history of virtually every nation on the earth has come about from one people taking from another.  Going back to biblical times.  If we stand on this argument, then God's people never should have occupied God's land. 'Cause they took it from people, too.  I guess I wanted to say that some people look at the United States as a taking nation.  I look at it as the most benevolent and the most giving nation, certainly in our time and frankly, ever.  I vote yes.

The scariest part isn't that he said what he said.  It was in how he said it, with the same matter-of-fact tone that former legislator Sylvia Allen proclaimed that strip mining uranium was OK because the Earth was 6000 years old and doing just fine.

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