A bad day for the Republican Party…

…is a good day for democracy in America! Attaturk summarized the carnage at FireDogLake:

  • Ohio voters reject Issue 2, thus conserving collective bargaining rights of public sector unions in Ohio and thereby embarrassing Governor Kasich.
  • Mississippi’s voters soundly defeated Amendment 26, the so-called the personhood initiative.
  • Maine voters voted overwhelmingly for Question 1, thus restoring same-day election registration in Maine.
  • Arizona voters opted to recall State Senator Russell Pearce, a Republican and the author of Arizona SB 1070, the notorious Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act.
  • Iowa voters elected Democrat Liz Mathis to the State Senate, a result which retained a 26-24 pro Democrat split in the Senate and which undermined Iowa’s Republican Governor’s ability to pursue his arch-conservative agenda.

Legitimacy be damned

Mary Spicuzza and Clay Barbour of The Wisconsin State Journal report:

In a surprise move late Wednesday, Senate Republicans used a series of parliamentary maneuvers to overcome a three-week stalemate with Democrats and pass an amended version of the governor’s controversial budget repair bill.

With a crowd of protesters chanting outside their chambers, Senators approved an amended version of Gov. Scott Walker’s bill, which would strip most collective bargaining rights from public employees.

The new bill removes fiscal elements of the proposal but still curbs collective bargaining and increases employee payments in pension and health benefits. The changes would amount to an approximate 8 percent pay cut for public workers.

The House will pass the amended bill tomorrow. But the law will likely need to pass a number of legal and political tests. These tests may include: A general strike, new demonstrations and multiple legal challenges based upon the legally suspect parliamentary maneuvering that enabled the Senate to overcome the quorum problem created by the Democrats.

This event also reveals with undeniable clarity Wisconsin Republicans to be shameless hypocrites. It shows that the union-busting component of Walker’s Budget Repair Bill was a non-fiscal and decidedly political goal.

Rick Santorum supports Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin

Governor Walker recently proposed an austerity budget for the state of Wisconsin, one which quickly generated demonstrations protesting the proposal’s attempt to strip some of Wisconsin’s public employees of their collective bargaining rights. The viciousness of Walker’s budget along with the strength of the opposition put Republican legislators on the defensive while Democratic Senators used the occasion to flee the state for Illinois, doing so in order to deprive Walker and the Republicans of a Senate quorum. Walker recently claimed that he and his party would stand firm while also claiming that his budget would leave these collective bargaining rights intact, a claim debunked here. Rick Santorum does not mind Wisconsin’s efforts to strip some Wisconsin citizens of their rights. He instead

“… commend[s] Governor Walker for having the fortitude to stand up against the fiscal irresponsibility that is plaguing our country. He is showing tremendous courage to put an end to spending that his state and many like his can simply no longer afford,” Santorum stated. “Americans are looking for this kind of commitment to fiscal responsibility in Washington and in state houses across the country.”

Why would Santorum fail to support Walker’s union-busting work? For Santorum and the rest of the Republican Party, it’s crude class war all day, every day. It’s what the Republicans do.