Dave Simpson: Barrasso Opposed The Omnibus Bill

Columnist Dave Simpson writes: "Checking in on the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending spree, lewd drag queens and little kids, and Wyoming's apparent proliferation of crazies (like us)."

Dave Simpson

January 02, 20234 min read

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(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Last week I wrote here that I hoped the fact that Sen. John Barrasso didn’t vote on the $1.7 trillion omnibus bill in Congress wasn’t because he wanted to maintain “one leg in the Mitch McConnell canoe.”

Turns out Barrasso was in Wyoming to be with his wife who is being treated for cancer. Given the fact that 18 of his fellow Republicans would vote in favor of the hugely excessive spending bill – rife with pork – the fact that Barrasso did not vote had no effect on the ultimate outcome. He had clearly stated his opposition to the bill and needed to be in Casper with his wife.

So, I’m glad Sen. Cynthia Lummis voted against vile omnibus bill, and Sen. Barrasso was also opposed. As they say, good on both of them.

Liz Cheney, on the other hand, voted for bill in the House. (Is this her parting shot?)

Some years back, I contacted Barrasso about a plan to close one end of the Forest Service road going by our little cabin subdivision in the Snowy Range. We rose up, stating the need for a route out  to the south in the event of a fire to the north. Barrasso replied that he would  follow up with the Forest Service, and the crazy plan was never enacted. To this day, it’s pretty rough, but you can escape to the south.

It’s tough to know what makes an incredibly bureaucratic entity like the Forest Service come to a decision. Any number of factors could have saved our fire escape to the south. But I’ve always figured that Barrasso’s attention played a role in keeping that road open.

So I kind of like Barrasso, and  I’m glad politics didn’t play a role in his decision not to vote on the vile and porky omnibus.

That said, let’s hit some other issues:

– Over Christmas, we spent time with our granddaughters in Gillette – a two-year-old and a four-year-old, both with red hair and blue eyes. The four-year-old whispered to her mother on Christmas Eve to make sure the Elf on the Shelf knew she wanted a stuffed unicorn, and to convey that message to Santa.

(A last-minute trip to Walmart ensued, to make sure that a little girl’s belief in the wonder of Santa was maintained. My daughter bought two unicorns, one for each little girl.)

The pure belief and innocence of a wide-eyed little girl is enough to renew anyone’s faith. How anyone could  disturb those wonderful years with adult things – things they will learn about in due time anyway – is beyond what this old grandpa can comprehend.

To think that some people bring children not much older than my granddaughters to “performances” by scantily clad, gesticulating, lewd drag queens is more than this grandfather can fathom. My God, what has become of us? Why not let kids be kids for as long as possible?

(Not much chance of my granddaughters being exposed to drag queens or sexually explicit books at the library. Grandpa is tough, but nothing compared to my daughter, their mother. We’re talking mother  badger here.)

– I see that incoming Wyoming Senate President Ogden Driskill is “willing to work with the Democrats, the Independents, and the crazies. I’ll move state policy any way I can get it done.”

It’s reassuring that Driskill is willing to work with “crazies” like us.

I say that because the crazy label has been thrown around pretty liberally lately, to the point where believing that President Donald Trump accomplished  many good thing during his four years is considered by many – I’m thinking Liz Cheney here – to put us in the certifiably wacky bucket.

So, after years of observing that not much really changes from administration to administration, and not much can be done to stem illegal immigration, hold back the ever-growing bureaucracy, cut regulation,  invigorate the economy and make progress on peace in the Middle East, we’re crazy for crediting the president on whose watch real progress on those challenges occurred.

Call me crazy, but I say the reason Trump got so many votes in Wyoming is because voters here value performance over personality.

What’s crazy about that?

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Dave Simpson

Political, Wyoming Life Columnist

Dave has written a weekly column about a wide variety of topics for 39 years, winning top columnist awards in Wyoming, Colorado, Illinois and Nebraska.