In 2003, when Texas was redrawing its electoral map, the state’s Democrats bolted for Oklahoma to deny the legislature a quorum. In 2011, as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker fulfilled a campaign promise to reform government union benefit packages, the state’s Democrats bolted to Illinois to deny a quorum while their labor allies occupied the capitol. Indiana’s Democrats also bolted that state to block the legislature from acting on a union reform bill last year.
It’s 2012, and some Democrats have gotten a bit smarter in how they thwart democratic action when things aren’t going their way. Texas is once again redrawing its electoral map. Rather than run off to Oklahoma or New Mexico, the Democrats and allied grievance groups have played a shell game which has ended up with a court drawing the map and put the state’s GOP convention in chaos. That chaos might impact the national GOP convention later this year. That’s a feature in their plan, not a bug.
But not all Democrats have come up with new tricks. In Iowa today, the state’s Democrats fled rather than deal with bills concerning basic, fundamental second amendment rights.
Iowa House Democrats this morning left the Capitol in protest of two gun bills the Republican majority had planned to debate today that critics contend would make the state part of the “Wild, Wild West.”
Right. One of the bills would write second amendment rights into the state’s constitution. The other would carve out legal protection for people who use force, including deadly force, in self-defense or the defense of others. Several states already have similar laws. Neither measure is radical. On their way out of the state, the Democrats claimed they were blindsided by the bills. That doesn’t appear to be true; Democrats had already attached an amendment to one of the bills.
Republicans hold 60 of the Iowa House’s 100 seats, so the Democrats’ bravely turning tail to flee doesn’t even deny a quorum. It’s just a childish temper tantrum.
Whatever it is, it’s neither democratic nor republican. As a party, Democrats push so many things that are antithetical to democracy — race and gender quotas, judicial activism, bills we’re not allowed to read containing mandates that wreck the Constitution, etc. And they have established a pattern of junking democracy when the voters go against them. That party needs a more accurate re-branding.
Update: Tantrum over, the Democrats are returning to Iowa. Which is too bad for Iowa, really. Nobody needs these petulant children around.