Among the cynical adages that explain a lot about democratic politics is this one: “Vote for your enemy — he has no one to sell out to but you.” It’s an adage that seems to apply more reliably to Republicans than to Democrats. In any event, however, our own Governor Tim Pawlenty is in the process of providing a case study in the merits of the adage.
Though he was reelected last week, he now faces substantial Democratic majorities in both houses of the Minnesota legislature and is apparently seeking ground he can cede to them. Now Governor Pawlenty is advocating the extension of “health care access to up to 90,000 uninsured children as a step toward coverage for all Minnesotans.” (I’m relying on the Star Tribune account of Pawlenty’s speech; I can’t find a copy of it on the Internet.)
Governor Pawlenty didn’t propose any particular method for extending coverage, he simply put the ball in play. The Democrats can be counted on to do the rest. Not willing to leave bad enough alone, Govenror Pawlenty also delivered some nanny-state hectoring of pharmaceutical advertising:
Pawlenty said prescription drug ads should be limited or temporarily suspended because they only “create consumer-driven appetites for prescription medicines that do not yield wise decisions.”
So much is wrong with this propositon. I recoil from the arrogance of such instruction from public servants who have forgotten their jobs. Sorry, governor, but you aren’t the arbiter of the “wise decisions” of a free people.