John Laird Praying politicians vindictive voters and transit taxes

first_imgNotes, quotes and anecdotes while wondering what we do if some folks in one state oppose a bistate bridge but more folks in the other state support the same bistate bridge:Lord, help us — Clark County Commissioner Tom Mielke says he wants board hearings to open with invocations. Hey, how ’bout some benedictions, too? It’s time to roll out the same old reminder that’s needed every time a politician starts preaching about prayer in public meetings: Mielke is free to pray any prayer he wants, to any deity he chooses, before, during and after any and all board hearings. I don’t know how much more freedom of religion he could want than that.Ah, but we all know what Mielke really wants, don’t we? Yeah, he wants everyone else to pray along with him.Another reason for term limits — Left out of last week’s column advocating term limits for Congress was this reality: With term limits, members of Congress would worry less about being “primaried.” This fear rumbles in the belly of every senator and representative. Both parties are plagued by it, but these days the fear is especially rampant among Republicans. Many are kept on the fringe of policy stances because drifting to the ideological center, or compromising with the enemy, will result in some Tea Party whack-a-mole popping up in the next primary. And primaries are where radicals make their big moves. With term limits, this fear subsides and, theoretically, would be replaced by productive governing.Cutting off the nose — Far be it from me to lecture the 53.4 percent of Battle Ground voters who rejected last month’s school levy, but I have a few questions. Were you just being vindictive? And is being the only school district out of 50 across the state last month to reject a school levy a source of pride for you? Do you honestly believe cutting $16 million from the budget, and losing another $6 million in matching state funds, will improve the quality of education in your district? Did you understand that it was a replacement levy and not a new levy?Also, do you think this vote improves or diminishes the reputation of your community? Does it inspire great teachers to apply for jobs there? Does it raise or lower morale among your educators?last_img