Republicans' derangement couldn't come at worse time

commentJune 16, 2012 

Anti-Pebble forces aside, there is nothing on this planet more disingenuous or prone to unabashed fibbery than a leftist on a mission to save the world from an outbreak of sanity. That is true from the very top to the very bottom; from Barack Obama's desperate Bush-did-it propaspeak to local Democrats' blather about saving Alaska while working to destroy its economy.

Just when you thought Dems here could hit no more sour a note than the oil tax legerdemain of the last Legislature, along comes Alaska Democratic Party high poobah Kay Brown with an email to her acolytes about a juicy rift in the Alaska Republican Party.

The Juneau Empire said the email was titled, "Why the GOP Meltdown Matters to You," and refers to Alaska Republicans being led down the garden path by 2010 failed Senate hopeful Joe Miller -- who, by the way, has a Bronze Star -- and the tea party. That is not exactly the story, but it is an email from a Democrat, after all.

The truth is, Congressman Ron Paul supporters, some of them tea party sorts, surprised almost everybody when they -- Miller not included, at least conspicuously -- snatched the Alaska GOP reins during the April convention. Under party rules, they, with Russ Millette of Anchorage at the helm, will assume leadership early next year. Some newbies are antsy, wanting the brass ring now. They have been feuding with outgoing Chairman Randy Reudrich since the convention and wanted to convene again. Folks got fidgety. Reudrich derailed a second session by urging delegates to stay home to head off a quorum.

If Paul's supporters had put together enough tin foil for hats, there were fears of craziness ranging from poaching national convention delegates for Paul to an Alice in Wonderland resolution calling for censure of Sen. Lisa Murkowski, as the Anchorage Daily News reported, for not supporting Miller in the last Senate election. (Heck, most Alaskans did not support him; for good reason.) Murkowski lost the primary to Miller, but beat him and his Bronze Star in an historic write-in campaign.

All this silly GOP feuding makes Democrats ecstatic, and why not? Republicans, crazy ones at that, are at each others' throats. The party -- once staid and solid and business like -- smacks of disarray and weirdness. Redistricting should save it, even from Ron Paul's disciples, but one never knows.

This Democrats' dream -- the feuding, the power grabs, the nuttiness -- comes at an unfortunate time. Alaska's fiscal future is up for grabs. The Senate is the prize. In the last Legislature, the Senate was plagued with a 10-10 split among Republicans and Democrats. A coalition - that's an eight-letter, four-letter word - of 10 Democrats and six Republicans run the show, or, more correctly, do diddly-squat. It's the same bunch that blocked progress on oil tax reform as production and investment fell on the North Slope. Gov. Sean Parnell, pushing for reform, labeled it a "do nothing" Senate. He is too nice for this kind of work.

Unless the GOP pries defeat from the jaws of a victory virtually assured by an assiduously crafted redistricting plan -- one hopefully approved by the Obama Justice Department -- things may get better. Raging optimists hope the Senate split next year could be as high as 16 Republicans and four Democrats, which means Alaska again could be open for business -- and not a minute too soon.

For too long, Alaska has had to live with the left's blurry, statist vision, one apparently embraced by some Republicans and predicated on a need to ensure Alaskans are dependent on a growing government tending toward socialism -- "a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery," as Winston Churchill aptly put it. For too long, Alaskans have had to watch the inexorable slide.

To underwrite our entitlement mentality, Democrats and a few Republicans have refused to fix the confiscatory taxes on the industry that supports more than half our economy and virtually all government spending; taxes that force the industry to take its business and investments elsewhere. That can be fixed.

Given the past few years, the biggest whopper in Brown's email certainly is worth a chuckle: Alaska Democrats, she assured them, "work with everyone to solve problems and get things done."

The truth? They and their GOP pals are the problem -- and nothing has gotten done.


Paul Jenkins is editor of the AnchorageDailyPlanet.com.

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