Time for an update on the Democrats of the Wisconsin Senate, which means we must turn our eyes to a series of undisclosed locations in Illinois. Despite a few false starts over the past week, the Democrats are still hiding out, leaving their nominal constituents to twist in the wind while Wisconsin slides into fiscal crisis. The union bosses they really represent have not given them permission to return yet, although they occasionally issue cryptic statements hinting they’ll be back any day now.
On Monday, the fleebaggers asked Governor Scott Walker for a meeting on the Wisconsin border to discuss their demands. The governor promptly dismissed this request as “ridiculous,” although I would have said “hilarious.” Presumably the fugitive Democrats would be standing just over the border in Illinois to avoid arrest – perhaps disguised as their favorite Sesame Street characters, in keeping with the Democrat Party’s new rhetoric about federal budget cuts.
I’m not sure how wide the border is, but in order to avoid taking any chances, they’d probably want to stand at least a hundred yards away from Walker and communicate through bullhorns. If they just met him in a tent right on the border, they would risk setting foot on Wisconsin soil by accident, while taking a stretch during a break in negotiations… and then a Wisconsin state trooper could taser the careless Democrat and drag him back to the Capitol.
Their long flight from democracy has taken a toll on the fugitive Democrats. Addressing the need to return home so he could oppose Governor Walker’s other efforts at restoring sanity to the budget, state senator Chris Larson, who represents union interests in the 7th District, said “I don’t think a lot of us have the stomach to stay away and watch our state plummet off a cliff.” Then he raced to the roof of his hotel, chugged a bottle of tiger blood, waved a machete over his head, and screamed “Free at last!” Or maybe that was Charlie Sheen. It’s easy to confuse the gibberish spouted by dangerously irresponsible people.
Sadly, not all of the cracks in resolve are appearing on the Democrat side. Republican state senator Rob Cowles told the Green Bay Press-Gazette that he might be willing to compromise with the fleebaggers on things that are “less monetary in nature” than the modest pension and health care contributions that public employee unions finally agreed to make. In other words, he wants to reward anti-democracy by giving the public unions the collective bargaining tools they will need to pull those concessions right back out of his numb fingers, as soon as the budget deficit improves from “insane” to “shameful.”
Rewarding the fleebaggers in any way is a fantastically dangerous idea. The implicit assumption behind a compromise would be that taxpayers must win a supermajority to exercise the slightest bit of fiscal restraint. Otherwise, the Spider Hole Party can shut down democracy and overturn the last election by simply hopping in a bus, whenever they think taxpayers are demanding too much austerity from their public union overlords.
Democracy requires stability. Changing the rules after an election is the opposite of stability, which makes it the antithesis of democracy. The Wisconsin Democrats had every right to make their voices heard within the chambers of the state senate. They abandoned that right when they subtracted themselves from the legislative process. There is no principle of just and Constitutional government that says the party of smaller government must win a supermajority to halt the growth of the State, or deny the expensive demands of powerful union bosses. If we implicitly recognize such a principle, we are no longer a lawful republic. The stakes in the War On Taxpayers are much higher than asking union workers to kick in a few bucks and defray the cost of their fabulous benefit packages.