Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Angry, Anti Government Protestors

Joe Huffman has the opening quote.

Since they're pissed off at the state government and trying to stifle the democratic process therein, shouldn't we be calling them Angry, Anti Government Protestors?
And now it's happening here.

Democratic legislators are staying away from the Indiana House chamber, blocking the Republican majority from conducting business while hundreds of union members crowd the adjourning hallways in protest of a contentious labor bill.
Do democrats really want to repeatedly use the tactic of running away from budget problems?

The optics of this are horrible, it shows that the Dems are completely in the pocket of the Unions and totally out of touch with reality.

And speaking of bad optics and being out of touch with reality.

This also defangs Democratic cries of a federal government shutdown, given it's their party that's gumming up multiple State governments.

And Althouse notes that the Stupid Party isn't always stupid:
You know, it really was rather smart of the Republicans to let the protest/exile peter out over time. The teachers couldn't keep canceling school, and the group at the Capitol will, more and more, be UW students/TAs and old Madison lefties with more radical slogans. The legislators-in-hiding look more and more ineffectual and more and more Chicago. I don't think these developments are increasing political support around the state.

Meanwhile, Walker and his GOP cohort are waiting patiently — it only takes a few days — to get going working on the state's problems.
And here's the Stupid Party back again. A very bad move by Daniels.

Daniels told reporters this afternoon that he expects House Democrats will return to work if the bill dies. It would be unfortunate if other bills are caught up in the turmoil, he said.

He will not send out state police to corral the Democrats, the Republican governor said. The Democrat minority has right to express its views, he added.

If the Indiana House Democrats get what they want through this tactic, what’s to prevent them from using it again and again every time they think they’ll lose on a big issue?


But a concession to Democrats on major reforms like these will spur a lot of talk about Daniels’ toughness, or whether he’s too conciliatory to an opposition that has gone completely off the rails, or more accurately, out of the state….

Rewarding a certain behavior will encourage more of it in the future.

Not only is Mitch's pledge to "not send out the state police" stupid politics, but as Hoosierpundit shows it's stupid legally too.

I also want to note that the Indiana Constitution is crystal clear on this. It speaks for itself. Mitch Daniels doesn't have the power to call out the State Police on the missing Indiana Democrat House representatives. The Constitution gives that authority to the majority of the House. They, and they alone, can compel the attendance of their membership.

Not the Governor. The House. Mitch saying he won't call out the state police doesn't mean jack, since he doesn't have the authority.


I don't see what Mitch Daniels thinks he has to gain out of this. Does he really think that, having proven the efficacy of the walk-out strategy, that Pat Bauer won't do the same thing again on other issues similarly threatening to core Democratic constituencies, things like education reform (which happens to be very dear to the heart of the Governor)?


Meanwhile to contrast... Daniels begs Republicans to appease the AWOL Dems, Walker gets the Republicans to stop direct deposit for their AWOL Dems.


And the latest update from DrewM at Ace of Spades has the Daniels walk-back.

You see Daniels isn't opposed to the bill itself, just the timing.
Um, if not now, when? This is the moment. Democrats are literally on the run. Public attention is focused on this issue in a way it hasn't in years if not decades (if ever). And Mitch "Truce" Daniels wants to defer it?

Sorry, sometimes you have to seize the moment. It's called leadership.

Also Allahpundit notes this action is even stranger for Daniels.

Mind you, one of Daniels’s very first acts as governor in 2005 was to strip state workers of their collective bargaining rights, which is proof enough that he’s not a squish on labor. (He also expressed support for Scott Walker just yesterday.) Still, it’s unfathomable to me that he’d decline to press hard on unions at a moment when (a) conservatives are hoping to build nationwide momentum against PEUs and (b) the Democratic caucus in Indiana has decided to skip town to obstruct the process there too.

So... why? What's Daniels thinking?

And remember what this all comes down to is who rules?

It’s about the future of the country and who is to be master — the voters or the “public servants.

In what is effectively a criminal enterprise were it not for the moment legal, public-union leaders negotiate ever-larger pay and benefits from the very politicians to whom they then kick back “campaign contributions.” All at taxpayer expense.

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