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Michele Bachmann, Tea Party and those damn airbags

One has to delight in the silliness of Tea Party politics which brings a rigidity to political discourse that should be interesting to watch during the September debates and Florida Republican convention.

We begin the new month with an interesting anniversary. On Sept. 1, 1998, Congress made it mandatory for cars to have airbags. This came 32 years after Congress required automakers to install seatbelts.

This anniversary could unhinge some members of the Tea Party who fervently believe that nearly anything the federal government does is wrong.

Their titular leader, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, may even take on the cause. After all, Bachmann has made fighting for the right to own incandescent bulbs a hallmark of her bid to win the Republican nomination for president.

Mandatory airbags were a result of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act passed by Congress in 1991.  It went into effect on Sept. 1, 1998. 

The ISTEA was passed overwhelmingly. The final conference bill passed the House 372-47.  The Senate approved it 79-8. An interesting side note - both Florida senators at the time, Democrat Bob Graham and Republican Connie Mack - voted against the bill.

What would happen if the airbag bill was being proposed today? Would this be seen as an unnecessary intrusion by the federal government? Would Tea Party supporters rally in congressional districts to fight the proposal?

Would Bachmann add airbags to her light bulb repetoire?

September brings us the Florida GOP's important and not-to-miss, Presidency 5. During the three-day event, which starts Sept. 22, thousands of Florida Republicans will hear from the presidenital candidates.  Those same delegates will then vote in a straw poll.

Presidency 5 begins with a debate hosted by FOX News and a simultaneous event hosted by CPAC will feature speechs by the candidates.

Watch carefully. During that weekend Florida's 4 million Republicans will learn what type of party they have become.

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Airbags actually pose a risk to short women like myself (5'1"). I wish they were optional.


Well, I'm with her (or anyone else) in opposing the lightbulb bill. The bulb companies love it, of course, and helped wheedle the legislation (WHY? FATTER PROFITS). A good incandescent bulb gives-off a glorious glow. She Who Must Be Obeyed, who agrees with me, won't have the campacts in the house because she hates the light. Anyway,limiting bulb choice doesn't address the manner in which we produce power (mostly coal), or the cheap cost of coal power. A compact bulb still will burn coal-generated power.

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