In some corners of the country, people seem to have grown so grumpy about the tangle of government rules and regulations that it may be easier for politicians to promise not what they will do, but what they will undo.
Take Senator Sam Brownback, the Republican from Kansas who is hoping to become governor. In his journeys in this region lately, he has proposed a new Kansas entity, the State Office of the Repealer, whose job it would be to start disposing of all the silly, needless, over-the-top regulations that state officials have dreamed up…
In Missouri, lawmakers passed legislation this spring that repealed more than 200 sections of statutes, including some dusty ones pertaining to the regulation of steamboats, steam engines, pool halls and margarine. In Michigan, lawmakers did likewise, agreeing, for instance, to repeal statutes that had designated as crimes prizefighting and dueling.
The thought of an official designated repealer draws nods (if mildly puzzled ones) from Kansans, but aides to Tom Holland, a Democratic state senator who is also running for governor this year, sound dismissive.
“This is the same empty sloganeering Sam Brownback and Newt Gingrich did 16 years ago,” said Dana Houle, Mr. Holland’s campaign manager…
Mr. Brownback, who said he came up with the idea after traveling around Kansas with a former state lawmaker, said he had grown increasing frustrated with the sense, in government, that “it’s always, ‘Well, we need this, we need that, we need this.’ Nothing is ever subtracted in the system…”
Still uncertain, he acknowledged, is what the new position might cost or where it would fit, exactly, into the existing layers of government in Topeka, the state capital.
Americans avoid responsibility whenever possible. Climate change can’t involve human beings. We aren’t responsible for wars our elected scumbag politicians vote for. Republican forms of government delegate responsibility – as long as no one is charged with that responsibility.
Brownback and his lust for teabagger votes might just consider getting off his rusty dusty and using some of that staff Kansas voters pay for – searching out useless laws and fight to have them remaindered. After he checks to see whether or not he’s offending any bible-thumping loyal members of the couple hundred fundamentalist sects he relies on to keep him in office in the first place.