Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Banning boobies and four other ways politicians pretend to have balls

Posted By on Wed, Aug 4, 2010 at 10:30 AM

click to enlarge These decisions are the political equivalent of putting Truck Nutz on your car.
  • These decisions are the political equivalent of putting Truck Nutz on your car.

Now that the primaries are over, the real high-gear campaigning can begin. That means politicians making a lot of grand promises about how they're going to send a message to those fat cats in Washington, D.C. They're running to lead, not to feather their own nests, goddamn it!

Ah, but it was always thus. As the world revolves around the sun, so will politicians always congratulate themselves for moves that require no courage. Here are just a few of the things they've done in our corner of the country to try and convince you they've got balls where there's only a greasy black cavity.



click to enlarge Sam Brownback joined the not-in-my-backyard chorus.
  • Sam Brownback joined the not-in-my-backyard chorus.
5. Missouri lawmakers pass legislation urging Congress not to transport Gitmo prisoners through the state

As my colleague David Martin already covered well in his June 2009 column "Prison City Goes Soft," for all their tough talk on terrorists, politicians don't actually want to have to help incarcerate one. Missouri politicians freaked about the idea of just transporting Gitmo prisoners to Leavenworth. U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas took it even worse, screeching that the facility that had already successfully held spies and terrorists -- including Mohammed Salameh, of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing -- couldn't possibly be expected to keep Gitmo prisoners. Politicians on both sides of the aisle acted like their stand against accepting the prisoners was somehow a bold refusal to endanger the good people of the Midwest. In fact, it just showed how scared they were to do anything to help deal with terrorism if the action wasn't taking place in a different hemisphere.


click to enlarge This man would never push a frivolous lawsuit.
  • This man would never push a frivolous lawsuit.
4. Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder's fight against health-care reform.

Ever since health-care reform was passed, Kinder's been talking to anyone with a microphone and a television camera about how he'll bravely fight for the citizens of Missouri. No one who can't afford it should be able to see a doctor! It's unconstitutional! He even went so far as to file a lawsuit against the legislation naming multiple big-name politicians, including Health and Human Services Director Kathleen Sebelius. Surely a Republican would never file a frivolous lawsuit that he knows will only take up valuable court time. All of this is for you, the common man, who refuses to wear the 10-pound beard of bees that is federal health-care reform. It is not just so he can keep getting on Fox News to build a national following. Nope.


click to enlarge Kelsey Smith's death became a campaign issue this year.
  • Kelsey Smith's death became a campaign issue this year.
3. Doing things for Kelsey Smith

The race between Jerry Moran and Todd Tiahrt got pretty ugly this election, but both men were guilty of exploiting a horrible event for personal gain. After Kelsey Smith was murdered, Moran rushed to name a bill after her -- with his own name attached. Later on, in Tiahrt's ads, Smith's family would complain that Moran hadn't even asked them about it, and Tiahrt was the Republican Kelsey Smith would've really wanted. I wouldn't presume to know what Kesley Smith would want. But she might not care for her life being reduced to a slogan on a campaign bumper sticker.


click to enlarge Lawmakers couldn't wait to ban K2.
  • Lawmakers couldn't wait to ban K2.
2. Banning K2 synthetic marijuana

The minute anyone heard about K2, the countdown to banning it began. Everyone knew that eventually this was going to be criminalized, regardless of what it's long-term health effects might be, because it got you high. If it gets you high, end of story. What was really shocking was the quickness with which Kansas acted to get it off shelves. With hundreds of millions of dollars lost from the state budget and an ugly, ugly year ahead of them, the first thing the Kansas Legislature did in this session was pass the K2 ban with almost no discussion. Off the record, a few told us they didn't think K2 was such a pressing concern, but who wants to be the guy who voted against banning it? Because you wouldn't be the politician who wants to have a reasonable discussion about what K2 might do to people and if there were legitimate uses for it. You'd be the dude who wants children to get high.


click to enlarge Matt Bartle likes to leave a lot to the imagination.
  • Matt Bartle likes to leave a lot to the imagination.
1. Trying to kill Missouri's Strip Clubs

Matt Bartle was a state senator with one thing on his mind. As long as he was in office, he was obsessed with the horrible thought that somewhere out there, some man was seeing boobies he was not married to. Horrors! Because Missouri's politicians had some basic sense about not destroying people's jobs for no good reason, his previous efforts failed. But this year he found a way to tie corruption and bribery investigations to a bill regulating strip clubs right out of existence. Once he'd made it look like anyone opposing the bill was on the take, he had no trouble protecting all those people who would turn into sex fiends and rapists the minute they saw a strange bit of areola. Every pussy politician afraid of losing his job, but with no problem ending jobs for a few thousand adult entertainment workers, fell in line.

Incidentally, Gov. Jay Nixon signed this ban while the K2 bill lingered on his desk for weeks without attention. Apparently adults seeing boobies was a more pressing concern than all those innocent children blowing their minds with gas-station faux-weed.

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