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Honestly people, if you don't want to be called the American Taliban, stop making it so easy. That Pennsylvania Republicans were not interested in hearing openly gay state Rep. Brian Sims talk about the Supreme Court overturning a key part of the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act is not very surprising. The actual, stated rationale given by one of the objectors to a local radio station, however, really ought to be:
It takes just one legislator to end the impromptu remarks.  Rep. Daryl Metcalfe was one of the House Republicans who objected.

"I did not believe that as a member of that body that I should allow someone to make comments such as he was preparing to make that ultimately were just open rebellion against what the word of God has said, what God has said, and just open rebellion against God's law," said Metcalfe, R-Butler.

We're citing "rebellion against God's law" as a reason to prevent state legislators from speaking to the body? I think Daryl Metcalfe is going for an American Taliban merit badge on that one.

Metcalfe is, to use the technical political term for it, a Known Jackass. We've heard from him before; he's an anti-union, anti-immigrant, anti-everything godbotherer of the sort that the current Republican base can't get enough of. We can add to this that he either (1) does not actually know how government works or (2) believes it should work differently, with only people who believe in his version of "God's law" being able to speak at all, both of which are also staples of the movement that elects people like him: What a nice touch.

Even other state Republicans are furious with Metcalfe:

[Republican] Rep. Mike Fleck, Pennsylvania's first openly gay lawmaker, said of Rep. Metcalfe's move to silence Rep. Sims: "I, like many of my Republican colleagues, was infuriated. I think we should be able to speak on any issue. If you don't like it, you can get up and leave."

When asked if he thought it was appropriate for Rep. Metcalfe to be censured, Fleck said, "I think Representative Metcalfe would love to be censured. I mean, he would love the national press. I mean, quite frankly, that's how he raises money — by exploiting an issue and saying, 'Oh look they're coming after me. Send me 5 bucks.'

And that's pretty much how it works. That's how the most radical members of the Republican Party move forward and gain higher and higher office; by saying radical, frothy things and then waiting for the checks to come in from a base that rewards even the meanest sorts of radicalism. How do you block dimwits like this when the dimwit caucus is stronger than the moderate branch of the party? I don't doubt Metcalfe is headed for higher office for the same reason that Rick Santorum and Rick Perry and all the others have managed it and the E.W. Jacksons and Todd Akins of the party have tried it; the base likes their leaders dumb and loud. If I had any respect left for the party I'd feel sorry for them, but I don't, because they actively sought out a base that would do this to them.

Help us finish the job. Tell Congress to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act in its entirety.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 01:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Pittsburgh Area Kossacks, Philly Kos, and DKos Pennsylvania.

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