Monday, January 31, 2011

Prison Story Gives New Meaning to Expression "Rockefeller Republicans"...

Stowe, when I read your piece about this story in New York, I couldn't help but think of Supreme Court Justice Kennedy's speech last year in California. He called out the CA correctional officers union for turning the Golden State's sentencing scheme into a jobs program. From the LA Times:

"California now has 185,000 people in prison at $32,500 a year" each, he said. He then urged voters and officials to compare that expense to what taxpayers spend per pupil in elementary schools.

 "The three-strikes law sponsor is the correctional officers' union and that is sick!" Kennedy said of the measure mandating life sentences for third-time criminal offenders.
It made me think of something else, too. We on the Right are getting ready to celebrate the legacy of President Ronald Reagan on February 6, the date that would have been the late president's 100th birthday. (Let's face it, we will find any excuse to celebrate Reagan, but this is a pretty good one.)

When Goldwater and Reagan were trying to rally the GOP to the conservative wing in the 1960s, their nemesis was the moderate governor of New York, Nelson Rockefeller. You were either a Goldwater/Reagan Republican or you were - say it with a sneer - a Rockefeller Republican.

Fairest Stowe, it appears from the article you highlighted about prison cuts in New York State that the term Rockefeller Republican has taken on a new meaning. It now can be used to describe GOP lawmakers who  wish the draconian Rockefeller drug laws were still in effect so that their local prisons would be brimming with addicts and non-violent inmates. These purportedly Republican legislators are willing to keep taxes higher for all New Yorkers in order to keep their local prisons open and their constituents employed.

As Justice Kennedy would say, that is sick.

- Ingersoll