The American Conservative Union—the folks who bring us the yearly circus known as CPAC—didn’t have to tell me that my congressman, Ozark Billy Long, was “the most conservative of the Missouri delegation in 2011.” I could have guessed that.
And I could have guessed that in accepting the praise of such an august group of conservative lobbyists Ozark Billy would say this:
Families in Missouri’s Seventh District expect me to protect their freedoms and our Constitution. As their advocate in Washington, I will continue to fight for common sense ideas and legislation to support a limited federal government and defend the values we hold close to our hearts.
Billy, as our “advocate in Washington,” will fight for “common sense ideas,” he says. Keep that in mind. And as much as I could have guessed he would appreciate the endorsement from right-wing extremists, what I couldn’t have guessed was that I would see his distinctive mug on my TV last night in the company of Congressman Mike Kelly, who told the world on Wednesday:
I know in your mind you can think of times when America was attacked. One is December 7th, that’s Pearl Harbour. The other is September 11th, and that’s the day of the terrorist attack. I want you to remember August the 1st, 2012, the attack on our religious freedom. That is a day that will live in infamy, along with those other dates.
The occasion for this blithering idiocy was implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that insurance companies offer contraception coverage to women. Yes, that is what Congressman Kelly likened to the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the terrorist attacks on 9/11.
But Kelly wasn’t alone in his walk down Bat Crap Crazy Avenue. Along with him was our own Ozark Billy, who had this “common sense idea“:
America, 2012. Land of the free and home of the brave. Are we still the land of the free and the home of the brave? Let’s examine that for just a minute. I know we’re the home of the brave because as we walk off that house floor five days a week, three or four days there’ll be a wounded warrior settin’ there just like the one that was there yesterday.
He had no right arm. He had no left arm except for an artificial arm and an artificial hand. He was proud to shake my hand with his artificial hand to show me how it worked. He had no legs below the thighs. His wife was standing next to him with less than a one-year-old child in her hands. You don’t have to worry about the brave. We’re still the home of the brave.
But we’re not the land of the free anymore and we need to get that straight. If we’re not free to practice religious freedom in this country, what in the world have we come to? Seriously, goodness gracious.
This hysteria, as Jim Lee at Busplunge points out, may be designed to take “the heat off his gambling habits.” Randy Turner on Monday published a piece on the many trips Long has taken to Las Vegas this year, presumably to represent the 7th district in Sin City, which given our low per-capita income probably doesn’t see many folks from Southwest Missouri these days.
I for one an confident that while Ozark Billy—our “advocate in Washington“— was at the Sheldon Adelson-owned Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas on July 5—which just happened to be hosting a no-limit poker tournament that day— he was having numerous common-sense discussions on just how this isn’t the land of the free anymore and how terrible it is that women can now—thanks to the Affordable Care Act—get these preventive and diagnostic benefits:
- well-woman visits;
- screening for gestational diabetes;
- human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA testing for women 30 years and older;
- sexually-transmitted infection counseling;
- human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) screening and counseling;
- FDA-approved contraception methods and contraceptive counseling;
- breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling; and
- domestic violence screening and counseling.
“Seriously, goodness gracious, ” said Billy Long on Wednesday. Okay, seriously, our congressman not only stood with a man who equated the implementation of health benefits for women with the two worst days in the history of our country, he said that we need to get it straight that we are no longer free because women have access to contraception.
And what will be the price he pays for such nitwittedness? Nothing. A majority of women in these parts will run not walk to the polls to vote for him in November.