Did you ever have one of “those” days, where you look at the world around you and wonder what in the heck happened to make the current turn of events spiral so absurdly out of control? I have been having that day a lot, lately. The loss of control over daily life and culture is frightening.
I have lived in Missouri all my life. I raised my children here, and my family lives here, as do most of my friends. While much of the country considers the Midwest, fly-over country, I do not. It’s a great place to live, and raise a family. The countryside is beautiful and the cities have just enough urban appeal without dominating the suburban culture. The values used to be common sense and generally conservative. Missouri has always been a RED state.
Last week, it became increasing clearer, (not that it wasn’t already) that Missouri is no different than the rest of the United States in that it has lost its capacity for independent thought and loyalty to true Constitutional principles, and has become intoxicated by the lure of following progressive promises, cleverly disguised in conservative garb. Missourians have abdicated their authority to Yankee Doodle speaking politicians with progressive agendas.
As we watched Colorado, with interest, oust its own progressive, second amendment hating, democratic senators, a breath of hope swept across the state. Watching the tenacious attitude of “I’ve had enough and I’m not gonna take it anymore” come from the Colorado electorate on the eve of our legislative veto session, Missourians marched to the state capitol to fight and lobby for our own 2-A preservation and tax rollback legislation that was vetoed by a democratic governor. Missouri, however, didn’t realize the same positive outcome. The Republican super majority failed to override two of the most controversial bills of the last legislative session.
The days that followed the veto session were filled with disappointment and disgust at the outcomes. Only in an upside down world can a Republican super majority cave to the progressive agenda, right? Even though there were promises of primaries for the unfaithful, there was little promise from leadership to bring stray republicans into line.
It was Senate leadership that killed the federal firearms preservation bill and Republican House members that couldn’t follow the wishes of a conservative constituency to lower Missouri taxes. The Speaker of the House spent the following days of the session crowing about how they historically overrode a record number of bills, but had little to say about how to bring stray Republican descenters into line.
Some fine points that didn’t get mentioned in all of the veto session hub-bub was that Right to Work was a big bone of contention during the regular session, and it was held up by the House leadership. Two bills were introduced but were allowed to languish and die. One would have required that the House floor vote bring RTW to Missouri and another would have put it on the ballot, to allow voters to decide, at a cost of over $7 million dollars to the state. The House Speaker has since opted for the safe alternative, to abdicate elected responsibility and place the initiative on the 2014 ballot. This protects less than conservative Republicans from having to take a stand on the issue and possibly risking re-election in their districts. But, what the heck? It’s only $7 million dollars. And representative governments are overrated, right?
In a state that passed a referendum, by over 70%, to pushback against a mandate to buy into Obamacare, in 2010, there seems to be a shortness of memory by Republican leadership in both the House and Senate. There have been whispers for months, that Republicans are scheming to slip in Medicaid expansion, under the radar.
This year, Missouri paralleled the NSA in data collection and privacy invasion. The Missouri Department of Revenue surrendered its full conceal and carry list to the federal government. As time passed the scandal grew exponentially, and soon it was learned that not only did the Department of Homeland Security have the CCW list, but it also had the data from anyone who was awarded a driver’s license. Biometric photos and all. And while the governor had signed legislation to make it illegal to comply with federal Real ID laws, it was discovered by a special committee, appointed by the Speaker of the House, that Janet Napolitano had corresponded with him congratulating him for doing just that. The investigative committee concluded that laws were broken all over the place, but there was no use in pursuing action, impeachment, or even knuckle slapping because all violations were mere misdemeanors. So why bother? To add insult to injury, the DoR was not only surrendering info to the feds, they were selling it to third party entities. Yep. Selling it. Privacy certainly doesn’t mean what it used to, especially in Missouri. And there seems to be no fire in the belly of Republican leadership to do anything about it.
How many times do conservative, grassroots need to be stepped on by the people they worked to support, and send to the capitol, before they wake up and smell the betrayal? Where is the outrage? Is promising a primary, which is months in the offing, really enough to put rouge Republicans on notice? Will it make them straighten up and fly (to the) right, or will it all be forgotten as time neutralizes the burn?
Primaries are a fine process to dispel and challenge corruption in government, but the “machine” has long since quashed the primary fix. They have trained the faithful to spurn primaries among Republicans in Missouri, so citizens need an additional, and more immediate, tool to address the disinterest that elected feel for their electorate. They need recall legislation, much like that which enabled the citizens of Colorado to put a hitch in the get-along of their progressive gun reform advocates. Before they ask for Right to Work, or to impeach a governor that breaks his own laws with abandon, Missourians need to remove control of government from the elected and take it back into their own hands. In the 2014 legislative session, the first bill that should be passed is recall legislation. Help Missourians fight back. Tweet #MORecallLegislation2014.