Leave Lawmaking to the Pros
As Utah Sen. Mike Lee keeps reminding us, the U.S. is not a democracy. What he neglects to tell us is that totalitarianism is right around the corner. What exactly is it about our representatives and their understanding of "representation?" This does not have to be a partisan issue, but in fact Republicans are pushing hard around the country to keep citizens out of the lawmaking business. The Salt Lake Tribune ran an eye-opener about the secretive national group behind legislation to make ballot initiatives harder. Rep. Jordan Teuscher, R-South Jordan, listened to a couple of whiners rather than looking at the real effect of his bill. Were a few citizens really deceived into signing a petition and did it make a difference? Did they not want expanded Medicaid because they didn't need it? Idaho citizens demanded it, The Guardian wrote, when 70,000 people were left uncovered in the state. "What is clear ... is that, as citizens increasingly make use of their state's constitutional right of initiative, legislators throughout the country now find themselves engaged in a tug-of-war for power with the very people they represent," Law360.com warns.
'Folks, Don't Be Jerks'
Gov. Spencer Cox came out fighting, telling the good people of Utah not to be jerks, to act with respect and go to their own corners. While we like to see Cox flexing his muscles, this was pretty much a milquetoast reaction to Utahns, yes, acting like jerks. The Legislature is ready to just end any damned mask mandate, while The Salt Lake Tribune's Andy Larsen sums it up as selfishness. "Hundreds of thousands of people just decided not to wear them—'my mask protects you, your mask protects me' wasn't reason enough," he wrote. It's freedom, baby. Freedom to stick it to your neighbor, friends and families.
Trump's Stolen Valor
Meanwhile, U.S. "Rep." Burgess Owens thinks we're not giving enough credit to the guy who used to be president, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. You know who I mean—the man who suggested we light up our asses and sip bleach. They guy who said COVID would just magically go away and who stealthily got vaccinated before leaving office in January 2021 without a peep to the public. Dr. Anthony Fauci is simply perplexed because almost half of Trump supporters won't get the vaccine. And Fauci wants Trump to urge his supporters to get vaccinated. In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Fauci said he had some influence on Trump initially but lost it after Trump decided to "essentially act like there was no outbreak." While Owens must be reading the New York Post, Forbes magazine sets the record straight. "Donald Trump did not invent or develop the vaccines to combat COVID-19, despite his claim he should receive the credit. Ironically, immigrants played the crucial role in developing the vaccines, a group Trump as president has vilified."