Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Dillon to quit politics?

MIRS is reporting tonight that Andy isn't having a good time down in the world of rough and tumble and insanity that is Lansing. Dillon was on the Paul W. Smith show on WJR this morning and had this to say to the question as to whether or not he wanted to run for governor-

"I'll tell you Paul W. I'm not too excited with this government stuff," Dillon said. "I enjoyed participating in the fix of this problem, but I miss my family and I don't see them enough. And I don't expect I'll stay in this public service role for much longer."

Smith asked Dillon if he was making some sort of an announcement

"No I decided I'm not going to think about that during this crisis," Dillon said. "I wanted to make decisions I think were right I have not enjoyed it that much, I will see the job through, but something would have to change (for him to reconsider)."

You get the impression he really didn't know what this was all about- and if so, I have to wonder about the people around him who didn't bother to tell him what he was up against.

Smith asked the Speaker if he was disheartened.

Dillon answered that he thought a crisis of the magnitude of the state's solvency would have caused "people to put partisanship aside. Instead he said it was viewed as "just an opportunity to get in a recall battle so they can get power back."

And as far as the all the failed votes in the House? Dillon says he was trying to force the Senate into movement on a solution, but he wasn't going to expose vulnerable members if the vote wasn't going to be part of the overall deal.

"I wasn't going to force someone to vote on something that was going to die in the Senate and they were going to get recalled for a vote that wasn't part of the solution," Dillon explained.

Don't see how a recall would work on a vote that wouldn't have counted had it died in the Senate, but I guess we will have to agree to disagree on the overall strategy displayed here.

A few minutes later he said that he'd discovered that "unless you have that shutdown threat pressure facing you you're not going to make that tough vote."

In the end, they were more afraid of being blamed for a shutdown than they were of making those tough votes. That fear that was driving this whole process worked in our favor for a change- any sort of prolonged shutdown would have been disastrous for this state, and the lawmakers would have shouldered the blame. And they knew it.

One thing is for certain- the Democrats need some direction as far as talking points and strategy go. Perhaps Dillon wouldn't have had such a hard time if the party itself had a more cohesive message and had helped him out from the start way back in the spring. Sounds to me like the guy was getting bad advice- and it showed. Here is Peter Luke on the state of things in Lansing-

To lure GOP votes, Democrats offered to carve some $90 million annually out of an income tax increase for those lower-spending districts. Larger schools represented by Republicans would have gained $500,000 or more in the deal.

Yet those GOP lawmakers were pressured to follow an anti-tax party line. They were told to vote their party, not their districts, even if meant outright fiscal punishment to their communities.

Hey, anything to preserve the Republican "brand".

At least the GOP has one.

Given procrastination by Democratic lawmakers, it's unlikely that a tax fix for the 2008 budget will reverse the course Michigan is on to become a low-service state, something Democrats presumably oppose.

Democrats need to get it together. They need to decide who they are and what they stand for, and use that to face down the extremists that run the Republican Party in this state. "We're not the Republicans" is not a good tactic in negotiations such as budget conflicts, and pretty soon it will fail as a strategy in election politics. George Bush won't be there forever.

In the end, Dillon did move those votes, he did do the job, he did kick it over to the Senate, and we have to thank him for that.

So, thank you, Speaker Dillon. Sorry we gave you such a rough time- but remember, some of us were out here watching the very thing that you now want to get away from, and it wasn't pretty. What were we supposed to do, yell at Tobocman? ;-)

Whatever the Speaker decides, wish him the best. He is a pretty thoughtful and intelligent guy, and should be successful in whatever field he chooses- and if he decides to stay in politics, he will be that much stronger for the experience that he just went through.

Keep that in mind, Andy.