April 10, 2006
Ignorance may be bliss, but it isn't competence

The dumbing down of our political discourse continues apace.

"Politics is the only field in which the more experience you have, the worse you get. And I have no political experience whatsoever," said the musician-comic-author.

I'll give you four guesses which of the major gubernatorial candidates said that, and the first three don't count. Would someone please tell me again why anyone considers this guy a serious candidate?

Here's an example of why ignorance of the process is not a viable philosophy for governing:

Friedman's plan to fund education, which he said is one of his priorities, includes legalizing casino gambling, which could raise an estimated $3 billion to $4 billion each year [...]

In a previously published interview, Friedman listed "[opening] the Indian casinos that have been closed down -- the Tigua and the Alabama Coushata" as one of "five things a governor could do right now", without involving the Legislature. Never mind that those casinos were shut down by the federal courts as a result of a lawsuit filed by then-Attorney General John Cornyn; never mind that if all it took was the Governor's say so, Rick Perry might have ordered them opened in 2004 when he briefly favored casino gambling during one of his many futile attempts to fix school funding. As far as Kinky's concerned, he snaps his fingers, the casinos open, schools have all the funding they need, and it's beer and cigars for everyone. Whose job is it to tell him that it doesn't work that way? Lord knows, none of the reporters at that Associated Press Managing Editors' annual convention, where he gave those witty remarks, could be bothered to point it out.

Ah, well. Kinky's not a details kind of guy. He's got people for that. Not sweating the small stuff leaves him free to think big thoughts like this.

Friedman said Mexico is a rich country that doesn't share any of its wealth with its citizens. As a result, he said, many Mexicans head to America where they are taken care of.

"I want the Mexican government to step up and pay their fair share," he said.

Where else, I ask you, can you get this kind of forward thinking? I just can't add anything to that.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 10, 2006 to Election 2006 | TrackBack

Actually, the Governor has the ability to negotiate a compact to re-open the casinos. It would void the court ruling, which determined that the tribes lacked the necessary state blessing.

Posted by: jim on April 10, 2006 3:54 PM

I know a couple of people who support Kinky, and I think they operate from general principles than specifics. I think the idea of a non-politician appeals to some.

I had this discussion with my wife who signed the petition. I asked why in $#%!*& she did that. Her point was that she didn't think two parties should be our only choices, though she has no intention of voting for him. I pointed out how polls show him and Strayhorn pulling Democratic voters.

She said, nonetheless, that most Kinky supporters will probably change in the voting booth and get right with reality.

Posted by: tx bubba on April 10, 2006 4:57 PM

Well, Jesse Ventura was a great success in Minnesota. I suppose Friedman can't be a bigger idiot than he was or, for that matter, than a lot of other Texas politicians are. On the other hand, while anyone might mistakenly vote for an idiot, there's not reason to do so purposely.

Posted by: David in NY on April 10, 2006 6:17 PM

Well, Jesse Ventura was a great success in Minnesota. I suppose Friedman can't be a bigger idiot than he was...

I wouldn't be so sure about that. In fact, I'm pretty sure Friedman can indeed be a bigger idiot.

Posted by: kevin whited on April 10, 2006 8:56 PM

Yes, in fact, it is up to the governor to have a compact with the indians to allow casino gambling. AG Cornyn sued because that's what the governor wanted (because gambling is evil because the bible says so somewhere, although I've never been able to find where, exactly).

A big compromise in the indian gaming regulatory act is the requirement that before indian tribes may open a casino, they negotiate in good faith with the state they're located in (which also has to negotiate in good faith) to determine how much tax money the state will get from the casino, so as to obtain the state's blessing.

Posted by: BruceM on April 10, 2006 9:24 PM

Here's an example of why ignorance of the process is not a viable philosophy for governing:

A shorter and arguably better example would have been "George W. Bush."

Posted by: Mathwiz on April 11, 2006 2:43 PM