Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A call for more gridlock in Frankfort

When people who you agree with do the right thing politically, your general response ought to be, oh, I don't know, to cheer them on. The last thing you should do is to lump them in with the people who are the problem.

In the case of the recent fight over the transportation budget in Frankfort, David Williams and the Senate Republicans have balked at Gov. Steve Beshear's attempt to pass the budget, which provides $4.5 billion in money for roads in the state, without passing the Road Plan, which contains the directions for what the governor is to do with the money.

Without the Road Plan, the governor has a blank check on what he can do with the money.

And because Williams wouldn't consent to something no one is really able to defend, Beshear called the Legislature back into session the very next week so that he could have his transportation money.

So now people are up in arms about the fact that we are paying something over $60,000 per day to call legislators back to Frankfort because they couldn't agree during the regular session.

And who gets the blame? Why even ask? David Williams.

I can understand why liberals would want to blame David Williams for everything bad that happens, including legislation they don't like, inclement weather, and large scale natural disasters. What I can't understand is why conservatives would want to join in.

Instead of standing up and cheering for elected officials who will put their foot down when the governor or the Democratic House want to do things that they shoudn'ta oughta do, we criticize them for doing it.

David Williams and the Republicans are now taking fire from some conservatives themselves for trying to hold the governor responsible for how money spent, and being criticized for obstructionism and intransigence. Instead of talking about what a great job our guys are doing and how we should elect them to do it again, we talk instead about how we need to throw all the bums out and impose term limits.

Whereas founding fathers like Thomas Jefferson had an enthusiasm for checks and balances, modern conservatives, despite portraying ourselves as Jeffersonians in many ways, have a singular impatience for them. Some of us seem surprised that the legislative tools you have to use to obstruct bad policy are all obstructionist tools. But if bad policy should be obstructed, and you do what needs to be done to obstruct it, you shouldn't have to face charges from your own supporters that you are being an obstructionist.

Folks, this is the way it's supposed to work.

It's like having your army invade the enemy only to have the folks back home criticize you for having to actually use weapons.

The liberals don't do this to themselves. When Democrats kill things they don't like, their liberal friends in the media slap them on the back and call it a job well done. They stand together. They know who they think the good guys and the bad guys are, and they identify them and level blame on the bad guys. They target their fire.

But when conservative legislators do the right thing, they're never sure whether they're going to have the support of their own people. When we see things happening that we don't like in Frankfort, we fire into the crowd, hitting both our enemies and our friends.

When liberals succeed in stopping something by bringing everything to a halt, they throw a party. When conservatives do it, they all put themselves into therapy.

The last argument conservatives should ever make is that elected lawmakers are "not getting anything done." Why would conservatives ever buy in to the liberal idea that the more legislation we have, the better? In every other case, conservatives want government to do less. So when it comes to legislation, why would any conservative want them to do more? The vast majority of legislation is bad. Most bills in legislatures expand government or do other things that conservatives generally oppose.

That's why conservatives shouldn't lament gridlock, they should celebrate it.

The only legitimate criticism is that, since we now have yearly, rather than bi-annual sessions of the Kentucky General Assembly, we are paying more money to have legislators in Frankfort and that they still aren't getting things done.

Well, some of us conservatives opposed going to annual sessions for just this reason: it would either make government more efficient or it would only allow government greater opportunity to aggrandize itself. So what are conservatives now to do? Help increase the scope and power of government?

That's essentially what some conservatives are saying. They should think about it a little more.

1 comment:

RFMoore said...

I am just totally fed up with Williams and Stumbo both. I wish they would go home and irritate their neighbors.