Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Senate Republicans back to wasting time

So, Senate Republicans! We just had a primary election where the main focus fell on jobs and the economy! Did you want to perhaps capitalize on that theme, keep that big 'mo rolling, and work on legislation that might help out the people of Michigan in that regard?

Or did you want to work on more useless, extremist legislation designed to appease the radical right and keep people divided?

Place your bets, everyone.

Michigan lawmakers have launched a fourth effort to enact a state ban on a procedure opponents call partial-birth abortion.

The Senate Health Policy Committee passed legislation Wednesday mirroring a federal prohibition against the procedure, which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court last year. The full Senate could pass the measure on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade next week.

Anti-abortion groups and bill sponsor Sen. Cameron Brown, R-Sturgis, said the measure is needed so state and local authorities can prosecute doctors who perform the procedure, and send a message that Michigan opposes the method. They said federal prosecutors may focus on terrorism and other issues instead.

Ahh, I see. They were doing the feds a favor- and sending a message that the Senate Republicans still intend on wasting our time when they should be addressing issues that matter.

Abortion rights advocates said the legislation is a waste of time since the procedure already is outlawed federally. They defended the method as sometimes being necessary for women with pregnancy complications and said it's being used by lawmakers to enflame voters.

And here Mike Bishop just got done promising us a kinder, gentler Michigan Senate this year, one that was going to be all about rehabilitating the image of the Legislature and working together.

"We know the public was not pleased by what they saw," Bishop said, speaking of 2007. "We want to be more communicative and less combative this year."

Looks like we are off to a swell start.