It’s a sad day in America when the men and women we elect to represent us run away from that responsibility. This modern exodus began when Wisconsin Senate Democrats fled the state to avoid voting against ending collective bargaining rights (for benefits only). They weren’t being forced to vote for them. They were just being forced to vote. They were being forced to do their job. Then, the epidemic spread to Indiana where similar legislation was being considered (emphasis on considered).
It’s not even a partisan thing. These are universal values. Legislators should show up to work and do their job. If they don’t, they should be fired. Republican or Democrat. Sure, the difference here is that the boss is the taxpayer, and maybe you’re OK with these people running from their job. Maybe you want them to stay. But, anyone who believes that also believes in circumventing the democratic process (no, this is not democracy), and anyone who believes in obstructing the democratic process has no business making decisions that facilitate that process.
The problem isn’t stopping at Indiana, either. In Maryland, Democrat state senators fled the legislature after a bill was brought up to legalize same-sex marriage (yes, they were Democrats). Again, agree or disagree with the issue, this is the height of cowardice and irresponsibility. Here’s the thing: the Republicans showed up at this caucus vote. Not all of them agreed with the bill, but they were there. They were ready to debate and have their voice heard. They were ready to PARTICIPATE in our democratic process, not inhibit it. Obviously, Maryland is not a particularly friendly place to be as a Republican, but one of the GOP legislators, Michael D. Smigiel, had this to say about the fleeing Democrats around the country:
As Republicans in Maryland, we get beat up on constantly. The trick is to be smarter, work harder and find ways to achieve as many victories as you can. But you can’t just leave because you’re not going to win.
You have to be smarter, work harder, and find ways to win. You have to do your job. Period. But, that’s not even the worst of it. Listen to what one Democrat had to say about running away from the process:
Fellow Democratic Del. Jill P. Carter said she stayed away in hopes that House leaders would make concessions on her other legislative priorities.
So, she didn’t just run away because she opposed the legislation. She ran away because she wanted to get something out of it. She didn’t feel like being smarter, working harder, and finding ways to win. She decided it would be a whole lot easier just to run away and come back when she got what she wanted. Why does the Left not find that absurd?
This type of behavior is hardly unprecedented. In 2005, Indiana Democrats threw a similar hissy fit during a legislative session that killed over 100 bills. More than 50 Texas Democrats fled state lines in 2003 to obstruct redistricting plans. They failed. But even farther back still, Abraham Lincoln and the Whig Party fled the Illinois House of Representatives to avoid voting on a Democrat’s bill requiring banks to make payments in gold or silver. They failed too, but they went as far as trying to jump out of the windows to escape.
This isn’t right. No matter what side you’re on. Rutgers University political science professor, Russ Baker summed it all up nicely:
Nobody likes to lose. But sometimes you have to just go in there and accept the adverse vote, no matter how high the stakes are, and plan to get your revenge at the next election.