The word 'uterus' isn't obscene, but politics in Tallahassee are

"We constantly talk about not putting more regulations out there," Randolph told his peers. "Yet, when it comes to my wife's uterus, more regulations. When it comes to my friends' bedrooms, more regulations. When it comes to unions, more regulations. Don't practice an ideology of convenience! Look into your heart and practice what your preach!"

According to Cannon spokesman Katie Betta, Randolph's major crime was bringing up abortion when it wasn't the topic scheduled for discussion.

"The Speaker was concerned about the remarks," Betta said, "because they were not related to a debate on abortion, and were made within the context of a debate on labor unions within earshot of young children."

To that, Randolph suggested that his Republican peers' worries about upsetting children was both newfound and selective: "I don't remember this party caring much about the kids whose parents were between jobs on the day they described the unemployed as lazy bums looking for a handout."

Betta noted that the speaker didn't publicly chastise Randolph by name.

Randolph confirmed that, saying GOP leaders instead delivered the message to both his party's House leader and rules chairman. "They told both of them I was no longer allowed to use any body parts at any point in time on the floor anymore."

Personally, I'd rather these politicians spend less time fretting over terms that might offend children — and more time developing an agenda that's less offensive to humanity.

Because right now, we have politicians trying to slash school spending while defending tax loopholes to special interests.

We have proposals to cut spending on veterans, so that we can give new breaks to out-of-state corporations.

We even have lawmakers attacking the volunteer watchdogs who report neglect at nursing homes.

There are indeed obscene things happening in Tallahassee.

But the uttering of the word uterus isn't one of them.

smaxwell@tribune.com or 407-420-6141

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