Friday, June 12, 2009

Man Up, NY Democrats

Look, I'm not happy either that Republicans have taken over the NY State Senate, but the Democrats' response is ridiculous. Democrats locked the Senate chamber's doors and unsuccessfully tried court action to block the Republican takeover. Then they stayed off the floor and prevented the Republicans from having a quorom.

The Republicans are, of course, engaged in the usual absurd posing when they claim that their actions are not a power grab but an effort at bipartisan reform. And it's not a coincidence that the two Democrats they've brought over to their side have their own ethical challenges (one has campaign finance scandals and the other is accused of slashing his girlfriend's face with a broken glass).

But the Democrats are not showing themselves to advantage either. Legislative bodies are governed by majority vote. If the minority side gets more votes, it becomes the majority side. When Jim Jeffords switched parties in the U.S. Senate, that Senate went Democrat. The Republicans didn't lock the doors and run crying to a court to try to keep control.

Democrats, stop whining. If you have the majority, you have it, and if you don't, you don't. If there are more votes to make someone else the majority leader, you're not it anymore.

Do your wheeling and dealing in the back rooms. If you can get back the votes, fine. But if you can't, you have to reopen the Senate and let the other side have its day.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Remember when the Texas Democrats holed up in Oklahoma in 2003 in an attempt to deny the newly-Republican controlled House their legitimate power to Gerrymander the Texas congressional districts?

It seems that the NY Senate are simply following that Democrat precedent, although to a somewhat lesser degree.

And, why don't the Republicans simply change the locks?