Legislative Leaders Should Be Very Concerned When the Opposition Starts to Throw in the Towel

Not that I’m happy to see any of these legislators go specifically or in general, but the brazen optimist in me hopes that this is the backdraft before some sort of explosion:

The already lopsided balance of power in Rhode Island’s state legislature could tip even further left come November.
Five of the Assembly’s 18 Republicans will not seek reelection, the majority of them in the House, where one-third of the anemic GOP caucus has bowed out.
Their reasons for leaving are as varied as the part-time legislature itself — work and family commitments, grandchildren, and in one case a fleet of 50 new cows that need looking after. …
… the Assembly chambers — the House especially — can be a frustrating place for Republicans, who represent less than 16 percent of the 113 legislative votes.
Burnout is a reality.
“You start to say, ‘hey, is it worth fighting this battle up here?'” said Susan A. Story, of Barrington, one of four House Republicans not seeking reelection. Story has cited personal reasons for her departure, though she acknowledges that fatigue is a factor. “Sometimes you say, ‘well, maybe someone else could fight it for a while.'”

Whether we’re actually approaching a watershed, and whether the explosion would be a positive or negative thing, is unknowable, but even the Rhode Island electorate can’t be so dense as to think encroaching monopartisanism represents a healthy trend. Right?

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Mike
Mike
13 years ago

The state is at Peak Taxes so Draconian cuts are coming in the very short term.
With their union/welfare/cronyist political machine the “progressives” have won every battle; but lost the war.
The new book “While America Aged: How Pension Debts Ruined General Motors, Stopped the NYC Subways, Bankrupted San Diego, and Loom As the Next Financial Crisis”
is not about RI but is very much “about” RI. The game is about up. The retire at 41 pensions, the “disability” pensions, the COLA’s, free health care for life, etc. are about to catch up to the state in a BIG way which is going to make progressives squeal (which they are good at anyway).
You can get this book for free as an interlibrary loan. I HIGHLY recomend it. It is the real RI Future.
http://www.booktv.org/program.aspx?ProgramId=9440&SectionName=Politics&PlayMedia=No

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
13 years ago

The democrats have become both parties.There are two distinct wings to that party.It hinges on where the leadership falls on the spectrum as to whether the socialist model continue to stumble on towards statewide breakdown.
I hardly think Brien or Palumbo can be lumped in with Diaz or Slater for example on policy issues.
We still have a tendency to elect Republican governors.Go figure.
Think about this-Caprio vs.Cicilline as gubernatorial prospects.A fiscally responsible moderate Dem versus a hardcore leftist lying enabler of illegal aliens.

John
John
13 years ago

As I have said repeatedly, the end game in RI is underway, with the public sector unions fighting the poverty advocates for the largest slice of a rapidly shrinking pie, caused by the flight of businesses, elderly, affluent and middle class taxpayers from a failed state. Electing a Republican Governor/referee to preside over this fight, while also providing a convenient punching bag/target of blame and ire, makes perfect sense, in a sick sort of way.
The only remaining question — and an interesting one at that — is how it will play out. For example, cutting state aid to local governments would force them into bankruptcy, by preserve a lot of benefits and programs cherished by the poverty advocates. So too would using the latter’s legislative strength to gut union benefits via legislation. On the other hand, the unions could — and it this session, have — cut programs for the poor to preserve their own benefits (both directly and via state aid to local governments).
Time will tell which strategy will win out in practice.

OldTimeLefty
13 years ago

The only thing that makes the Democrats look good are the Rhode Island Republicans. It’s should be as plain as the nose on your face; the Republicans have no constituency because they fail to reach the electorate. If you don’t reach the electorate you don’t get elected. Personally, I have no especial love for Democrats, but R.I. Republicans, exception being Lincoln Chafee, are beyond the pale. I’d vote for Chafee over any Democrat in the state.
It should also be obvious that complaints about unions go no further than the few people who write for and to this blog. You guys are talking to yourselves while the world is passing you by. If you want to elect Republicans you have to change the current makeup of the party.
OldTimeLefty

rhody
rhody
13 years ago

I’d be a lot more sympathetic to R.I. Republicans (hell, maybe I’d even BE one) if they had the guts to run candidates against Murphy, Montalbano, Alves, etc. They won’t take on the Dems who are the biggest problems.

Mike
Mike
13 years ago

cutting state aid to local governments would force them into bankruptcy, by preserve a lot of benefits and programs cherished by the poverty advocates. So too would using the latter’s legislative strength to gut union benefits via legislation. On the other hand, the unions could — and it this session, have — cut programs for the poor to preserve their own benefits (both directly and via state aid to local governments).
XXX
As we saw this year John, BOTH these things are, and will continue, happen concurrently. Just a matter of degree.
There are more unionites than welfareites BUT: if you add in the Millionaire Marxist “No human is illegal contingent” they are about even.
Either way, the state is at Peak Taxes and the battle for the scraps is, as you say, well underway.
Personally-I’m enjoying it!
As for you Rhody-why do we want to fight Murphy, Williamson and that crowd. They’re corrupt scum but they are bending over backwards for us doing our bidding on the budgets.

rhody
rhody
13 years ago

It makes me really proud to be an American that conservatives are willing to proudly stand with corrupt Democrats.
My only question: Why are we wasting time with these punters Obama and McCain? Mugabe ’08!

Mike
Mike
13 years ago

Rhody,
we’ll cut deals with the devil himself to shake up the union/welfare kleptocracy.
Heck, I’d even give you sodomy marriage and a woman’s unlimited right to kill her babies in return for 401k’s for everybody from Judges down to municipal workers.

Bill Tatreault
Bill Tatreault
13 years ago

You clowns really make me laugh. You just don’t get it. The Republicans are a pathetic freak show. Gorham, who speaks on every bill no matter how insignificant, is allowed to ramble on just to make our point – he is a circus clown.
We run the state, we will provide our hard working members the golden deal you have all enjoyed at our expense forever. My advice to you? Again, just shut up and pay. Its our turn (and has been for a couple of decades) not yours.

rhody
rhody
13 years ago

Mike, I might accept that deal. I’m a 401(k) guy myself, and I’d have no problem putting new state hires on 401(k).
If you tried to impose 401(k) on current state workers who’ve already contributed to pensions, though, we’d only be creating state-sponsored welfare for lawyers.

EMT
EMT
13 years ago

What’s this “golden deal,” that I’ve supposedly enjoyed? I don’t know about you Bill, but I work for a living. Several jobs, in fact.

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