Recall efforts against the Wisconsin Republican state senators is in full action mode. The teachers and other public sector unions are engaging in a full on assault against the new Wisconsin law banning some collective bargaining categories. One of the first problems they have is with the nature of a recall. Recalls were designed to remove corrupt or wayward senators and representatives that broke the publlic trust. One of the arguments being used against Wisconsin Republicans is that they used undemocratic or legislative tricks to get the bill passed while the state’s Democratic senators hid in Illinois. At first glance it would appear this argument has gained some adherents. However, there are serious problems with this stand.
“Did you know that even though you live in MN, you can support the people of Wisconsin by contributing to a recall campaign? The Republicans’ beliefs may be different than mine (or ours), but the democratic process in our country has very specific rules governing the use of power, and in Wisconsin some of them are being disregarded. FYI for my thinking friends out there.” from Facebook and ActBlue.org, to rally against Republicans.
This idea suggests an abuse of power. Republicans waited a month before passing the union reform legislation. Democrats, directed by their union bosses, fleed across the state line to prevent a vote in the state senate on the bill. Without a quorum of 20 senators, the 19 Republicans couldn’t bring a vote to the floor. State Republican leaders then figured out a loophole. They didn’t need a quorum for a non-financial bill. They only needed a majority of those present. They passed the bill and the Democrats screamed “foul.” It is upon this basis they are now about to bring suit in court and argue to the general public that Republicans should be recalled.
However, for alll the caterwauling and hand wringing, the Democrats are at a moral disadvantage. You see, this is precisely the method the Democratic Party used to pass Obamacare. For them to holler about using legislative tricks is intellectually dishonest. To get Obamacare through the U.S. Senate, they had to resort to the same kinds of tricks the Republicans used in Wisconsin.
Obamacare was dead in the water after the surprise election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts for the U.S. Senate. The Republicans stood united against this monstrous plan and without 60 votes, the Senate could not end debate and bring a vote. The U.S. House had already passed Obamacare, and the Senate version differed in several ways. Reid, Pelosi, and Obama were stymied, that is until someone came up with a legislative trick.
If the bill was made into a budget reconciliation bill, it would only require a majority of senators. This would be stretching and warping the idea of a budget reconciliation bill into something it was never intended to address. Obamacare seeks to restructure one-sixth of the American economy and make health care funding management a federal governmental power. It stripped away individual rights to contract as the saw fit and allowed the government to bully companies and individuals into products they wanted no part of.
Regardless, the Senate, and then the House, abused the legislative process in order to pass this cancer upon American society. They did so using legislative tricks.
Now, suddenly, out of the blue, the Socialist Workers wing of the Democratic Party is screaming bloody murder that using legislative tricks abuses the process. This is an argument we made almost exactly a year ago. Back when Obamacare was getting shoved down our throats, there wasn’t a Democrat in sight worried about the sanctity of the process. In fact, they gloated and mocked because they’d ‘pulled a fast one’ on the Republicans.
Now the shoe is on the other foot, and they are livid. The process has become the most important part of our republic. Legislative actions must be open and accommodating. Disagreements must be considered and taken into account. When the Tea Party was railing against the Democratic Party ignoring them, they were diagreeable. When Republicans united against the bill, they were being obstructionists. Since the Democratic Party is out of power in Wisconsin, almost overnight, they cry and wail about process.
This argument gets no sympathy here. The Democrats need to pull down their skirts, their hypocrisy is showing.