What Would My Life Be Like Without David Williams?
January 13, 2009
He’s the Republican Kentucky State Senate president, with reality-altering powers, and, now, apparently, a grand plan to take down Democratic legislators in a crazy kamikaze move where he calls for banning public smoking, statewide. In Kentucky. Or maybe it’s a crazy kamikaze move to take down a cigarette tax increase. (Of course, it passed in Louisville and Lexington, so maybe it’s not so suicidal.) Or, at the very least, he’s trying to bait Helen, which probably also qualifies as “a crazy kamikaze move.”
But the best part, which really enables this story to demonstrate everything I love about Kentucky politics, is Greg Stumbo, our wonderful new House Speaker, declaring, “I’m allergic to smoke on a personal level.” I’m still trying to figure out how you could be allergic to something on either an impersonal or public level, and what it means that we now have modes of allergic-ness.
EDIT: I suppose I forgot to mention the point of this. I’m against laws like this on a city/county level to begin with, but a statewide ban opens a different can of worms. You can’t even begin to claim that the people of Louisville (or wherever) don’t want smoking in their bars and restaurants — all semblance of local autonomy on nanny-issues goes out the window. Instead, the only justification is that the government knows what’s best better than the people. A statewide ban, rather than being an objectionable law (and, to some, an irritant), is also a stepping-stone to nationalized Pink Police State provisions. If we see a spate of statewide bans, we’ll eventually see calls for a national ban. And while, by analogy, no one is going to argue that we should be feeding children lead via toys, this was certainly not the way to fix the problem.
(I guess I should add that my objection to this is more of a libertarian one than a glorification of smoking one — oh, the Pink Police State!)