Dave Simpson: Not Exactly A Day At The Beach

Columnist Dave Simpson writes, "What on earth was Gov. Gordon thinking when he spoke at Harvard University last week, advocating something called “carbon negative?” How did he expect that to go over in carbon-rich Gillette?"

Dave Simpson

October 30, 20234 min read

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You'd think being a Republican, especially in the state that gave Donald Trump his highest percentage of votes, would be a walk in the park.

And you'd think wrong, Pilgrim. It's no cake walk.

Being a Republican is a curious stream of strange episodes and riddles wrapped, tamale-style, in enigmas. How could common-sense, cloth-coat Republicans keep screwing up the meat and potatoes recipe?

Fiscal responsibility, personal accountability, not being a burden on society, smaller government, taking care of your kid so government won't have to, less regulation, secure borders, safe streets...

Hello?  Anybody out there? What's so difficult about this stuff?

And could we please leave some vestige of this great country for our kids to inherit?

President Wrong-Way Biden says the nation was “flat on its back” when he took office. But we were coming off four years of pretty good results – a predicted stock market plunge that never happened, record low Black and Hispanic unemployment, lowest unemployment for women in 70 years, vaccines (if that's your thing) in record time, lowest carbon dioxide emissions (if that's your thing) in the world, and better wage increases for the bottom 25 percent of workers than the top 25 percent.

Oh yeah, and no wars.

What's not to like about that?

But then our own Liz Cheney decided, after voting consistently for the Trump agenda, that she couldn't let him to set foot in the Oval Office again.

I'd  been a Cheney voter for years. I have a framed letter from Dick Cheney hanging on my wall. (I took a picture of him in front of the Rawlins Times in 1979 when he was running for the House. A thrifty guy who drove himself around in a van campaigning, he asked me to send him a print of the photo to put in his campaign fliers. I did, and he sent me a swell thank you letter.)

But, when Liz stayed on the January 6 Committee after Nancy Pelosi nixed other notable Republicans, that was it for me. I'd voted for Liz three times. But her anti Trump jihad was a deal killer.

“Don't results matter anymore?” I wondered.

At the state level, I was put off by that fistfight at a Republican convention in Gillette some years back, and reports that a Republican brought his tomahawk to the gathering. Then the Roberts Rules of Order crowd  got clever one year and kicked out most of the Natrona and Laramie County delegations. And I thought, what's the deal with that?

It's not all bad. I'm pretty sure Sen. John Barrasso helped us some years back when the Forest Service wanted to close a road in the Snowy Range that we needed in case of fire. I think Cynthia Lummis is pretty solid, but she loses me when she talks about blockchains.

And Harriet's a bulldog.

At the Legislature, I was outraged this year when a bill prohibiting teachers from talking about sex to the youngest grade school children died in the desk drawer of the Speaker of the House. And I wonder why a bill to outlaw gender-altering procedures and surgeries on children also died in the House. And why did our governor call a bill prohibiting boys from playing girls' sports “overly draconian,” as he let it become law without his signature?

What's the deal, Lucille?

And what on earth was the governor thinking when he spoke at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University last week, advocating something called “carbon negative?” How did he expect that to go over in carbon-rich Gillette?

The charitable explanation is that Mark Gordon favors the whole gamut of energy sources, but did he  expect to find coal-burning converts in the belly of the beast of campus liberalism?

Is there some Al Gore in the guy we elected governor? (I voted for Gordon twice, but the bloom is off the rose.) And was it really necessary to take a swipe at Fox News in his response to the Harvard flap? (He referred to the “shallowness” of their reporting.)

Maybe he preferred the days when we got our news from three knee-jerk liberal anchormen on three knee-jerk liberal TV networks.

Being a Wyoming Republican is no picnic, fellow beleaguered conservatives. It can be a tough row to hoe.

The only consolation:

Consider the alternative.

Dave Simpson can be reached at: DaveSimpson145@hotmail.com

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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.