Thursday, November 3, 2011

Brooding Batchelder: you ain't seen nothin' yet

AS YOU MIGHT NOTICE in this Columbus Dispatch photo, Ohio House Speaker Bill Batchelder is not having one of his happier moments. Indeed, he is so sore about the failure of the GOP's redistricting plan to survive a required two-thirds House vote to suspend the rules that he has resorted to doing the John Kasich Rumble. If the Democratic lawmakers don't show up on his dance card, he warns, he will deliver an even more bizarre plan for them to swallow. (I'm still predicting that my place in Fairlawn will be linked to Toronto or Gary, Ind.) That will show the D's who is boss in the General Assembly these days! Such threats by the majority party troops have become increasingly common during the Kasich Era, in which the governor once declared that his critics will be run over by the bus. Kasich may be wise to reconsider such threats now that the bus is heading into his own path. Still, he is telling reporters who ask about his plans if Senate Bill 5, the one restricting public unions, is thrown out on Tuesday: "I never think ahead." That goes without saying, Guv.

As for Batchelder, what has happened to the guy who once displayed a great sense of humor with a long history of political service. In his role now as House speaker has it betrayed the nasty and illogical side that has always been muted? Whatever, can we ever take him seriously, even as the neighborhood bully?

And I'm not the only one who remembers the other Batchelder.


David Hess said...

Being unfamiliar with the "other Batchelder," I'm reluctant to pass judgment on his tactics. But his peremptory threats and bullying bring to mind the days of then-Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas), later charged with illegal funneling of campaign contributions to help rig the redistricting of his state's congressional seats, who ran the U.S. House with a bull-in-the-China-shop manner that eventually led to such disenchantment among voters that Democrats regained control of the body. One of DeLay's ukases denied Democratic members any say in parceling out local earmarks (otherwise known as pork) for their districts. The effect of this, of course, was to deny citizens in those districts -- Republicans as well as Democrats -- their small shares of the benefits financed by the taxes they pay to the federal government. Some call it collateral damage, but petty despots could care less about that.

JLM said...

Perhaps Mr. Batchelder will, like Tom(The Hammer)DeLay, end up as a contestant on "Dancing With The Stars".Quite the distinguished career ending, not discounting his felony conviction for money laundering.