By Craig McDermott, cross-posted from Random Musings
In case anyone thought that the Republicans learned some lessons from their trouncing in November, think again.
In the US House, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-somewhere past the orbit of Pluto…ok, she's from Minnesota. But this time of year, Pluto and MN are roughly the same temperature. 🙂 ) introduced, on the very first day of the 113th Congress, introduced HR45, a measure to repeal healthcare reform, also known as "ObamaCare" and HR46, a measure to repeal Dodd-Frank, the minimal increase in oversight of Wall Street and the financial services industry after the financial speculation bubble burst late in the last decade. (no text available for either measure as yet)
The Rs have been wailing against both measures basically since both were enacted; for example, in just the last Congress, the House Republicans voted to repeal health care reform 33 times.
None of their efforts made it through the Senate, and there's no reason to think that these will, if one or both even passes the House. Of course, both HR45 and HR46 were assigned to *9* committees each, which may be the House Republican leadership's way of saying "quit wasting our time, Michele."
Of course, Republicans in Arizona are no better; in fact, they may actually be worse – they know they may actually get their way.
In Washington, the House Republicans will posture endlessly, but even they know what they're doing it just for show, to appease their base at klavern meetings and country club cocktail parties, but little more.
In Arizona, the Republicans may be looking to appease the same people, but do so with the knowledge that their efforts may actually become the law of the land.
State Rep. John Kavanagh (R-Fountain Hills, which isn't as far out there as Pluto, but it's close – Fountain Hills is also the home of Joe Arpaio) has filed his first bill for the upcoming session of the Arizona legislature – HCR2003.
If passed by the legislature, it would refer to the ballot a repeal of Arizona's medical marijuana law, a law that was enacted by the voters in 2010.
Since it was enacted, Arizona's elected Republicans have been fighting it in every court that will accept their legal filings.
They've been going the "court" route because they can't overturn the will of the voters on their own.
In 1998, the voters of Arizona passed an amendment to the state constitution known as Prop 105, or the Voter Protection Act. It bars the legislature from overturning a measure approved by the voters. They *can* amend such a measure, if the amendment both furthers the purpose of the measure and is approved by a 3/4 vote of the lege.
The 1998 measure was necessary because the lege had overturned a 1996 measure relating to…wait for it…
Of course, even in court, they usually lose, and lose badly. Which leaves Kavanagh's plan as the only one with real viability – get the voters to override themselves.
Which *could* happen, except that the Rs haven't presented any independently verifiable evidence that the voters were wrong to approve the medical marijuana law. All they've done is present evidence that the Rs don't agree with the voters.
Now, I'm a pretty cynical, "glass half full", kind of guy, but even I think that's not going to be enough to convince the voters of Arizona.
Oh, and given the Republicans' penchant for doing the "same old, same old", I have a nominee for the office of chair of the GOP (national or state, works either way) –
If you don't understand the reference, watch the movie "Groundhog Day", starring Bill Murray.