Saturday, August 08, 2009

Mike Bishop: "If We Turn Into An Angry Mob, So Be It"

Oh, this is just beautiful. Mike Bishop is embracing the astroturf wingnut town hall disruptions and applying them to the state budget talks.

"I would suggest that everybody go back and read the Declaration of Independence," Bishop told Frank Beckmann this morning on WJR AM-760 in Detroit. "The kind of reaction that you're getting from the public out there was envisioned by our forefathers. And it's our responsibility to let the public know and to let our elected officials know how we feel about things."

By shouting down others at town halls for the sole purpose of shutting down free speech? Well, Bishop knows a little something about that, doesn't he? That what our founding fathers had in mind, drowning out other points of view in screaming matches? Should we threaten our elected officials with violence? That a good thing, Mike?

Rational discourse is fine. What is going on out there is not "discussing the issues", it is a mob that has been whipped up by Republican lies on health care and they threaten to turn violent at the drop of a hat.

And this guy wants to be your Attorney General.

Now, he has taken to encouraging this behavior over the state budget.

While Bishop took exception to the "angry mob" characterization, he did say such a scene could replicate itself if Governor Granholm moves forward with a proposal she's floated in closed-door sessions to increase taxes on beer, cigarettes and soda pop.

Bishop said the Michigan Senate has made public their budget proposal — which does not include new taxes - and Granholm should do the same.

"If she's going to rely on a proposal that includes tax increases she needs to let the public know that so that we can speak out, and if we turn into an 'angry mob,' so be it.

Really. Well, if anyone gets hurt over this - the blood will be on Mike Bishop's hands.

And here is the kicker. In response to the proposed cuts to human services, Bishop admitted this week that the Republicans don't want to make these drastic budget cuts. If that is the case, a revenue source must be found, right? Of course it must, but he wants to pin it on the Democrats, and we can play 2007 all over again. From MIRS-

Senate Majority Leader Mike BISHOP (R-Rochester) said, "I sympathize with their concerns. All of us, Republicans and Democrats, don't want to make these cuts. It's not like we enjoy them."

Maybe Skubick is right about this headed towards another shutdown. He plays "what if" today better than any blogger ever could.

Fast forward to the present. Cherry, indeed, is running for governor… and wouldn’t it be lovely if Bishop could maneuver Cherry back into the same corner, at the 11th hour, to vote for another tax hike?

Waiting until the very end also creates more of a crisis atmosphere, which gives Republicans an “excuse” for supporting the tax hike, too. By delaying, those Rs can go home and explain, “Lookit, I had to back the tax to avoid a government shutdown. You wanted to get your unemployment check, didn’t you?”

Plausible. And when you combine it with this new "angry mob" rhetoric that is coming from the Senate Republican leadership, it's really hard to see how any budget solution can be reached anytime soon.

So be it. But let's be clear about who doesn't care if the public turns into an "angry mob", and stop and think about having that person in any position of power.