Confusing Rhetoric with Logic

March 9 2007, 10:24 PM
The battle over what to do with Amendment 41 has remained one of the most high-profile issues of the entire legislative session. Ever since Attorney General John Suthers said in December that Amendment 41 could limit things like scholarships for children of state employees, legislators have had their knickers in a knot I won't repeat the points I've made about Amendment 41 in the past (you can read them here and here if you'd like), but the basic battle is this: Most people agree that Amendment 41 is a problem because it might outlaw things that it wasn't intended to outlaw, which is why some folks want to see the legislature make clarifications to the measure. On the other side of the fence are those who think that the legislature shouldn't touch Amendment 41; their argument is that even though the measure might be troublesome, voters approved it in November and they have no right to change anything that voters approved. Some of the people in the "don't mess with 41" camp are also politically-motivated to bash one of the measure's chief architects, millionaire Democrat Jared Polis. And they aren't afraid to go to a little bit of an extreme with their arguments. As the Rocky Mountain News reports:
Amendment 41, which limits lawmakers to gifts under $50, would prevent search-and- rescue teams from rescuing lawmakers stranded on the top of a mountain, maintains Senate Minority Leader Andy McElhany. Not that that's a bad thing. "There are a few of my esteemed colleagues I wouldn't mind leaving stuck on a mountain," the Colorado Springs Republican said, with a laugh. McElhany didn't name names.
Sure, that was a humorous tidbit, but we've officially reached the silly plateau if McElhany truly believes that Amendment 41 would prevent government employees from being rescued in case of an emergency. Is Amendment 41 a mess? Sure. Does it prevent things that it probably wasn't intended to prevent? Absolutely. But let's not confuse rhetoric with logic.