Legislating Against Stupidity

The Lion often wonders how legislators get picked for the job. The answer may have come in a story in today’s Globe about the Massachusetts Legislature tacking on a budget amendment prohibiting texting while driving:

Similar legislation passed overwhelmingly last year in the House, but key senators argued that they did not want to "legislate against stupidity." Recent events, however, have swayed them.

"A lot of us who opposed this in the past realize that there’s a new generation of drivers who think it’s OK to text while they’re driving," said Senator Steven Baddour, a Methuen Democrat who is chairman of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Transportation and was one of the leading opponents of previous proposals. "This generation clearly doesn’t get it. It’s not the same as talking on a cellphone. You can’t text safely while driving."

Somehow these geniuses conflate ‘legislating against stupidity’ with legislating against a practice that gets innocent people killed by idiots who text while driving. (And by the way, Senator, talking on a cellphone while driving isn’t safe either.)

Of course these buffoons just couldn’t accept the plainly intelligent argument that if you’re texting you’re not watching the road and you are far more likely to cause an accident and get someone killed. Nope, they had to wait for a couple of train crashes and a bus crash.

So the truth is out. In order to win a seat in a state legislature you have to be the stupidest person in the contest. And then if you’re outstandingly stupid the people of your state will send you to Congress, particularly if you’re a Republican like Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma or Representative Joe Barton of Texas or the ever clever Georgia Representative Paul Broun who wants… well, here’s what he wants:

“The National Year of the Bible Resolution reminds us that our great nation was founded upon Biblical principles and that religious freedom is guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. I encourage Speaker Nancy Pelosi to bring this resolution to the floor so President Barack Obama has the opportunity to designate an appropriate year as ‘The National Year of the Bible,’” said Paul Broun.

The NYOBR is Broun’s pet resolution.

Umm, Paul, baby, the nation wasn’t founded on Biblical principles, and it wasn’t founded as a Christian nation. And what the hell, how about having a year of the Koran, and the Rig Veda, and the Torah, and some American Indian mumbo-jumbo? The Americans who believe that stuff are Americans. How about a year of Humanist Principles for the millions of atheists and agnostics and freethinkers and humanists? And yes, us evil humanists and atheists are Americans too.

Not a chance, of course. The Paul Brouns of the world are profoundly offended that beliefs other than their own narrow little fairy tales exist.

The Lion heard an interview with this guy yesterday, and yes, he is even stupider than his Bible Year resolution makes him out to be. That’s not to say that Republicans have a monopoly on stupidity, but they’re doing their best these days to lock up the franchise.

One thing is certain. Legislators on any level will never legislate against stupidity. They’d put themselves out of their jobs, and miss out on all the perks and corruption they’ve come to love so well.


10 Responses

  1. I can understand the resistance to passing the legislation because you’d fucking hope people wouldn’t be so stupid, but oh well. After all, we live in a country where they have to put instructions on shampoo bottles, and warnings on coffee cups that the contents are hot (so don’t pour it in your crotch).

    The year of the Bible is just crap. If anything, have a year of the works of John Locke. That’s more in line with picking literature that our nation was founded on.


    • philly –

      You’re assuming intelligence on the part of Broun and his ilk. He figures he’s got a lock on the Bible and that’s locke enough for him.


  2. Oh I know he’s an idiot. Assuming members of Congress would understand the Constitution and our nation’s history is like assuming people wouldn’t drive and text.


  3. I’m all for the 2010 Year of the Bible legislation, as long as it carries an amendment stating that it’s the *last* year that any legislator ever gets to mention the damned thing.


  4. One of my dad’s favourite phrases was “You cannot legislate stupidity/morality”, and he’s right. That does not, however, mean that laws such as the anti-texting while driving law does not have its uses: it will not stop idiots from texting while driving, but at least we can punish them more after they comit idiocide.

    And as for the year of the Drivvle: didn’t we already do that under Reagan?


  5. Мне кажется или автор что-то недоговаривает


  6. Yeah, like anyone’s going to believe that.


  7. In order to win a seat in a state legislature you have to be the stupidest person in the contest. And then if you’re outstandingly stupid the people of your state will send you to Congress.

    Ah, so that’s how it works. Thanks for clearing that up for me.


  8. () –

    Idiocide. I like that.

    ferinannnd –

    I dunno if I can agree with that. I’ll think about it after tomorrow’s soccer game.

    chappie –

    You know I’m always happy to clarify the workings of the world for you.


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