Georgia Lawmaker Appears Angry and Confused

State Rep. Earl Ehrhart (R-Powder Springs) doesn’t like people who don’t like ALEC. They are pansies. Or Communists. Or…*gasp* Occupiers! No, really, he said that. As reported by the Marietta Daily Journal, according to Mr. Ehrhart, “Mr. Long doesn’t like free speech, doesn’t like advocacy for anything other than what he wants…I’m not afraid of some Occupy pansy sitting in a tent without a bath, I’m sorry.”

Where to begin? First of all, Mr. Ehrhart, while we realize you can see the 1950s from your house, the rest of us live in 2012 where using the word “pansy” as an insult is frowned upon. Aside from the playground homophobia, one might also point out that the awful slam intended there is the devastating implication that a man is effeminate…that is, like a woman. Horrors! Yeah, I wonder why people keep talking about the Republican “war on women”? It’s a total mystery…

Next, and by the way, Bryan Long to my knowledge isn’t actually an Occupier, though he sounds perfectly delightful and we would be happy to see him any time he wants to come around. He is an activist for Better Georgia. Kudos on that, dude.

Also, Mr. Ehrhart, despite what the Supreme Court says, corporate money is not actually free speech. When applied to politics, there’s another word for that. It’s “corruption.” Or rather, that’s when it’s illegal. When sanctioned by the law, the cozying up of government to business interests such that they are indistinguishable is called “fascism.”

Mr. Ehrhart also implied that somebody (NOT ALEC!) is getting taxpayer money; ALEC, according to him, “operates completely transparently and upfront, spending non-taxpayer money — unlike the avowed crazies who are part of the groups that don’t like ALEC.”

This must be some novel use of the word “transparently” of which I am unaware. As for taxpayer money…what? Occupy is taxpayer funded now? I thought we were getting paid by George Soros! I am so confused. Especially since I have been working this gig six months and have yet to see a paycheck. George, or Congress, or whoever is supposed to be paying me, cough it up.

Actually, in point of fact, ALEC is supposedly a non-profit (no, seriously, 501(c)3!) and contributions to it are being used as a tax deduction by corporate members. As a new whistleblower lawsuit filed by Common Cause points out, “ALEC drafts ‘model’ legislation provided by its corporate and legislative members, and lobbies for the adoption of that legislation. These goals are fundamentally inconsistent with ALEC’s claimed tax-exempt status as a charitable organization.”

Whoopsie.

Poor old ALEC, the beleaguered victim of a “well-funded, expertly coordinated intimidation campaign.” Wait…are we well-oiled professional intimidation ninjas or are we tent-dwelling patchouli-scented pansies? Which is it? I need to know what to put on my resume. I guess I’ll go with “Professional Intimidation Pansy.” It has a ring.

It’s evident that, when challenged to defend the activities and goals of the American Legislative Exchange Council, this former head of that organization can’t even cobble together a plausible-sounding Randian gobbledygook blather of a justification. They might as well have sent out a parrot, or a recording: “Free speech! Free markets! America! Founding fathers! Stinky hippies!”

Speaking of founding American principles and freedom, Mr. Ehrhart rounded off his tour de ignorance by claiming, “We have Jeffersonian principles.”

That whirring sound you hear coming from the direction of Virginia is Thomas Jefferson spinning rapidly in his grave. Here is what he would have actually thought of organizations like ALEC:

“I hope we shall… crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and to bid defiance to the laws of their country.”
- letter to George Logan. November 12, 1816.

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