It is fairly safe to say that Colorado voters gave Democrats the majorities in both houses of the state legislature last fall because of their promise to “fix” the state’s budget problems. Events this week on two fronts show why voter trust was misplaced.
First, Democrats tried to renege on a small compromise they made in HB 1194 (aka the “no refund for you” Romanoff rip-off) only a day after the House approved the bill to send to voters as Referendum C on this fall’s ballot. Part of the deal to make HB 1194 more fiscally palatable involved the suspension of 19 different tax credits during the plan’s five-year tenure. The next day Democrats tried to push a late bill into committee that would have instantly restored a $38 million child care tax credit that had been included in the HB 1194 deal. Fortunately, they were called on it and backed off. But the temptation for these Democrat legislators is almost too powerful to resist.
The inclination among the overwhelming number of Democrats is to believe that your tax dollars really belong to them. It’s analogous to a group of unsupervised little kids let loose in a candy or toy store, grasping for the objects that catch their eye. Only when the fiscally-conservative Republican adults spot them sneaking the Matchbox car or doll into their pocket do they grudgingly put it back on the shelf. Frankly, I prefer having the adults in the majority, so we can keep more eyes on our tax dollars.
And then there’s what they try to do when they get bored by the idea of going on a spending spree with your money. The second incident took place yesterday: the Democrats, who screamed last year that Republicans were obsessed with “God, guns, and gays” from a conservative standpoint, passed SB 28 on first reading. The bill restricts the liberties of business owners and managers in dealing with employees who claim a “gender variance” or a different “sexual orientation,” regardless of the consequences.
The big newspapers naturally lead with the dramatic moment of one Democrat state senator’s story about his son’s “coming out of the closet.” Of course, these sorts of stories sell newspapers and sway most people with a sense of compassion, but they have no place in setting public policy. We don’t pass a law for every legislator who has a touching tale to tell on the floor. I’m sorry. What is the systemic problem this bill is attempting to fix? That not enough Coloradans feel sufficiently sorry for people who have declared they are attracted to the same sex?
But then there’s this comparison, that should be an affront to many who fought for the rights of racial minorities a generation past:
During the debate, Democrats argued in favor of the bill, evoking the image of Martin Luther King Jr. and talking about past wrongs based on race and gender.
The problem of fuzzy thinking really begins and ends here with this analogy, that one’s “sexual orientation” is equivalent to one’s race. I don’t have enough time to dismantle this argument completely, suffice it to say that skin color is not behavior, nor is skin color even a state of mind or a feeling. It’s a clear empirical distinction that no one can control: are we prepared to say that Coloradans have no control over their sexual behaviors? Or are we prepared to exalt their sexual inclinations to a protected status?
At least the bill says employers can require persons “with transgender status to maintain a reasonably consistent gender presentation in the workplace.” Whatever that means. When Republican Senator Doug Lamborn tried to add an amendment to allow public school districts to bar cross-dressing teachers from the classroom, however, the Democrat leader said Lamborn’s proposal was outside the subject of the bill. It shows what the Democrats are really afraid to talk about with the central idea of their legislation.
My question for the folks at ProgressNow – was it wrong for Democrat Senate President Joan Fitz-gerald to bring religious arguments into the debate? Or are only conservatives in violation for doing this? Personally, I think the religious element of the debate is all well and good from both sides. I just want to see where the progressive hypocrites come down on the issue.
In order to clarify, I am opposed to SB 28 as poor public policy. We first of all live in a land of liberty – we should not be using the power of the state to keep people from following an inclination to practice the homosexual lifestyle, nor should we be using the power of the state to force businesses and institutions to treat persons the same based on their declared sexual proclivities. What about churches and other religious groups who have strong and serious doctrinal stands on homosexuality?
The Rocky Mountain News article says that religious organizations are exempt from the rule. But if you actually read the bill, you will see that “ANY RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION OR ASSOCIATION THAT IS SUPPORTED IN WHOLE OR IN PART BY MONEY RAISED BY TAXATION OR PUBLIC BORROWING” is not exempted. Think on the implications of that for awhile.
The state of Colorado would be saying that the test for receiving any sanctioned public funding of any kind is to implement a policy that treats homosexuality and transgendered-ness as normal behaviors. Are we ready to go there? I am for a society that is compassionate to people who are confused about gender and sexuality but not for one that panders to them. I am for a society that protects the basic rights of people who happen to be homosexual or transgendered but doesn’t attempt to normalize their lifestyle. Can we start to rethink who we put in power at the state level in 2004?
The Democrats at the State Capitol have shone their true colors through their recent agenda – use the power of the state to go on a spending spree with your money and to force people to go along with their views about the acceptability and normality of the homosexual lifestyle.
Curious Stranger says
What’s safe to say is that the “adults” of the Republican party chose to spend their “adult” time ignoring the problems of the State and instead concentrating on fanning the flames of the culture war. That’s why the Democrats were voted in – the Republicans proved themselves not to be trusted with the responsibilities of adulthood. They were sent to their rooms to think about their bad behavior, and seem to have learned little from it. Perhaps they need to be grounded.
Curious Stranger says
Oops, missed a /blockquote after “so we can keep more eyes on our tax dollars.”