So much for the brief displays of civility that occurred on Tuesday. Sanctions were lifted against the Democratic Senators yesterday on the condition that the Dems not break quorum again between now and the next regular session in 2005, meaning that they are on probation. The Democrats reacted very strongly against this, arguing (correctly, in my view) that the sanctions had never been properly imposed in the first place and thus should have been completely dropped. They accused the Republicans of discrimination, a charge the Republicans naturally took offense to.
There's not much variation in the coverage, so I'm just going to link to it here, here, here, here, and here. While I think the sanctions are invalid and should have been dropped, I hope that the emphasis on this issue is also dropped by the Democrats. The focus should be on redistricting, not parking and postage, and the more that gets talked about, the less seriously the real issue will be taken. This Statesman editorial should be taken by the Democrats as a warning that they're losing their audience.
Tactically, I think the smart thing for the Democrats to do is to lay low and let the Republicans squabble over their incompatible maps. Let everyone realize that even after all this time and money has been spent on special sessions, the GOP still doesn't know what its goal actually is. The Democrats are not going to walk out again anyway, so the probationary aspect of the Republicans' action, distasteful as it is, doesn't really amount to anything. The issue is redistricting. Let's keep fighting against that.Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 19, 2003 to Killer D's | TrackBack