A bunch of Democratic senators are on the the run from Wisconsin so they don’t have to vote on what appears to be a union-busting bill sponsored by the governor.
According to this CNN article, this isn’t the first time Democrats have done this:
The catch-me-if-you-can tactic was pioneered by Texas Democrats in 2003; they fled to Oklahoma and New Mexico in a vain attempt to block Republican efforts to redistrict the state. Republicans asked the FBI to arrest the fugitive Democrats. Hilarity ensued. Eventually, the wayward Democrats returned, and the Republicans concluded their redistricting.
This bothers me. Regardless of how I feel about the bill in question or which party is doing the running, this is slap in the face to how we govern. Whether democrats like it or not, the Republicans won in 2010, and they control the Wisconsin Senate. The result of that is that they can legislate however they want.
This is called “democracy,” and sometimes it’s a bitch. Running away to another state just proves you shouldn’t have been elected in the first place. You don’t have to like the bill being proposed, but you do have to consider it and vote on it.
One of the Democrats even went so far to say that this whole thing is the fault of the Wisconsin governor, because he won’t negotiate with them. Putting aside the patent hypocrisy there, I feel the need to make an important point:he doesn’t have to negotiate because he has a majority. Again, this is called “democracy.”
(Funny how this concept of ramming legislation through the minority wasn’t an issue when the U.S, Congress took up health care reform. I promise you that Republicans were as horrified with that as these Democrats were with the prospects of losing collective bargaining power. But, regardless, they stayed it the fight and took it on the chin like men.)
This opinion from The Week sums it up nicely:
The true test of a representative democracy comes not in an election, but in the aftermath of an election. If the losing party or parties recognize their loss and continue to participate in the process of governance, then representative democracy works. When the losing side refuses to participate and boycotts governance, especially in such a manner that vital legislative work is obstructed, then representative democracy itself is threatened.
I hate to casually toss out pejoratives, but what a bunch of babies.