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Friday, November 19, 2010

Bosma Misinterprets the Voters' Message in Indiana

Earlier this month, Indiana voters, along with voters in nearly every other state, gave the power to run government back to Republicans.

Earlier this week, new Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma gave some of that power back to Democrats by appointing two Democrats to committee chairmanships.

Bosma indicated that he believed voters had sent the message, "You've got to do it better. You have to end the partisan bickering. You have to end the overreaching and work together."

He then announced, apparently in the spirit of bipartisanship, that he was appointing Rep. Chet Dobis, D-Merrillville, to head a new committee charged with finding ways to cut government regulations, boards, and commissions; and Rep. Steve Stemler, D-Jeffersonville, to head the committee on commerce, small business, and economic development.

I’ll disregard for now the irony of appointing Democrats to be responsible for tasks such as cutting government size and developing small business.  What really concerns me, though, is Bosma’s interpretation of the election results.

Voters did not give Republicans control so that they could then hand power back to Democrats. We did not give Republicans control because we’re interested in bipartisanship. We gave Republicans control because we’re tired of the liberal policies of the Democrat Party. We gave Republicans control because we want conservatives writing and passing conservative legislation.

Does Brian Bosma really believe that this gesture of bipartisanship will be reciprocated by the Democrats? In 1775 Patrick Henry was addressing the Virginia Convention, arguing the need to prepare for war against Great Britain. Some of those in attendance were of the belief that reconciliation with the British was still possible. To those, Henry said this: “I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House.” Let me modify Henry’s statement to say, “I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the Democrat Party for the last ten years to justify those hopes for bipartisanship with which Republicans have been pleased to solace themselves.”

Democrats have not shown themselves willing to work with Republicans. Their idea of bipartisanship is Republicans moving to the left. Bosma’s gesture of goodwill in appointing Democrats to head two committees has already been met with scorn from House Minority Leader Pat Bauer, D- South Bend. Bauer called the move “an olive branch with thorns” and suggested that it was really a contrivance designed to make Democrats share in criticism that could result from difficult fiscal decisions that will need to be made. Bauer also expressed the sentiment that he, not Bosma, should have selected the chairmen from the Democrat caucus. He even made the contemptuous comment that Bosma apparently didn't think any Republicans were up to the job of handling economic development.

What will it take for Republicans to learn that Democrats are not interested in bipartisanship? What will it take for Republicans to learn that the voters who put them in power are not interested in them giving that power away? On November 2nd the people spoke loudly and clearly. The message to the Democrats was that we didn’t like the direction our state and our country were headed, and that we were holding them responsible. Republicans should have no doubt that voters will likewise hold them responsible if they do not govern as we have elected them to do. Representative Bosma needs to rethink his understanding of the message the voters have sent.

6 Comments:

Blogger SkyePuppy said...

I don't even live in Indiana, and that frustrates me! Too many namby-pamby, let's-make-nice, country club Republicans are missing too many things: They're missing the point, for starters. And they haven't got a clue or a spine or a grip on reality or a finger on the pulse of their constituents.

Aaaargh!

1:44 PM  
Blogger Bryan Alexander said...

It is frustrating and maddening. But I hope we won't let them get by with this anymore.

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Democrats have not shown themselves willing to work with Republicans. Their idea of bipartisanship is Republicans moving to the left."

What I find to be a bit humorous about your comment is that the GOP is no better when it comes to them being in power. The GOP is, and has been notorious of committing the same heinous acts that you are now accusing the Democratic Party of.....nice try though. ~Operation: Blue Citizen~

8:25 PM  
Blogger Bryan Alexander said...

Anonymous,
The whole political spectrum in this country has been moving left. If John Kennedy were alive today and if he maintained the same political ideology that he had in 1960, he would be a Republican now. Of course, I know he wouldn't actually switch parties, but as far as ideology, that's where he would be. Ronald Reagan famously said, "I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. The Party left me." Democrats have moved further and further to the left, and too many Republicans have been following them in that direction. If you think that the GOP has refused to reach across the aisle, you're entitled to your opinion, but I maintain that the Republicans have moved left, both on ideology and on individual issues, far more than Democrats would even think about moving right. Having said that, as a conservative, I don't think that's a good thing. I actually give Democrats credit for not compromising with Republicans. I just wish our Party would learn to not compromise our principles.

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

However, there are many points in which MANY Democrats and Republicans are in one accord, and still there is the belief that there should an aisle of separation. I, for one, am a pro-life, pro-gun, smaller Government, lower taxes, and more personal freedoms kind of Democrat. Are you saying that if you and I were in a legislative Chamber somewhere that we could not work together on an issue we hold in common; or would you break rank with the GOP, supporting me in a bill that was in the best interests of the general public?

~Operation: Blue Citizen~

11:37 PM  
Blogger Bryan Alexander said...

If you are pro-life and believe in smaller government, lower taxes, and more personal freedoms, then we could certainly work together on many issues. My only question would be if you believe in all of these things, then why are you a Democrat? You don't have to answer if you don't want to, but that is something I have never understood. I know that there are other Democrats who say that they hold these views, but the philosophy of the Party certainly does not advance these views.

8:46 AM  

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