It’s time once again for The Future American’s FAIL OF THE WEEK! Every Saturday, I name a person or group who has spent the past seven days behaving in a particularly idiotic way. Since it’s my belief that idiocy knows no politics, nobody is safe.
This week’s fail was brought to you by the city of Topeka and, to a lesser extent, District Attorney Chad Taylor of Shawnee County, Kansas. We all know that government budget cuts tend to cause some pain, but never before did I think anyone would take that this literally. Cutbacks forced Taylor to stop prosecuting domestic abuse cases in Topeka, including some in which the offenders were released without being formally charged. His attempt to dump the cases on Topeka’s municipal government led them to decriminalize domestic abuse.
Yes, you read that right. The decriminalization took place on Tuesday; Taylor, thankfully, resumed the prosecutions after a very justified public outcry on Wednesday. From his statement:
I am deeply saddened by the city of Topeka’s unfortunate decision to place resources and political grandstanding before its constituents’ safety. I am also deeply encouraged by the strong, angry response of the people of Topeka and Shawnee County.
You know what saddens me? Taylor’s recklessness in unloading his work onto the county seat without knowing if they were able to take it or not. Asking if this was feasible before they made any decisions on the level of, I don’t know, decriminalizing domestic abuse would have been a sufficient first step. This, in its own way, is placing resources before his constituents’ safety. There’s bound to be something less important than domestic abuse to quit prosecuting. Drug possession laws are one example. Seat belt laws are another.
And as for the city council. Did you know that “government and service workers” comprise 50 percent of Topeka’s workforce? Surely they could have found a few who weren’t involved in domestic abuse cases to lay off. It is suspected that the repeal is what Taylor means by “political grandstanding” – an attempt to force his hand to keep up the prosecutions. Does that seem like a sensible way of going about it to anyone else? The public outcry over Taylor’s move on its own would only have been slightly less.
What’s clear from this debacle is that Shawnee County and Topeka cannot be trusted to keep their fiscal houses in order. That it came to this should be enough to tell them that fundamental change in their municipal and county economic policies is required before they spend another dime of someone else’s money. I wouldn’t want them to have even one after this.