Posted by: Dave | February 20, 2011

Wisconsin Democrats Exercising Tyranny of the Minority

       If what the Wisconsin senate is about to vote for in Wisconsin represents “an assault on organized labor” as the President surmises, than the actions of the twenty Wisconsin Democrats who are staying in a hotel in Illinois to prevent a senate vote, is nothing short of an assault on representative government. 

       The fourteen Wisconsin Democrats can not stomach the thought of their most generous constituency, the teacher’s union, losing an important vote, so they simply prevent the vote from ever happening by leaving the state all together, and holing up in a hotel in Illinois.  Meanwhile, the teacher’s union and their allies in the national democrat party stage huge rallies deploring the state’s governor, Scott Walker, for closing the budget deficit on the backs of the “children” and the teachers, hoping the young governor will become weak-kneed in the face of the national onslaught, and maybe raise taxes instead, which is what his predecessors did in the past.

      It  is not as if the Democrats do not have the opportunity to make their desires known.  The rules of all of the governing bodies of our fifty states ensure that the desires of the minority are known. They can make speeches in the Senate chamber, they can use parliamentary tactics such as filibustering to delay the vote, or they can attempt to load the bill up with poison pill amendments that make a “yes” vote more difficult.  They can also use the power of persuasion and politics to get some of their brethren on the other side of the aisle to change their minds. Most importantly, they can exercise the power their constituents entrusted them with and vote “no.” But nowhere in the rules of the Senate or the Wisconsin Constitution are these senators granted the power to prevent the democratic process from taking place.

     These senators are giving the voters of Wisconsin the middle finger.

     A crazy thing happened at the ballot box last November.  Wisconsin voters, who, in the past had trended Democrat, had a change of heart.  They voted in a young, energetic Republican for governor who said he was going to get the state’s fiscal mess in order, partially by taking on the powerful teacher’s union.  The voters also voted out Democrats in both houses, giving the Republicans decisive majorities in the assembly and senate, enabling the Republicans to hold a “trifecta” of power. The Democrats, by the way, had enjoyed their own trifecta prior to the November election.  Such a sweeping change of power was brought about because the voters were demanding a decisive change.

       So it is time for the fourteen Democrats to end their disregard for the will of the people, and return home to let the vote take place.  One thing they seem to have forgotten.  All election results are temporary.  Next election, it may be the Republicans that are thrown out on their ear.  I’m sure if that happens, they will demand that the Republicans play by the rules.

       Sometimes your team wins, and sometimes it loses, but you have to play the game.


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