If Mitch Daniels gets effusive praise from Republicans for being a “political genius,” why did they ignore their leader? Going in to this legislature, his message was clear: avoid the unnecessary divisive issues. You’ll need that political capital for the budget fight.
This is the long session for a reason. The General Assembly must draw up a budget for the next two years. As you well know the economy is bad, and State and local tax revenues have sharply declined since the 2009 budget. Most have no idea what the economy will do the rest of 2011, let alone 2012. The reality is that further cuts to government need to be made, and that was going to be a difficult sell to Democrats.
Add Rethinking Redistricting on top of that, and you’ve got one of the nastiest sessions in memory. A lot of Democrats see fair districts as hurting their chances at seeing a majority again. One of the worst victims of the House Democrats political stunt was the death of an independent redistricting commission that would take drawing electoral maps out of the hands of politicians. Voters would finally choose their politicians instead of politicians choosing their voters.
Instead the House and Senate Republicans have spent the first half of the session discussing abortion, an addition to the Constitution banning gay marriage, an immigration bill that has the real possibility of fostering discrimination and hurting business, licensing several industries including massage therapists, adding a grocery bag tax, and a commuter tax. Right to Work was just another distraction. Most of these are just intrusions by government in to your personal and economic life by the so-called “party of limited government.”
As the Lafayette Journal-Courier wrote today in their piece titled “Shame on both parties at Statehouse” both parties are to blame for this mess:
“To call this bill (Right To Work) overreaching by the Republicans is an understatement. Right to work was not raised as an issue during the 2010 campaign, one that resulted in a GOP majority in the House.”
Some are calling for the recall, or firing, of the 37 House Democrats. I say they all need to go! I am not sure I’ve ever seen a better example of why three parties are desperately needed.
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