Mewsings from Lowecat (aka Indianacat)

My rants, ravings, and overall 'mewsings' on life, the universe, and everything.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Politics is a Dirty World

I've kept a little quiet about the current state of our Indiana Legislature, but have decided to weigh in with my feelings. I am pissed with our Democratic body of the state law making body.

A little backstory here. Last fall, the Democratic party suffered a loss in the majority after they pulled a few shenanigans in 2010 that really honked off the voting public, aka the people who elected them. (Frankly, I don't know why we have such high expectations of our elected officials, as they've been engaging in oneupsmanship since the days of the Revolution. Anyone who's seen the opening of the musical '1776' will realize this. But, we Rebels wanted taxation with representation, so we opted for a two - party system, which has been at each other's throats ever since)
Anyway, we voters in Indiana made some changes in our elected representatives. Unfortuantely, it wasn't a full scale house cleaning, as some floatsam and jetsam still exists (this is my opinion. There are just some certain long - term reps who have worn out their welcome and need to be nudged into a new career opportunity). Our legislative body is part time, meeting from January until the end of March or first of April, voting on bills that may improve the quality of life for Hoosiers.
Sometimes those bills make me hit my forehead on my desk several times; laws help keep society civil, but there is such a thing as over legislating. I mean, do we really need a law against texting while driving to know that it is a dangerous thing to do? Hello, McFly! Yet, there is such a bill being considered.
There is also a controversial bill called 'right to work', having to do with collective bargaining for goverment and education employees. I'm not gonna go into the particulars here. Any media outlet covering the story in the state can do a better job of it. WIBC - FM is one such outlet, or any newspaper in Indiana. Just run a search.
The Democrats last week high tailed it out of state and are currently holed up in a famous name hotel in the state of Illinois. They have, for nearly a week, abandoned their part time job for which they are paid a handsome base salary of $22k a year. I'll wax poetic more on that matter in a moment. Initially, they fled the state because they didn't want to vote on the right to work bill. They wanted it to die, quickly. They also feared that the long arm of the law, aka the police, would be called out to force them to go to work (novel concept). Gov Mitch Daniels wasn't going to take state police off their job of protecting the public to make these fat assed legislators (I'm not makin' a derogatory comment about their physical form here, just usin' it as a colorful metaphor) go to work.
By the end of the week, it was pretty evident that the right to work bill was dying and wouldn't get a vote, thanks to the mass exodus of the Democratic party. When asked if they were going to return to work on Monday, the minority speaker and former majority speaker of the house stated the equivalent of "not just no, but HELL NO!" The Democrats are now stayin' in IL in their swanky little hotel suites until or unless such time as several other bills they don't like die a similar death.
Huh? Sounds like a hostage situation to me. The rights of the Indiana voting public, who pay these assholes salaries, are being held hostage because a disgruntled few aren't getting their way? And they're not returning to work until they get what they want?
Insert eye roll.
These are business people - lawyers, bankers, and the like - who have businesses that keep them comfortable throughout the remainder of the year - on top of the 22k they earn (base) as a part time lawmaker. They get free parking downtown, they get free license plates, and many other perks for their position. They are wined, dined, and entertained by lobbyists. For three to four months out of the year, they are treated like kings and live pretty damn high on the hog.
The least these assholes can do is show up for work!
Now, if you and I pulled such a stunt on our jobs, we'd find our butts out on the unemployment line faster than we could say 'boo!' - do not pass go, do not collect $200. Rightfully so. As employees, we are expected to show up, on time, ready to work. If there is a problem, we are expected to take it to the proper channels for resolution. We aren't allowed to flee out of state, hole up in a hotel, and hold the workplace hostage until we get our own way.
Hell, we'd be laughed at. Then we'd be fired.
Yet, these fat cat legislators, who were trounced by the voters in November, 2010, are acting like spoiled little brats who are finally told 'NO'. They are having a temper tantrum in the extremist, and have basically caused the wheels to govenment to grind to a near halt.
"But the taxpayers aren't paying for it!" They cry. "The state Democratic party is paying for it!" Yeah, and up until Monday, all y'all were collecting your per diem payments for not doin' a damn thing but sitting on your posteriors in a hotel and granting interviews to the media.
Thank God, someone in the state had the sense to decide that since you weren't WORKING, you had no right to be paid. Guess what, there's no such thing as PTO in the state legislature.
I've coined a new phrase to explain my political leanings. I'm a conservbural. I'm liberal about some ideas, conservative about others. Some might call that straddlin' the fence. I call it what makes sense.
Back in 1978, when I was old enough to vote, I proudly registered as a Democrat, like my father before me, and his father before him. But as I watched what the two - party system was doin', I got fed up with the need to win over all that was goin' on. I became a GDI. I don't just blindly follow the party line, but vote for what makes fuckin' sense. Sometimes it's Democratic, sometimes it's a Republican, sometimes it's Green or Independent or Libertarian party.
I have a very long memory, and when November comes, and some of our representatives are up for re - election, I'm going to remember who went to work this quarter, and who acted like a spoiled brat. Guess who's getting my vote and my support. Guess who's not?
Maybe you can't fight city hall, much less the state legislature, but there are ways to send messages. And I'm gonna do that in November. And I'm gonna urge everyone around me as pissed off as I am about this situation, to do likewise.


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