A Santa Barbara city councilman has let the cat out of the bag.

Speaking of the city's recent criminalizing of plastic straws, Councilman Jason Dominguez said:

Unfortunately, common sense is just not common. We have to regulate every aspect of people’s lives.

Rick Moran writes that Mr. Dominguez "inadvertently let slip the primary purpose of progressivism in 21st century America."

Realizing that he had said more than he intended, the councilman tried to take back what he had said:

The comment sparked an immediate backlash from people who read the quote in Noozhawk and other local media, wondering “did he really say that?” Yes, he did, and on Tuesday, Dominguez apologized for the comment.

“I just wanted to apologize,” Dominguez said at the beginning of the meeting. “A few weeks ago I made a string of words in a rhetorical fashion about regulation and they were not taken as rhetorical and that’s my fault so I want to apologize.”

Unlike the earlier, all-too-clear remark, the apology was incomprehensible.

Steven Hayward comments:

Now, we do have to admit that the good councilman has a point about Santa Barbara citizens lacking common sense. He’s on the city council, after all. Sort of an inversion of the great rhetorical question both Thomas Jefferson and Ronald Reagan liked to ask: “Sometimes it is said that man can not be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others?”

But “string of words”? I know of a new editorial board member at the New York Times who will buy that, but otherwise I think everyone can understand exactly what the councilman believes. That “string of words” combines into a noose for individual liberty. And common sense. Here’s to hoping the voters of Santa Barbara recover their common sense and pull the string on Dominguez (and his “words”) at the next election, along with the other five knuckleheads who voted for the plastic straw ban.

In a moment of electrifying clarity, Mr. Dominguez has put his finger on a great divide in American life: the regulatory divide.  

There are many reasons President Trump stirs so much feeling among his opponents, but one of the less frequently articulated reasons is that he is rolling back regulations. This is a sacrilege.

Regulations are not just useful in getting people to do things: they are central to a certain view of citizens and the degree to which we should be allowed to make our own decisions.

Thank you, Mr. Dominguez for a rare moment of candor in public life.

The New York Times board member alluded to is Sarah Jeong (here)..