As if we needed more proof of our General Assembly’s callous priority of partisanship over citizenship, Ned Barnett’s Christmas column “Hurricane’s victims get meager state relief” nonetheless provided it.
Disaster relief cries out for nonpartisan action. Residents expect such a problem to be addressed with wisdom, compassion and cooperation. But the majority in the GA just couldn’t bring themselves to meet those expectations.
The result, in Barnett’s words, was “paltry help.” Republican leaders’ promise to do more later dismisses the daily distress of those displaced by Hurricane Matthew.
As luck – or gerrymandering – would have it, too many victims live in areas served by Democratic Sens. Erica Smith-Ingram and Jane Smith – neither of whom were consulted about the relief package. Aside from professional courtesy and good sense, democratic principles of representative government demand that those who represent disaster victims have a strong voice in the decision. Instead they had none.
Republicans in the General Assembly have shown time and again they have no intention of serving us equably. Their inability to overcome their partisanship even in handling hurricane relief further degrades our democracy. Until voted out, they will contrive to behave as they do simply because they can.