cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
Political arrogance is on display in both Washington, D.C. and in Madison, WI. The lame duck sessions in both cities have helped, once again, to demonstrate that we have problems in our political world.
The U.S. Senate, at the direction of the leader (Harry Reid (D-NV), is in the process of defying the voters who sent a strong message in November. Reid is working to get several pieces of legislation passed in this lame duck session of Congress, and he is using his typical tactics such as threatening to make the Republicans take responsibility for a ‘government shut-down’ if that occurs. Among those pieces of legislation is an omnibus budget bill, since the Democrats couldn’t or wouldn’t pass a budget bill as required of it during this session. This omnibus bill contains some 6,600 earmarks that combined equal a cost of $8.3 Billion taxpayer dollars. Other bills include a ‘land bill’ that would sequester thousands and thousands of additional acres as protected federal land.
In Madison, the controlling Democrats were blind-sided when the head of their Senate majority, Russ Decker, and another Democrat, Jeff Plale, voted against the 17 labor contracts that Governor-Elect Walker has asked to be held over for the new Senate and Assembly to decide upon. The Democrats retired after the first vote by Decker, and stripped him of his leadership role in the caucus; they came back on the floor of the Senate and both Democrats proceeded to vote against the remaining contracts. Both Decker and Plale had been defeated in the November elections. Assembly Democrats had to get one of their members, Jeff Wood, out of jail yet again to cast the deciding votes in that chamber where all the labor agreements were approved.
Are lame duck sessions desirable no matter which party has been chastised? Do we risk the display of political arrogance in any such sessions? Is this really more the case when one party has been slapped down by the electorate as happened in the latest election? Are those soon-to-depart members of the political bodies always going to feel they have nothing to lose?
The idea that we need be concerned about our elected representatives convening in a lame duck session is appalling, but it seems that may very well be the case. Should our state constitution be amended to preclude lame duck sessions?