It’s been awhile, but I’m going to try to do these more frequently leading up to next year’s major elections.
You may be wondering “what stirred you from your blogging slumber?” Glad you asked, Imaginary Reader! The actions of our Governor, who appears to read at a 3rd grade level and looks like a freshly opened, unmolested egg of Silly Putty! Now, I knew Pete Ricketts would be a terrible, terrible Governor. I didn’t have any idea he would be this bad, this fast. Seemingly determined to destroy any possibility that Nebraska may be taken seriously on a national level, Ricketts has had a cartoonishly bad first year. I could point to his rather suspect choice to add an Economic Developer to his cabinet who just so happens to be embroiled in a terrible scandal. Better still, I could talk about his veto against allowing driver’s licenses to immigrants who were brought to this country illegally as children (Nebraska was THE LAST state to make this legal, by the by). I could talk about how that veto of a bipartisan-passed bill was overridden by a bipartisan majority, delivering one hell of a black eye to a man whose face seems to beg for such injuries.
Instead, I want to talk about Pete Rickett’s unyielding desire to kill.
He wants to kill people so bad, he’s bought illegal foreign drugs.
He wants to kill people so bad, he vetoed the state’s ban on the death penalty.
He wants to kill people so bad, he says he’ll carry out the death penalty even after his veto was overridden, meaning the death penalty is illegal.
Those links I included above aren’t to the Omaha World Herald or local news. That’s Buzzfeed, The Atlantic, and Salon. And here’s John Oliver’s take:
The Chief Executive of our state is making an ass of himself and he’s taking us with him. As recently as yesterday, he showed he is unwilling to give an inch, continuing to assert he is going to buy illegal drugs he cannot use to carry out executions that cannot take place. I tried very hard to figure out his motivation. That thinking turned into this sketch I wrote that was filmed by my friend Cameron Logsdon, whose YouTube page is a hilarious way to spend an afternoon, and stars another friend, Aaron Fullman.
Seriously, that has to be what he’s thinking right?
Setting aside the snark and jokes, here are two quick points:
1 – Ricketts is displaying the most dangerous behavior an elected official can display. He is ignoring bipartisan legislation, legislation that is so rare in America these days it’s practically a unicorn…actually a talking unicorn because it’s more rare than an average unicorn. More than that, he’s demonstrating to the people of Nebraska that he is unwilling to listen to their will, both by choosing to ignore our elected officials and by ignoring overwhelming public sentiment on several issues.
2 – The death penalty is disgusting and wrong. Always. No exception. It is not justice. It is vengeance. It is the taking of a life to demonstrate how wrong it is to take a life. It is giving in to the lowest desires a human can have: To kill for revenge. It’s not about protecting potential innocents on death row (though that should be a concern, especially given what we now know about DNA). It is not about how ineffective this punishment is as a deterrent (though it is 100% proven to not have any impact on future homicides or crimes). It is about refusing to participate in ending another human’s life for any reason. I listened to the impassioned debate as Nebraska’s legislators banned the death penalty. Christian after Christian quoted the bible, barfing up Old Testament language that seems to advocate murder. While it’s stunning to me that our GOVERNMENT made arguments for a GOVERNMENT POLICY almost exclusively from a religious text, it was more stunning that nobody addressed how to reconcile the death penalty with the commandment “thou shalt not kill” (which does not feature an asterisk, I checked). I understand the killing rage. I do. I think of what Dylann Roof did in that Charleston church, and my blood grows as hot as anyone’s. But we do not kill. It’s the thing that makes us different than Roof and others like him. Our state government now agrees that doing so is wrong. If only our governor did…
So here’s what I ask of you: Share this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9byIGxmsf-Y). Shame this man. If he won’t stop humiliating us as Nebraskans, it is up to us to humiliate him. Let’s push this thing viral and show him that we are more than willing to let him be a joke, but we’re not going to let him take us with him.