One Degree of Disconnect, Part Two
I previously commented on the one degree of disconnect that I’ve come to believe is the core political problem in our state. The event that motivated that post was an immigration reform-related bill that was brought up in the RI House (kinda). Now, as Andrew and Monique have explained, the same shenanigans–again related to an immigration reform-related bill–have gone on in the Senate. And the problem is the same, but this event has pulled back the curtain even more.
This time it was the Senate President, Theresa Paiva Weed, with the help of Majority Leader Danel Connors, who killed the vote on E-verify. As I explained before, it’s only a single degree of disconnect between the average RI voter and the Senate President or Speaker of the House. That “degree” is our local Senator or Representative, who we may think of as a good guy or gal and can’t bring ourselves to punish for the actions of their leaders. Even though they selected them in the first place.
As Andrew pointed out, there are avenues that Democrats could have used to call the leadership on the procedural shenanigans on display last night. It took political courage to do it–which some of the Democrats appear to have–but in this case it also took some acumen to realize what was going on. They didn’t: apparently (as brought to light on the Dan Yorke Show) Sen. Marc Cote was led down the procedural primrose path by Paiva Weed herself. Now we have another instance of a Democratically elected leader, Senator Paiva Weed, exercising unilateral power to quash a bill that had strong support publicly and within the Legislature.
So what happens now? Will the Democrat Senators take this into account when judging whether or not to select Paiva Weed as their leader next session? Will voters take this into account before voting to re-elect those who continue to enable this type of “leadership”?