Republicans used to be so good at using dog whistles — those coded messages that hid their true agenda from average voters while letting the faithful know that the party was on their side. But in this Tea Party era, dog whistles are increasingly anachronistic. Conservatives demand overt allegiance to their agenda.
That’s healthy for democracy. We deserve a genuine debate about where the parties want to take the country.
For example, in Wyoming, the Republican state House is planning for the demise of the United States, putting together a task force to examine, among other things, “[c]onditions under which the state of Wyoming should implement a draft, raise a standing army, marine corps, navy and air force and acquire strike aircraft and an aircraft carrier.”
Of course, Wyoming is nearly 900 miles from the nearest shoreline, but apparently that’s why they need that army. Idaho and Oregon wouldn’t stand a chance!
New Hampshire Republicans are busy, too. State House Rep. Jerry Bergevin has introduced legislation that would require teaching evolution as a theory devised by atheists responsible for Nazism and the Columbine school shootings. “I want the full portrait of evolution and the people who came up with the idea to be presented,” Bergevin said. “It’s a worldview and it’s godless.”
Another Granite State bill takes a step back — way back:
“All members of the general court proposing bills and resolutions addressing individual rights or liberties shall include a direct quote from the Magna Carta which sets forth the article from which the individual right or liberty is derived.”
I always thought Republicans wanted to return to the 1800s, but I guess 1215 is more their speed.
Meanwhile, in Virginia, Republicans attempted to enact state-mandated rape by forcing women seeking abortions to have an ultrasound probe inserted into their vagina. A GOP lawmaker defended the legislation by saying that women seeking abortions had already been “vaginally penetrated when they got pregnant.” The bill died when Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), an original supporter, decided to reverse course. He’s campaigning for vice president, after all.
In Oklahoma, Republican state Sen. Ralph Shortey, responding to an epidemic in his imagination, introduced a bill “prohibiting the sale or manufacture of food or products which contain aborted human fetuses.” Defending his bill, he said, “[T]he fact is that there is a potential that there are companies that are using aborted human babies in their research and development of basically enhancing flavor for artificial flavors. … I just don’t think it should even be an option for a company.”
Just to be sure, Gawker asked several food conglomerates whether they used aborted human fetuses in their food. Sample reply: “The answer is no. McDonald’s does not use aborted human fetuses in its food.” Phew!
Meanwhile, we found out just last week that at least one Indiana Republican is onto the nefarious agenda of the Girl Scouts. After refusing to vote for a routine resolution praising the Girl Scouts, state Rep. Bob Morris wrote his colleagues that “abundant evidence proves that the agenda of Planned Parenthood includes sexualizing young girls through the Girl Scouts, which is quickly becoming a tactical arm of Planned Parenthood.”
Crazy stuff, all of it, but at least it’s honest — as honest as efforts by congressional Republicans to limit women’s access to contraception. Democrats have never hidden their agenda. It’s about time Republicans came clean on theirs.
Moulitsas is the publisher and founder of Daily Kos (dailykos.com).