Washington ski resorts may be suffering for want of snow, but folks are hitting the slopes in Hell this week, as I once again toss kudos in directions I usually fling insults. A couple days ago I blogged in support of a forward-looking higher-ed funding proposal from two of the state GOP’s best legislators. And today I’m enthusiastically linking to a piece posted on (gasp…) Sound Politics!
Matt Rosenberg quite rightly ridicules State Sen. Don Benton (R-Vancouver) for missing the first 17 meetings of the Early Learning, K-12 and Higher Education Committee, before suddenly showing up at a hearing to grandstand on one of his own bills. And there’s plenty more to ridicule Benton for, as Columbian Watch so aptly chronicles here, here, here… and here.
Reading the comments on Matt’s blog entry, it appears some of (u)SP’s regulars have taken umbrage at Matt for daring to criticize one of their own… but their outrage is misdirected. Benton is more likely to appear on the side of a milk carton than at a committee hearing, and as Elizabeth Hovde points out in The Columbian, he simply isn’t doing the job for which he was elected.
Critics of Benton must be giddy. Not only has the senator made himself an easy target, giving fiscal conservatives a bad name, he isn’t around to exert his influence on various issues. As a person who would vote the way Benton does much of the time, especially on spending issues, I find it maddening that Benton foes are getting a better deal out of his re-election than his fans.
Matt deserves some credit for criticizing Benton’s job performance — however much he may agree with his ideology — and for doing so on a forum that tends to denounce Republicans only for perceived violations of party loyalty. I don’t generally agree with his politics (and I thought his take on my “Horse’s Ass” initiative to be particularly humorless,) but Matt has always struck me as more intellectually honest than most of his fellow unSounders.