WHAT OTHERS SAY: GOP raises childish bickering to new heights

Monday, June 30, 2014 | 2:02 p.m. CDT

Oh, yeah! Well, I’ll show you.

In response to Gov. Jay Nixon’s cuts to GOP spending, Republican lawmakers are seeking flight restrictions for the Democratic chief executive.

We didn’t expect the outrage to be so swift, or so petty.

What Missourians need is an adult discussion on sensible state spending; what we are getting is childish bickering.

Republicans didn’t attempt to shield their motivation for seeking to limit Nixon’s use of state airplanes.

Twin news releases from both the Senate and House began: “Missouri legislators are asking certain state departments to look at cutting waste after the governor’s actions this week on the state budget.”

The governor’s actions, our readers will recall, include $1.1 billion in spending cuts to initiatives approved by the Republican-controlled legislature.

The new releases quote Senate Appropriations Chairman Kurt Schaefer R-Columbia, saying: “While he (Nixon) continues to cut services for some of our most needy and education, he flies around in his state-of-art $6 million plane using state money to pay for the expense of pilots, maintenance, fuel, and other associated travel costs.”

Nixon’s use of state aircraft is a legitimate issue — an issue first raised years ago.

Reintroducing it now only raises the stakes in a confrontation; it does nothing to facilitate conciliation.

Partisan politics is confrontational. We don’t mean to suggest otherwise.

But when confrontation moves beyond political issues and becomes personal, the process suffers.

Our intent here is not to scold members of the state’s executive and legislative branches.

But Missourians, who may support or oppose specific policies, are becoming disenchanted with, and damaged by, a political process in disarray.

Partisans have dug in with a win-at-all-costs mentality. We encourage someone in government to rise above the fray and restore a mature, responsible discussion on state spending before the people lose all confidence.

Copyright Jefferson City News Tribune. Reprinted with permission.

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