D's Not Powerless
democrats on the process in the new year with the GOP in control of
The easy and yet misguided thing to do is to conclude they have
"virtually no power" as one observer noted the other day. On the
surface it does make sense: House Democrats no longer control that
body and have 43 instead of 67 votes. Things are even gloomier over in
the senate where the Democrats are down to an even dozen, not even a
baker's dozen. They have 12 lousy votes and can do nothing to
influence what the Republicans want to do other than hope the R's will
at least talk to them before using their 26 votes to do whatever they
darn well please.
But and there is always a "but" when it comes to the political game.
The new governor has advised that he wants Democrats to vote for
some of his programs and if that's so, Rick Snyder will have to give
them some reason to do so which in turn means he will have to
compromise and change some of his suggestions to meet their wishes.
Let him try that and see what the Republicans begin to mutter
either under their breath or in front of the cameras: "Hey, we have the
votes. Why do we need the Democrats? Let them go to (pick a location.)"
Then what does the bi-partisan governor do if segments of his own
party leave him high and dry?
That's where the Democrats suddenly become relevant.
There are a whole host of folks in this town that predict, the more
moderate appearing governor-elect will actually "need" Democratic votes
to implement some of his policies including budget cuts.
Let's take the cities in general and the City of Detroit
"I want to be a partner to Detroit," Mr. Snyder told audiences all
the state, including citizens who live beyond 8 Mile Road.
If being a partner includes shuffling some state tax dollars
inside of 8 Mile Road, how many out state GOPer's will sign up for
that? You can count them on no fingers.
Now all of a sudden those 43 House and 12 Senate Democrats are
relevant and anything but "virtually" powerless. And that could apply
to other issues as well..at least the D's hope so.