We don't do much political commentary around here. It doesn't much interest me the way it fascinates some of my friends. Besides, I would much rather write about whiskey, women and sports. But the other day, something remarkable happened in the Arkansas State House. That august body, led by a highly principled bloc of Tea Party infected Republicans held up an increase in the appropriation for the Arkansas School for the Deaf. The amount of the increase? A measly 6 grand.
I guess the School for the Blind knew better than to even ask.
Now it is one thing to insist that all state agencies, even the one entrusted with the care and education of deaf children, execute its mission in a fiscally responsible fashion. Noone would seriously dispute this. But it is another thing altogether to come down hard on the deaf school while drawing extra tax free compensation to dummy corporations set up by these stalwarts. My friend and neighbor John Brummett explains it all on the jump:http://arkansasnews.com/2011/03/19/hypocrisy-crashes-the-tea-party/ And as if that wasn't bad enough, they held up the appropriation for the deaf school while rubber stamping a 700k appropriation for the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.
Let me get this completely straight. These fiscal conservatives don't blink at damn near a million bucks for a mostly useless shrine to jockdom but they will draw the line at a 6 grand increase for the Arkansas School for the Deaf all the while funnelling extra swag to themselves?
It's not just Republicans who benefit from this largess. There are Democrats who are in on the gravy train too. And it stinks. John refers to all of this merely as "hypocrisy" in his column. But that is because he writes for a news service and must keep up appearances. I am burdened by no such constraints.
To call the Republicans (or hell Democrats for that matter) who sought to balance the budget on the backs of the deaf while double-dipping from the public trough is to libel hypocrites everywhere. No. They are chickenshit bastards, sons-of-bitches, punks, and greedheads with Oedipal tendencies(think about it for a minute).
The fact that the appropriation was passed after an indignant response from the electorate might give me some small hope that these Tea Party types are at least minimally conversant with shame. Except that I have no hopes for any long term political consequences for this stunt given the short term memory of the electorate and the fact that the core constituency of the Tea Party consists primarily of corporate interests and lunatics.
This is why I vastly prefer to think about sports. I am not unmindful that hypocrisy abounds in sports, particularly at the intercollegiate level. I give you Ohio State's Jim Tressel and Tennessee's soon-to-be-canned Bruce Pearl. But in an athletic contest there is pretty much always a winner and a loser. And the outcome-whichever way it shakes out-is generally explainable in simple terms. Unless we are talking about figure skating which is not a sport or boxing and the horse game which can be rigged.
It's hard to explain voting against deaf children. At least not with a straight face.
Gee. It's good to be back.