"They" can be found under the gray dome calling themselves state legislators. More specifically in the guise of Rep. Lyle Rowland, R-Cedarcreek, and his Republican colleagues.
Rowland pre-filed HB-1046 in December with an innocuous title, "Declaration of Candidacy." It has been forgotten by most.
What is it Rowland wrote that is so, for a lack of better words, stupid and frivolous and has "conspiracy" written all over it? From the bill summary:
"This bill requires each established political party to provide the Missouri Secretary of State with verifiable proof of the identity and proof of status as a natural born citizen of the United States for each nominee for President and Vice President of the United States." You gotta be kidding!
Yes, the birthers are back and wasting the state legislature’s time and efforts to do those things that are really important: K-12 and higher education funding, highway repair and getting rid of arcane and meaningless laws already found in the Revised Statutes of Missouri.
Do we really need yet another do-nothing legislator filing a do-nothing bill that has no factual problem to solve?
Rowland represented an area south and east of Branson, known as a conservative stronghold. But get serious; the conspiracy theories claiming that the president was born in Africa or Southeast Asia have been debunked a long time ago. I know; I wrote about it.
House District 46 should be ashamed of its representative.
I am not sure why Rowland thinks this bill is needed. The president's birth certificate is online for all to see. I called the Hawaiian State Department of Health in May, and they verified the authenticity of the document. Or is Rowland relying on images that originated on a satirical Web posting?
Yet our Republican friends continue to prevent their colleagues from doing what the citizens of Missouri need done: legislate.
Flag burning, English only, voter ID and other silly bills are simply immature attempts to refocus our vision away from the important issues with which the Republican Party of Missouri and the Republican National Committee just do not want to handle.
Rowland's proposed changes to Sections 115.399 and 115.761 of the Revised Missouri Statues do not create jobs, fix our roads, or educate our children and young adults to be the leaders of tomorrow.
It does not create an environment for businesses to relocate or start in the Show-Me State.
It does not fix the problems with the now infamous Kansas City school system that is being discussed nationally on NPR’s "Weekend Edition."
In my opinion, foolish acts of grandstanding, like Mr. Rowland’s, do nothing but reinforce the misguided outsider’s vision of the average Missourian — a shoeless hick, chewing on some straw, living in a meth lab and re-birthplace of conspiracies.
We are none of the above. Missourians are hardworking, well educated and shoed. We are citizens who recognize repetitive philippic rhetoric when we hear it.
President Barack Obama and Gov. Jay Nixon can and should resort to the claims of our own Harry S. Truman, that our congresses are in fact "do-nothing" legislatures, especially in this election year.
This is not a Republican versus Democratic issue, or a conservative versus liberal issue. This is an issue that must be addressed by the citizens of Missouri, for us to collectively tell our legislators, both state and federal, to stop the B.S. and stop it now. No ifs, ands or buts. No excuses or lame explanations.
To stop proposing bills that have no factual basis for their existence and are only proposed to stir unguided emotions of a very loud few. Very few.
To stop wasting the money we are paying them only to grandstand and politic instead of running the state of the government.
It is time that the citizens demand that our legislators live up to the state’s nickname, the Show-Me State.
It is time that the citizens demand that our elected officials live up to the state’s motto, "Salus populi suprema lex esto" — let the welfare of the people be the supreme law. Not grandstanding for votes.
So Rowland and Missouri Republican legislators, what have you done for us lately?