Wednesday, November 4, 2015
State Of Confusion!
Today I awoke to a literal state of confusion. The governor-elect of my humble little Kentucky is now a carpetbagger and Donald Trump wannabe, a man who is pugnacious, intemperate, and seems to bear a tremendous grudge against a political and social system which has made him rich several times over. Matt Bevin was elected last night as my future governor, a man disliked by his own party and soon to be disliked by many, if not most in Kentucky, even those who in a bout of blindness elected him.
But I suspect he never really expected to win, and now that he has he's left with the task of trying to live up to the irresponsible promises he made as part of the no-nothing Tea Party which rose up in unreasoning opposition to all things Obama. Kentucky is not a donor state, which means that we take more from the federal coffers than we contribute, a state which has been wracked traditionally by its isolated mountainous geography and culture, left to idle while other regions around it thrive. Kentucky has long been like a colony, full of rich natural resources used by other more industrialized neighbors for the betterment of their populations. The romanticism of horse racing clouds over a century of poverty.
Now that said, it seems the state would be ripe for the promises of a man or woman with a vision forward. That's true, but this mope ain't that guy. As is the practice for these Tea Party types he's full of vitriol for the existing status quo but desperately lacking in any specific plan to improve things other than the bellwether blather to lower taxes (the only true goal of most Tea Party enthusiasts despite lip-service to other causes). In this new society we live in nowadays such murmurings find purchase, but they don't speak to the future, only the here and now.
These folks are defined by what they are against, not what they are for. In Bevin's case he's against Common Core (though I doubt he'd be able to articulate what it is about that system he particularly objects to and ironically Kentucky was a pioneer in this effort making improvements long before the current crisis of wisdom struck the benighted), Obamacare (called KYNECT in this state, the best state exchange developed and the model for other states when the reforms went forward some years) gay marriage (the Supreme Court decision was likely why Bevin won really), unions, public education (the oft-proven disaster of charter schools), and of course government (starve the beast) itself. What is he for? He's for cutting taxes and I suspect he likes puppies, though I don't have evidence to support that. That's not responsible leadership, that's the warm glow of nostalgia for a time when things were better, but when and how remain scandalously vague.
Bevin was elected with the mindless assistance of many current and former public employees who were either blinded by their irrational fear and loathing of Obama (who has exactly one more year in office) or the terror of gay marriage (see miscegenation fifty years earlier and ironically also Obama now) and either cannot or choose not to see that this maroon is a threat to their short term and long term interests. If I could imagine for a moment they were being selfless I'd have some heart, but I know they are just being knot-headedly short-sighted.
We've watched over the last few years as ultra-conservative governor in Kansas has ransacked that state driving it into economic ruin with tax cuts and budget shortfalls which have decimated the state's credit rating. Kentucky is not a state which has that much room to spare. We do have a legislature which can, for the time being slow the change I dread coming, but who knows how long or effective that bulwark might prove to be.
Heavy sigh now; heavy drinking later. Salute!