My other half and I are consummate current events junkies. If CNN and MSNBC were on the federal List of Dangerous, Fattening, and Controlled Substances, or whatever it’s called, we’d both be serving more consecutive life sentences than there are delegates to both major national political parties combined. So with yesterday’s announcements about John Edwards pulling out of the Democratic nomination race, accompanied by a similar withdrawal by Rudy Giuliani, Ted Kennedy’s earlier endorsement of Barak Obama, Mike Huckabee’s pronouncements on amending the Constitution because the Bible can’t be, we’re so close to Nirvana that we get it confused with the Rapture.
Stack that on top of the current “short” session of the Indiana General Assembly which is going on simultaneously and we have to increase our daily dose of anti-inflammatory pills to avoid a condition of pure bodily meltdown. The ultimate experience, which I partook of Tuesday, was watching the returns from the Republican primary in Florida on the big screen while keeping an eye on Indiana House Speaker Pat Bauer and his colleagues on the Legislature’s streaming video site on my laptop. If you never have tuned into the latter, take a look here sometime. Some say it is the ultimate experience in the Hoosier democratic process. Others paraphrase that saying that if you ever saw the kitchen of most restaurants, even the better ones, you would never eat there. The truth in the eye of the beholder lies somewhere in between.
Much of the legislative process seems to consist of a clerk reading things so fast that you think you want to raise your hand and get her just to say “SOLD to the lady with the STOP SJR7 sign in the gallery that she ought not to have”. But then there are those times when discussion gets very substantive and you get the sense that this is where the action is for things that can and frequently do affect your daily lives.
This is where SJR7, the so-called “Marriage Protection Amendment” whether waiting for the coroner or still on life support, ultimately gets dealt with. This is where Indiana either continues to be one of a tiny handful of states without a Hate Crime statute or joins the great majority of states in more enlightened and protective lawmaking. This is where discrimination can get enshrined into law, or the Indiana Constitution’s mandate for equal protection for all citizens, stated in its Bill of Rights is treated with the greatest reverence.
I invite you to spend a little time at the laptop or desktop watching and listening to your lawmakers. The session has to end by March 15th…..that’s almost certainly going to be before the writers' strike does.