Democracy in Action

I keep hearing people try to defend the Democratic legislators in Wisconsin who’ve fled town. Last night Juan Williams tried to make the case that they were similar to the Republicans who just said no to Obama’s agenda. But the analogy only works if you consider fleeing the state in order to prevent a quorum to be just another legitimate parliamentary tactic.

And if you do believe that, the hypocrisy cuts both ways. Republican obstruction, via threats of a filibuster etc., were not only denounced by all of the usual suspects, they were taken as a sign that the American system was broken. Or as John Podesta famously put it at the time, America’s political system “sucks.” Tom Friedman argued that Republican refusal to cave to the Obama agenda was proof that China’s tyrannical system was preferable to our own. Let’s not even recap Paul Krugman.

But now, even though Governor Walker ran on this agenda and won, many of the same voices are celebrating the fugitive lawmakers as heroes. Or they simply have nothing to say on the matter, save to condemn the Republicans for keeping their campaign promise and trying to do their jobs.

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