Politics: December 2008 Archives

I was at Tulsa Promenade with my family over the weekend and had taken the 12-year-old son to the food court for a late lunch, when I saw this ad for the Tulsa Zoo:


It's a spoof of the famous Che Guevara poster, depicting a lion as Che, wearing a beret, with the Tulsa Zoo logo in place of the Communist star.

Since when, I wondered, is it OK to use an image honoring a murderous, totalitarian thug to advertise a city-owned, family-oriented tourist attraction?

Perhaps I'm overreacting. Perhaps not. The surest way to tell is to substitute Communist imagery with that of a different totalitarian movement. Would the image below have been approved by Tulsa Zoo management for use in an ad?

Earlier today Sen. Tom Coburn spoke to a blogger conference call in connection with the release of his 2008: Worst Waste of the Year" report. It was a wide-ranging, on-the-record discussion. Ed Morrissey at Hot Air has a good synopsis.

Toward the end of the call, Dan Riehl asked about getting Coburn more allies for his efforts. Coburn said that, "We need a different farm team, and I'm working hard on that." He didn't offer any specifics, but he said that we need to "recruit people who get it, not just people who say they get it." He said that we need to elect officials who will be willing to sacrifice position for principle and asked, "How do you call people to service?"

I'm happy to see that Coburn is focusing on this challenge. Our primary safeguard against excessive and unconstitutional spending are the people who make the decisions about spending. But I wonder if it's possible for us to create the kind of "farm team" Coburn wants. To elect a principled fiscal conservative to office, you have to fight against two powerful forces -- entrenched special interests that want access to public money, aided by their allies who run the mainstream media, and a voting public with a low level of understanding about economics, the proper role of government in general and the proper roles of each level of government.

There is this idea that every problem is one that government can fix. Voters want to believe it because it relieves them of personal responsibility. Politicians are happy to promote the idea because they then get credit for doling out the goodies to favored groups and businesses, and that translates to longevity in office and a golden parachute in the form of a lobbying job with the favored groups and businesses they helped while in office.

Here in Oklahoma, at least, we have enough voters who don't buy into that idea that we can elect principled officials like Tom Coburn, Randy Brogdon, Dana Murphy, Pam Peterson, and John Eagleton (to name just a few among many). But even here, good men and women get blocked from climbing the political ladder by a hostile media and a well-financed opposition.

Recruiting good men and women is only half the battle. You need to give them the financial and logistical support they need to get elected and to advance their legislative agenda once in office.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Politics category from December 2008.

Politics: October 2008 is the previous archive.

Politics: January 2009 is the next archive.

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