Super-Stepmom Or Super Prison Warden?
Fresh from last November's electoral debacle, it's no surprise that the few Democrats still holding office in Wisconsin would want to change their approach to governing. What is surprising though is that they're choosing to make themselves even less accountable to their constituents - and more accountable to their Madison masters.
Talk about clueless!
Kelda Helen Roys, a Madison liberal starting only her second two year term in the Legislature, was inexplicably selected to lead the Assembly Democratic caucus. Flush with her new power, Roys has circulated proposed rules which would (1) require members to respond to messages from their leaders promptly; (2) prohibit members from disagreeing with each other in public; (3) "rebuff Republican and media efforts to sow seeds of divisiveness in our caucus"; and (4) keep all caucus deliberations secret. The rules also specify how long the members can speak and set forth various limits on debate. In other words, toe the Party line as dictated by the Party bosses - or else!
Roys says that perhaps her "super-stepmom-self" came out when she drafted these rules. More likely, she was showing her "super-idiot-self" or her "inner super-prison warden self".
The larger point from this story though underscores how some Democrats in Wisconsin still don't get it.
Elected office holders should work for their constituents - not for their party bosses. If a Democratic representative disagrees with the legislative agenda that people like Roys are pushing, you would think that they should feel free to do so in public. Heck, some of them might even want to support Scott Walker occasionally as he tries to get Wisconsin's economy rolling.
The fact that so many politicians choose to blindly follow Jim Doyle and Democratic Party leadership as they walked off an electoral cliff over the last two years partially explains why the Party was routed in November. The fact that Roys and other Democrats in leadership think the solution to their electoral failures is to try to prevent independently elected Representatives from dissenting from the Party line shows how out of touch they remain.
With Democratic leaders like super-prison warden Roys, don't be surprised to see Republicans control Wisconsin for a decade.