Everywhere a liberal / Democrat / progressive looks, you see evidence of seething anger at Governor Snyder and his allies. Planning for demonstrations has put holiday preparations on hold in thousands of Michigan households. The legislature – none too functional on its best days – has reached new depths of snakepitness. And soon there will be lawsuits, and appeals, and ever so many letters to the editor.
Let’s take a few steps back and think about the bigger picture, shall we?
The hard fact is this is a Democratic state with a Republican government. We take a majority of the statewide votes in almost every election, but we don’t control a damn thing. Not the governorship, the legislature, the courts, not even the A.G. or Secretary of State. In this great poker game, we’ve been dealt objectively better cards, and they win almost every hand. If this were strip poker, they’d be looking up “Good Will” on their smart phone, to see about donating our clothing.
But my purpose here isn’t to bemoan our failures, but to point out that we’re FAILING AGAIN. Instead of devoting our attention to making realistic plans to dig our way out of our hole, we seem to be completely fixated on standing in it and screaming curses at the guy who pushed us in. Our cursing doesn’t bother him; in fact, it makes him confident that we have no idea how to escape.
No demonstration at the Capitol is going to get them to discard Right-to-Work. No legislative maneuvering by our tiny contingent is going to slow it down. I may be mistaken, but I don’t think any legal action in a state court is going to do any lasting good either. (It’s conceivable Federal court may offer a better chance.) The only reason all these approaches are being taken up so loudly is that they’re so obvious; not because they make any sense. And the people who have been playing our cards prefer ideas that are obvious, without much concern for effectiveness.
Running Virg for governor was a real mistake. Even if we couldn’t win the main office, a stronger candidate at the top would have protected a number of senate and house seats – and we now see the Republicans don’t have many to spare. It would have been helpful to run an effective Coordinated Campaign, instead of relying on bloviation as a principal strategy. Framing our ballot questions so they were less subject to attack would have helped. It would have been nice if we had a plan for the 2010 reapportionment other than throwing a series of Hail Mary passes way downfield – and maybe we should have started in 2004.
Instead, we are howling at the moon, and the moon is smiling back at us.