State Lawmakers Need to do Their Jobs and Stop Avoiding Democracy
February 24, 2011
Legislators in Wisconsin and now in Indiana have fled their states and shirked their responsibilities as elected officials. Meanwhile, state governments teeter on the balance of insolvency as budget deficits loom. As Democrats constantly reminded us after November of 2008 - "elections have consequences." Now that the tables have turned it seems that they no longer care for democracy. While hiding across state lines and failing to live up to the obligations of official office, the greatest tragedy is that these elected "leaders" are still collecting a paycheck.
As the stalemate continues, Governors seeking to balance budgets and end the stranglehold of unions on their states will only be emboldened. They've taken steps to uphold their end of the bargain as duly elected trustees of taxpayer dollars. They are working to ensure that there is a Wisconsin and Indiana tomorrow, despite the best efforts of unaccounted for legislators today. As the fight continues these state legislators too will realize that elections have consequences the next time around - as their constituents elect leaders who will show up to work.
The democratic process is often frustrating and ugly at moments. But it's one which has time and again allowed for the perpetuation of our Union and the ideals which have made us what we are today. By not living up to their end of the bargain these legislators have failed to uphold their position as the loyal opposition in free and open debate before the people. Their ideas should rise and fall on their merits. If the only way to stop legislation which does not fit with your beliefs is to not show up - how much merit do they have in the first place?