michael kors bracelet Alabama Legislature's time-wasting bills prove 'Goat Hill is stuck on stupid,' Madison County Democratic chair says

The 2014 Alabama Legislative Session ended on a particularly pathetic note with a soon-to-be anticlimactic showdown between a stingy Gov. Bentley and a Grinch-like Republican Supermajority sparring over giving teachers a paltry 2 percent raise.

The last-minute wrangling over the dysfunctional budget also pre-empted any debate or passage of other pending bills that were particularly meaningful to average Alabamians.

AL.com OpinionAbout the writerClete Wetli is chairman of the Madison County Democratic Party. He can be reached at .Read more

Tragically, the majority of the session was spent passing bills that were nothing more than perverse red-meat political theater orchestrated by those seeking reelection in an all-out pander to the extremists of their base.

Apparently when an AmericanLegislative Exchange Council bills fail expensive legal and common sense constitutional challenges in surrounding Southern states, brilliant conservative Alabama politicos think these bills should be first on our legislative agenda. Heck, if it didn t work in Florida or Mississippi, then that s good enough for Alabama!

Who cares how much it costs taxpayers in wasted legal fees? Who cares if it solidifies a stubborn stereotype that Goat Hill is stuck on stupid? The epic and unanimously comical debate on the Ten Commandments legislation and the all-important Cornbread Resolution simply speak for themselves.

Perhaps, it wasn t enough for the entire legislative session to be about nothing more than cheap political grand-standing, instead voters got the added bonus of Rep. Wren s ethics plea deal and the promise of a parade of ethics and corruption indictments to come.

In Madison County, we are being treated to an additional circus ring as past-their-shelf-life candidates like former Alabama State Republican Chair, Elbert Peters, withdraws from consideration because he claims he doesn t know what district he lives in. Do they really expect voters to believe this? This was nothing more than buying time to find a viable warm body to run in a district that they know doesn t support their regressive ideology.

It s shameful that almost anytime the national media focuses on Alabama, we can be assured that it s only for comic relief or a dire warning of what to avoid. Thanks a bunch for that; Sen. Shadrack McGill, Rep. Mary Sue McLurkin, House Speaker Mike Hubbard, U.S. Congressman Mo Brooks and all the others in your party who provide examples of this continuously. Y all are sure enough representin !

If you re not angry about the deceptive practices and the double-speak business-as-usual practices of this Republican Supermajority, then you really ought to be. Teachers, policeman, firefighters, and other public servants should be outraged. The three-hundred thousand that would benefit from Medicaid expansion should be livid. The poor and unemployed should be aghast at how they are being treated in Alabama. Women should be mortified as they watch their rights get trampled upon.

It is plainly sad that when this legislative session ended; that there was palpable and widespread joyous relief because voters knew that no more damage could be done. This is a woeful commentary on Alabama politics and the first step to fixing this mess is for folks to get out and vote.

The second step is for average citizens to educate themselves about the issues and to communicate with their elected officials. Hold them accountable and call them on their horse-hockey. If you don t speak out, who will?

In Alabama, we ve come to expect pitiful legislative sessions like this last one and the bar for improvement remains unquestionably low. Yet, we can demand better, but it takes public outcry and collective, purposeful action.

This 2014 Legislative Session has been an absolute disgrace and embarrassment leading into an election year. Alabama voters need to remember this in November. The Republican Supermajority failed Alabama and they deserve to be fired on Election Day.

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