Nero fiddles: Oregon House passes Code of the West

My coffee-spitting moment came early this morning while reading The Oregonian. Apparently, the Oregon House of Representatives passed the “Code of the West” yesterday.

We are in a major budget crisis. We face huge issues over health care coverage and school funding, our public structures are crumbling for lack of investment, and predatory businesses want to destroy consumer protection. All of that is in play. Yet, the Oregon House wants to ignore the people’s business.

There are actually two offenses here. First is the offense against the people and the treasury of Oregon. Each day the House is in session, we spend money. On them. So if they are going to convene, the House owes it to us to spend the time and money on things that matter.

Let me be clear. I generally respect the work of the Oregon Legislature. If you wander the halls, you will find quiet workers and visionary leaders. Calling out the Code of the West goofiness should not be viewed as indictment of all that is good there.

The proponents of this Grand Action have a bigger problem and more egg on their face. Those of us who grew up in the western U.S. know that we do not need politicians to pass laws to tell us how to live. I imagine most true Westerners are laughing heartily at this idea. Think about it: A group of self-important jerks gets ahold of  a pen, finds some paper, drafts a bill, amends the draft, holds hearings, debates, and then votes. And that vote is simply to enact the values that Oregonians live by. Kids-your clown noses do not look pretty.

Memo to the Oregon House: Get to work or go home. We don’t need this kind of foolishness.

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