Is it me or does it reek of disingenuity when different lawmakers use the same anachronistic terms to describe a plan that clearly has been fed to them?
The word of the week -- or more likely the word for the whole budget season -- is "draconian." In a span of three hours, House Appropriations Chairman Dwight Evans used it once and House Speaker Keith McCall used it several times at two different events to describe the Republican approach to the state spending plan. There are plenty of reasons to oppose the Republicans' plan (and just as many to oppose the Ds') but draconian just doesn't seem to be the right word. Let's take a closer look, gentlemen:
Draconian: Rigorous, severe, cruel. Webster says Draconian laws were a code made by the Greek statesman Draco. Their measures were so severe that they were said to be written in letters of blood; hence, any laws of excessive rigor. Other sources indicate that the Draco mandated death as a punishment for minor crimes.
I haven't seen anything about death in Senate Bill 850, the Republican budget bill, but perhaps I'm not reading it closely enough. I would have to defer to gubernatorial hopeful Tom Knox on that. Asked about the last book he read, Tom Knox yesterday told Capitol Ideas he isn't much of a bibliophile, preferring to read budget documents. (Yawn.)