The headline on today’s Green Bay Press-Gazette reads “SENATE BYPASSES DEMS”.
What a downright crock of crap. The article is from the Associated Press, written by Scott Bauer. Other news outlets picked up the same article using the same headline, while others chose more appropriate headlines:
Wisconsin Republicans cut collective bargaining, Real Clear Politics
Wisconsin Senate strips collective bargaining rights from workers, Lake County (IL) News Sun
Wisconsin GOP Strips Public Workers’ Bargaining Rights, AOL News
The Wisconsin Senate passed a bill last night, without Democrats in attendance. But those Democrats weren’t bypassed. They left the state. Obviously the Press-Gazette feels that when the Democrats leave the state, the remaining Republicans should just go home and do nothing until the Democrats feel like returning. And that, since the Republicans went on with the state’s business, they were bypassing the authority of the Democrats hiding out in Illinois.
Look. Back on January 8, Gabrielle Giffords, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, was shot in Tuscon, AZ. A terrible tragedy, she’s been in the hospital ever since. No disrespect to her, but the business of the U.S. House of Representatives must go on. The remaining representatives have still gone to work, still voted on legislation. They can’t just stop and wait. Now, the only difference here is that in Wisconsin, the senators didn’t get shot. They left the state on their own accord. It was their decision to do so. But like the U.S. House of Representatives, the business of the Wisconsin Senate must go on.
The Wisconsin Senate Democrats are smart people. But what did they expect would happen as a result of leaving the state? They left for a specific reason, and that reason was so that the remaining Republicans could not pass a budget repair bill. Doesn’t it stand to reason that the Republicans would then just work on whatever they could without the Democrats there? What did they expect?
No one was bypassed. The Wisconsin senate Democrats went AWOL. And the state business went on without them.