Thursday, March 10, 2011

Republicans are Ruthless

And therein lies the difference between them and us.


While Democrats worry about appearances.

Wisconsin taught us the same lesson that should have been learned over and over again the last decade or so. From the Clinton impeachment, to the Florida 2000 debacle, to the Iraq war, to mid-decade restricting, to judicial nominations, to the health care fight, to repeal of the Bush tax cuts. Republicans will do whatever it takes, by any means necessary, to win. When faced with the same situation, Democrats will agonize, wring their hands, rack themselves with guilt, and seek "fairness" and "compromise." Maybe, just maybe, that's why Republicans seem to win most of the battles, while Democrats lose them.

Last night, Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate did an end-run around the rules to strike a death blow to workers' rights in that state.
According to the Senate rules, the Democratic Senators who left the state to prevent movement of the Governor's budget plan were able to stop that bill because it was a budget bill that included spending. So, last night in a sneaky, thoroughly anti-democratic move which some are saying could be illegal, the Republican Senators took the provision that guts workers' collective bargaining rights and passed it as a standalone bill.

The right wing spin is in

After three weeks of waiting for state senate Democrats to come back from their hideouts in Illinois, and after days of having their overtures at compromise rejected, Republicans in Wisconsin today did what they had to do and approved a standalone bill stripping most collective bargaining power from the state’s public employee unions. Spending bills require a super-quorum that GOP senators could not meet without at least a couple of Democrats present. By separating the collective bargaining provision from a larger bill that contained spending measures, the GOP was able to pass it with only a simple majority present. Republicans have taken a stand for better government and fiscal sanity, and it will now be up to Wisconsin’s voters to decide at the ballot box if they support this reform effort.

Republicans haven't taken a stand for better government and fiscal sanity, this was all about busting the union. Passing the union-busting part of Gov. Walker's plan as a stand-alone, non-fiscal measure exposes the lie that the attack on workers' rights had anything whatsoever to do with saving money and fixing the budget. This assault was driven by ideology and politics all along.

What republicans did last night was an attack on the democratic process however they see it as revenge for the way ObamaCare was passed.

Democrats are, of course, whining that the GOP used tricks to steamroll the minority party, but after the way Obamacare was passed, I really don’t want to hear about it. Besides, there was really no “trick” involved — passing the union measure by itself is completely legitimate. Leaving the state en masse to prevent a vote, on the other hand, not so much.

Oh how I wish Democrats had used tricks to steamroll the minority party during the health care debate because we would have Single Payer/Universal Health Care instead of what we have now, but I digress. What the Wisconsin gop did is not completely legitimate. If it were, they would have done it before now. Remember what Scott Walker said?

I told my cabinet ... about what we were going to do and how we were going to do it. We'd already kind of built plans up but it was kind of the last hurrah before we dropped the bomb. And i stood up and pulled out a picture of Ronald Reagan and said this may seem a little melodramatic, but 30 years ago, Ronald Reagan ... had one of the most defining moments of his political career, not just his presidency, when he fired the air traffic controllers. And I said, to me that moment was more important than for just labor relations or even the federal budget, that was the first crack in the Berlin Wall and the fall of communism ... in Wisconsin's history, this is our moment, this is our time to change the course of history ... for those who thought I was being melodramatic you now know it was purely putting it in the right context.

I thought the gop was the "rule of law" party?
Attorney Bob Dreps, an expert in open meetings and open records law, said the state's open meetings law requires 24 hours notice before any government meeting can be held. It allows for shorter notice for "good cause" only when it would be "impossible" or "impractical" to wait 24 hours. But even in those situations there must be a two-hour notice for an emergency meeting, he said.

Dreps said from what he could see, the Senate Republicans "didn't give valid notice."

I guess the open meetings law doesn't apply to republicans. So let's flip the script

In a surprise move late Wednesday, Senate Democrats used a series of parliamentary maneuvers to overcome a three-week stalemate with Republicans and pass an amended version of the governor's controversial budget repair bill.

With a crowd of protesters chanting outside their chambers, Senators approved Gov. Scott Walker's bill, which would strip most collective bargaining rights from public employees. The new bill removes fiscal elements of the proposal but still curbs collective bargaining and increases employee payments in pension and health benefits. The changes would amount to an approximate 8 percent pay cut for public workers.

After the session, Senate Democrats scattered, leaving no one to explain how they managed to pass components of the bill that seemed to have a fiscal impact, including changes in pensions and benefits, without the 20 senators needed to vote on fiscal matters.

I don't know how many times we have to tell you republicans are ruthless before you hear us.

Cooper asked Sanders what evidence he had that the Republican opponents would take Alabama back to Jim Crow days. Sanders said, "Well, there's a certain mean spiritness that's out there, not only in Alabama but it's in America. And that makes this election extremely important."

No comments: