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Ken Rechtin's Another Voice: Bevin's Victory Chant is Not a Good Start

Was I surprised by the election results from last Tuesday?
No, not really... all of the “undecided” Republicans went to the polls and voted their straight Republican ticket! (What did surprise me was that “the gold standard” of Kentucky political polling, The Bluegrass Poll, predicted that the other guy would win! On October 28, it reported that Conway was leading by 5 points! The result was that Matt Bevin won by 8! The “gold standard” was off by 13 percent! Maybe I should quit listening to the polls.)
Governor-­elect Bevin is very much like the dog who, after many failed attempts, has finally caught the bus. One must admire his persistence as he has been running after buses ever since he came to town. Now what will he do with the bus he caught? The beginning of his first elected office is shaping up to be a very bumpy ride, so fasten your seat belts.
The Governor­-elect could begin his first elected position by fulfilling those promises made during the campaign:
Bevin claimed that the state pension system will financially bankrupt the State. But, he has a plan to fix it!
Matt claimed that the education system in the state is a monopoly and he would pass school choice and fix it!
He claimed that Kynect is wrong for Kentucky and he would dismantle it!
He claimed that the labor laws in our Commonwealth were bad for us and he would pass “Right to Work” legislation!
He will shrink the size of our bloated government. He will fight the EPA and he will reform our tax code!
Wow, that is one heck of a lot of work to accomplish, even for a Superman! (Do you think that he needs help with this?)
Did Governor­-elect Bevin begin his tenure by asking for help? Did he suggest that he would work with the Democrat-controlled House? Did he say that he would forge compromises which might solve these vexing problems? Did he act like a gracious victor and extend an olive branch to House Speaker Greg Stumbo and other Democrats?
Nope, he did none of the above!
Instead, towards the end of Matt Bevin’s rambling, never-ending victory speech (which I painfully watched from beginning to end), Matt initiated and led the chant: “Flip the House”. (He was referring to the Republican effort to gain a majority in the House of Representatives.)
This is the equivalent of Senator Mitch McConnell’s now famous quote after President Barack Obama won the presidency. Senator McConnell said, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” Does that sound like someone who is interested in doing the people’s business or someone who is interested in partisanship?
Many of you older folks will remember the folk tune: “Turn, Turn, Turn (To everything there is a season)”, written by Pete Seeger. Since the lyrics came from the Bible, Matt Bevin should know that this song is from Ecclesiastes 3:2. I especially like the line, “a time to rend and a time to sew”.
The chant of “flip the house” is a very fractious way to begin his life of leadership as Governor. Campaigning is a “time to tear apart”. Our state was ripped apart during the last campaign cycle. Governing, on the other hand, is a “time to mend”. (In some biblical texts it is translated as: “a time to sew together”. I like that better.)
I sincerely hope his election night speech was a fluke and that Governor­-elect Bevin was still in “campaign mode”.
It is now time to govern and to sew things back together.
My hope is that the Governor-­elect intends to involve all political factions in working towards solutions to the problems facing our Commonwealth. He cannot do it alone. This beginning appears to be just more partisanship in spite of the needs of our Commonwealth.
The views and opinions expressed here in “Another Voice” do not reflect the views or opinions of The River City News, its owners, writers, or editors. These are solely the ideas of Ken Rechtin. If you wish to make comment to Another Voice, Ken can be reached via email at [email protected] or you may leave a comment here. All rights to use of Another Voice in any fashion are retained by Ken Rechtin. Please contact him for any use of his columns.