As you can see, Barb Byrum was trying to get recognized to speak on behalf of her own amendment. She never got a chance to do so and her amendment was never allowed to come to a roll-call vote. I'd be as frustrated as Representative Byrum if that happened to me, especially if there had been a year-long pattern of such behavior. At least Representative Brown got a chance to speak.
The Republican Party poobahs in the land of soccer moms and Chevy Suburbans decided, for some reason, that having an all-white guy slate for county offices, from county executive (L. Brooks Patterson) to county clerk (Bill Bullard), was a grand idea.
And now House Republicans, desperate to satiate the ever-hungry Right to Life machine -- which burps out litmus tests like clockwork around endorsement time -- could finish the job.
The goal, as always, is to win their August GOP primaries by proving just how right-wing and right-to-life they are. But general election voters in November -- especially in Oakland County, which is decided by female independents -- don't share those priorities.
Not only could these draconian laws and the brouhaha over Brown and Byrum's words hurt the GOP, they could benefit Lisa Brown directly, as she is running for Oakland County Clerk. A wave of motivated voters could sweep her into office in November.
But here's what really happened in the Michigan Legislature this week: Democracy was shut down. And women's voices were silenced. If our state's other legislators, our voters and our patriots allow it, then we deserve what we get.
This is America. You can't tell women they can't speak because you don't like what they say. ... Brown and Byrum were doing their jobs. Jim Stamas was killing democracy.
Members of the Michigan legislature are expected to behave in a manner that is becoming, not only of the dignity and responsibility of their high office, but of the people they represent.
That's why the Honorable Frank Foster, member of the Michigan House of Representatives, did the only gentlemanly thing possible when Michigan Nurses Association staffer Julia Smith-Heck wouldn't stop mowing her lawn while Foster was a guest in Smith-Heck's neighborhood last month: he called her a cunt. As a matter of fact, Foster shouted "you're a cunt" from across the street.