The Biggest Losers

America is all about being number one.

Gail Collins has an op-ed in the New York times asking the question, “who has the most awful political culture, Illinois or New York?” Like most of her columns, this one is both funny and  insightful. But, what caught my eye was the tenor of the reader comments. Many were upset that their own state legislatures were not included in the “most awful” category.

This should not come as a surprise considering the latest Gallup Poll results.

It should be noted that the biggest decline in trust occurred in the west where only 38% of those polled have any trust in the State Government.

This takes me back to the comments section of the Collins article where I found the following:

I just want you to know that here in Idaho things are humming along as usual. Yesterday the legislature voted to appropriate $100,000 to hire a lawyer to sue the federal gov’t if & when medical reform is enacted, because requiring citizens to have medical insurance is “unconstitutional.” This, in a state that is threatening to close the state parks because of budget shortfalls! And one of the Republican representatives said that anybody who voted against this appropriation was being untrue to their oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. The spkr of the Idaho House, calling her, “Dear lady,” gently rebuked her for impugning the patriotism of her fellow (Democratic)legislators, & she sulkily agreed to “try another tack.” (This was the same lady who a few years ago proposed giving tax support to private schools to provide an alternative for “people who don’t want diversity.”) Idaho does not have the same totally dysfunctional political system as NY & IL, but we’re working on it.

I would say that this is a pretty succinct description of what happened. Here is how Betsy Russell described it.

My only quibble with the reader comment is the last sentence. I don’t feel Idaho has a dysfunctional political system at all. It is functioning quite well, in fact, as the governor and the Republican legislature efficiently dismantle state government in the name of fiscal responsibility. The biggest losers, in this case, are the citizens of Idaho.


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