One of the most startling and perceptive quotes uttered by conservatives in recent days _ amid all the reckless talk about taking a nine-iron to our public institutions and the absurd assertion that we can eliminate as much as a third of our public sector budget _ was Rep. Marty Seifert's frustration over some radicals in his party who "just say they want to burn the capitol to the ground.''
He was speaking figuratively, of course.
Meanwhile, another conservative known for his intellect and perspective, Metropolitan Council Chairman Peter Bell, is pleading for a little less cynicsm, from conservatives as well as liberals and the media. Bell offered equal scolding to progressives who feed cynicism by over-promising what government can do and to conservatives for a "relentless effort to convince the public that the government can do nothing right.'' Bell noted that this falsehood "has taken a huge toll on government's ability to take on any big issues.''
Bell reserved a special place in his piece for the news media's constant questioning of motives. And on another front, it's interesting how the often cynical news media, which often as not buys in to the anti-government premise, gets all huffy about the need for a stronger and more activist environmental watchdogging when an oil company screw-up threatens the entire Redneck Riviera and perhaps much of the Atlantic Ocean and the East Coast too.
The Obama administration has hit the pause button after it acquiesced to demands led by oil companies and conservatives to open up more offshore drilling. Haven't heard much rom former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for her take on the biggest oil disaster since the Exxon Valdez badly scarred her own state. She has fed the national cynicism with her wisecrack, "How's that hopey-changey thing workin' out for ya?" so maybe a little turnabout is fair play. As in "Spill, Baby, Spill!'' Or, "How's that "Drill, Baby, Drill'' thing workin' out for ya.''