( – promoted by DocHoc)
Well, the big moment has finally arrived. For the first time in history, the GOP has control of the state’s executive and legislative branches and everyone appears to be humming Rogers and Hammerstein’s Oh, What a Beautiful Morning, Everything’s going my way. Republicans couldn’t ask for more ideal circumstances as they anticipate playing a legislative basketball game where the goals are waist high and everyone makes a slam dunk. It certainly looks like the next legislative session is going to be a sweet ride–or will it?
Today and tomorrow, GOP leaders are meeting in Bartlesville to plan for the upcoming legislative session; and, already there are sharks in the water fighting for the chum. In a moment of post-election excitement, when cameras were focused upon incoming Speaker-Elect Kris Steele, the Speaker tipped his hand by indicating that his priorities for the Sooner State would be to improve our business and economic climate.
Normally, issues like this are classic playbook materials for republicans; but, these are no ordinary times. Even before the “strategery” sessions have begun, Representatives like Randy Terrill, Charlie Meadows, and Mike Christian are hyperventilating and experiencing apoplectic fits that Steele might possibly place their right-wing social agenda in a position of secondary importance.
According to Sunday’s Norman Transcript, there is a strong preference by many in the GOP to focus on social issues by passing legislation that further restricts and discourages abortions, stops the “rising homosexual agenda,” “protect ourselves from the growing radical Muslim and Sharia threats”, toughens Oklahoma’s anti-immigration laws and sees to it that citizens can publicly carry firearms. To further encourage these points of view, Tea Party groups from around the state intend to send several hundred folks to demonstrate outside of the meeting place. The purpose of these demonstrations is little more than a right-wing protection racket designed to impress upon law makers the sentiment that, “We put you into office and we expect you to do what we say!”
Given the ruckus from the state’s ultra right, Steele will probably have to give the devil its due and focus more upon social issues than economic ones. Whether the next legislature turns out to be a sweet ride for republicans remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure, the average Oklahoman will probably experience a very rough ride as they struggle through these hard economic times to put food on their tables and care for their families without any legislative help.