Thursday, February 9, 2012

Rep. Steve Holland and the Gulf of America

At some point last year after the Democrats lost control of the House, Rep. Steve Holland (D - Plantersville) told me he might author a bill to rename the Gulf of Mexico the "Gulf of America".  I thought he was kidding, but he wasn't.  Holland's intent is to point out how absurd and racist many Republican initiatives are, especially with respect to immigration.

Predictably, many people missed the joke, assuming the worst about Mississippi (precisely because of the people that Holland is making fun of).  Holland made his intentions known in interviews with the Jackson Free Press and the Mississippi Business Journal.  There are gems from Holland in both interviews, and I highly recommend you read them for yourself.

The funny thing about it is this: Speaker Gunn (R - Clinton) triple-referred the bill. In the past, bills have routinely been double-referred as a method of killing them, but Gunn decided to go all out on this one.  ("Double-referred" means a bill is assigned to two committees instead of one, making it much less likely that the bill will clear both committees before the committee deadline.) That begs a question for Speaker Gunn, though. Did he triple-refer this bill because he was afraid of the bill making it to the floor, where Republicans would have make a potentially dangerous vote against it?  There certainly exists an element of Mississippi Republicans that wouldn't take kindly to their representatives voting against renaming the Gulf of Mexico, after all.


bill said...

So much for team play and all that other nonsense he spouted before the session started. If this is how he's going to use his vast experience in public health and Medicaid then I'd just as soon do without it. I expect some pushback on this comment, but it can't be okay for the Democrats to waste our time if it's not okay for the Republicans. Bill Billingsley

Jesus Was a Capricorn said...

I wouldn't expect this to be too big of a "time waster" considering Speaker Gunn's triple referral. It will unlikely see the light of day on the House floor. On the other hand, maybe people will become more aware of the bullying tactics by the current House leadership. I have been a Republican most of my life, and it is the behavior that we are seeing by the Speaker and other Republican leaders that have made me feel like an outsider to the party I have affiliated with all these years. Sometimes you have to take an unusual approach to make a point, and I think that is exactly what Representative Holland has done.