Mitch Daniels is a Horse’s Patoot (Part of an Ongoing Series)

Last week, the Indiana State House Democrats did something really cool—they left the House floor shortly after the chamber convened and refused to return to vote on pending legislation.
Democrats, upset about several bills they consider partisan power grabs, left the House floor shortly after the chamber convened Tuesday and didn't return to vote on pending legislation. Republicans have a 52-48 majority in the House, but at least 67 members need to be present to conduct business.

House Democrats said they had legitimate, philosophical reasons for blocking votes on bills before Tuesday's midnight deadline to advance the bills to the Senate. Among the bills derailed by the tactic was a provision to put all of Indiana on daylight-saving time.

[House Minority Leader Pat Bauer] was ill Wednesday and wasn't at a press conference held by House Democrats. But Rep. Russ Stillwell, D-Boonville, said Democrats had exercised their rights as the minority and representing their constituents.

"I'm offended that some people would call the leader of the Democrat caucus certain things when it's absolutely not true," Stillwell said. "Pat Bauer has served the state of Indiana admirably for 30 years."
So who exactly was calling Bauer “certain things” that aren’t true? Governor Mitch Daniels, of course:
Daniels also took a swipe at House Minority Leader Pat Bauer, calling him a "throwback politician" who would put his party over jobs and reform.

"If you want to know why Indiana's economy fell behind, why state government is broke, broken, and awash in scandal, just look at Mr. Bauer," Daniels said.
With a solidly Republican-majority State government, it’s amazing that all of Indiana’s problems come down to the House Minority Leader, isn’t it? I think that maybe the solution to our problems in Indy might be passing a bill that takes all that power away from Pat Bauer and gives some of it back to the statehouse!

But back to the legislation that prompted such a reaction from the Dems, which included, as an example:
a bill giving Daniels' inspector general power to prosecute government crimes when local prosecutors fail to file charges are among Daniels' top priorities.

Daniels said the inspector general bill is needed to help root out government corruption, but House Democrats say it would give the governor unprecedented power to stage partisan witch hunts.
I can’t begin to imagine why Hoosier Dems might feel their GOP governor might be interested in partisan witch hunts. I mean, he never acts like a raging paranoiac and always speaks respectfully of his opposition:
Daniels, reading a prepared statement at the Statehouse, said he believed Tuesday's floor boycott was planned from the start of the session.


The governor said it was hard for him to understand why House Democrats didn't have "the courage or conscience to stay at work" when Bauer led them off the floor.

"I guess they were just following orders," Daniels said. "I'm embarrassed for them, but it was their choice."
I’m not embarrassed for them; I’m proud of them. Way to go, Dems!

What I do find embarrassing, however, is my governor’s insistence on being an unadulterated jackass. You see, I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet. Daniels, aka Pouty McPouterson, was so unhappy with the Dems for not directly and utterly complying with his partisan agenda that dignified discourse just wouldn’t suffice. Instead, Daniels, in a prepared statement to the media, said:
"Indiana's drive for growth and reform was car bombed yesterday by the Indiana House minority. "
Car bombed. Car bombed! That’s right. They’re terrorists.

I once questioned the wisdom of turning “terrorist” into a catch-all phrase invoked to denigrate anyone with whom one disagrees. Since the, the practice has only proliferated, with Bill O’Reilly referring to the ACLU as terrorists being the most public recent example. And as despicable and inexcusable as I find O’Reilly’s bloviations, I am more dismayed by a state governor who utilizes the same repellent tactic.

It’s divisive, at a time when the last thing we need is even more discordance; it’s unproductive; it’s small-minded and spiteful; and, most importantly, reducing something as heinous as a car bombing to a political metaphor is insulting to our troops who have been maimed by real car bombings, and to the families of troops who have been killed by them.

Support the troops ought to, by any reasonable interpretation, also include showing them a little respect, too.

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