Republican stupidity

Dim Bulb Award for 2014

dim-bulbThe Dim Bulb Award is an RNWMV tradition. It is an award that I give to any worthy member of the Idaho Legislature who has, through word or action, reached the acceptable level of abject stupidity. This legislative session has reached new heights of dimness. I could easily award the Dim Chandelier award to the whole Republican caucus, as this was the first legislative session that warranted an editorial from both the New York Times and the Washington Post. The take away comment from the NYT described the Republicans as exhibiting “xenophobic fantasies”. I couldn’t agree more.

Nevertheless, I will remain true to the Dim Bulb award tradition and award it to an individual legislator. But, as I have done in the past, I will fudge a bit by giving more than one award for this session. It was impossible to single out just one Legislator among a group of Republican Legislators who engage in group think.

Today, the award goes to a runner up to the award in 2013, Vito “Cousin Vito” Barbieri. He managed to pull off a couple of bone head idiocies this session including inviting the rabid anti-Islam speaker Shahram Hadian to speak at a luncheon where he convinced the members of the House Judiciary, Rules and Administration to vote against updating Child Support legislation because it would put Idaho under Sharia law. As a result, the Legislature will have to come back in special session to correct the screw up.

Below is Cousin Vito displaying the stupid that led to the first Dim Bulb award of 2014.

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Dim Bulb Award

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Dusting off the award

Here we are  deep into the legislative session and I have resisted handing out the “Dim Bulb”  award to anyone this year. This hesitancy was not because there hasn’t been the usual amount of stupidity on display, because, of course there has been.

But you must remember to win the award run-of-the-mill dimness won’t do. Winners must not only display jaw dropping ignorance, but they must also have such a complete lack the self-awareness they have no sense of shame, and, in fact, revel in their dimness.

We shoulda never went there

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Today the House passed (51-17) a non-binding memorial sponsored by Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, to declare Idaho’s sovereignty from the federal government and ask the feds to “cease and desist” from violating that sovereignty.

According to Betsy Russell at Eye on Idaho,

Harwood read from the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and told the House, “With them words, the states of this United States created the federal government.” It was meant to be an agent for the states, he said, not the other way around. Harwood decried federal actions that push states to comply under threat of losing federal funds. “They’ve moved us in a direction that we can’t afford to go … and we shoulda never went there,” he said. And he told the House that he believes the United States is not a democracy and not even just a republic, but a “confederacy,” adding, “To be accurate, we’re a confederated republic.”

Rep. George Sayler, D-Coeur d’Alene, a retired high school government teacher, gently pointed out that we are not a confederacy and that we fought a civil war to clarify that point. Not that it did much good.

Harwood is one of those Idaho Republican legislators who graduated from the “School of Hard Knocks.There is no point in confusing him with facts

Dim Leading the Dim

Two more of the dimmest of the dim followed Harwood’s lead.

Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, spoke out in favor of a return to the gold standard, and said he supported the memorial because of its statements against the federal reserve system. Rep. Lenore Barrett, R-Challis, also spoke in favor of the measure.

UPDATE: Harwood digs the hole deeper. Again from Betsy Russell,

Political scientists said Harwood’s dead wrong, and a longtime Kootenai County human rights activist said the use of the term “confederacy” is offensive. Harwood said, “If I’m wrong, then I guess I’m wrong. But my understanding of it all was that we were a confederated republic.” He said he thought President Lincoln changed things so that states couldn’t secede, but that the nation remained a confederacy. “Lots of things that have happened in the history of our country never get told in college courses.”

That’s right, Dick, stay away from them college courses with their lies and all.