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The Collective
Wednesday, August 2, 2006
By Brett Marston (guestblogger)

Hello there, Poliblog fans.

So, according to Roll Call, some Hill staffer named David Kish, from Richard Pombo’s (R-CA) office, said this about the fine state that gave me life and nurtured me when I was young:

“Connecticut should have its statehood taken away from it. The foolishness of its pampered residents should be demonstrated to others by a government program to bulldoze the entire state, salt the land and construct a windfarm to supply NYC with electricity. And its residents should be relocated to Guantanamo Bay where they can take a number behind the 3 who hung themselves this weekend, since they seem so intent on suicide.”

Source is here.

I don’t have the exact quote in front of me, but there is a great line in John Keegan’s The Mask of Command where he describes democracy as a system of government that allows the public to evict leaders whose arrogance in the use of power becomes insufferable.

Too bad staffers aren’t elected. Good thing that their bosses are.

At any rate, it’s good to know that small government conservatism survives on the Hill, along with a healthy respect for federalism, a decent regard for the lives of one’s fellow citizens, and the fine sense to know when what seems like a mere bon-mot crosses the line into eliminationism.

Let’s treat Connecticut like the Romans treated Carthage, their enemy in a protracted and devastating war, and then send the residents to Guantanamo! I’m sure you’ll pardon me if I don’t see any humor in that statement.

PS: In order to see what “salt[ing] the land” would do in Connecticut, you might be interested in the Connecticut Department of Agriculture page, here. If you’d like to do some pick-your-own fruit and vegetable outings in Connecticut during August, you will find places that grow blueberries, peaches, raspberries, blackberries, nectarines, plums, tomatoes and peppers, among other things. Check out this press release on the new “Pick-Your-Own Farm Brochure” available from the CT DOA, here. Crop losses this summer due to torrential rains and cold weather were severe enough for the governor to request federal emergency funding (see here), but if you call ahead (see this list of pick-your-own farms, with contact info), you should be able to plan a nice outing with your family.

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  1. A staffer’s rant is hardly an indicator of the state of small government conservatism. There are other indicators that would point to a decline but in a much different way.

    I would expect this staffer to receive a reprimand from his boss but that is entirely between them.

    I do agree with his point about citizens of the state being narrow minded concerning energy policy and environmental policy.

    Comment by Steven Plunk — Wednesday, August 2, 2006 @ 7:00 pm

  2. What was his point? That one shouldn’t oppose drilling in ANWAR? And that that’s a matter of life and death? How indescribably lame. This dude apparently sees ANWAR drilling as a battle in which those who oppose him should be punished. That’s what the Carthage reference is for.

    Drilling in ANWAR isn’t a real solution to our systematic energy supply problems anyway. And given his contemptuous description of wind power, I can’t imagine he cares very much for the issue.

    As far as broader policy goes, Connecticut doesn’t rank so poorly in environmental indicators such as per capita gas consumption, as far as I can tell. Not as good as California, but close.

    If some staffer who works for a Congressman from the Bay Area wants to talk to me about the “pampered residents” of Connecticut, I’ll give him a tour of Windham County some time. Or, perhaps, downtown Hartford, or Bridgeport. Pampered indeed.

    Comment by Brett Marston (guestblogger) — Thursday, August 3, 2006 @ 8:53 am

  3. His point is simply that each state in the union is part of a confederation of states where each should not only look out for it’s own interests but also realize that sometimes the greater good for all the states should be the goal. They seem to be less of a team player therefore why keep them on the team. My state (Oregon) is somewhat similar only we are not nearly as affluent.

    Sure, he’s lame, he’s stupid for saying it the way it was said, but he is an individual who we really shouldn’t be listening to in the first place. We certainly shouldn’t be using his words to characterize conservative policy in Washington.

    Drilling in AMWR is part of a solution to our energy needs just as conservation and alternative sources are a part of the solution. There is no single silver bullet to satisfy our needs.

    I would expect his reference to wind power was meant to remind us northeasterners have opposed offshore wind farms since they will ruin the view. From my point of view NIMBYism in a classic sense.

    Comment by Steven Plunk — Thursday, August 3, 2006 @ 9:47 am

  4. If he wants to blame Connecticut for opposition to the Buzzard’s Bay wind farm project, his historical sense is as challenged as his geographic sense.

    Connecticut is greener than Kish would care to note, I’m sure. (See here, for example.)

    Kish’s comment is illustrative of a right wing style of discourse that shoots from the hip and threatens elimination of those who are on the other side, I think. That should stop, but it won’t, I’m afraid, until the right doesn’t think that it is entitled to power, as opposed to being required to earn it. Some time in the opposition will help out there a bit, I think.

    Comment by Brett Marston (guestblogger) — Thursday, August 3, 2006 @ 1:40 pm

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