The Corner

Check Mate?

As Brian notes, the Wisconsin Senate Republicans have passed an amended version of the budget-repair bill by a vote of 18-1 (wobbly GOPer Dale Schultz fell over).

It’s a Stage Five political cliche to say of your opponents that they “rammed through” a piece of legislation. But in this case it’s especially stupid. “Ramming” implies resistence, like a running back taking the ball up the gut and into a defensive line. But you can’t ram it through a defense that’s not even in the stadium. If anything, the Republicans floated the bill through. Positively waltzed it.

There’s already a lot of crowing about the Republicans using an amended version of the bill to get around the 3/5 quorum needed on fiscal measures. But the Wisconsin legislature’s nonpartisan version of the CBO/CRS — the Legislative Fiscal Bureau — gave the maneuver a clean bill of health, and I’m sure a GOP lawyer or two checked the subsections and clauses twice and thrice for good measure.

As for the quote from Matt Miller. . .

Thanks to this bill — which doesn’t touch any of the civil service protections afforded public workers, nor any private-sector unions — public sector workers will have a choice over whether to join a union. Thanks to this bill, public workers who elect not to join a union won’t be forced to pay dues anyway. Thanks to this bill, elected officials won’t be negotiating away taxpayer dollars with the people who finance their campaigns. So, naturally, the Democrats call it the the undoing of fifty years of “civil rights.”


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