We’re now watching, sadly, a perfect example of how the game of government is played in the United States. It follows a standard pattern that is repeated over and over again, and yet the Democrats don’t seem to get it.
Step 1: The Republican claim there is an armageddon coming if we don’t solve some non-threatening or non-vital problem that offends their partisan positions. In this case it was the fact that workers for the state and local governments in New Jersey were getting paid a good wage and solid benefits package for doing their jobs.
Step 2: Some idiot Democrat decides that the best way to seem like a “serious thinker” and “bipartisan reach across the aisle” statesman takes up the mantle and starts hammering the issue. Nationally this is Joe Lieberman’s job. Here at home we have Steve Sweeney and the Adubatos.
Step 3: The media lauds the aforementioned idiot Democrat for being serious, and the GOP moves the goalposts even farther right. The idiot Democrat follows in the hopes of more plaudits. In this case, legislation to cut pensions and benefits without even attempting to go to the bargaining table.
Step 4: The entire Republican caucus votes to support the now far right bill, along with the idiot Democrat and some of his fellow suckers. The bill becomes law, and the media lauds all these Republicans and Democratic suckers heroes of the world! See pension and benefits bill.
Step 5: The Democratic suckers come up with a simple and positive plan that will do something good, and look forward to Republicans following through with good will from the bipartisan reach-around they just had. At the least the Republicans will leave something for the Dems! In this case, the Dems put up a budget more than $3 billion less than the 2006 budget, which included items that would help make New Jersey healthier and more successful. Sweeney expected Christie to at least negotiate (ha, we don’t bargain anymore, Steve!) any line item vetoes.
Step 6: The Republicans pull a switcheroo, and refuse to even consider the Democratic suckers program, providing no bipartisan cover and slapping Democrats around publicly. In this case the abuse lamped on the budget, and Christie’s abusive and arrogant use of the line item veto to take out pretty much any dollar that helps people.
Step 7: The Democratic suckers are shocked, shocked that the Republicans could be so cold and callous. The Democratic suckers cry foul, and suggest that they were betrayed. See Sweeney with NJ.com and Adubato.
Step 8: The Democratic suckers can’t believe that their base, working class and liberal Democrats, are mad at them and not the Republicans. It’s the GOP that was mendacious — the Democratic suckers were innocent dupes of those meanies. See FirstAmend07.
Step 9: There is no step 9. The Democratic suckers just forget that steps 1-8 happened and then line up to get screwed over again on the next issue. Wait a few months and we’ll see what that is.