In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Pass the Wet Noodle
Senate democrats and one lonely republican were part of an aborted coup last week, and this week the rebels got their punishment…a whack with a wet noodle. If the Senate GOP leader was trying to flex his muscles and send a strong message, he failed on both counts. Charles Atlas he ain't. Oakland County Senator Mike Bishop had a variety of punishment weapons in his tool chest, but he selected the weakest of the bunch. GOP Senator Bruce Patterson who sided with the democrats lost his vice chairmanship of one senate committee and was removed from another. Likewise for democratic Senators Mark Schauer and Gretchen Whitmer. They were bounced from committees as well. On a scale of one to ten, this was a minus 5. "It's important that we not have those types of things happen here. It doesn't reflect well on the body," Bishop meekly announced after dishing out the paybacks. Bishop had no choice. He had to do something to make sure the democrats and Patterson don't try to take control of the senate again, and maybe by using a velvet glove he was able to accomplish that goal without causing more problems. He gets the benefit of the doubt on his strategy. But if he was trying to beef up his image as a powerful, take no hostage-type leader, that message was not sent. As lobbyists have whispered in the hall outside the senate, Mr. Bishop is no John Engler. When Engler ran the senate years ago, if somebody tried to take power from him, the "guilty" parties would have been shaking in their boots. As for Patterson, Schauer, and Whitmer, all they need is a towel to wipe off the moisture from the wet noodle.