1:00 PM EDT on March 15, 2011
"The F-ing Speaker won’t hear them anyway. If he think he has a problem with his leg now, wait until I break his other F-ing leg."
~ Randy Terrill
On Monday, the Oklahoma House of Representatives devolved into a sorority chapter meeting. Two members of the congregation, who we normally would rush to judge, were "repremanded" for stupid reason.
The first was Mike Reynolds, who once used forged documents to prove community-organizing group ACORN was plotting to take over the state, being called out for interrupting the "pastor of the day." His fellow Republican Dan Kirby invited a pastor to speak to the House. During his sermon, he lobbied the representatives to "tie a relationship between healthy body, healthy mind and healthy soul.” Perhaps citing the Apostle Paul who wrote, "eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die," Reynolds--a Baptist deacon--took exception of the pastor suggesting Jesus would want his followers to be anything other than fat slobs.
It probably was rude to interrupt the speaker, but even though most rational people would not take exception to the message being put forth, it does open up the question of why religious leaders should get preferential treatment to lobby congress. In arguing for the reprimand, Representative Kirby defended his speaker by saying, " all preachers lobby us." Sure, he limited it to "lead(ing) a Christian life," but if any other profession were given carte blanche to make their pitch to the entire body of the House of Representatives, people would be up in arms. Instead, Reynolds gets in trouble for bucking the system.
The other guy to get hit with today's display of congressional pettiness was Randy Terrill. Even though I would be happy for the House to issue a resolution requiring that Representative Terrill take a kick to the groin from a migrant worker in order to gain entrance to the Capitol Rotunda, I thought this repremand was stupid.
For a guy who takes leadership in getting racial insensitivity made into law and is currently indicted for legislative corruption, I find it strange that the crime his peers felt deserved addressing was his use of foul language...in a private conversation.
According to the assistant of Floor Leader Dan Sullivan, Representative Terrill spewed the potty mouthed idle threat that leads this column. It was uttered in the office of Representative Sullivan. Big deal, right? If Terrill's fellow Republican representative Charles Ortega had not brought this to the floor, no one outside of Sullivan's aide and whoever that person gossiped with would have known about the dirty words being used behind closed doors.
Barring the perfectly possible explanation that Ortega brought it up because it would embarrass Terrill and Ortega has a hispanic last name, I have to assume our elected officials have created a sorority. Instead of actual issues, they will spend their tax payer funded time arguing about inane garbage. On the bright side, time spent with Republicans fighting each other is time not spent passing draconian laws.
No word yet on if the measure to repremand Randy Grau for eating the yogurt Corey Holland left in the House breakroom (clearly labeled "CH") was going to be voted on before adjournment on Tuesday.