Monday, November 14, 2005

Facts Are Stupid Things

Some people may be surprised to find out that Arizona has a State Legislature. Yes, this is apparently so, and it turns out that the people elected to that political body actually do things sometimes, which is why, I suppose, they are paid. Not much. I hear it's about $20K a year. They must make up the rest of their income on tips, I guess. Who, besides say a freshman Phoenix policeman, can live on such a paltry salary?

You may be thinking that perhaps there is a reason why the people of the Grand Canyon state are so frugal with their compensation for their political representatives, or whatever they are. Well, there is. You see, some of those representatives appear to be sometimes quite stupid, in my humble opinion.

For example, take this "My Turn" column appearing in the local paper of record, the Arizona Republic. It was written by legislature member Steve Tully, who I am sure is a very good and adequately groomed person, despite obvious errors. In this piece he wrote:

"I wish to respond to Talton's comments by paraphrasing Ronald Reagan. It is not that Talton knows so little, it is that he knows so much that isn't true. "

Well, Ronald Reagan said a lot of things but he never said that. Mr. Tully gets it absolutely reversed, and a little twisted up, to boot. I think he, like Reagan himself, was struggling with his memory, because it was Mondale who said this in response to Reagan in their first presidential debate way back in the B.I.B.P. (Before Ipods Became Popular) Era:

"Well, I guess I'm reminded a little bit of what Will Rogers once said about Hoover. He said it's not what he doesn't know that bothers me, it's what he knows for sure just ain't so."

This was in response to Reagan's absurd claims regarding the social "safety net" when he had proposed, as he had done for almost his entire political career, to cut Social Security. I recall watching this on television, and this was the crux of the debate. How Mr. Tully could mess this up is something I will never know, and perhaps I fear knowing.

Now here are some examples of some things that Reagan did actually say:

"My name is Ronald Reagan. What's yours?" –introducing himself after delivering a prep school commencement address. The individual responded, "I'm your son, Mike," to which Reagan replied, "Oh, I didn't recognize you."

"What does an actor know about politics?" –criticizing Ed Asner for opposing American foreign policy.

"Trees cause more pollution than automobiles."

"All the waste in a year from a nuclear power plant can be stored under a desk."

Maybe that was part of his problem.

And of course, Reagan said this:

"Facts are stupid things." –at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

You know, everybody make mistakes. There is an entire industry, for example, that profits from the tongue-slips of our current brain-deficient president. But then Mr. Tully ends his words with this admonishment:

"Talton closed his diatribe with three suggestions. I have three for Talton: Soften your heart, open your mind and do your research."

"Rut-ro," as Astro would say.

I think that Mr. Talton, whose article here was the spark for Mr. Tully's rubber-tire-fire, will be preparing a follow-up of some kind. The guy's just asking for it.

Popcorn anyone?


dorsano said...

Yikes - you must have spent some time researching this one - great job.

I hear it's about $20K a year.

That's amazing - Arizona's populous enough to support a full time legislative body I would think.

shrimplate said...

Proposition 300, which would have raised legislative pay from $24K/year to $36K was voted down in 2000 by a 60-40 margin.

It's funny. There were no arguments for the proposition!

They are considered to be part-time workers.

Brandon said...

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Brandon, and I am the founder of a left wing blog called THE COALITION FOR A REPUBLICAN-FREE AMERICA. Note the hyphen stipulating free from Republicans.

I read your WONDERFUL post on Reagen's abuse of the English language, and I have to laugh, because we've been having a HUGE argument with a couple of dyed in the wool Reagenites who really believe Reagen was some kind of Heavenly Saint.

Thanks for the fresh breath of reality. It's nice to read material by people who haven't been afflicted with the latest strain of conservatism.

One more detail. Would you mind terribly if we linked with you?

Thanks for the time and attention.

Brandon Alexander Geraghty-MacKenzie