AWOL


You’ve heard that elections have consequences, right? Well, is there some unnamed contaminant in the water in the Midwest that causes some politicians to temporarily (or otherwise) lose their ability to do the work they were elected to do? Is there something in the makeup of a Midwestern elected official that blocks the signals between the neurons in their brain from being able to travel from one cell to the next when they think about maybe showing up for work? These are the questions that plague those of us who actually value showing up for work and doing what we’ve been hired to do.

I can certainly understand being opposed to certain legislation and not wanting to vote on it, even it if it is heavily favored by the vast majority of those voting. However, what I can’t understand is purposely abdicating the responsibility to voice my opinion in the form of a vote when that is what I was elected to do in the first place. This is what rubs people the wrong way about this whole situation, regardless of party affiliation.

Part of the consequences of being in the minority when you’re in office is that there may not  be much you can do to stop legislation that you do not agree with. If that’s the case, the responsibility of being in the minority is that you either do what you can do, within the realms of the law, to stop the legislation by whatever means are available to you, i.e. by filibusters and other procedural tactics. Instead, these scofflaws from Wisconsin and Indiana just decided to skip town. No votes. No serious debates in their respective legislatures. Just a packed suitcase, a full tank of gas, and a friendly governor in a neighboring state who’s not willing to enforce the law and jettison your illegal rear end back to whence you came.

I know…You’re probably saying to yourself, “You’re an anti-union neocon!” Well, honestly, I’m not a huge supporter of unions. I do think they’re largely unneeded but I also think there are places and situations where they are not only acceptable but probably completely necessary. I’ve been a union member before and, if the appropriate situation presents itself, I may be a union member in the future. Though unlikely, it’s not out of the realm of possibility for me. Regardless, this particular issue really has nothing to do with being pro or anti-union, Republican, Democrat, or whatever the particular stripe. This has to do with one thing…The rule of law and showing up to do what you’ve been called to do. Plain and simple.

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