Democrats Offer “Responsible Alternative” to Special Session Bill They Haven’t Even Seen Yet


The Democrats have announced that they will be announcing a “reasonable alternative” to the Republican plan for the special session Governor Jack Dalrymple called next month.

That would be a “reasonable alternative” to something the Republicans haven’t even made public yet.

If you needed evidence that North Dakota’s thoroughly-marginalized and mostly irrelevant Democrats are interested less in working with Republicans to produce sound public policy than scoring cheap political points through media stunts, here it is:

Democrats will release their plan at a press conference Thursday morning in Fargo. Leaders said they wanted to make it public as early as possible to keep citizens informed of what will be proposed in the special session.

Without knowing what the GOP plan is, “This is a responsible alternative to what might happen, and it really keeps a lot of promises and protects a lot of families across the state,” said House Minority Leader Kenton Onstad, D-Parshall.

To be sure, there isn’t a thing wrong with Democrats announcing a plan for the special session. They have their priorities for the budget, and those priorities differ a great deal from those of Republicans.

But this planned press conference – held not in Bismarck where the legislating actually happens but in Fargo where Democrats are focusing the bulk of their legislative campaigning – is about painting Republicans as being insensitive, cold-hearted budget cutters even before Democrats know the specifics of what Republicans might actually want to cut.

Democrats characterize their plan as a “responsible alternative.” Meaning, I guess, that whatever Republicans will propose will be…irresponsible?

This sort of manipulative gamesmanship is why people are sick of politicians.