By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY–Almost daily the question is raised, “What has this legislative session accomplished?”
For most of us who cover the daily grind of legislative sausage making it is difficult sometimes to see the pig for its parts.
One thing is evident what started out as a coherent body of legislators led by disciplined coaches has descended into a locker room full of mercs and free agents.
Some days it is impossible to tell democrat from republican, leader from follower and friend from enemy.
There seems to be only a handful of true believers acting according to principle be it liberal or conservative. It appears that the only abiding principle for some is re-election.
True small government conservatives as well as fiscal conservatives should be about ready to pull the hair out of their heads.
Democrats who are concerned about the welfare of the poor and women’s right should be equally distressed.
This has been a session that has enacted or at least tried to enact more regulations than I could have ever imagined under the Politburo. Well, maybe I go too far but there have been more than enough. It is startling that those who ran on a platform of “getting government off people’s back and out of their wallets,” have for the most part increased regulations, added intrusive statutes and engineered massive giveaways that would make Ted Kennedy proud.
As far as fiscal responsibility the legislature kicked the state employee retirement crisis as far down the road as possible without appearing to be completely irresponsible.
And when it comes to corporate giveaways the so-called Republican caucus has offered more favors than a drunk cheerleader on prom night.
Oh and don’t get me started on Medicaid.
And in case no one has noticed there is a war on women. Maybe not the kind that we hear about in the MSM but I have seen female legislators ignored or disregarded in a manner that I could never imagined a southern gentlemen capable of. It is a good thing these women don’t have sons that sit in on committee meetings or more than a few male legislators would have bloody noses.
Women’s bodies have been attacked, attached and treated like meat until I never want to hear another man say anything about a woman’s reproductive organs other than, “God bless you for the burden you bear.”
If there are angels on earth they come in the form of woman and she is not second class, she is not a baby factory or a servant, but an equal, capable, intelligent and the mothers of us all. Her worth is far above we males’ imagination.
Lobbyist are another group that gets a bad rap. There are some really good lobbyist, with integrity and a wealth of knowledge. It is said that a lobbyist is paid to keep those who are elected from making mistakes. I would have to agree with that statement but only to a degree.
Of course, all that is seen in the Statehouse are the rudimentary manifestations of human nature: fear, envy, greed and the lust for power among them.
With all that has been displayed as shortcomings there have been many good things accomplished. The prison industry program comes to mind as well as the elderly abuse and neglect act. The willingness of our legislature to look for ways to improve the lot of all Alabamians is to be applauded.
The endless hours of ernest hard work by many legislators is inspiring. The willingness to wrenching every ounce of good out of the workday is to be admired. These too have been abundantly on display. I have seen kindness, forgiveness and yes, even love expressed here in the Capitol.
So, while I can not yet tell if the pig is baked, boiled or barbecued, I pray that Alabama will benefit from her sacrifice.
It’s not always pretty this sausage making but God knows I love it.
Pass the bread please?