Real life doesn't fit the cartoon world of conservative true believers and villainsPragmatism is a dirty word among state House Republicans. In the 2004 primary elections, the state GOP purged candidates who were judged impure because of their fiscal dealings with legislative Democrats. Like the national right wing, these Republican leaders implicitly believe in the concept of total victory. Compromise is a dirty word. Moderation is a dirty word.

Writing about the new true believers whom House Speaker Karen Minnis has placed on the Joint Ways and Means Committee, Jeff Mapes of The Oregonian last Friday observed that: "Legislators come here not only to write the state's budget, but to grow up. Liberals and conservatives alike learn the art of pragmatism."

One of Mapes' subjects was Rep. Jeff Kropf of Sublimity, whom Speaker Minnis has placed on the Joint Ways & Means Committee. Kropf is a talk-show host.

Mapes gives us this picture of Kropf, who is "more expansive, quick to launch into monologues about expensive consultants and computer contracts. But he acknowledges, 'It hits you hard when you look at the numbers and the people affected.'"

Funny thing. Real life doesn't fit comfortably within the confines of talk radio's cartoon world of true believers and villains. Keep learning, Rep. Kropf.


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