Friday, March 1, 2013

Remaining Calm: Lingamfelter Is Right

Upon opening Delegate Lingamfelter's campaign e-mail, I recognized that it's formatted in a way that's not going to work with this system. However, I appreciate his message--megadittos to him!--and I'm glad to report that the text can be viewed as a web page here.

The message? About that bad old HB 2313 that nobody loves...although it's not nearly as horrible as some things that were seriously considered in General Assembly 2013, and yes, this abomination passed too...

http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?131+ful+SB1279S2

...Virginians are indignant, and rightly so. HB 2313 was a good way to raise taxes, if there'd been any reason to raise taxes, which there wasn't. SB 1279 is the most loathsome of several excuses for raising taxes to do things that nobody, except the unemployable busybodies who want to do them, has ever thought needed to be done. Pressure was clearly applied to the General Assembly; you talk to people in your neighborhood, you look up the records of your legislators, you can see that.

Maybe one reason why my e-mail's relatively light, today, is that these people are coming home and some of you are calling them (or whatever), asking what they were thinking.

Personally, I'm still cogitating.

I am car-free. My home town, Gate City, has no real public transportation, only a ghastly New-England-based charitable mess that has destroyed a prosperous private taxicab industry. Most of the time I walk where I'm going. Most of the time I give thanks that I still can walk where I'm going. Sometimes when the weather changes while I'm on the road, and car after car speeds past, and people who are eager enough to remind me that we've met, in other situations, speed past trying to pretend they're not relatives--especially when I used to walk out the Yuma Road, which has no sidewalks and hardly any shoulders, so these cars were whipping past within inches of me--I think about how the road system could be improved by taxing the everlovin' daylights out of all these motor vehicles. I think about how many of these people would rather pay rent all their lives, like flippin' students, than grow up and be public-spirited enough to pay property tax, and how, if I were in charge of these things, taxes on motor vehicles would be way higher than taxes on houses or land. I know very well who's to blame for these relatives' lack of consideration--namely, the insurance companies that give them discounts on their mandatory coverage if they don't share their cars with passengers--and I think of all kinds of ways a really competent government could stick it to them.

But I've never posted these thoughts here, before today, nor have I shared them with Terry Kilgore. I don't make a habit of crying on the shoulders of even my close relatives, nor am I under any delusions about being influential enough to sell otherwise unpopular ideas to our community. I understand that we live in a democracy and that, no matter how indignant you or I may feel with the majority of our neighbors, in a democracy the majority rules. I read HB 2313 and thought, "Wow, great minds think alike!" first, and then I thought, "But what are we raising taxes for? More of these rotten Boards? For these Boards nobody should raise taxes...they should raise axes," just like everybody else did.

I could live with HB 2313, if the federal government had read Broke and recognized its need to cut expenses and thrown the entire welfare system back onto the states, if HB 2313 were being used to pay for food stamps and Medicaid. I would imagine that most of the Tea Parties would accept HB 2313, too, if that were the case. I'm not willing to live with HB 2313 while it's being used to pay for un-American boondoggles like SB 1279. Nor are the Tea Parties, and HB 2313 might have been calculated to restore the flagging numbers of Tea Parties, reasonable and otherwise.

However, hysteria rarely helps anything.

One e-mail, whose senders shall be anonymous but local Tea Parties probably remember who they were, was an example of the kind of thinking I think we do not need. The sender pasted in a list of Delegates and State Senators and told all readers, "If you live in their districts, please seriously consider running against them."

Right. This person doesn't know me personally, so far as I know, and probably had someone else in mind while typing that line, but let's consider it as if it were addressed to me personally. I am not a lawyer, although I've worked for lawyers. I am dysnumeric. I am also dysphasic, rarely reading things backward, but apt to say (or write) things backward if I think or write fast. In conversation I make a joke of it, and I can deliver a lecture successfully, but I'd be hopeless in an unstaged debate. I also have an astigmatism and might be considered unelectable, like Hillary Rodham Clinton, merely because I don't rely on eye contact to communicate. So you have, in my district, one of the best lawyers in Virginia, and you're proposing to replace him with a, a learning-challenged writer who's never taken a single college-level law course? To write laws, you're proposing this? What are you drinking? This e-mail went out to people who are not even writers...

No. Some people seriously would like to see a bunch of amateurs campaign against the Republican legislators. So that, in an overwhelmingly Republican state, Democrats would get control of the legislature. And not necessarily the modest and temperate sort of Democrats like Rick Boucher of blessed memory, either.

I would like very much to know what Delegate Kilgore was thinking about either HB 2313 or SB 1279; he has a record of voting in accord with the will of the people of Scott County (which is not necessarily mine, and I respect that)--and this is an aberration. Maybe some day I'll find out. But the last thing Scott County needs is to go into a spin and try to replace him with some Tea Party amateur, or with someone who could be packaged as the Extreme Left's better qualified alternative to the said amateur.

We need to work with the people who've generally done a good job. Maybe they need closer and more critical attention...haven't I been inviting more of you to take a crack at this bill reading business? Maybe some of them are ready to step down and train their successors for all I know, but the last thing fiscal conservatives need to do is to split the fiscally conservative vote and throw the legislature over to the apres nous le deluge crowd. Better we should rally around clearheaded leaders, not all of whom are Republicans but the vast majority of whom are, and continue to exert pressure against the existing, and powerful, pressure that's being exerted on our legislature to go along with Agenda 21 and Obamacare and all the other things that pushed the Tea Parties into existence.

This web site has yet to pick candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, or attorney general, but one thing I can say about all of them. For political purposes, we need a reasonable degree of unity. We can afford unity about ideas, e.g. the idea that SB 1279 is very bad and needs to be completely dismantled before anybody gets any lunatic ideas about enforcing it as law, but we can't afford to let the Loony Left split our vote the way we need to focus on splitting the useless Boards that belong in the furnace.

Scott Lingamfelter is right. Calmness is one thing we need to look for in our elected officials.

Teamwork is another thing. Maybe the various conservative candidates can afford to vie for the title of most conservative, but they can't afford to campaign against one another; they need to be willing to work together. The ones not elected to statewide office need to stay in their districts and support the other fiscal conservatives in the legislature. We need to rally around the general idea of fiscal common sense and frugality.