What Just Happened in New Hampshire?
A very odd thing happened in New Hampshire this week.
Fourth Graders from Hampton Falls, New Hampshire wrote a bill to make the Red Tail Hawk as New Hampshire’s State Raptor. The bill sailed through the Environmental Committee and was defeated in the house by a 133-160 vote.
I am not that concerned by the defeat of the bill. That’s democracy. I am a bit perplexed by the behavior of some of the lawmakers during the general debate session and I can confirm this is an issue of being disappointed at people on both sides.
Democrat Christy Bartlett said that the Environmental Committee “caved” to the 4th graders.
Republican Warren Groen went even more bizarre and debated that the Red Tail Hawk should be the mascot for Planned Parenthood. “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.” Warren Groen is apparently in government primarily to rail against abortion and same-sex marriage.
Why is this good behavior on the part of the legislatures? The bill seems like a charming and harmless way to teach children about civics and the legislative process and maybe a bit about rhetoric and debate and it can be topped off with a nice class trip. Saying that the environmental committee “caved” just sounds like being really sour. Groen’s behavior is even more absurd. How can adult think this was an appropriate time to ride a hobby-horse?
I guess the kids learned about realpolitik but still there is a time and place for everything and this was not the time and place for the actions of Barlett or Groen.