Gov. Kevin Stitt set out a bold plan during his third State of the State address that sounds good on the surface but may buckle under scrutiny.
The three pillars of what he nicknamed "The People's Agenda" would appeal to most every Oklahoman. Make the state more appealing to businesses, deliver taxpayers more for their money, and invest in "our fellow Oklahomans."
But it's difficult to accept those goals at face value when the first-term governor simultaneously attempts to revise history and erase a year with a single speech. While the state fared better than expected, the picture Stitt painted of the past year bears little resemblance to what most Oklahomans remember.
Oklahoma's economy is bobbing along as a result of trillions of dollars being pumped into an economy propped up by the federal government. The governor's decision to quickly open businesses and ignore the recommendations from public health officials produced the deaths of more than 3,000 "fellow Oklahomans" he believes the state should invest in — that number continues to climb by almost 40 a day on average.
Stitt persisted with pleas that appear intent on dividing the state's Native nations, pitting the eastern half of the state against the western half and tribal governments against each other and the state. He preys upon Oklahomans' fears, telling them there are criminals going unpunished because of a Supreme Court decision while knowing steps have been taken to make sure that is not the case.
There are goals the governor identified worth pursuing. But his rhetoric obscures the message, and we find it hard to trust his words.