Thursday, May 26, 2011

The crème de la crème

A wing nut's wing nut

Governor Dayton has observed that part of the problem with the Legislature is its Republican freshman class – the newbies as Mitch Berg calls them – and their extremism. The fact that Berg praises them is Exhibit A in the case that proves the Governor's point. But let's look at Exhibit B: Doug Wardlow, freshman representative from Eagan.

Here's Wardlow's smarmy and insipid examination of Brian Rusche of the Joint Religious Legislative Council on the Governor's budget; Wardlow is a member of the House tax committee. Watch and count how many times you cringe.

You really do have to wonder if Wardlow was born such an arsehole, or whether he has to work up to it every day by chasing the paperboy off the porch and giving every pedestrian he sees the finger while driving to work. It's the old argument: nature vs. nurture.

Wardlow asks a series of ideologically-loaded questions – really just assertions – baiting Rusche. But Brian Rusche is a patient man, measured and thoughtful in response to the mumbling, fumbling and truculent Wardlow.

Wardlow asks, "If we give the government money to do good stuff, it reduces the amount of money given to private charity, huh?" A question in the form of challenge, but one you often hear from Wardlow types. I've even heard some go so far as to say that we need to give churches all the social responsibility as a salvation-earning opportunity for their parishioners. With a church full of Wardlows, I wouldn't hold my breath.

Bradlee Dean's sidekick, Jake MacAuley, also challenged the governor on health care at a news conference (I don't have a link at the moment), saying it was the church's responsibility. Watch the video in this post, and then decide how willing you are to let Bradlee and Jake be responsible for people.

Wardlow also asserts that taxes just go to a "bunch of bureaucrats." Welfare cheats or bureaucrats, Doug, which is it?

In truth – and here's a funny little secret – some of the tax money goes to Wardlow. No, I don't mean his salary and per diem as a legislator, I mean the attorney's fees he earns from eminent domain awards. It's just another case of the government creating a private sector job.

But back to the main point: Wardlow, a genuine Cicero Lite, is one of the avatars for the Republican freshman class. Even better is the fact that he is a Republican legacy. That would favor the nature side of the argument.

The video feed is from the House, but The Uptake cut and published the clip. Thanks also to Two Putt for calling it to my attention. Update: And thanks to Karl Bremer for a link the song.

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