John Baer: See all that political reform going on? You do? Please show me.

Though not knowing who the Founding Fathers were, or the chronology of U.S. history, Michele Bachmann's a leader for the future.
Though not knowing who the Founding Fathers were, or the chronology of U.S. history, Michele Bachmann's a leader for the future.
Posted: January 31, 2011

HEY, HOW YA enjoying your 2011 political leadership thus far?

Tomorrow's the first day of February so, after a full month of brave-new-world reform and cooperation, I figure I'd check in and see how you like it.

What's that? You haven't noticed much difference?

Well, clearly you've been too busy shoveling snow to notice the wonderful, sweeping changes taking place all around us.

Like what, you say?

Like President Obama's bold action to "win the future," or, as Sarah Palin puts it, WTF.

Like the president coming to Penn State on Wednesday to, according to the White House, stress "new investments in research and development . . . for energy-efficient buildings."

You say that sounds like something from the '70s? You wonder if he'll wear a sweater and tell us to turn down our thermostats?

Boy, is your head in the snow.

I'll have you know, it's only by investing in innovation and clean energy that we're going to put people back to work, grow the economy and win the future.

What? You can't wait to go buy a solar panel? I think you need to place more trust in elected officials. They know what they're talking about.

Take U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., founder of the congressional Tea Party Caucus and national GOP player.

Just in time for Black History Month, she offers an important lesson on slavery, noting how our Founding Fathers, such as John Quincy Adams, spent their time "working tirelessly until slavery was no more."

What's that? John Quincy Adams wasn't a Founding Father? His father was? And the founders owned slaves? And slavery didn't end for 100 years?

Well, look, Bachmann has a thing for slavery. Last summer, at a conservative summit in Denver, she warned that Obama was turning America into "a nation of slaves."

What do you mean that makes no sense? It makes as much sense as presidential wannabe Rick Santorum equating abortion to slavery. Or as much sense as Santorum saying that it's "almost remarkable" that Obama, as a black man, supports abortion rights.

You just don't know smart, aggressive, positive stuff when you see it. Like Tom Corbett. Talk about getting out of the box fast! Talk about hitting the ground running! Day 1, baby! Or nearly. With, as promised, change that state lawmakers won't like.

What has he done? You really aren't paying attention, are you?

He put out a press release, that's what he's done. He put out a boldly worded press release demanding, well, OK, maybe not demanding, but certainly noting his top list of reforms; and he called for some task forces. Task forces! Term limits? Reduced Legislature? Campaign-finance reform? Constitutional Convention?

Well, no. But, the top of his list? "Changing to a biennial budget process." How about that? Pretty bold, eh? What the people want most.

And the Legislature? How's the new leadership doing?

Well, let me tell you. Meet the new leadership: Same as the old leadership.

We've got partisan, reform-killing cat fights, shouts of "tyranny," references to new House GOP Leader Mike "The Tsar" Turzai running the place like a "gulag," Democrats claiming his rule is an "attack on democracy," all of it creating the feel of a "circus."

But, come on, what do we pay the largest, most expensive full-time legislature in America for if not to spin its wheels and put on a show?

What good is a bloated elective body if it can't do a little dance and squirt a little seltzer down its pants? Picture one of those tiny cars with an endless stream of clowns getting out. That's the Pennsylvania Legislature.

But, buck up, it's early. There's still time to win the future, end slavery and bring reform to Harrisburg.

Send e-mail to baerj@phillynews.com.

For recent columns, go to

http://go.philly.com/baer. Read Baer's blog at www.philly.com/BaerGrowls.

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|