“I am so proud to be a loser”

And speaking of being businesslike . . .

I had thought that none of our usually very unanimous Loudoun Republican supervisors could outdo “Ken” Reid (R-Leesburg) when it comes to logically contorted reasoning, but Geary Higgins (R-Catoctin) is now showing that he can give even the best of them a run for their money.

“Ken,” as we will recall, “explained” after he provided the deciding vote in favor of  Metro to Loudoun that he understood how the people on the losing side felt because he had been against Metro, too, before he flip-flopped and voted for it, so he knew what it was like to be defeated on this issue.

Mr. Higgins, who voted against Metro, waited until two weeks afterward to “explain” his position to citizens who had participated in his survey on the issue ; he apologized for taking so long but he said “we had over 500 responses to the survey alone and so it has taken longer than we expected to reply. Thank you for taking the time to participate. The survey results have been a valuable tool.” (Yes, it sure takes a long time to hit one key and send out the same form letter to 500 people who filled in an on-line form.)

Geary, curiously never mentioning the results of his survey, then goes on at great length about what a difficult decision it was for him (no kidding, since either way he was sure to rile an important and  faction of the local Loudoun Republican Committee), but concludes that in the end it was a “business” decision for him.

Funny, most citizens would have thought that it ought to be a question of (a) what the citizens he was elected to represent want and (b) what is in the best of interests of Loudoun County and its future. But as noted here the other day, you’re going to be hearing a lot more of these kinds of phony assertions from our GOP officials that they are bringing “business” principles to local government as they come up with creative justifications to slash the school budget to ribbons next year.

The Government “Reform” Commission they appointed has already weighed in with one, namely to tie the school budget not to the number of students attending the schools (which thanks to their own pro–rampant growth policies is still increasing by 5% a year, some 3,000 new students added to the rolls each year) but to the county’s gross economic product — a meaningless comparison. Had that been the formula to date, it would have meant cutting the school budget by 20% or more. It’s a pseudo-intellectual effort to provide cover for the draconian anti–public education ideology being pushed by the far right.

By the way, Mr. Higgins’s office finally did supply upon request the results of his survey; it showed a small majority in favor of Metro, both among the 500 or so total respondents and even among the 360 of them who live in the Catoctin District. Guess that’s why Geary didn’t think it was worth actually mentioning. But glad it was a “valuable tool” to help Geary as he agonized over his decision.

Geary’s conclusion, however, was completely worthy of “Ken”; Geary declared that regardless of the vote’s outcome, “I believe that this Board will move past this difficult vote. We have a lot of work to do, and I am incredibly proud to be one of the nine Republican Board of Supervisors.” (I think he must have been trying to say, “one of the nine Republican Board of Supervisors supervisors,” but never mind.)

I think he must have picked up that idea of thanking everyone in the room from one of those business management self-help books you can buy at an airport. Yet another reminder that government is not a business.

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