Where's the Outrage?
Monday, April 03, 2006 :::
That could be the working title of this Tyler Whitley piece. It seems no one is taking to the barricades over this year's legislative blockage.
Well of course not. But what is really fascinating in this article isn't so much the news, but the quotes from various Virginia professors. They are very revealing.
On one side, there is Virginia Tech professor Robert Denton, whom the TD continually refers to as an expert on political communication, but does not explain how or why he earned the title. Anyway, what's his opinion of the legislators?
"If you had someone who didn't do their job, you usually would fire them," Denton added. "I don't get the sense that the delegates or senators are facing any wrath, unfortunately."
Yes, "unfortunately." He wants outrage, anger...where's my pot and spoon? He also strongly plays into the running theme in most of the TD's coverage of the extra session -- something I do not recall from 2004: that all these extra days are costing us money. Oodles and scads of it.
Trying to gin-up outrage, any which-way they can.
Meanwhile, a PhiD from George Mason gets some cracks in, too:
"It looks like the legislators aren't taking their responsibilities very seriously," [Toni Travis] said. "You could charge them with dereliction of duty. They view their differences as philosophical. The public sees them as playing games."
The "public," or at least the people in the faculty lounge. And my cat.
On the other side, there are those who see this as a clash of visions. Mark Rush from Washington & Lee says:
"This is not a partisan dispute," he said. "They have differences of opinions that are hard to reconcile."
And U of R prof. Daniel Palazzolo agrees:
"This is a bona fide stalemate," he said. "Either side can make the case that it is right."
So not even the professoriate is in agreement over what's going on this time. I think it's more of the latter, but with roots that go far deeper, touching on generational differences, attitudes and expectations as much as visions, though those are all threads of the same rope.
The very rope by which they may all hang together.
::: posted by Norman Leahy at 4/03/2006