On and by Heels of Right to Vote
2. Journalistic background to issue
WASHINGTON, DC. — Shouts of angry GOP legislator-protesters echo as elected officials collect at the Lincoln Memorial here. Even those raised severely Republican (regardless of present affiliation) showed up.
The GOP renegades protest the virtual requirement imposed by non-elected personalities that the legislators, House and Senate, sign a pledge opposing any form of new taxes anywhere, anywhy, anyhoo, for as long as they all shall live. Such pledge enhances the power of organized politics but reduces the power of morality, individual analysis and autonomy, the application of wisdom instead of the knee-jerk to legislative issues.
In the House, where Republicans hold a scientifically gerrymandered majority over Democrats, Republicans now fear the undiluted ire of constituents who are now packed like so many anchovies into the political tin of each district. In the words of one such legislator, who rode the anchovy wave to election and now fears she has cut off her own tongue in being prevented from objecting to the pledge, "We gerrymandered ourselves a pizza district made of all anchovies -- no crust, no tomato, no cheese, no (horrors) discretionary toppings -- and now we must eat it, or be primaried out of office. I want the right to vote as my analysis sees fit, considering of course my local anchovies and public secret funders filling my purse, but ultimately in balance with state and national needs. I refuse to let some anchovied pledge deprive me of my right to vote!"
GOP members offer legislation to enshrine the Right to Work, without applying the same standard to Right to Vote. Democratic members offer toxic amendments in order to kill off Republican Pledger Amendments, all resulting in further confusion as to who has the right to vote on what.
“We shouldn't be doing this in lame duck!" complained one Republican Pledger, but offering no alternative to the Blind Pledge; and not filing any action for committee meetings after all.
Streets in the Capitol are closing as Flash the Vote crowds gather at numerous other public buildings and memorials.
Democrats have denounced the Pledge Requirement measures, but Republicans say they intend to buttress the coercion against their members. This, they say, is proper even as they pursue measures in the States whereby another component of society, largely (not exclusively Democratic) Workers, who are already free not to join unions and pay dues unless they benefit from the work of those unions, are prevented from collectively bargaining in the first place.
"Bust them unions," read some pro-GOP so-called right-to-work signs. "No union fee required for employment," read others.
Yet, at the Lincoln Memorial, other Republicans hold similar signs that would hold the same standard to their own sphere of influence: signs that read, "Bust the Pledge." Or, No Pledge Required for Legislative Good Standing."
“You know, these so-called right-to-vote laws, they don’t have to do with ideology,” said one Democratic observer.“They have everything to do with politics. What they’re really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money.”
What is the larger battle over the role of outsider-pledges forcing compliance on pain of primarying? What is the legislator's constituency? Should any outsider, not eligible to vote in a district, have any undisclosed say- or-sway?
Tensions mount between those who support autonomy for me but not for thee; and whether, if benefits are received and enjoyed thanks to collective bargaining, then the recipient must pay for the enjoyment. Why even have another law, where the worker can already choose whether to benefit or not from the collective; pay the dues only if benefiting from them.
And so, the issue remains: who buys the legislature, who buys the governor, buys the legislation. Is that so?