A vulgar sign at a state Capitol protest rally should come as no surprise in the Occupy Wall Street era. That the sign was held by a state senator should come as no surprise to those familiar with the juvenile antics of some members of the Democratic minority.
Filing bills or amendments to chide the opposition party is commonplace among this group. Sen. Constance Johnson, D-Oklahoma City, filed an amendment to Senate Bill 1433 to criminalize the wastage of sperm. This isn't because she wants to make that a criminal act but because she wants to taunt SB 1433 supporters.
SB 1433 attempts to define when, under state law, life begins. Opposition is fierce and mostly rational. When it enters the realm of play school, however, the opposition hurts its cause. Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, D-Tulsa, posed with a sign containing a four-letter word, in full view on the Capitol steps, for an anti-1433 rally.
Childishness has been a hallmark of the most liberal lawmakers as well as the far right Republicans. Sen. Tom Adelson, D-Tulsa, personifies this trend. Last year he attached an amendment to a bill that would have abolished the state income tax — something Adelson diametrically opposes. It was a taunting gesture aimed at tax-cutting Republicans, some of whom have filed bills that actually would end the state income tax.
Adelson and Sen. Jim Wilson, D-Tahlequah, proposed measures designed to cripple the newspaper industry — motivated solely by editorial criticism of their behavior. During the Iraq war, anti-war congressional Democrats filed bills to reinstate conscription, something they diametrically opposed. In proposing a state recall election system, state Rep. Danny Morgan, D-Prague, hinted that it was partly in response to GOP support for legislation that makes it easier to fire bad teachers.
If we can't count on elected officials to leave the Romper Room, how can we expect children to act responsibly?