From the "Their Reality is Overlapping Our Satire Dept.," House Republicans are saying "no" to a plan by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to ban the importation of certain non-native, invasive snakes that are invading the Everglades.
Apparently it’s not enough to be the party of no! on the big, ideological issues of the day. Now Republicans are saying no! to common sense, and yes! to pythons and anacondas. The relationship makes a certain amount of sense; after all, one is a slithering, coldblooded, amoral, dim, pork-devouring creature known for its forked tongue, and the other is a reptile.
Sit Back. Relax. Enjoy the fright, reads the Republicans’ press release, quite accurately.
The Burmese python, green anaconda, and seven other species of constrictor snakes have invaded the Everglades via the pet trade. It’s just about the only part of the United States that’s warm and damp enough for them. They were first found in the Everglades in 1979, now share the top of the food chain in the Everglades with native alligators, and prey on 39 endangered species and 41 additional rare species. In 2009, the National Park Service removed 367 pythons from the Everglades, and a park biologist estimates that anywhere from 5,000 to 180,000 pythons still lurk. The NPS has even begun a pilot snake-catching program, capped at 30 wranglers "due to overwhelming demand from qualified applicants."
Now, if only we could persuade the pythons to migrate to a slightly more northern swamp….
Secretary Salazar has proposed listing the nine species under the Lacey Act of 1900, which bans the importation of "injurious species." Got that, Republicans? They can still be bred in the United States; they just can’t be imported from their native countries. Last Tuesday, House Natural Resources Committee subcommittees held a hearing on "How to Manage Large Constrictor Snakes and Other Invasive Species."
The Republicans’ management plan? Bring ’em in, and let ’em be shot in Everglades National Park. From
The Onion the Republicans’ press release:
An outright ban on these nine constrictor snakes would result in significant economic damage to the pet industry, and those who support the sale and transportation of snakes and snake supplies.
Unfortunately, hunters are currently only allowed to hunt snakes with their hands or a machete, making the sport incredibly inefficient and unpopular.
Got that? Why bother alligator wrestling when you can shoot a snake?
The party of "no" has descended further into the swamp of no common sense.