Battle lines are being drawn in Montana between the state’s Democratic Governor and its very conservative State Legislature. Tea Party state representatives and state senators are pressing for passage of a number of fairly radical legislative initiatives. The Associated Press reports:
…..Newly elected tea party lawmakers are offering Montanans a vision of the future. Their state would be a place where officials can ignore U.S. laws, force FBI agents to get a sheriff’s OK before arresting anyone, ban abortions, limit sex education in schools and create armed citizen militias.
Some residents, Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer and even some Republican lawmakers say the bills are making Montana into a laughingstock. And, they say, the push to nullify federal laws could be dangerous. “We are the United States of America,” said Schweitzer. “This talk of nullifying is pretty toxic talk. That led to the Civil War.”
A tea party lawmaker said raising the specter of a civil war is plain old malarkey. “Nullification is not about splitting this union apart,” freshman Rep. Derek Skees said. “Nullification is just one more way for us to tell the federal government: ‘That is not right.”
None of this legislation is going to get anywhere, obviously. The governor will veto it. And the AP report cited above seems embarrassingly slanted. Still, it’s worth noting that Tea Party types in Montana are talking up nullification. A sign of the times and not a good one.
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