Monday, February 28, 2011

Democrats care nothing for the Constitution or the rule of law

Like the anarchists they are only what they want matters.

AWOL Dems defy ballot box


American-style democracy holds together because no matter how nasty the political game gets, the players honor a few inviolable rules. We obey the laws, even the ones we disagree with. We respect the ballot box. And after even the most bitterly contested election, the loser accepts the results, works within the system and awaits another chance to prevail with voters.

These guidelines kept the nation from shearing apart in 2000, when supporters of Al Gore (wrongly) believed the presidential election was stolen by George W. Bush. A tense period of uncertainty ended when Gore, in perhaps his finest moment, conceded and urged his backers to work to heal the country.

But what's happening in Wisconsin and Indiana breaks that tradition and puts a crack in our democratic foundation.

Democrats in those states, as in most others, were shellacked in legislative races last fall, giving Republicans majority control of their legislatures.

Republicans interpreted their overwhelming victories as a mandate to change the course of the states. Specifically, they set about undoing decades of laws put in place by Democrats to favor labor unions over taxpayers.

Instead of staying on the field to defend their positions, Democratic lawmakers in both states fled to neighboring Illinois, where they hope to win with their absence what they couldn't at the ballot box — namely, the right to control policymaking.

Without the Democrats, the legislatures don't have the required quorums to pass budget measures, including cutting pay and benefits for public workers.

The lawmakers in exile call this a defense of democracy. In truth, it's a step toward anarchy. If it catches on as a practice, it will officially end government by, of and for the people.

It's part of a disturbing trend by Democrats to embrace a by-any-means-necessary approach to governing. We saw it during passage of Obamacare, when the Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate blew up the rules to block a filibuster. In Massachusetts, Democrats used after-the-fact law changes in a failed attempt to keep a Republican from succeeding Ted Kennedy.

Obama trashed bankruptcy law to move the United Auto Workers ahead of General Motors' and Chrysler's secured creditors. And his regulatory agencies are bypassing Congress to enact policies he knows the elected representatives would never approve.

The strategy exposes the arrogant liberal conviction that they are justified in imposing their will on the people, because only they know what's best for America.

These Democrats in Indiana and Wisconsin merit universal condemnation.

What they are saying is that the people no longer have the right to use the ballot box to decide the direction of their government.

That's a rule change our system can't survive.

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