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In W.B. Yeats’ poem, “The Second Coming,” he famously writes:

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.

Sadly, these often quoted lines seem to be all too true when it comes to current politics. Take, for example, Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer and Missouri’s Governor Jay Nixon and their respective responses to the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.

Nixon’s no dummy; he wants the Medicaid expansion badly. He’s campaigned around the state and tried every reasonable, polite way to bring pressure to bear on the stable of GOP jackasses in Jefferson City to get them to do the right thing. Of course, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that there’s no way the Missouri GOP would forgo their obsessive hatred of Obamacare – along with everything Obama – long enough to think the Medicaid issues through,or to take them seriously if they did. These are the same fools, after all, who made the legislative session that just finished the butt of jokes across the nation.

Nevertheless, the Governor, in response to the GOP legislative rebuff, has politely refrained from casting stones, remarking that next session will provide another opportunity for Medicaid expansion. Of course, the statehouse will also be populated with the same blockheads next session, but such an observation would be beneath the dignity of famously GOP-cooperative, non-partisan (and lacking all conviction?) Jay Nixon.

In Arizona, however, Republican Jan Brewer, who has in the past been viewed as a number one, prima dona, tea partier – particularly when it comes to immigration issues – nevertheless managed to figure out that the federally-subsidized Medicaid expansion was a really good opportunity to improve life for thousands of Arizonans. Gifted with a legislature on a par with that of Missouri’s, she has shown herself to be filled with Yeats’ passionate intensity. No polite, rationally argued invitations to do better from Brewer  – she’s going to war with the Obamacare-averse Arizona legislature:

Arizona’s Republican Gov. Jan Brewer is stepping up her pressure on the GOP-led legislature to expand Medicaid by declaring a moratorium on legislating until they give in.

Brewer vetoed five unrelated bills on Thursday, according to the Arizona Republic, and threatened to keep blocking legislation until Republicans expand Medicaid to cover thousands of Arizonans, which Obamacare permits at minimal cost to the state.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m truly grateful for a Democratic governor like Nixon who can still veto some or, if we’re lucky, all of the bad bills sent to him by GOP lawmakers – as long as he actually does so, that is, since one can never be sure when he’s going to decide to make nice with the GOPers. I supported his election, and it’s possible he’s got some surefire strategy in mind in regard to Medicaid for next year. But I still wonder why liberals like Claire McCaskill or pseudo-liberals like Nixon don’t care enough to really go down to the wire fighting for just a few truly important issues. True, there are a handful of Democrats who show some spirit: Massachusett’s Elizabeth Warren, Vermont’s Bernie Sanders, and just-retired Rep. Barney Frank, to name a few. But still – why can’t we grow and support progressives like these in Missouri?

While it’s too early to say whether or not Brewer will win her war with the Arizona legislature, it still grates that backward-thinking Jan Brewer has what it takes to fight for the uninsured in her state. Meanwhile, good old Jay Nixon just takes the slings and arrows of the GOP legislature on the chin – and, as a result, thousands of low-income Missourians will have to keep on keeping on without the health insurance that could save their or their children’s lives.

P.S. I don’t really think Jay Nixon is the best of us – but he’s not that bad, especially when compared with the Jan Brewer of the recent past.

*Edited slightly to restore omitted text.