Promoted by Rosi Efthim
One of the great influences of my life was my maternal grandfather, a WW2 POW who was fond of saying things like, “Lead, follow, or get the Hell out of the way.” There are a lot of things that people can say about me, both good and ill, but no one can ever say that I didn’t take those words to heart. So much so that I simply abhor anyone whose primary purpose in life seems to be the obfuscation of progress.
The national Republican Party is often derided as being “The Party of No” – and rightly so – but what then do we say about the New Jersey Democrats? Even as a report on the insanity of Bergen County’s Sherrif’s Department the Bergen County Freeholder Democrats were busy voting as a bloc against pay-to-play bans. Meanwhile, every level of government that impacts the daily lives of Bergen County residents is being cut to the bone.
This level of political chutzpah rivals that of Richard Nixon telling David Frost that “there are some things that, when the President does them, they are not illegal.”
Then I saw this article out of the corner of my eye. You’d think a budget deal would be front-page news. After all, there is no more high profile issue than the state budget. But then I read this part:
The deal would also entail a legislative maneuver placing responsibility for the budget on Republican lawmakers, a rare move with Democrats controlling both houses of the Legislature.
Yes, that Democratic majority some of us worked so hard to maintain is being forfeit. Our legislative leadership is leading by retreating from responsibility.
“It’s a Republican governor, and some people really dislike the bill so much, some people feel Republicans should sponsor the budget based on how bad it is,” Sweeney said. “We have a responsibility to pass a budget. Unfortunately, we have to provide votes for this budget. That doesn’t mean we like it or agree with it.”
Well, why the Hell did he want to run the freaking Senate? Honestly. Why? The entire reason of having control is to shape the bills that go through the legislature, and there is no more important bill than the budget. So why just abdicate responsibility for doing so?
The thinking is pretty obvious – they want to hang this budget like an albatross around the necks of Republicans. It’s a stupid plan. It depends entirely on a disengaged population drawing a very fine line of responsibility on a process most of them don’t understand and never actually follow. This budget will be a “Democratic budget” because Democrats have the opportunity to write it – whether they live up to their responsibility to lead or not.
It’s just this sort of idiocy that led me to leave the Democratic Party. I remain a devoted Progressive and it pains me to see those who wear our mantel abdicate their powers to use government for the general welfare and public good. I’m simply disgusted that anyone could vote against a pay-to-play ban – and am flabbergasted that someone living in the remnants of Boss Joe’s Club can’t see the evils of such a system. That a legislative majority would turn over the power of the purse-strings to a party that has been rejected soundly by the people of the state is beyond idiocy.