Left seeks power, not solutions

Published 6:30 am Saturday, July 14, 2018


Guest Columnist


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Liberal groups pre-wrote press releases opposing President Trump’s nomination to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court before the nominee, which turned out to be federal appeals court judge Brett Kavanaugh, was even revealed.

Women’s March pre-wrote in its introduction to its statement: “In response to Donald Trump’s nomination of XX to the Supreme Court of the United States,” while later sloppily inserting a misspelled version of the nominee’s name.

“Judge Brett Cavenaugh’s nomination threatens to move our nation’s highest court dangerously to the right and further erode protections for almost every marginalized group in America,” it incompetently carped. 

But at least this radically unhinged group waited until Trump made the announcement before releasing its poorly written and edited — if extremely revealing — statement.

ABC’s “Nightline” unfairly labeled the nominee “controversial” 90 minutes before Trump made his announcement.

It’s not unusual for advocacy groups to prepare two drafts in preparation for a timely release either supporting or opposing a nominee.

But no pre-written statements of support could be found regarding the president’s Supreme Court pick.

Arms were crossed and minds closed.

This surprises only the naïve who still believe the political left really cares about getting a qualified nominee or achieving sound policy.

Instead, the left’s end game is amassing power, which is accomplished by opposing any proposed nominee or policy if it changes the status quo or threatens its power base. 

It doesn’t matter to Kentucky Education Association President Stephanie Winkler what pension-reform ideas are offered by the legislature or Gov. Matt Bevin.

Even before lawmakers made tough decisions about raising taxes and putting more dollars into the public pension system than any legislature in history with only one change of any consequence for current beneficiaries while offering new teachers a more secure retirement future, Winkler and her company of irrational liberals had already decided their position.

Similarly, groups like the Kentucky Equal Justice Center determined their opposition to any Medicaid reforms before Bevin announced them.

The group has worked with extremist organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center to convince a federal judge to strike down the Bevin administration’s proposal requiring able-bodied adults who aren’t caretakers to work, volunteer or attend school for 20 hours and pay a small premium in exchange for welfare benefits.

According to the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA), Kentucky currently has nearly 650,000 able-bodied adults enrolled in Medicaid who “don’t work at all” and Bevin’s proposal at the most would result in only 95,000 out of the commonwealth’s 1.2 million enrollees leaving the program over a five-year period, some of whom would find employment and obtain employer-provided health insurance. 

It apparently doesn’t matter to the left that allowing a growing number of able-bodied on the program has, as FGA states, “led to skyrocketing costs, now totaling $4.5 billion per year, that puts funding for all other state priorities, including education, public safety, and services for the most vulnerable at risk.”

They’re against any change, no matter how reasonable or effective — beyond raising taxes — which cuts into their power base of big-government voters or attempts to address skyrocketing costs of programs like Medicaid, making resources available for other priorities such as building roads, educating students and keeping citizens safe.

Kentucky’s political left seems much more interested in regaining power they’ve lost at ballot boxes in recent years rather than offering or supporting reasonable solutions to complex problems.

Jim Waters is president and CEO of the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions, Kentucky’s free-market think tank. He can be reached at jwaters@freedomkentucky.com and @bipps on Twitter.