Monday, August 24, 2009

Great Moments in Shifting Blame and Staying on Message

The Missouri State Legislature passed a law intending to ban styrofoam from certain waterways. They messed up.

Lawmakers intended to reduce floating debris and pollution from abandoned foam coolers in the state’s waterways. But they confused their plastics. Instead of banning Styrofoam, they criminalized the plastic containers found in many kitchens but seldom used to ferry beer and soda down a river.

Some legislative aide in charge of the details failed to confirm that the law contained the appropriate technical language. The law's sponsor had this to say:

Sen. Delbert Scott, the main proponent of the restrictions, said he was not aware of the error and blamed a federal rule from which the state borrowed.


“When you depend on the federal government to write the stuff, that’s what happens. It gets screwed up,” said Scott, a Lowry City Republican.

I love this. Of course, the federal language that was copied didn't make the same mistake. The person who copied it just didn't bother to understand what they were copying. This is the sort of small but significant mistake that the legislative process provides numerous opportunities to occur. That Sen. Scott managed to take a state level error and blame it on federal incompetence is golden. I regret he didn't take it to the next level and explain that this is one more example of why the government can't be trusted with health care - why, there's probably a rule somewhere saying that granny's pacemaker should be made out of bamboo.

1 comment:

  1. The Republican didn't read his own bill, then tries to blame the Democrats by implication.

    I thought a tenant of Republican conservative thought was ACCOUNTABILITY. (Not that accountability is the province of Republican demogogues, although they would want us to think that.)