The following true story is stupid on so many levels that I can’t even begin to count them.
(Please be aware that the previous sentence is just a figure of speech. Obviously, I could begin, simply by saying “one.” Or “un,” if I happen to be French. Which, heureusement, I’m not. But since the levels of idiocy are infinite, I’d have no chance of ever reaching the end. So why start?)
So there was a crucially important measure that the Republican-led Kentucky Senate booted today from an education bill dealing with the selection of public school personnel. The killed measure contained an urgently needed addendum to the proposed law. But now, sadly, it’s no longer under consideration.
The murdered amendment called for the legislature to make a desperate plea for a well-deserved boon. If the additional language had been included in the bill, Kentuckians would have received some much-needed recognition by one of our most cherished national institutions.
That institution is, of course, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (which is unfortunately up North, in Massachusetts of all damn Yankee places). The state’s Democrats apparently felt that an education bill was an appropriate document in which to urge the enshrinement of Joe B. Hall (no relation to the building), a former UK coach. With his 297-100 record, and one national championship, Hall certainly qualifies as one of the greatest academic heroes the world has ever known. So how, in a state that’s so hoopsmanic as Kentucky, could that proposed resolution fail?
Well, it seems that Hall is not a Republican. To be more specific, he’s a Democrat, and he sometimes lends his eminent personage to the cause of raising money for his party’s candidates.
Shockingly, the Kentucky conservatives said, “Screw basketball and the donkey it rode in on!” David Williams, the Republican President of the Senate, carried his anti-socialist animosity beyond acceptable limits. He had the audacity to point out that the Hall measure had nothing to do with the bill in question.
When someone in the news media dared to accuse Williams of playing politics with the state’s religion, the Senate President got rankled. Did party loyalty have anything to do with the Senate’s decision? Williams astutely, and articulately, replied, “With Joe B. Hall, you’ll have to ask him. I don’t know. We try not to dictate entities like the Hall of Fame. If that is so, maybe the Hall of Fame might be telling us how to run the legislature.”
Fortunately for those of us who are not Republicans, the matter won’t end there, because a Concurrent Resolution by the (Democratically controlled) House repeats the request. The House resolution begins:
WHEREAS, Joe B. Hall, a native of Cynthiana, Kentucky, is beloved across the length and breadth of the Commonwealth for his many achievements and contributions to his university, his community, and the sport of basketball, and is known fondly for his warm demeanor and strong character …
A bunch of “whereas”es follow, ending with
… it is the view of this august body that the North American Screening Committee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame should review his nomination in a most favorable light[.]
I don’t see how a group of overgrown goofballs can be referred to as an “august body” —particularly in light of the fact that it’s only March. However, I am comforted to learn that the Democratic “Yes We Can Score” may once more triumph over the Republican “Foul!” I wouldn’t be surprised if the Hall issue is a major factor in the next statewide election, particularly if President Obama visits here to push for the coach’s induction.
In the meantime, excuse me while I dribble into my glass of bourbon.