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February 23, 2011

Mitch Daniels: Caving In or Ahead of the Game? [Fritzworth]

Like many an AoSHQ moron, I was dismayed when Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana in effect condoned the actions of the Indiana Dems who fled the state rather than vote on right-to-work legislation:

First of all, just to affirm, the activities of today are perfectly legitimate part of the process. Even the smallest minority – and that’s what we’ve heard from the last couple days - has every right to express the strength of its views and I salute those who do.

Seriously? Fleeing to another state to avoid voting on legislation they don't like? That's legitimate, particularly when the Indiana Legislature only has four (4) months to work on legislation?

On the other hand, Avik Roy over at NRO puts forth a spirited defense of Daniels, noting among other things:

Mitch Daniels decertified all public unions, entirely rescinding their collective-bargaining rights, on his first day in office in 2005. . . . In other words, Mitch Daniels has already done more on the issue of public-sector unions than Scott Walker is even attempting. . . .

. . . the Democratic minority in the Indiana legislature wields considerable power that Daniels has no choice but to deal with. . . .

. . . the Indiana minority can block all legislation. Indiana’s legislative calendar is only four months long, meaning that other pressing reforms that Daniels campaigned on will wither. . . .

. . . In 2011, Daniels’s rhetoric has been more conciliatory, likely because he knows from his experience in 2005 that he needs seven Democrats in the House to get anything done. Jim Geraghty asks, “If the Indiana House Democrats get what they want through this tactic, what’s to prevent them from using it again and again every time they think they’ll lose on a big issue?” The answer is, they already have, and Republicans can’t do much about it. . . .

It's worth reading the entire thing; Roy's arguments deserve full consideration. But, unless there's something I'm not understanding (always a real possiblity), I come back to this question: if the Democratic minority can block legislation the Indiana House anyway, why did they run away? Why not just stay?

If on the other hand their only option in blocking this legislation is to flee the state of Indiana, then (IMHO) Daniels should very much hold their feet to the fire and make it clear to the citizens of Indiana just who is shirking their individual and collective responsibility.

I appreciate Roy's defense of Daniels, and I could even defend myself Daniels' refusal to send the state police after the missing legislators. But Daniels seems to be remarkably tone-deaf to what's happening in other states and thus undermines those efforts. A wrong choice, in my opinion; your mileage may vary (though knowing the AoS crowd, I doubt it will vary by much). ..fritz..

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posted by Open Blogger at 11:49 AM

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