Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Great Editorial, Zero Impact

The Livingston Press and Argus has published several editorials this spring ripping Rick Snyder's totally unnecessary cuts to education. All businesses that care about having educated employees should oppose these cuts, but newspapers have a special stake in good schools. After all, people who can't read and don't care about reading don't buy newspapers, not even for the pictures.

But last week, the newspaper took things up a notch when it criticized not just Snyder or Republicans in general, but a local Republican lawmaker -- Republican Rep. Bill Rogers. Rogers not only voted for the unnecessary and deep cuts to schools, but he offered the head-slappingly stupid remark that if schools would have "planned" for the cuts, they wouldn't have any problem.

In its editorial Friday, the newspaper called Rogers' remarks "mystifying" and "bereft of facts and logic." It went on to note that the school aid fund has a huge and growing surplus, and that if planning for expenses solved all problems, why didn't businesses just "plan" for the Michigan Business Tax which they hated so much?

The editorial closed with this zinger:

"It's almost as though Rogers is saying that school administrators should plan ahead for legislative incompetence.

"Maybe he would have a point."

The editorial was directly on target (and in line with a post on Living Blue BTW), but alas, as excellent as it was, it will have zero impact on Rogers or his cohorts Cindy Denby and Joe Hune.

Unfortunately, the newspaper has no leverage with local Republican office holders because they know no matter how poorly they perform in office and no matter how well qualified their opponents, the newspaper will always endorse them. If just once the newspaper would endorse a Democrat -- or even withhold an endorsement of the Republican candidate at election time -- Republican lawmakers might pay attention and work a little harder to represent all local residents instead of only business interests.

Nevertheless, it was a great editorial, and very true.

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