Saturday, August 8, 2009

What Happens When You Elect a Demagogue (UT-3)?

Eventually, real life gets in the way.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, has shunned congressionally directed project spending as pork, and one of his staffers explained to local officials this week that his boss will target money only at projects with a clear federal purpose.

Elected officials who plan transportation as members of the Mountainland Association of Governments vented their frustrations over that position.

"What is he actually doing for us?" Pleasant Grove Mayor Mike Daniels asked rhetorically.

Daniels and other mayors on the association's regional-planning committee agreed that both of Utah's Republican senators -- and even Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson, whose district includes a sliver of Utah County -- "fight for funding."

"The last place I'm going to take [a funding proposal] to is Congressman Chaffetz," Daniels told Chaffetz staffer Mike Jerman.

The basic fact is that earmarks are not Teh Evil but rather another way in which a representative can serve his or her constituents by sawing off a piece of the federal pie made available for the very purpose of being sawed off for the states. If constituents of District 3 had pondered this "What is he actually [going to do] for us" question during the election, they might have avoided this paradox. Unfortunately, they voted for an ideology, and are now represented by a mere ideology, not practicality.

But he sleeps on a cot, and he says #TCOT-ey things, so they're happy. They can't drive anywhere, and there will be no adjustments for growth, and the development and business expanse will move to other districts, but hey, that's a small price to pay for a demagogue for a representative.

You showed 'em, Chaffetz supporters. Showed 'em good. And Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, Idaho, and Wyoming thank you for it. You can borrow their roads any time you wish.

1 comment:

  1. Refusing to use earmarks as a means to reducing federal spending is like filling a teacup at Antelope Island and claiming you drained the Great Salt Lake.