Democrat lawmakers in the Hoosier State ripped a page out of the Wisconsin playbook this week, "fleeing" Indiana to avoid voting on anti-union legislation. With Indiana's Democrat minority holed up in neighboring Illinois, their state will be unable to vote on the right-to-work bill proposed by the Republican majority. GOP Gov. Mitch Daniels says the bill ought to be scrapped to avoid a costly, Wisconsin-esque stand-off. Some are suggesting this apparent victory may spur Democrats to make fleeing their respective states a "national strategy" when faced with an agenda they do not support. Will more Democrats join the ranks of "fleebaggers"?
I hope not — this cowardly behavior is unprecedented: These Democrats seem like nothing more than "petulant children throwing temper tantrums because voters did not give them a power-lock majority," says Warner Todd Huston at Chicago Now. The GOP must stay strong in the face of such "cowardice and petulance." And Democrats need to learn that shutting down the government is not a way to get things done.
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Oh please. It's just like a filibuster: Walking out in protest isn't all that different from the Senate's oft-used delaying tactic, says Matthew Tully at The Indianapolis Star. Daniels called it a "perfectly legitimate part of the process" and, no matter how irritating it is for Republicans, he's probably right. Fleeing the state is the "strongest and final defense of the minority party."
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Dems will keep at it — because unions are paying them: Public employee unions are among the Democrats' biggest donors, says Rick Manning at The Hill, and are rewarded with exorbitant salaries and benefits in return. It's no wonder we're now seeing Democrats turn their back on democracy, "rather than allow the power of their financial masters to be diminished." It gives another meaning to the term "public servant."
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They will if it keeps working: Fleeing Democrats and union protesters have "conveyed the message that ending collective bargaining will be a difficult, exhausting, and polarizing fight wherever it is tried," says Ezra Klein at The Washington Post. Perhaps more Republican governors will think twice before trying it — and Democrats won't need to strap on the running shoes.
"Wonkbook: Will Wisconsin spread?"
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