Yael T. Abouhalkah

Kicking clergy out of Senate chamber caps ugly 24 hours in Jefferson City

It’s been an ugly last 24 hours or so in Jefferson City.

On Tuesday, Republican members of the Senate were still on cloud nine after their vote Monday to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of an irresponsible and economically destructive tax cut. It will help well-off Missourian better than others, but that’s par for the course for these kinds of measures.

The GOP-dominated House on Tuesday morning also overrode the veto, with the help of a lone Democrat, effectively making it law over Nixon’s veto.

That’s a short way of getting to this fact:

Supporters of expanding Medicaid assistance for lower income Missourians picked a bad day to show up at the state Capitol to let their voices be heard.

The group included a number of clergy who, for good reasons, want the state to accept federal funds that will allow better health care to be provided to more people.

Late Tuesday morning, people in the Senate gallery started chanting “Medicaid Expansion! Do it now!” according to press accounts.

The noise upset the sensitive ears of the senators. Eventually, Capitol police were told to remove the people.


Up to 23 now reported arrested,

including Wallace Hartsfield Sr. of Kansas City

, former leader of Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church.

So that’s how it goes in the Republican-controlled General Assembly these days:

They vote for tax measures that ultimately will cut services to the people of Missouri.

They reward the rich more than the poor.

And then — when someone shows up to propose that lawmakers help those less fortunate — they are told to shut up.

True, we can complain all we want about these destructive policies.

But until more compassionate people are elected to serve in Jefferson City, this is the kind of harmful results the people of Missouri are going to get.