To recap why we care what a state representative from the remote portions of Pennsylvania thinks about moving up our primary:
Pennsylvanians have not cast a meaningful presidential primary vote for a generation, since we made the tragically unwise decision of opting for a peanut farmer with messianic tendencies over Scoop Jackson– a sober, reasonable adult– back in 1975.
Currently, the people of Pennsylvania are showing an impetuous desire to favor candidates different from those favored by political insiders, especially on the GOP side. Actual voters seem to prefer Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson. The GOP leadership seems to prefer John McCain and Mitt Romney.
Matt Baker is the GOP chair of the PA House of Representatives’ State Government Committee, which tomorrow will vote on whether to pass on to the House a bill moving our presidential primary to early February, thereby managing to fulfill one of the basic tenets of representative republicanism.
A couple months ago I shared with my state representative– Carol Rubley– that Matt Baker’s office had been helpful in providing me information regarding relevant legislation, but an opaque enigma when it came to actually expressing a position. She casually remarked that she found that unsurprising.
Well, yesterday the Democrat chair– Babette Josephs– finally got off the fence and told me she supported the measure. Matt Baker’s office, though, remains mum. He should be embarrassed. This also seems entirely typical of a legislator who is a member of a body with a reputation of having casual disregard for actual voters.
UPDATE: Matt Baker sent me an e-mail in which I think he said he was going to decline to move forward 289. As he used the word “pass”, which could mean take a pass on the bill, or perhaps actually pass the bill, I’m not sure. The tone of the e-mail seemed to suggest he was for it in principle, but there were too many bureaucratic interests against it to merit the bother.
Thus actual representative democracy may actually take a back seat to the interests of the unelected bureaucracy. At least that’s how it seems Representative Baker wants things to go down.
Developing, as Drudge would say…