The National Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, under the tight control of a politically sophisticated White House, is still trying to raise funds by supporting the desertion from legislative duty taking place in Wisconsin and Indiana. The latest e-letter from this august body comes from Indiana legislator Pat Bauer, who exhorts recipients to send in money because “if we go home now and allow the Republicans to attack workers’ rights with impunity, Indiana families will suffer. Their wages will fall. Their retirements will be at risk. Their children’s schools could be dismantled, and their voices in the workplace will be stifled.”
I realize that fund-raising letters have to use hysterical language, but, according to Bloomberg news, “The bill [approved by an Indiana Senate committee] would limit collective bargaining agreements between local districts and teachers’ unions to focus on wages and wage-related benefits. Evaluation procedures, dismissal procedures and working conditions would no longer be included in contracts. The bill would also limit teacher contracts to a span of two years — the length of the state budget cycle.” Mr. Bauer refuses to return to the legislative chamber until that bill is modified.
The unmitigated partisan harangue is annoying. Far more disturbing, however, is the refusal by Democratic legislators to participate in the democratic process simply because their views are currently in the minority. When legislators allow the wheels of government to grind to a halt simply because teacher unions object to a piece of legislation limiting the topics on which they can bargain, we no longer have “government of the people, by the people and for the people.”
If it were only Indiana, it would be bad enough. But the national Democratic party–with a leader ensconced in the White House–is throwing its full weight behind this scandalous abuse of power.
-Paul E. Peterson