Clearly, It isn’t only Washington that is suffering from a surfeit of buffoons.
I ‘m old enough to remember when Harrison Ullmann, then editor of Indianapolis’ alternative newspaper Nuvo, routinely called the Indiana General Assembly “the World’s Worst Legislature.”
And that was before Milo Smith was elected to embarrass Bartholomew County.
Smith, as you may recall, was the legislator who refused to allow the House Elections Committee to even hold a vote on a redistricting bill, killing last session’s effort to reform gerrymandering–and not so incidentally, protecting his own safe seat.
Smith has also been in the forefront of efforts to pass anti-LGBTQ legislation–despite the fact that his own son is gay. There is something truly despicable about a parent actively trying to make his own child a second-class citizen.
Smith’s disdain for bedrock American values like civic equality and liberty have once again come to the fore: he has announced his intent to file a bill that would force the owners of the Indianapolis Colts to refund the admission fee of fans “offended” by players “taking a knee.”
What was it that Forrest Gump always said? “Stupid is as stupid does”?
One of my former students texted me to ask whether this idiotic proposal wouldn’t also be unconstitutional–after all, government would be forcing the team’s owner to infringe players’ rights or lose money. The answer is yes. (My students are required to encounter the Constitution; clearly, Indiana elected officials are not.)
It’s bad enough that this proposal spits on the First Amendment’s protection of every American’s right to protest–to express a political opinion without incurring government’s sanction. Even worse, Smith wants government to penalize the private-sector team owners if they fail to carry his unconstitutional water.
Perhaps he’d like to fine other businesses when their employees took public positions with which others disagreed?
Next November, I’m fervently hoping for a “wave”– voter turnout massive enough to wash away the ignorant and self-important occupants of seats gerrymandered to be “safe.” Milo Smith and his ilk need to be removed from the Indiana Statehouse, and despite the best efforts of those engaged in partisan redistricting, high turnout will turn them out.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have Representatives with at least a nodding acquaintance with the U.S. Constitution and with our most foundational American values?