Monday, March 21, 2011

Heh- "Fleebaggers"

I'll repeat my position that the Democrats walkout from the Indiana legislature is a surprise gift to me. I never expected any kind of gridlock, but here it is, and I love it. No laws being passed = no reduction in liberty.

That said, I find this website hilarious. "We keep track of 'em so you don't have to." Oh, I love the ease and speed of self publishing online.

In other news, the Indy Star's Mary Beth Schneider at last touched on a future consideration for this walkout, in this article:

The fear that House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, and Senate President Pro Tempore David Long share: If Democrats, outnumbered 60-40 in the House and 37-13 in the Senate, think they are winning this battle of wills, boycotts could become a regular legislative tactic across the nation. Much the same way, Democrats point out, that minority Republicans have used the filibuster in the U.S. Senate to prevent votes on things they don't like.

That would mark a departure from past practice. Walkouts have been used by both parties. But they typically focus on a single issue and end after a couple of days when the majority makes a few tweaks that let the minority declare victory and return. Not this year. (bold is mine)

What a wonderful gift that would be! I'm not dismayed at all. This is perfect! No new laws passing? Excellent!

2-party partisan politics has been such that when one team employs a tactic, the other team decries it... until they are on the other side, and then they happily employ the same tactic they had until recently decried, justifying it with a Charlie Sheen-like righteousness. So, you gotta know that the next time the Democrats have a majority in the Indiana House, the Republicans will walk out for the entire session. This becomes the safest bet in politics.

The other side of that coin comes to pass in November 2012. Will voters reward or punish Democrats for this action? I'm betting that every Democrat who walked out will now have a Republican running against them, and the top campaign issue will be the walkout. Some districts are so solidly Democrat that it won't matter, but others could be swayed.

So, let's assume for consideration's sake that the voters do punish enough of the walkout Democrats such that the Republicans gain a quorum-ready majority. What do you think the Rs will do with their legislative agenda? Think any compromise will be part of the plan? I conjure images of ramrods.

Even if the voters don't punish the Dems, the redistricting that will take place this year is controlled by the Republicans. In my estimation, if the maps are drawn blindly, without partisan consideration, the Republicans gain at least 8 seats in the Indiana House. If they gerrymander it? Maybe 12-15 seats? In any case, my opinion is that, barring some amazing shift that suddenly makes the Democrats exceptionally popular, or an incredible shift to the Libertarian Party occurs, the Republicans are going to have that quorum-ready majority in both the Indiana House and Senate. The Republicans are seething right now. I expect a full cram-down in 2012.

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