SLIGHTLY OFF THE MARK
I know you were waiting with bated breath for part two of my top 20 ways the government wastes money, but every once in awhile I latch onto something as it’s going down, and have to comment. We’ll continue counting down next time; I suspect there’ll still be federal overspending in a week or two.
.One day, while at my full time job, I took a 911 call from someone who wanted us to check on a dog running loose. However, I don’t believe the police should waste their time on dog complaints, so I put the caller on hold and then drove into Whitley County, because that’s out of our jurisdiction in a place where I can’t be reached by my employers.
No, that never really happened. But if it had, I would have been congratulated by fellow pro-dog people for doing the right thing in preventing the dog law from being enforced. My fellow dispatchers might have been a little sore at me suddenly leaving, but when I returned I’d have sat right back down at that console and gone to work without any repercussions.
Of course not. That pink blur flying out of the dispatch center would have been my body, holding a termination slip. Agree or disagree with how your business does things; argue for or against a policy; but follow the rules and show up for work if you want to have a job the next day.
Unless you’re a politician.
I watched in disbelief as a portion of the Wisconsin State Legislature, in an attempt to defeat a collective bargaining bill, fled the state rather than participate in a vote they might lose. I listened in even more disbelief when one of them explained: "It's not so much the Democrats holding things up; it's really a matter of Gov. Walker holding things up.”
Um … excuse me, but the Governor was there. What the speaker was really saying was, “The vote isn’t turning our way, so we’re taking our toys and going home.”
The vote is being cast by the Republicans as necessary spending cuts to balance the state budget, and by the Democrats as a measure to break unions. I’m not going to get into that fight. On the one hand, unions once did great and important things for workers. On the other hand, both the states and the federal governments are going broke, and every borrowed dollar is on the backs of our children and grandchildren. It seems to me the two groups should get together and find every possible way to slash spending first, and if they’re still in the red after exhausting all other ideas they’ll have to come back to this issue whether they want to or not. At that point it’s not union breaking, it’s realism.
My problem is with hiring someone to do a job, and having them run out with the job not done. Thank goodness our Indiana State legislatures are too dedicated and intelligent to punk out like that.
Thirty-seven Indiana House Democrats, getting a 911 call they didn’t like, put the state on hold and skipped out. As I write this, they’re still crouching in their holes like that stupid winter loving groundhog, refusing to show their heads. With the House unable to reach a quorum, this act has effectively shut down the legislature. Instead of an honest vote in which our representatives actually represent us and have to stand by their decision, we get – nothing.
Stupid Democrats – oh, wait. This has happened before. Both Democrat and Republican minorities have abandoned Indianapolis to prevent a quorum, and in one case (the Democrats, that time), it led to 130 bills dying without ever getting an up or down vote.
Honestly, at this point I don’t care what party they’re in, I don’t care what bill they’re killing, and I don’t
care whether they’re in Illinois or on a junket to Libya. Here’s my only question:
Are they still getting paid?
Because I gotta tell you, not showing up for work wouldn’t just get my pay docked: If I left because I didn’t like the task assigned, I’d be out of a job. Oh, I might get a doctor’s excuse, maybe from that doc in Wisconsin; but what if I came right out and said I was fleeing because, say, most of the dispatchers thought we should send an officer to dog complaints, but I disagreed?
Then I might as well run for the state legislature myself, because I’d have plenty of free time – after signing up for unemployment.
These people abandoned their job: to weigh the pros and cons, make arguments, cast votes, and to try if possible to find a compromise that works for everyone. If the other side refuses to compromise – a problem that comes from both the right and left – it’s still their job to get in there and fight the good fight. Every so many years they get the chance to talk their way back into a majority. Then, if there’s something they feel so strongly about that they refuse to compromise, it’s their turn to get their way.
By this cowardly act they’re removing the democratic process, and taken the rights of voters away from the people who elected them. Anyone who does this – regardless of political party – owes it to their employers to immediately resign, in favor of someone who’s willing to come in and do the job. Anything else is the worst possible exercise in undemocratic obstructionism, and should never be tolerated.
In other words, if refusing to compromise is wrong, don’t respond with another wrong.