You Can Be Fiscally Conservative and Also a Good Person Senator Wardner

Senate majority leader Sen. Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson, center. In back are Rep. David Rust, R-Tioga, left, and Sen. Bill Bowman, R-Bowman. (Tom Stromme / Bismarck Tribune)

Long-time state lawmaker Bill Bowman has announced his retirement citing health concerns. His parody Twitter account, which was quite popular in state political circles, is sad:


Anyway, in reading the news of Senator Bowman’s retirement, these comments from Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, as quoted in the Bismarck Tribune, caught my eye:

Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner described Bowman as a “hard worker” who was “always looking out for the average people.”

“He’s a people man. He wanted to make sure that things were done right and fair,” Wardner said. “He was very fiscally conservative but he had a heart of gold.”

The use of the past tense is a little weird – the man is retiring, Senator Wardner, he isn’t dead – but what is obviously frustrating is that thing about having a heart of gold despite being fiscally conservative.

As if being fiscally conservative were somehow a hardhearted fiscal position?

Our friends on the left work very hard to perpetuate that unfortunate and untrue stereotype. Do we on the right need to indulge it as well?

Being fiscally responsible is no more mean or cruel than a parent who limits the amount of sugar their child can eat is mean or cruel.

There is nothing altruistic about profligacy.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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