This is not supposed to happen. Republicans are docile, accommodating creatures. They’re supposed to kowtow to their opponent’s sense of “civility.” They’re supposed to let their opponents win. They’re supposed to do anything to avoid being called names. They’re supposed to get elected, then shift to the so-called “middle.”
Republican state senators in Wisconsin didn’t get that memo. Wednesday night, they took bold and decisive action to end weeks of juvenile political theater.
In a quick turn of events, Republican state senators in Wisconsin have successfully pushed through a provision stripping public employees of their collective bargaining rights by separating it from Gov. Scott Walker’s controversial budget bill.
The stand-alone measure passed Wednesday evening by a vote of 18-1. No Democrats were present.
In effect, the vote renders Democrats attempts to withhold the provision from the budget bill moot.
And the crowd goes wild.
The provision still needs to pass the Assembly before heading to the governor’s desk. But there is little reason to doubt that it will.
Democrats, union protesters, and the Shadow Party apparatus have responded with predictable tantrums. The audacity of their claims, while not surprising, is nonetheless awe-inspiring.
Before the sudden votes, Democratic Sens. Bob Jauch said if Republicans “chose to ram this bill through in this fashion, it will be to their political peril. They’re changing the rules. They will inflame a very frustrated public.”
Senate Democrats have been absent from the state for three weeks. Sen. Matt Miller, leader of the Senate Democrats, quickly issued the following statement after the vote:
In thirty minutes, 18 State Senators undid fifty years of civil rights in Wisconsin. Their disrespect for the people of Wisconsin and their rights is an outrage that will never be forgotten. Tonight, 18 Senate Republicans conspired to take government away from the people. Tomorrow we will join the people of Wisconsin in taking back their government.
Yeah, I know. I read it too.
A party which has deliberately subverted the people’s business for weeks has the audacity to accuse those tending to that business of disrespecting the people. A party which fled the state to avoid discharging their legal duty has the audacity to accuse those who remained of “changing the rules.”
Senate GOP leader [Scott] Fitzgerald issued his own statement:
“Enough is enough.” “The people of Wisconsin elected us to do a job. They elected us to stand up to the broken status quo, stop the constant expansion of government, balance the budget, create jobs and improve the economy. The longer the Democrats keep up this childish stunt, the longer the majority can’t act on our agenda. [...]
“We have confirmed with the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the Legislative Council and the Legislative Reference Bureau that every item in tonight’s bill follows the letter of the law.
“The people of Wisconsin elected us to come to Madison and do a job. Just because the Senate Democrats won’t do theirs, doesn‘t mean we won’t do ours.”
I love it.
Lest we think the battle is over, realize the Left is fully intent on exacting revenge. They want the message sent to other states that challenging their monopolistic stranglehold will bring pain. In an email to supporters, MoveOn.org cried havoc.
…Wisconsin Republicans made a shocking power grab—ramming through their partisan attack on workers’ rights without a single Democrat present.
It’s shameful, unprecedented, and probably illegal. We can’t let them get away with this.
We have to recall the Republican state senators who did this.
Progressives in Wisconsin have already gathered thousands of signatures to do just that, but they need our help to get the job done. Let’s send a clear message that trying to destroy the American Dream is a surefire way to get booted from office.Can you help raise $500,000 tonight for the recall efforts, to make sure these senators lose their seats over their outrageous actions?(…)… After modestly changing the Governor’s budget bill, they “declared” that it was a different kind of bill that they could pass without the Democrats and passed it… Thousands of Wisconsinites have already flooded the capitol and will occupy it overnight…
Unsurprisingly, MoveOn’s rant is replete with misrepresentation. I didn’t know “the American Dream” involved coercing political contributions to help elect your own boss so you can bribe him into giving you a raise. How can you complain about Republicans passing a bill “without a single Democrat present” when those same Democrats opt not to show up? It’s not as though the Dems were kept from participating. Yet that is the flavor MoveOn adds.
Stranger still is the attempt to represent the stripping of fiscal components from a bill as some kind of arbitrary “declaration.” This coming from a political apparatus which was fully on board the Slaughter rule, ready to “deem and pass” Obamacare.
The absurdity of their arguments aside, it is important to brace for the next phase of battle. Don’t think for a second MoveOn won’t raise that money. Dispensing with “the new civility,” they will not only flood and “occupy” capitols. They’ll scratch, spit, bite, and pull hair. Wisconsin Republicans seem at last to understand. Wresting government back from a privileged few masquerading as a plebeian mass will take more than gentlemanly sparing. We’re in for a pit fight.