Saturday, March 4, 2017

Who is Bill?

There's Rapid Roy that Stock Car Boy, Bad, Bad Leroy Brown, Big Jim Walker, and other tough characters of song and story. But who the heck is Road Kill Bill? And why is the Governor saying such awful things about him?

Since I write mostly about local issues, I've naturally been wondering if this fellow is local to Howard County. Could this be Road Kill Bill? Or this? And why on earth do we see nothing from this poor fellow speaking in his own defense? Stand up for yourself, man!

Yes, it did take me a bit more than a little moment to realize that Road Kill Bill is not a person, but a quick and dirty way to get the Governor's talking point to stick in the public consciousness.  It's not at all helpful to him to call the bill by its actual name, which is the Maryland Open Transportation Investment Decision Act of 2016. Calling it by its proper name would be the right thing to do, but that might legitimize it. So let's give it a scary, nasty name.

Does "Rain Tax" ring a bell?

I'm not impressed. If you want to make a case for why you don't believe the bill is helpful for Maryland, go right ahead. But it's a cheap trick to give it a nasty name and feel satisfied that name-calling is a respectable strategy. We should be talking about serving the people of the state of Maryland here, not scoring points in a name-calling war.

Having observed years of preschool behavior, I can assure you that once some four year olds discover the power of calling someone a "poop-head", there is an eruption of excitement as others want to join in. While it's a perfectly normal developmental phase, most have worked their way through it by the time they have finished kindergarten. Teachers spend a lot of time encouraging those in question to "use their words".

I would encourage the Governor to use his words. Heck, if he feels the need to use his strong voice he should do that, too. But calling something you don't like "Road Kill Bill" is really only about one step above "poop-head". Don't assume your constituents are four year olds on the playground.

Let's have an intelligent conversation.

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