Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Governing without Government

That is the basic cognitive dissonance I have been sensing among many Republican politicians for the last couple of decades. How do you expect to govern if you think government is the problem? I blame President Reagan for separating the people from their government with his crass "government is the problem" mantra. (Well, we did have Nixon and Johnson attempting to separate the government from the people with unnecessary wars and criminal conspiracies).

There are some few Democrats in the Utah Legislature. Three of them, Jim Dabakis (SLC), Susan Duckworth ( Magna), and Larry Wiley (West Valley), just made my hero list for calling the bluff on Republican grandstanding by Republican Representatives on the Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environmental Quality Appropriations Subcommittee in the Utah House. I was particularly pleased that they got ol' Roger Barrus, my own Representative - (even if I never voted for him and likely never will). You can read the article here at Utah Political Capitol.

The Republicans on this subcommittee are some of proponents of the movement to take the "public lands back" which Utah never had. We've gone over this before here, and here. This time, they were just grandstanding with speeches about how they should not take federal money in grants to help fund their state programs. Part of the untruths pontificated were how the feds had taken that money from us and now they want to give it back - we should have just kept it, etc. The real truth being that Utah is a "taker" state rather than a "producer" of tax revenues (we get more federal funding than we pay). Sensing a little fun to be had, the Dems voted against the federal money along with the Republicans who then found themselves very confused about what they were going to do without the money. The Republicans eventually figured out they had to change their votes.

This fits right into my theories that the rhetoric on the right doesn't work well in the face of real-life reality. Forget the ignored history and false deification of the founders (who in reality did not always agree and had to learn to compromise), the conservative dogma just doesn't work well when faced with the reality of its own conclusions.

Maybe someday the dissonance will resonate with representatives of good will trying to govern in the real world and working out their differences in finding common ground rather than promoting false and expensive claims to ground that is not theirs but belongs to the people of the United States.

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