“Wyoming solutions to Wyoming problems...”
I heard our governor utter those words in his closing address to the Wyoming House of Representatives last spring.
Members of the Speaker's Drawer Caucus beamed, feeling good that the governor approved of their picking and choosing. Members of the Freedom Caucus were less enthused by the spending and some good bills that died in the speaker's drawer.
To be honest - which is sometimes a good thing to do - my sensitivities lie with the Freedom Caucus, even though I don't know any of them. (I'm steamed at my state senator after he ignored an email I sent him last session. And in the entire legislature, I've only actually met two senators – Charlie Scott, the longtime fixture from Natrona County, and former Sports Editor Bill Landen, whose desk was about 20 feet from mine when we both worked at the erstwhile Casper Star-Tribune.)
So, I'm unburdened by personal relationships. And I don't care about the goings on in the state Republican Party, because if I want rock 'em, sock 'em action, I'll watch pro wrestling. One has about as much to do with my life as the other.
I'm a clean slate - an old retired guy who hurried back to Wyoming and just wants government to leave him alone. But I'd also like a modicum (not much) of common sense along the way. Is that too much to ask? (Maybe.)
For instance, if the governor really prefers “Wyoming solutions to Wyoming problems,” why the heck is he touting “carbon negative” at Harvard and on “60 Minutes.” (Old timers will remember a two-part series on “60 Minutes” during the Herschler administration that was all hat and no cattle.)
Was Gordon looking to the elites for Wyoming solutions to Wyoming problems? And if he found some, why didn't he hurry on up to Gillette to share the virtues of carbon negative with Wyoming's coal miners?
“All options” when it comes to energy sounds great, but “carbon negative,” not so much. Especially when China is opening one coal-fired power plant a week. So much for our good example.
Actually, I'm not sold on this Wyoming solutions to Wyoming problems deal. There might be problems in the other 49 states that afflict us here in Wyoming, too. And if some bright bulb elsewhere comes up with a swell idea, why not listen? Is that crazy?
Because I don't think that's crazy.
If someone from some Brand X state invents the wheel, I say we keep an open mind.
Furthermore, this killing bills in the speaker's drawer deal is wearing thin with the no-nonsense, meatloaf-for-dinner guys not unlike myself. (A crusty Wyoming native friend says anything that dies in the speaker's drawer for lack of a hearing should appear on the next election ballot for voters to decide. Good idea, but don't hold your breath.)
An example: A bill died in the speaker's drawer last session that would have precluded talking about sex with the youngest grade school kids. What kind of perv wants to talk sex with a First Grader? You call that a “Wyoming solution?”
Surgery on children to change their sex? A bill prohibiting that died in the last session. Too bad. (Whatever happened to the classic parental advice, “Don't burn your bridges, Buster.”)
(Especially that bridge.)
And what's the deal with this trend of drag queens performing in front of little kids? Who thinks that's a good idea? If my granddaughters get exposed to that at some public library or park, you don't have to worry about me. No, it's my cornered-grizzly daughter protecting her young that you'd have to worry about.
No brag, Pilgrim. Just fact.
And guys like me think not offering books like “Gender Queer” in children's libraries is a swell idea. (Even the author agrees.) Not putting a book on your shelf doesn't amount to banning it. So could we give that bit of hysteria a rest?
Our governor grudgingly let a bill prohibiting boys from playing girls sports take effect last spring without his signature, dubbing it “draconian.”
One would think Wyoming solutions to Wyoming problems would include a modicum of Wyoming common sense.
Good luck finding it at Harvard or on “60 Minutes.”
Dave Simpson can be reached at: DaveSimpson145@Hotmail.com