Mark Belling, national award-winning Wisconsin talk-show host (on News/Talk 1130 WISN), and frequent guest host on the Rush Limbaugh show, during the first hour of his February 25 program provided a powerful explanation of the danger to the rule of law posed by the flight of the Wisconsin “Badger 14” senators :
Similarly, during a joint interview of four state governors on ABC’s This Week on Febuary 27, Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina stated (video here; at 1:15): “What I think is a shame is the fact that you’ve got Democrat senators who represent the people of Wisconsin that are so cowardly that they left their own state!” They “should be thrown out of office as soon as they get back,” she concluded.
Following up on this point after Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts opined that adjustments to state finances can be made “with labor at the table instead of doing it to labor,” moderator Jake Tapper asked Gov. Patrick (video here; at 2:55): “Speaking of being at the table, don’t you think it’s a little cowardly for legislators — Democratic legislators in Indiana and Wisconsin — just to have fled?” Gov. Patrick declined to answer the question.
Finally on this point we have in today’s Wall Street Journal a succinct letter to the editor (at page A18; online here) relating current events in Wisconsin to those in the Middle East:
It seems that the union supporters in Wisconsin have decided to take to the streets to accomplish what they failed to do within the political system. That’s a reasonable tactic in Tunisia or Egypt, but the last time I looked, Wisconsin already has a democratic system of government, with a system of fair and free elections to ensure that the will of the people was being served. The people have spoken. The unions don’t like the result. What they are doing now is an affront to democracy and to the majority of voters in Wisconsin who they hope to disenfranchise. And what is even more disturbing is that the leader of our country, President Obama, is supporting their actions. Perhaps he believes in democracy only when the results meet his agenda.
Be sure to follow the other links in Glenn’s post, on the search for the “Badger 14” fugitive senators and on how they should be regarded. One link is to Glenn’s own suggestion last year about how politicians such as the “Badger 14,” who view themselves as elite members of the “ruling class,” should be treated — a suggestion this blog has heartedly embraced: “Mockery. They are very mockable, and they are very thin-skinned. That leads them to erupt in embarrassing ways. Use their sense of entitlement against them.”
Update (11:30 a.m.): Echoing the remarks of Gov. Haley and framing the point in his distinctive voice, Congressman Allen West has issued a statement branding the fugitive Wisconsin “Badger 14” senators
a bunch of “cowards,” comparable to Army deserters.
“What kind of representative democracy have we become when elected officials run from executing their prescribed duties?” West said in a weekly newsletter to constituents and fans that begins, “Dear Patriot.”
“In the military we have General Order number one: ‘I shall not leave my appointed place of duty or post until properly relieved,'” said West, a retired Army lieutenant colonel. “If a leader takes off, we call it ‘desertion.’ What manner of person runs and hides instead of making a stand, making a decision?”