GOP members of the Kentucky state Senate are spending $12,000 of taxpayer money to build a wall separating them from the Democrats.
In a move as petty as it is outrageous, Kentucky Republicans are building a literal wall in their state capitol office annex. It's all so three GOP senators won't have to sit anywhere near Democrats.
Republicans hold all three branches of government in Kentucky, but they hold a particularly large advantage in the state Senate chamber: 29 Republicans to just 9 Democrats. That may be what has led to a shared office suite — there are just too many Republicans to go around.
But even sharing a suite — not sharing an office, just sharing the office suite — is too much for the Kentucky GOP. So they're spending $12,000 of taxpayer money to construct a physical wall between the two parties.
Republican leaders confirmed to a local newspaper, The Courier-Journal, that the move was purely for partisan reasons and Republican Senate President Rob Stivers is behind it all.
This move is typical of the modern GOP on both the state and federal level. Here, Kentucky Republicans are actively — and literally — shutting out Democrats merely because they can. They don't want to hear from Democrats, they don't want to sit near Democrats, and they don't want to work with Democrats. So why not construct a physical barrier so they don't have to?
Additionally, the GOP is spending money the state can ill afford to spend.
By any metric, Kentucky is struggling. With a poverty rate of over 18%, the state ranks 47th in the country. The poverty rate for children is much higher — over 25%. Its unemployment rate of 4.1% is higher than the national average of 3.7%. Thanks to an absolutely wrecked state budget, Kentucky had to slash public education funding. One Kentucky county — Harlan — relies more on public assistance than nearly any other county in America. The state is in a full-blown pension crisis.
Meanwhile, the Kentucky GOP somehow found money to build a wall so they don't have to sit by their duly elected colleagues. Looks like the GOP can actually build a new wall when it puts its mind to it.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.