The 'Tea Party State' slow to solve its real problems - East Valley Tribune: Columnists

The 'Tea Party State' slow to solve its real problems

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Mike McClellan is a Gilbert resident and former English teacher at Dobson High School in Mesa.

Posted: Friday, March 4, 2011 6:00 am | Updated: 5:47 pm, Fri Mar 4, 2011.

Welcome to the Tea Party State, formerly known as Arizona.

It’s clear that Arizona has become Tea Party Central. That philosophy rules this state.

Don’t think so?

Want to fix the economy? Cut taxes. Give tax breaks to business. Provide incentives for new business.

And just how many jobs will be created from this? Don’t know. Can’t say. But it’ll be a bunch. Maybe. In a few years. If we’re lucky.

All the while, the budget remains unbalanced as our tea party state Legislature fiddles around.

Except to tell universities and community colleges you have to cut, cut, cut.

Oh, and have a “first-class” university program in our state. Even as tuition increases, make attending universities increasingly impossible.

But for those students who can attend school, our tea party Legislature wants them to be safe. So they should have guns. Lots of guns. That’s the way to ensure we’re safe. Guns in schools. Guns in bars. No training required, of course. This is the Tea Party State, after all, where training to use a gun would be “government intrusion.”

An intrusion the Tea Party State’s had enough with. So we’ll pass a nullification law. Don’t like a federal law? Don’t have to follow it. Simple as that. Heck, if you’re Russell Pearce, you can decide which state laws your state senators have to follow.

So if state law says you can’t bring a gun into a public building, tea party emperor Pearce decrees differently.

And if the feds don’t like what we’re up to, if they feel like they need to come after us, we’ll be ready. The Arizona tea party legislature has a bill that will provide “a homeland security force” under the “direct control” of the governor.

Her very own vigilante group. Don’t tread on us, Obama! You and your big government types better stay away from Arizona.

But sometimes our tea party small government types decide that big government should tell individuals what to do. Like with abortion. Including not having abortions based on race or gender. And base the law on a phony statistic and a study of China and India. Which is just what tea party Sen. Steve Montenegro did when he introduced a bill to ban abortions based on the color or sex of the fetus. A bill in search of a problem.

Or a law that will create problems. Like lawsuits. You know, the ones coming from us going after the feds for not enforcing immigration laws. Or being sued for our immigration laws.

But that’s fine. We’ll show that Obama fella that he can’t push Arizona around.

In fact, we’re not sure he’s even president. That’s why our Arizona tea party legislators wanted to pass a bill that would require any presidential candidate to prove he’s an American.

Swell, the birthers come to Arizona.

But solve the most crucial problem in our state, the Grand Canyon-size budget deficit remaining for this year and the even larger one for fiscal 2012? An attempt to correct the structural deficit of our state?

Silence from our tea party legislators.

This is Arizona, tea party style. An Alice in Wonderland kind of tea party.

Except it’s all too real.

Mike McClellan is a Gilbert resident who teaches English at Dobson High School in Mesa.

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