1. Outlawing the dollar.
Washington state lawmakers introduced a bill that would have outlawed the paper dollar, because “only gold and silver may be recognized as government legal tender.” This is just part and parcel of the extreme right’s continuing fascination with goldbuggery, a fascination to which the Republican party’s presidential candidates gladly pandered.
2. Striking the words ‘sea level rise.’
In Virginia, the Republican-led legislature commissioned a study to determine the impacts of manmade warming on the state’s shores, only to ban terms like “climate change” and “sea level rise,” deeming them “liberal code words.” And North Carolina Republicans voted to ignore studies that predict rapid sea level rise due to global warming.
3. Banning ‘Sharia Law.’
Republicans in states like Florida and Kansas passed Sharia-law bans in their state legislatures. In Kansas, a spokeswoman for Gov. Sam Brownback (R-KS) went so far as to say that the ban meant that the state “will not consider the laws of foreign jurisdictions.” The bans signified yet another year of the Republican establishment endorsing fringe Islamophobes.
4. Defining life as beginning before conception.
In Arizona, Republicans passed a new round of restrictive, anti-choice laws in the last year, chief among them HB 954. The bill, which one Republican defended by comparing women to cows and pigs, outlaws abortions after 20 weeks and actually starts the clock after a woman’s last menstrual period.
5. Allowing citizens to shoot at cops.
The NRA pushed Republicans in Indiana to pass a law that allows any citizen to open fire on a “public servant” for “unlawful intrusion.” Police fear this means a citizen could shoot at a cop, then claim the cop was trying to enter his or her property.
6. Zeroing out foreign aid.
American foreign aid saves literally millions of lives at miniscule cost to taxpayers. And there are millions still dying that more American support could help. Yet Republican Presidential candidates, including Mitt Romney, proposed cutting the entire foreign aid budget and starting from scratch. Though Romney later changed course, House Republicans proposed draconian cuts to lifesaving aid.
7. Creationism in schools.
The movement to question the science of evolution was alive and well this year, as Indiana state senator Dennis Kruse (R) proposed not one, but two bills to inject creationist teachings into the public school curriculum.
8. Promoting discrimination on military bases.
Though H.R.3828, Rep. Tim Huelskamp’s (R-KS) Military Religious Freedom Protection Act, appears to be about protecting military chaplains from having to violate their faith, it would ban using any military facilities for same-sex marriages and even “marriage-like” ceremonies.