(Fred Weinberg) – Somewhere during the 2001 season of the TV show the West Wing, President Bartlett’s personal secretary, Mrs. Landingham, dies in a traffic accident, hit by a drunk driver while she was driving home the first new car she ever bought.
Martin Sheen, playing the President, asks for a minute alone before leaving the National Cathedral after the funeral service, lights a cigarette, grinds it out on the marble floor, looks up in the ceiling and asks God “have I displeased you, you feckless thug?”.
If we were to write a similar scene today, it might be the taxpayers of Nevada talking to what passes for leadership in the state’s legislature.
Because feckless and thug are good words to describe that so called leadership.
“Lacking initiative or strength of character; irresponsible,” is the definition of the word and, applied to the 2015 legislative session, it fits like a glove—albeit without the drama of an Aaron Sorkin TV show. If our schools are in bad shape and you are looking for someone to blame, look at the legislature—and the Governor.
The Governor has this whacked out idea that he can pump even more money into our failing school system and it will make a difference.
Never mind that it has been tried before and failed miserably.
It’s the same kind of nonsense as Barack Obama tried with the healthcare system. His ludicrous idea was that if we just insure everybody, it would fix a broken system. Oh, his language was more flowery and he gave lip service to “bending the cost curve”.
But the only thing fixed was the balance sheets of the health insurance companies whose lobbyists wrote the bill. Predictably, the system still stinks on ice.
Pumping more money into a failing education system will fix the balance sheets of the teachers and administrators unions. But not anything else.
There are elected legislators in the building on Carson Street who would be trading up to be called feckless thugs.
They lie at the drop of a hat and justify it by telling people privately that this is the way laws are made. That laws are like sausage. Nobody should actually see them being made.
Well, that’s a bunch of crap.
That may be the way it is but that’s NOT the way it should be. I’d be willing to bet that if you gave each legislator a pop quiz on the specifics of each bill they voted on, three quarters of them—and I mean in BOTH parties—would fail.
But they are not solely to blame.
We are as well.
We let it happen. We elect these people without the slightest question of their real world experience. Or, their willingness to actually read the bills they are voting on.
Perhaps the answer is to give each candidate a pop quiz.
Make them write a bill on a specific subject while we watch—no staff allowed—and make them tell us why it would work. If they can sell you the bill, maybe they will earn your vote.
Frankly, I almost don’t care about their politics. I care about their honesty and their ability to articulate their beliefs. I once gave Joe Neal a $500 campaign contribution when he ran for Governor. His politics are 180 degrees the opposite of mine. But he spent a virtual adult lifetime as a legislator and was just as broke on his last day as he was his first.
We need more of that and less of the crap now causing the stench which is emanating from all 50 state capitals and Washington DC.
Mr. Weinberg is publisher of the Penny Press. Get to know more about him by visiting www.PennyPressNV.com.