Oct 24 2011

How Not to Build Confidence

Posted by Steve Ross in snark, State Politics

State Rep. Tony Shipley
Kingsport

There are a lot of things that I’m not an expert in, but one thing is for sure, I am quite skilled in what not to do.

You don’t put foxes with hens, nor do you put wolves with sheep. You also don’t put someone who is under investigation for potential wrongdoing in charge of the committee that oversees the agency he’s been alleged to be doing the wrong with. That is, unless you’re the House GOP Caucus.

Look, I understand it’s gotta be hard to hold back TNGOP. Ya’ll have it all…the House, the Senate, the executive residence. There’s no one that can really stand in your way, including any sense of decency you might have. But seriously, how does this make people feel confident in government?

Short answer, it doesn’t. No one should feel better about anything with this and many other decisions the majority party has made over the past year of absolute power. But the GOP seems completely and totally unconcerned about these problems.

Here’s a little piece of advice that I know you won’t take so I don’t mind giving it: People kinda want government to work, not be more distant, broken or clubby than it already is.

Now look, I understand this position is completely and totally antithetical to your ideology. I understand that you’re more interested in making sure that government is just as inefficient and ineffective as possible so people will lose even more faith in it, so when you pass some law to make it all but go away people will hardly notice.

But allow me to let you in on a little secret here: Folks may say that’s what they want, but it isn’t really.

Since January you guys have committed the classic blunder…overreach. You took the gains you made in the 2010 election as a sign that the people agreed with you, rather than being sick of the other guy. Incumbents don’t normally lose because the challenger is great or right or any of that. Incumbents lose because people have lost faith in them and are looking for answers. If you provide those answers, you’re in for a while. Looking at the unemployment numbers, particularly in areas you guys just picked up, I don’t think you’ll be around all that long.

Nope, the reality is that no matter how cynical or just plain over it people get with government, on some level they still want it to work. They still want it to be there when stuff gets real. They still want some kind of security, other than a personal policeman following them around, to give them the confidence to do what they need to do, whether its investing in their business, getting additional education, or just feeling safe drinking their water and going to the doctor.

So putting a guy who’s under investigation for tampering in a licensure procedure in charge of the committee that has oversight over the licensing board could make people wonder if something might be wrong with this situation, and the overall leadership of the GOP caucus.

Not that this will be enough to make you guys lose you shiny new majority. Nope, that’s gonna take a while, unless you really mess it up. I mean, you’ve already had one scandal thanks to your drunk driving, gun toting former Firearms Chairman. The Voter ID thing is on the verge of being #2 if nonagenarians and their younger friends keep getting turned away at Driver Safety Centers. Thinking you could pass a bill and not fund it, so arrogant. Folks may not be paying attention, but they aren’t stupid.

Truth is, you’ve probably got some more personal scandals in your ranks that former State Senator Paul Stanley can offer some advice on. Repentance is all well and good, but that requirement that you “sin no more” is probably a sight more than you guys can handle. There’s that arrogance popping up again.

But it won’t be me, or any other Democrat that exposes this stuff. You guys will do it to yourselves. That’s the way these things always work out. You’ll do it to yourself, and the confidence that your policies further weakened will cause the people to turn against you.

So whether its devaluing the loss of human life through Tort Reform, making the ballot box harder to get to through Voter ID, any of the other stupid bills y’all passed this year or just schtupping the help or shirking your responsibility, if you’re not doing what you were elected to do, you’ll be gone soon enough.

Which gives me a little peace. At the rate y’all are going, you’ll be lucky to make it through next year.

See also: Aunt B.