The budget passed today was a near total victory for New Hampshire’s Sun-King Sununu. Sun-King got everything he wanted and had to accept very little of what he did not want.
Let’s begin by stepping back and looking at the forest, rather than looking at this tree or that tree as the budget’s proponents have done.
I read an article that called the budget “transformative.” GIVE ME A BREAK! A budget that leaves Obamacare as State law in New Hampshire … a budget that allows biological males to continue to compete in girls’ sports … a budget that continues to base education policy on the misbegotten and nonsensical Claremont decisions “transformative”? “Status-quoative” would be a much more accurate description.
Indeed, most of the so-called “transformative” changes listed in this article are tax-cuts. Which makes the budget badly out-of-step with the concerns of rank-and-file GOP voters for whom banning (as opposed to, as this budget does, merely rebranding) Critical Race Theory is far, far more important than cutting taxes for woke corporations and the investor class.
While the improvement to education-choice is certainly a step in the right direction, the budget is more tepid than transformative … the Josiah-Sununu-Bartlett Center concedes that ONLY 30 percent of families with school-age children are eligible.
The budget’s treatment of Critical Race Theory represents a capitulation to Sun-King Sununu who threatened to veto an actual ban of CRT, HB 544. For one thing, unlike HB 544 it does not apply to private employers, which means woke corporations can continue to demean and dehumanize their employees. For another thing, it apparently contains an exception that allows the advocate of CRT to sidestep all the prohibitions:
II. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit discussing, as part of a larger course of academic instruction, the historical existence of ideas and subjects identified in this section.
In other words, apparently it is ok to teach your students that white people are inherently racist as long as you do so under the guise of teaching them history.
And one final point. The addition of so many categories beyond race and sex seems to be a deliberate attempt to trivialize … or at least dismiss … the danger of CRT by broadening the law to the point of nonsensicality. For example:
I. No pupil in any public school in this state shall be taught, instructed, inculcated or compelled to express belief in, or support for, any one or more of the following: …
(b) That an individual, by virtue of his or her age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, creed, color, marital status, familial status, mental or physical disability, religion, or national origin, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously; …
Nobody is claiming that CRT is indoctrinating that people become racist when they reach a certain age … or when they get married … or any of the other superfluous categories added to HB 544. To add all these superfluous categories appears designed to make CRT merely a hypothetical threat WHEN IT IS NOT.
And finally a few words about the notion that not passing the budget would have given control over the budget process to the Democrats by necessitating 2/3 votes going forward. That could have been handled the same way that the U.S. Senate disposed of the filibuster for U.S. Supreme Court nominees: a GOP member raises a point of order that contradicts the 2/3 rule … the Speaker (or Senate President) then denies the point of order … then this ruling is appealed and overturned by a simple majority vote.
Well played, Sun-King Sununu. Well played.