No Straw Man Here: The Mask Slips in Santa Barbara

A little noticed detail in Santa Barbara’s recent drive to criminalize plastic straws, which culminated in the Santa Barbara city council taking testimony from a nine-year-old about the planetary menace, has come to light in recent days. During that council session, councilman Jesse Dominguez said the following in response to citizens who asked “what’s next?”:

“Unfortunately, common sense is just not common. We have to regulate every aspect of people’s lives.”

Take that one in for a moment, for it expresses the core impulse of liberalism today. In fact, let’s repeat it:

“Unfortunately, common sense is just not common. We have to regulate every aspect of people’s lives.”

Well, it seems this kind of directness is imprudent, even for a liberal, so Councilman Dominguez is trying to walk back that statement:

The comment sparked an immediate backlash from people who read the quote in Noozhawk and other local media, wondering “did he really say that?” Yes, he did, and on Tuesday, Dominguez apologized for the comment.

“I just wanted to apologize,” Dominguez said at the beginning of the meeting. “A few weeks ago I made a string of words in a rhetorical fashion about regulation and they were not taken as rhetorical and that’s my fault so I want to apologize.”

Now, we do have to admit that the good councilman has a point about Santa Barbara citizens lacking common sense. He’s on the city council, after all. Sort of an inversion of the great rhetorical question both Thomas Jefferson and Ronald Reagan liked to ask: “Sometimes it is said that man can not be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others?”

But “string of words”? I know of a new editorial board member at the New York Times who will buy that, but otherwise I think everyone can understand exactly what the councilman believes. That “string of words” combines into a noose for individual liberty. And common sense. Here’s to hoping the voters of Santa Barbara recover their common sense and pull the string on Dominguez (and his “words”) at the next election, along with the other five knuckleheads who voted for the plastic straw ban.

One last morsel:

“I learned that there was confusion about what I said,” Dominguez said.

No, there’s no confusion.

Hat tip: Local Power Line reader KM.

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