I thought that some readers of this blog who might not have access to the very rightwing West NewsMagazine, which is distributed widely in West St. Louis County and which I, with my passion for the absurd, read avidly, might enjoy this letter to the editor. The letter, authored by the ethically challenged State Representative Dwight Scharnhorst (R-dist. 93) (see also here), consists of an attempt to paint Republican legislative activities over the past few years in the requisite rosy light, including this effort to jump onto the Obama-inspired change bandwagon from the right side:
…Since 2005, we have turned that deficit into a $200 million budget surplus, a feat that was accomplished without a tax increase.
This demonstrates that Missouri was in the process of instituting “change” well in advance of the recent calls by voters.
Why in God’s name does he think voters are calling for change? And consider this gem:
The Medicaid program was overhauled, eliminating only the able-bodied from a program that eventually would have placed one in every five Missouri citizens on an upward spiraling program best described as a runaway train headed for a mountain.
Only the able-bodied my eye! And anyway, what is so horrible about a runaway train headed for a mountain? Won’t it just come to a stop? Or does he mean down a mountain?
I have written a letter to the editor in response, which may or may not be printed–in spite of their overt conservatism (columns by Bill O’Reilly and Thomas Sowell represent the tenor of the whole), the West Newsmagazine, to its editors’ credit, seems very willing to print contrary opinions from their readers–although I often get the feelng that they do so because the editors consider these opinions so far-fetched that they could not possibly be taken seriously and they want to titillate their real audience with a look at the wild, wild left. I was able to write a response because of bloggers here who, among others, have posted diaries that provided me with ready access to specific facts and figures. While I am not the greatest writer in the world, I do rather like my last paragraph:
I often wonder if the timid imminent domain reform, the “business-friendly” workers- compensation “reform,” and the insurance industry-friendly tort “reform,” might have something to do with another achievement that Scharnhorst fails to mention; to wit, lifting the limits on campaign contributions. I know that it is now one of the Republican canons that campaign money equals free speech, but I am always amazed that they so fervently want to enable some interest groups to speak so much more freely than the rest of us.
To my way of thinking, the relations between money, power, and brain-dead right-wing ideology does seem to sum up so much of what has taken place under the the recent Republican ascendancy in Missouri.