In the battle of Wisconsin, Democrats have beaten a strategic retreat. Democratic legislators have fled to Illinois in order to deny the Wisconsin Senate the necessary quorum to conduct its dirty business. Think of it as a filibuster conducted with your feet. Police in Illinois, or for that matter in Wisconsin, have no authority to bring the fugitive lawmakers in. There is no crime being committed—this is an action intended to prevent a crime from being committed. You know, if these fugitive lawmakers really want to rub Governor Scott Walker’s face in it, they should submit invoices for travel per diems for the time they’re out of state.
Governor Walker says the state of Wisconsin is in a crisis. He should know—he put it there. Intentionally. Just last month, Walker gave away $140 million in tax breaks—which accounts for all of the budget shortfall Wisconsin is now facing. If Wisconsin has no money, it’s because Walker has been giving it away. Walker created an economic crisis, and now he’s trying to exploit it. It’s a smaller-scale version of what Republicans are doing by using massive tax cuts for the wealthy to say we need to slash entitlements. In reality—not a place a lot of conservatives are familiar with—Wisconsin is in better shape than most states… except for the fact that Scott Walker is the governor.
It could be worse—look at Florida, where Governor Rick Scott has rejected $2.4 billion in federal money for a high-speed rail line, essentially throwing Florida’s economic recovery off the rails. Now both Republican and Democratic lawmakers are trying to bypass Rick Scott, like they’re laying a railroad line and Rick Scott is some sort of Florida swamp that they have to find a way to cross. Hey, if America could build a Transcontinental Railroad over the Rocky Mountains, we should be able to figure out a way to build a railroad over Rick Scott’s stupid intransigence. There is already talk of a recall swirling around Rick Scott—and Florida doesn’t even have a law for recall elections… yet. Nobody ever envisioned the voters in Florida making a mistake as big as Rick Scott. Yeesh. Wouldn’t it just be easier if progressives bothered to vote in off-year elections?