A passel of New Hampshire fourth-graders are a little more cynical about government today, after watching state legislators shoot down their bill to anoint the Red Tail Hawk as New Hampshire State Raptor. That'll teach you to think you can change anything, kiddos!
NH1.com has the story. Students from Lincoln Akerman School had drafted the bill has a hands-on lesson in civics, and so they traveled to the New Hampshire State House and sat in the gallery to watch as reps deliberated on their bill. They got an education, all right:
Rep. John Burt, a Republican from Goffstown said, "Bottom line, if we keep bringing more of these bills, and bills, and bills forward that really I think we shouldn't have in front of us, we'll be picking a state hot dog next."
One rep even found a way to make the debate about fucking Planned Parenthood:
Rep. Warren Groen, a Republican from Rochester said, "It grasps them with its talons then uses its razor sharp beak to basically tear it apart limb by limb, and I guess the shame about making this a state bird is it would serve as a much better mascot for Planned Parenthood."
When the Huffington Post called Groen for some follow-up questions, he was utterly unrepentant. "How many types of birds do we need?" he griped, before defending his right to freedom of expression, OK? Last time I checked America was still a free country, man:
Groen said he should not have to censor what he says just because there are children in the gallery. "It's pretty hard to speak in the House when there's kids in the gallery," he said. "Should we limit free speech or limit access to the gallery?"
The bill was rejected, 133 to 160, probably setting one of those kids onto a path to becoming a future Frank Underwood. And so another generation of American children learned what really goes on in legislatures across the land: bullshit grandstanding and pandering to the base.
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