Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

SC GOP Senators introduce Transparency Legislation, Democrats respond: "Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes" which translated means,

I fear the Greeks even when they bring gifts
(Virgil, Aeneid, Book 2)

As told in The Aeneid, Laocoon was a Trojan priest who expressed wariness of the wooden horse "gift" left by the Greeks: "Do not trust the Horse, Trojans / Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks even bearing gifts." Gods who sponsored the Greeks punished Laocoon by sending a sea monster, which killed Laocoon and one of his sons. -Euthman

That's the only plausible reason why the Democratic caucus in the Senate didn't jump all over Majority Leader Peeler's companion bill to the House's Spending Accountability Act of 2009. The bill was pre-filed today with 20 co-sponsors, obviously from the title you can tell none were Democrats.

But why?

Liberal Demos as long as I've been around have always been supportive of this one of the Hallmarks of Democracy. And it was only last week that Democrats in the House stood up for Democracy with the minority segment (Whigs) of their Republican opposition against the Republican leadership in that body for government transparency.

I suppose they're standing at arm's length because the motives behind the Whig/Republican drive for Transparency isn't for the purist motives, but do their ulterior motives mean that we have to continue to deal with a status quo that is crippling our state at every level?

What are the ulterior motives you may ask? Well just listen (or read) what Senator Peeler said when pre-filing today:

“Transparency is clearly needed in South Carolina. More roll call votes will shine a bright light on the General Assembly, holding us accountable for the tax dollars we spend, and letting our constituents know exactly who is wasting their hard-earned money.”

My own emphasis is added. No doubt Democrats are reluctant to stand tall because Republican and especially the well financed Whig organizations like SCRG and SCCG will use their votes as a bludgeon against them as they continue to scream and drill the lower-taxes-shrink-government-to-throw-it-in-the-tub-and-out-with-the-bathwater mantra. And there's no doubt that they will utilizing the various online mouthpieces like Palmetto Scoop or FITSNews, along with the rest of the echo chamber which is much of the rest of SC Blogdom; squawked about on talk radio, or penned by the (conservative, yes conservative) editorial boards of South Carolina's big Newspapers - the P&C, GNO, The State, etc.

So. What. -Who cares if they attack, and they will, you're standing up for Democracy and ultimately moving the state along, albeit ever so slowly (We're SC and we're slow to change). The normal argument goes "we can do more for the cause in office than from out" and while that is a valid statement sometimes you just have to do the right thing, and stand up for your constituency even if they reject you later on, it's the principle... damnit.

But beyond being simply the right thing to do, why else should Demos support this legislation?

The more immediate PR fallout would bode well for those demos thinking about running in 2010 for Governor -- I'm talking to you Vincent Sheheen, Joel Lourie and James Smith (even though he's in the House).

And although it's likely the demos and moderate? non Whig Republicans potentially could suffer a legislative beating (because let's face it this state's democratic party has been suffering from a short supply of talent, an organization that is in need of both reform and discipline, and money) while the Republicans get high from sniffing their own tax-cutting farts people will eventually grow weary of the legislature that gets knife happy and starts cutting funding for programs they find essential, necessary, or desirable, opening the opportunity for Demos to flip the script and run on the message of "Rep. John Smith didn't vote to fund pre-schools, or Senator John Doe voted against supporting programs for the elderly."

And then there's the ultimate (dream) reality that Sanford and his Whig allies are blindly pushing us towards on a daily basis - financial rape and pillage where the haves have no problems openly sodomizing the have nots in the financial asses. But then again Private Charities will pick up the slack of salving the wounds of the poor, disadvantaged and left behind -- right, and private entities will fill the functions normally associated with government (for a higher price than the taxes you pay!).

But really, do the Demos have to have motives as ulterior and self serving as the Republicans who are sponsoring this legislation to support it? I guess we can ask the question we've been asking ourselves these past couple of weeks, why let a little democracy get in the way of tyranny?

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