There are times a writer needs a while and many words to say -- and say well -- what needs to be said.
Other times, however, one can say what needs to be said, and with clarity, in just a few words. This is one of those times.
Over the years, at least once a legislative session, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman has exposed himself . . . philosophically and morally, that is. The result is about what one would expect if he had dropped trou and let it all hang out.
In the latter instance, we would see one. In the oft-recurring former, we see that Heineman is one.
Let me be clear. The Pillsbury Doughmagogue is a deeply cynical man. He does not hesitate to give himself over to evil whenever he thinks crossing over to the dark side will make him some political hay. He is a discredit to his office and to Nebraska.
"Why should illegal aliens receive millions of
taxpayer dollars when those funds should be
used for increased state aid to education?"-- Gov. Dave Heineman, pretending to
care about state aid to public education
ONE OF NEBRASKA'S saving graces is that its people are so much better than its governors -- and most of its politicians, for that matter. Generally, Nebraskans understand "the common good."
Another Nebraska saving grace is that its legislature is usually better than its governors, is capable of learning from -- and fixing -- its mistakes, and is willing to bitch-slap a governor when bitch-slapping is called for. It does this to Heineman regularly.
Thus we have this "God bless the unicameral" moment in today's Omaha World-Herald:
The day after 30 state lawmakers advanced a controversial bill to restore taxpayer-funded prenatal care for illegal immigrants, Gov. Dave Heineman singled out for criticism a fellow Republican leader who helped push the bill.MIKE FLOOD is a good man. Unlike another Nebraska Republican in a high office.
Heineman, who has made a reputation for his staunch anti-illegal immigration views, called a press conference Wednesday to express his "extraordinary" disappointment in State Sen. Mike Flood of Norfolk, the speaker of the Legislature and a leading pro-life senator.
"Why should illegal aliens receive millions of taxpayer dollars when those funds should be used for increased state aid to education?" Heineman asked.
Flood, who has been mentioned as a possible candidate for governor in 2014, was among senators giving first-round approval to the bill, under which an estimated 1,100 low-income, women, mostly illegal immigrants, would be eligible for prenatal care funded by the state. The bill would resume a decades-long policy that was ended in 2010.
Flood said Wednesday his support for the prenatal bill was linked to both pro-life and fiscal reasons. He said he had not talked to the governor.
During floor debate Tuesday night, Flood said that in balancing the "rule of law" with the "pro-life position," he has to side with the health of an unborn baby.
"The unborn child should not be punished for the actions of his or her parents," he said. "We should protect the life of an unborn child whenever possible."
At least 13 other Republicans voted "yes" on the 30-16 vote to advance Legislative Bill 599. Heineman said he singled out Flood for criticism because he had become a "leader" in the effort to pass the prenatal bill.
Heineman said that passing LB 599 with make Nebraska a "magnet" for illegal immigrants because neighboring states don't provide such prenatal care.