Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mirage over Lake Mendota

I'm conflicted. Should we forgive the governor's occasional flights of fancy, his over-active imagination? Should we, much as we would a small child, try to understand Governor Doyle's desperate need for attention? A need so great he invents government programs out of thin air and then engages in fantasy behavior?

Or should we treat him like a grown man, and ask that he behave himself in public and stop telling whoppers to eigth-graders who are young and impressionable enough to actually believe someone with the title of governor?

As I comment in this week's column, Governor Doyle was in town last week, and he made some promises that he isn't authorized to keep.

The governor made a stop in Waukesha last week to sign up eighth-grade students for his Wisconsin Covenant program. The program would guarantee a spot in the University of Wisconsin System and a financial aid package for any student who maintains a "B" average through high school. The governor has been touring the state promoting the program and having kids sign their names to promises to get good grades.
Now, everybody likes kids getting good grades. Even I like kids who get good grades. I always advise such kids to continue to get good grades, go to a nice university, go to law school, and eventually become governor by making false promises to eighth-graders.

I don’t get invited to speak at "career day" very often.

My other advice to children is to be skeptical of anything Gov. Jim Doyle promises.

After all, there is no "Wisconsin Covenant" program. It does not exist except as a proposal that has not been passed by the Legislature and is unlikely to be passed this year.

It’s an amazing bit of deception to promise to kids and their parents the rewards of a welfare program that doesn’t exist. It’s also quite underhanded to recruit the kids to actually sign up for a non-existent program.

Even eBay doesn’t allow its sellers to put items up for auction they don’t have.
If he was a used car salesman, we'd ask the state attorney general to prosecute him for consumer fraud. But since he's the governor, apparently we're asked to indulge his acting out the scenarios of his fantasy world.

Such behavior by the governor cannot be conducive to good mental health.

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