Liddick: Lies, damned lies and Democrats on the defensive
November 19, 2013
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me 250,000 times — there isn't even a word for that.
We are now seeing what Democrats do when their casual promises are challenged and their flippant assertions run onto the rocks of reality: they lie. For those of us having difficulty remembering the last six months, a couple of reminders: "That's not my red line." Or, "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan."
If that doesn't work, there are convoluted explanations, like how new health care plans people are forced to buy are, if more expensive, at least "better" in the sense that 57-year-old men are protected from the expenses of pre- and post-natal maternity care. And in extremis, diligent efforts to make sure "anyone else" gets the blame, insurance companies are good scapegoats; everyone hates them. If one takes exception or points out contradictions, responses are huffy, condescending. How dare mere citizens question the motives and plans of Those Who Are Smarter and More Beautiful Than We?
Democrats seem to see themselves as the Cognoscenti, who by right should rule due to their superior intelligence and virtue. In contrast, we are "Those who must be administered," for our own good, naturally. Somewhere, Senator Henry Jackson is rolling over in his grave.
But not in Colorado, where the minions of Senator Edie Hudak are making robocalls to potential signers of a recall petition, threatening identity theft for those having the effrontery to think a legislator who tells potential rape victims to rely on a whistle, should be removed in favor of someone who can think logically about legislation, or at least about personal protection. Their threat is a gross exaggeration, but is sufficiently nasty to warm the hearts of political goons everywhere.
Here in Summit County, we had examples of our own, courtesy of a post-Amendment-66-drubbing "leadership retreat" for the Centennial State's Democrat pols. Pre-hobnob, they had a revealing meeting with the ordinary folks.
Among their refrains was the familiar "Colorado doesn't spend enough on education," accompanied by the assertion that every neighboring state outspends us by "at least $5,500" per student. And the old saw that there have been "a billion dollars in cuts to K-12 education over the past few years."
I'll be generous. Perhaps it was simple foolishness. Perhaps the person who said these things took the word of his staff. Perhaps he hadn't bestirred himself to double-check. But there are those who do.
Colorado is not at the bottom of the spending heap. The National Education Association indicates that the five lowest-expenditure states for K-12 education are Arizona ($6,448), Utah ($6,672), Oklahoma ($8,058), Nevada ($8,089) and Idaho ($8,101). Note that two are our neighbor states. We may be behind Wyoming, but at $15,997 it is one of the top five, mostly based on their oil royalty revenue. What's the majority view among Colorado's Democrat pols on loosening strictures on fracking, to bring in more money, again? First, connect the dots …
Colorado comes in around the middle in terms of per-pupil spending. We are also 23rd in the number of instructors in K-12; 27th in K-12 average teacher salaries and in 2010-11, were 37th in per pupil spending, at $10, 495. Utah spent $8,200 and Oklahoma $8636, so no — our neighbors didn't all spend $5,500 per pupil more than we did. Figures like these suggests Colorado students aren't the only ones not doing very well with math.
Or, if it makes for a good sound bite those in question may simply not care. President or local pol, U.S. senator or state representative, it must be tremendously frustrating to have the office with the big desk; the aides and sycophants; the lobbyists who buy you lunch, that they may bask in the glow of your intellect; the fawning academics and media; only to discover you have to waste time explaining yourself to a bunch of hicks. To have plans for the coming Utopia in your back pocket, but to see your dreams thwarted by those who just don't grasp the brilliance of your vision no matter how badly it hurts them. To see your wonderful goals of retributionist justice and spreading the wealth around picked apart by your inferiors …
"Not my red line." "Benghazi resulted from an anti-Muslim video." "You can keep your doctor." "A billion dollars more for classroom teachers." Ammunition magazines can't be reloaded. Farmers will pay less for wind-generated electricity.
Maybe it's mendacity. Maybe it's incompetence. Maybe it's panic. Whatever the reason, bottom to top, there's plenty of cause for people to be distrustful. Bottom to top, there's some 'splainin' to do.
Morgan Liddick lives in Summit County.
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