Sunday, February 28, 2010

Editorial: Democrats need to take a stand

The unnamed Courier editor gets after Dems to vote for a Republican initiative that would raid voter-protected conservation funds to keep state parks open. What's wrong with this picture?

The Reps have decisive majorities in both houses and the governor's pen, if they could hold together, yet the editor doesn't point at Rep no-votes. Somehow this becomes a test of whether Dems are sufficiently public-spirited.

Then there's the actual issue that the Sierra Club (the only organization that the editor identifies as against the bill) is raising: that the funds are voter-protected, so following though on this idea would be illegal. Have the Reps finally jumped the shark, from the "Party of No" to the "Party of No Law If We Don't Like It"? I wouldn't vote for anyone, Dem or Rep, who would attempt to disregard inconvenient laws in such a cavalier fashion. I hope no one reading this would either, including you, dear editor.

The Legislature is stuck with the budget mess in large part because it cannot legally raid voter-protected funds. Suddenly there's an exception, and it just happens to be funds for an issue that Reps generally hate? C'mon, tell me another one.

If you really want Dem votes, how about raiding something like coal or cotton subsidies to keep the parks open? I don't hear that sort of idea bandied about.

To top it off, the editor decorates his online column with Rep Tobin's official photo next to the stern headline aimed at Dems. A casual reader would be forgiven for assuming that Andy is now writing editorials for the Courier, especially as this is exactly the sort of sentiment one might expect from the Republican whip. (To clarify, dear editor, official editorials, like this one, never get bylines or uncaptioned photos, especially head shots. This is just wrong, even online.)

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