Democrats Please Spare Us The Bellyaching Over Reconvened Legislative Session


I’ve been pretty clear in my criticism of Republicans over the impasse on the Public Employees Retirement System budget which has led to a reconvened Legislative session for the first time in state history. What happened with the House choosing to adjourn itself rather than continue negotiations with the Senate over differences on the PERS budget – differences which, frankly, don’t seem all that compelling – was flat-out embarrassing.

Republicans are trying to put a fine spin on the reconvened session – yesterday Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner pointed out that this may have actually saved the taxpayers some money, I’ll let you decide if you believe that or not – but there’s no question that this has undermined the public’s perception of their competence.

Democrats have been critical of this debacle, and they’re right to be, but do you think they could maybe spare us some of the histrionics? Case in point, consider this tweet from Senator Phil Murphy who is apparently bored with the proceedings happening this morning in Bismarck.

All due respect to Senator Murphy, but isn’t this the status quo for Democrats in the Legislature all the time?

Democrats like to carp about the “supermajority” Republicans, but the reason why Republicans in North Dakota are in the supermajority is that North Dakotans aren’t voting for Democrats.

It would be refreshing to hear partisan Democrats acknowledge from time to time, when they’re busy throwing rocks at Republicans from the sidelines, that the voters have basically relieved them of any duty to actually govern. It’s easy to act superior, and to play the Monday morning quarterback with 20/20 hindsight, when you don’t actually have to really do anything.

“We’re human beings,” Wardner told me during a radio interview yesterday. “We disagree. The Republican party doesn’t fall lockstep. We’re a diverse group.”

A diverse group that, by dint of their supermajority status, has to actually make decisions.