Thursday, October 08, 2009

Bishop Calls Senate Obstruction on the Budget "The Will of the People"

Ignore last year's election that saw the House pick up nine Democratic seats for a 67-43 advantage - the biggest Dem margin since 1980. Ignore the 2006 election, where Democrats actually picked up over 300,000 more votes than Republicans for our state Senate. Election results don't matter to Mike Bishop. Ignore the recent polls where a strong majority of the voters say that say the budget should be fixed with a combination of cuts and tax increases. Polls don't matter to Mike Bishop, either.

No, the only thing that matters to Mike Bishop is Mike Bishop. His pathological conservative narcissism and arrogance dictates that he will be "the decider" when it comes to our budget problems. Paul Krugman just this week described the condition...

"Yet conservatives retain their belief that they, and only they, should govern"

... and nowhere is that more apparent than our Senate under the leadership of Mike Bishop.

Bishop tells MIRS yesterday that the revenue moved in the House is DOA, and that he will drag this process out for as long as he possibly can by bottling it up in committee.

Bishop said bills would not be discharged on the floor, but would go through the committee process with "lots of testimony" from interest groups. He said the House didn't take very much time with the legislation. When asked what would happen if the bills didn't make it out of committee, he said that would be "the will of the people."

Doesn't matter that Dillon believes he has votes from "as many as four" Republican Senators, Roger Khan even being named on record, as supporting the 3% levy on doctors. Ignore all that. Bishop is claiming that there is "not a single vote" for revenue in the Senate, even though there is direct evidence to the contrary, and he even goes as far as to speak for the Senate Democrats on the matter.

He said there were not likely any Senate Republicans who would vote for new revenues and he questioned how many Democrats in the chamber would support the proposals. Still, one Republican, Sen. Roger Kahn of Saginaw Township, supports a tax on physicians as a way of generating federal money for Medicaid.

"She's got members of her own Senate Democrats who don't support her plan," Mr. Bishop said of Governor Jennifer Granholm, who has urged additional revenues as part of the budget.

Ignore the fact that the Senate Democrats have said over and over and over that they do not support the all-cuts budget and have solid ideas about raising revenue, once again, this all comes back to Bishop's Own Private Idaho, his never-ending power struggle with Governor Granholm. Bishop believes that he, and only he, should govern, and now he's going to prove it.

Yesterday, the Senate Democrats tried to pop the already agreed-upon budget bills that are now being held hostage by Bishop, and predictably, the attempt was shot down on party lines. The Detroit Free Press is characterizing Bishop's actions as "disrespect for the office" of the governor, and is on to the increasingly apparent obstructionist tactic of running out the clock to perhaps bring about another shut down. Bishop will ignore all of that as he continues to make demands that the governor bend to his will.

Mr. Bishop said the bills would move as soon as Ms. Granholm indicated she had read them and explained her objections. "She's going to tell me what she thinks about the budgets and we'll work on what she raises," he said.

Ignore the fact that this is not how the process works. Ignore the fact that the governor has repeatedly said the cuts go too far, and put her plans on the table way back in February, and again in the beginning of August. Ignore the fact that Bishop and Dillon pranced around and bragged about how they had shut her out of this process; how they promised they would have the budget done on time. Ignore everything they have previously said, and ignore that it all crashed and burned to the ground as neither of them could move all the budgets through their own chambers - and that fact alone was "the will of the people", speaking loud and clear.

This is all about Mike Bishop, and now he is going to pass this off as being "the will of the people" as he shrugs his shoulders and walks away from taking any responsibility for his part in the process. The K-12 continuation is supposed to move today, but it was supposed to move yesterday, and the day before as well, so it's anyone's guess at this point as to what is going to happen next.

Whatever it is, it won't be "the will of the people". It will be the "will of Mike Bishop".

And no matter what he says, he will own the consequences - but the people of Michigan will ultimately pay the price.