Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Lady's Got Potential

Canadian-born Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm seems to have internalized the unfortunately-typical Canadian political dialogue pretty well: Last month the state legislature buried the Democratic Governor's top legislative priority, a grandiose proposal to raise taxes on insurance companies, banks and thousands of small businesses that private studies said would have cost up to 20,000 jobs. Ms. Granholm's plan was widely criticized, including in these columns in March and in an op-ed article on the opposite page last Thursday by state legislator Rick Baxter, a Republican, and Hillsdale College Professor Gary Wolfram. Ms. Granholm was not pleased, going so far as to denounce the op-ed as "treasonous for the state of Michigan." The authors' high crime? Exposing Michigan as a high tax state and criticizing Ms. Granholm for wanting to raise taxes. Her choice of words was no inadvertent slip of the tongue, by the way--a Howard Dean-like temporary loss of sanity. The Governor has used the "t" word repeatedly and has even suggested that Mr. Baxter "should be removed from office." As improbable self-righteous hyperbole goes, that doesn't seem too far away from "Private health care will destroy Canada" or similar lines of attack. Governing is so much easier in a one-party state, without opponents willing to argue against your grandiose schemes, isn't it? And, surely, it follows that anyone opposed to the will of the executive - benevolent and right-minded as it is - is not only wrong, but a traitor. (Funny how dissent is imagined to be brave and patriotic when disagreeing with Republicans, but literally treasonous when disagreeing with Democrats, huh?) This kind of political philosophy, the casual delegitimization and vilification of all political enemies, is one Canadian export I'm sure no one wants. In any event, when eventually turfed by Michiganders (and, oh, will that be sweet when it happens), I'm sure she'd be welcomed back to Canada as some variety of high-profile Liberal candidate. Demanding that conservatives be charged with treason merely for the sake of their political opinions would certainly be a winning platform in some parts of Ontario... (Via Instapundit.)


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