Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston





Friday, June 28, 2013

The Stupids of the Republican Party

There is so much awful in the report below on GOP state representative Daryl Metcalfe, that it is difficult to decide which part of it is the most shocking.  How do idiots like Pennsylvania Republican State Representative Daryl Metcalfe get elected?  Apparently the folks in his district are so ignorant of the US Constitution that they elected a representative who reflects their stupidity on our First Amendment rights.

This story will just add to the volume of evidence that is piling up and demonstrating how irrelevant the GOP has become on both the state and federal level.

GOP Rep. Metcalfe is under the impression that this country has become a theocracy and that people like him will prevail. He needs a good strong cup of reality, and so do the people who voted for this anti-American religious zealot.

"As is the case in many states, many in Pennsylvania are considering how to proceed in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, and on Wednesday, state Rep. Brian Sims (D) of Philadelphia rose to address the issue with his legislative colleagues. But Sims, the first openly gay member elected to the state House, was not allowed to deliver his remarks -- one of his colleagues raised a procedural objection to block him from speaking. 

And why is that? 

Republican State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, who prevented Sims from addressing the chamber on DOMA, explained himself this way: "I did not believe that as a member of that body that I should allow someone to make comments such as he was preparing to make that ultimately were just open rebellion against what the word of God has said, what God has said, and just open rebellion against God's law," 
Metcalfe had told WHYY of Philadelphia. 

Maybe now would be a good time to note that the separation of church and state still exists; American policymakers' ability to discuss Supreme Court rulings should not be based on one person's interpretation of "God's law"; and theocracies, as a rule, are not a good idea. 

Pressed for further explanation by the Associated Press, Metcalfe didn't back down, adding, "For me to allow him to say things that I believe are open rebellion against God are for me to participate in his open rebellion. There's no free speech on the floor." 

 Do you ever get the feeling some folks just aren't cut out for public service? 

Let's also note that two of Sims' Democratic colleagues rose to defend him, and they were blocked from speaking, too. 

Update: Metcalfe is the same state lawmaker who argued in 2009 that any U.S. military veteran who supports combating climate change "is a traitor." 

In an email Metcalfe wrote at the time, he added, 'Remember Benedict Arnold before giving credibility to a veteran who uses their service as a means to promote a leftist agenda. Drill Baby Drill!!!' "  h/t The Maddow Blog

And then we have this nut who wants to reinstate criminal penalties for what consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedrooms:

From The Inquisitor:

"Virginia AG, Ken Cuccinelli’s ideas on sex itself are outdated and patronizing. This becomes even more apparent when we see what he has asked of the Supreme Court: 

 Cuccinelli wants the court to reconsider a March 2013 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit striking down the state’s “crimes against nature” statute. The 4th Circuit ruled that the law did not pass muster in light of the Supreme Court’s 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision, which struck down the latter state’s anti-sodomy law as an unconstitutional criminalization of Americans’ sexual conduct. The Virginia law, however, remained on the books. Cuccinelli wants that law reinstated because he thinks that it is “an important tool that prosecutors use to put child molesters in jail.” Pardon me but isn’t there already a Virginia law against child molestation? It shouldn’t matter what a pedophile does: the fact that s/he is molesting a child in the first place is surely enough to prosecute. Why ask for an additional law that will impact those who aren’t pedophiles when the law already deals with the issue? "

Darwin save us from such knuckleheads!


Incognito said...

All elected officials get elected because the people of that district vote for them. Elected officials reflect local demographics. That's what democracy means -- for good or for bad.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Metcalfe mistook the state house of representatives for a Christian church, and got away with it.

Imagine if a Muslim had done the same, eh? The conservative blogs would be bloody with outrage, but since it was a Christian who defamed the Constitution, it didn't bother anyone very much.

Matthew said...

Metcalfe cited "god's law" to stop Sims from speaking on the PA House floor. It's Sims whose 1st Amendment rights, as well as his rights as an elected PA representative, were violated. The PA House violated them on the basis of a "god's law" citation that perfectly obviously is not PA law. That basis in fact violates other rights protected by the US Constitution, including "no religious test for public office".

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Incognito: "Elected officials reflect local demographics. That's what democracy means -- for good or for bad."

A rather naive and incomplete understanding of what democracy means or what Constitutional rights entail. No majority may deprive a minority of fundamental "inalienable rights" as clearly stated in the Preamble, and Amendments #1, #4, #5 and #14.

Recently, in the City of Vero Beach Florida, the mayor and vice mayor refused to allow a spokesperson of the Humanist Society from addressing the Town Council. Grounds? The mayor alleges that humanist are not Christians and believers in Jesus Christ. Citizens who objected to the actions of the mayor and City council at public meetings were threatened with arrest.

There is now a lawsuit against the City and a petition to remove the mayor and city council. I am a signatory to this lawsuit.

Jerry Critter said...

What kind of "procedural objection" prevents a member from speaking?

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

As I understand, all procedural objections in this matter are arbitrary and capricious, i.e. tantamount to bullying, disenfranchisement, and oppression.

All town council meetings set aside time for citizen feedback. In this case, the mayor and vice mayor took it upon themselves to decide who may be regarded as citizens versus who may be denied the right to speak.

The Jesus Police decided that Humanists are not entitled to full citizenship - meaning having a voice at town counsel meetings. Thus, the rights of Humanists were violated.

There is a HUGE amount of HUBRIS here. An election to public office does not confer an absolute right to preside as dictator or Inquisitor over others.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Jerry Critter: "What kind of 'procedural objection' prevents a member from speaking?"

It's called the "Tyranny of the Majority "Christianists" [not the same as Christians] Procedural Objection." And that majority sees nothing wrong with imposing their religious will and tests on other people. IOW, they behave very much like the fundamental Muslims [or other fundamental religionists] who carry it one step further by killing those who do not follow their particular brand of worshipping gods.

(O)CT(O)PUS has shown in his comment that this is NOT an isolated occurrence and that fundamentalists of all religious persuasions bully those who are not their co-religionists as well as non-believers.

Matthew, this is another example of how a majority is blind to their own actions when it is contra our Constitution. However, they scream bloody hell when they feel they've been victimized because they're expected to follow the Constitution.

Jerry Critter said...

I asked a serious question and I'm not sure i am getting a serious answer. Unless I am misunderstanding the situation, Sims was a state representative trying to address his fellow representatives, not just someone off the street who wanted to speak. Metcalfe was able to stop him from speaking by some procedural objection. I was wondering what the specific procedural objection was. How can they stop one of their own members from talking?

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Jerry: "I asked a serious question and I'm not sure i am getting a serious answer."

I'll attempt a serious answer but I make no promises (and I hope someone here comes up with a more erudite explanation).

When a majority controls a legislature (the Pennsylvania House in this case), the presiding officer of the parliamentary body may rule - under Robert\'s Rules of Order - anything he/she wants subject to the caprice and whims of the majority party.

Here's your clincher: "There's no free speech on the floor." And this: The Democratic colleagues who rose to defend Sims were blocked from speaking too.

What offends many people is when a long-standing tradition of deliberation subject to these "Rules" is abridged and abused by partisans. Does this answer your question?

Incognito said...

I'm not as naive and as stupid as you imagine.

Beating someone into submission -- and I'm including outvoting a faction as "beating into submission -- is a temporary change. Convincing is what is needed!

Follow the Constitution? Sure. Then work on persuasion. Otherwise, the sore festers.

Rational Nation USA said...

Well, a legislative body must have a code by which to establish and maintain proper decorum and order. Which of course should allow for the airing of all views, concerns, and possible remedies. Unless of course the party, or parties become disruptive or disrespectful of others in said legislative body.

When the majority party blocks the views of dissenting members it is acting to insure tyranny of the majority over the rights of the minority to be heard. This is contrary to our founders vision and it contrary to our Constitution.

Liberty is not something reserved to the majority.

steverino247 said...

The majority can never vote away equal protection under the law for the minority. Stop and read that again. People who hate homosexuals (and the testimony in the Prop. 8 trial made that very clear as the reason for the law) cannot vote away the rights of homosexuals to have the same freedoms and rights as non-homosexuals. This is why those folks in the black robes are making the news. Equal justice under law. Go read Loving v. Virginia, the case that ended the prohibitions against marriages between different races. The states where same-sex marriage bans still exist are relieved that the Prop. 8 ruling wasn't as broad as that in Loving v. Virginia, but that decision IS coming. Those states can continue to be on the wrong side of history, but discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation? It's done.

Jerry Critter said...

I was looking for specific details of what was used to prevent Sims from talking. Perhaps it was never detailed more than "procedural objection". Thanks for your efforts.

FreeThinke said...

"The partisan, when he is engaged in a dispute, cares nothing about the rights of the question, but is anxious only to convince his hearers of his own assertions."

~ Socrates (470-399 B. C.)

This is true of partisans of ALL stripes -- not just "Conservative Christians," or advocates of Free Market Capitalism."

Surely you must remember when Tom Daschle used every trick in the book to block Republican initiatives that were largely sympathetic to the objectives of Democrats simply because leaders of the Democratic Party did not want the Republicans to be able to take credit for any worthwhile accomplishment? Harry Reid does the same sort of thing all the time. The late Robert Byrd was famous for using his superior knowledge of "The Rules" to stymie any and all sorts of initiatives with which he -- or his party -- were not in sympathy.

Unfortunately, politics is little more than a GAME. One-sided sessions hurling stink bombs and grenades at the "other" side may make members of The Club feel good, but it's essentially bigoted, petty, self-indulgent behavior that does little or nothing to promote the best interests of society as a whole.

What I say applies equally to right and left alike, so please don't accuse me of being a scold. A Teller of Truth would be the term of preference.

Jerry Critter said...

I find it telling that a question on specifics just brings more generalities...part of the problem, not of the solution.

Anonymous said...

There are no solutions to those who would insist that every aspect of life is a problem, and that every attempt to solve a particular problem just opens up an infinite series of additional, even more perplexing problems.

The same holds true for those who respond to every answer to a question with more questions.

Helen Highwater