Press "Enter" to skip to content

This Week in Missouri Politics Column: Even a governor elected in a landslide can’t please everyone

  

It was one year ago when Mike Parson was elected governor in a 17-point landslide with a record 1.7 million Missourians voting for him. However, it’s a big-league tough job, and it’s kinda like being an only child — sometimes you just can’t win. 

As someone without a brother or sister myself, I can understand the tightrope you walk. It ain’t easy. Take the hacking of the DESE computer system. No question the buck stops with the governor on making sure the computers work right. However, in a job as big as the governor of Missouri things are going to go wrong.

When he was first alerted about the breach, the first thing is obviously to fix it, then the right thing to do is to fess up and tell folks about it. Now, when you tell folks about something like this, some of them are going to be in law enforcement. It’s really damned if you do and damned if you don’t. If you keep it secret, then you’re covering it up. If you tell folks, then it’s likely that one of the myriad of investigations that take place are going to be by law enforcement. 

Now, I heard a lot of the outrage that came from folks on the left, as there is any time a liberal journalist is criticized. For a fun Capitol pastime, if you ever wanna be able to hear the crickets out by the Missouri River, just criticize anyone in the media that ain’t a left-winger. The complete and total silence that will follow it will let you hear ‘em clear up to the Capitol — some nights even over to Arris Pizza.

I’m reminded of the Missouri News Horizon. It was a right-leaning news outlet funded by dark money conservative donors. Oh my god, the liberals were distraught. Some of the more irrelevant dinosaurs in that Capitol press corps kicked them out for not disclosing their donors. At the time, one simple hillbilly wrote that he suspected that they would react differently if it were a dark money liberal group … and that was before I had a #SteinOfKnowldege to drink from. 

I heard some other folks say that the Post-Dispatch was merely trying to help the Parson administration. Well I guess that might be, but if you believe that the Post-Dispatch has anything but elitist hate for Mike Parson and his administration then I have some offers that I believe you would be interested in:

  • A luxury snipe hunting trip
  • An oceanside villa in West Butler County 
  • A great deal on the bridge over the Osage on 17 near Tuscumbia 
  • Some shares of KMART although I can get you in at only $11 a share

With the way things are now, you just ain’t gonna please but around half the folks on any day, no matter what you do. However, Gov. Parson gets a special type of scrutiny. It’s really one of the last bigotries that is OK, even encouraged in some urban areas. That’s because the folks who would normally call out bigotry, whether it is there or not, are the biggest practitioners of it, elitism.

You see Gov. Parson is a former sheriff and a farmer. He ain’t some big city big shot, and while that’s part of why he won in such a landslide, it’s also why those elitist liberals hate him.

Oh, it’s subtle. It’s not what they say out loud, but it’s unmistakable if you listen for it. Kinda like those crickets down by the river. 

It’s possible that this month Attorney General Eric Schmitt has saved Missouri public education from the ax. You can debate the wisdom in forcing a mask on the face of a 5-year-old child — well, I guess you can if you’re a screwball with no damn sense — but either way, the people of this state are fed up, as they should be. Their elected supermajority of legislators are fed up, and if the poor little children of this state are masked when that supermajority arrives back in Jefferson City, well, next month public education in our state could be irreparably devastated. 

The funny part will be watching the logic of an Uber driver say the answer is to take money from the public schools, which have about 10 percent of the districts still harassing their students, and give it to the charter schools of which about 90 percent harass their students with masks. 

Maybe, just maybe, if Schmitt can end this mask ridiculousness, with the most liberal folks fighting him the whole way, by the end of the year, public schools have a fighting chance next session. 

Lastly, it strikes me as odd that a historical display honoring the struggle for LGBT rights was removed from the Capitol, but there is a portrait of former Lt. Gov. Thomas Reynolds in the rotunda. If you don’t know, there are portraits of every former governor in the rotunda. (They haven’t put one up of Eric Greitens yet. I’ve been checking as it will be a living monument of “I told you” so for me to show other Republicans.) 

Anyway, Reynolds was elected the lieutenant governor when Gov. Claiborne Fox Jackson was elected governor in 1860. About two weeks into the job, he gave what was hailed as a very convincing speech to the state Senate encouraging secession. Gov. Jackson was sworn in and led the state until General Lyon’s army forced what was left of the legislature to declare the offices vacant. Therefore it makes sense to have Gov. Jackson’s portrait up. 

However, Lt. Gov. Reynolds fled the state, even ultimately fleeing to Mexico after the war. When Gov. Jackson died in December of 1862, Reynolds called himself governor but was never sworn in, never entered the Capitol, and was never recognized as ever leading the state. In short, he was never the governor of Missouri. 

If folks are gonna get picky about what goes in the rotunda, then maybe someone should ask why Thomas Reynolds’ portrait is hanging where it shouldn’t be. 

We will be back Sunday, Jan. 9 for “This Week in Missouri Politics.” In the meantime, check out our Lawrence County edition of “Show Me Missourah.”