First lady Michelle Obama said, "Let's Move!" Who knew Democratic politicians in Wisconsin and Indiana would take her literally?
Faced with stifling debt, bloated pensions and intractable government unions, liberal Midwestern legislators have fled those states — paralyzing Republican fiscal reform efforts. Like Monty Python's Brave Sir Robin and his band of quivering knights, these elected officials have only one plan when confronted with political hardship or economic peril: Run away, run away, run away.
Scores of Fleebagger Democrats are now in hiding in neighboring Illinois, the nation's sanctuary for political crooks and corruptocrats. Soon, area hotels will be announcing a special discount rate for card-carrying FleePAC winter convention registrants. Question: Will the White House count the economic stimulus from the mass Democratic exodus to Illinois as jobs "saved" or "created"? More important question: How much are taxpayers being charged for these obstructionist vacations?
Voters have spoken: In Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and across the heartland, they put Republican adults in charge of cleaning up profligate Democrat-engineered messes. Instead of defending their same old tax-hiking, union-protecting, spending-addicted ways, Democrats are crossing their state borders into big government sanctuary zones — screaming "la, la, la, we can't hear you" all the way.
Wisconsin Democrats warned that their delinquent members — evading state troopers and literally phoning it in — could be gone "for weeks" to prevent a quorum on GOP Gov. Scott Walker's modest plan to increase public union workers' health insurance and pension contributions, end the compulsory union dues racket and rein in collective bargaining powers run amok.
Big Labor insists its intransigence isn't about money, but about "rights." But the dispute is about nothing but money and power — the union's power to dictate and limit its members' health insurance choices to a lucrative union-run plan, for example, which adds nearly $70 million in unnecessary taxpayer costs.
On Tuesday, only three of 40 House Democrats in Indiana showed up for legislative debate on a similar bill to end forced unionism and join 22 other "right to work" states. Hoosier media reported that some of the fugitive pols may be headed to Kentucky in addition to President Obama's old political stomping grounds.
The White House and Beltway Democrats have paved the way for subverting deliberative democracy, of course. If only Republicans in Wisconsin and Indiana had followed the Obama/Pelosi/Reid model and rammed their behind-closed-doors-crafted legislative agenda through in the middle of the night on a holiday weekend, the Fleebaggers wouldn't be on the lam today. But GOP legislators just don't roll that way. It's Democrats who cut and run — abroad in wartime and at home in crisis.
Almost eight years ago, more than 50 Texas Democratic state lawmakers holed up in Oklahoma and New Mexico for weeks to stymie a vote on Republican-sponsored redistricting plans they opposed. Over the past week, it was thousands of public school teachers in Wisconsin who faked illness and boycotted their classrooms. And it's union henchmen calling out loud for statewide strikes to bring Republican reformers to their knees.
The Party of Truancy has become a laughingstock — and Americans aren't waiting for left-wing late-night comedians to bring down the hammer of well-earned mockery. The Internet has lit up over the past week with "Wanted" posters and all-points-bulletin alerts for missing Democrats.
Blogger John Hayward of the conservative Human Events newspaper joked that "the next issue of National Geographic will track the migratory patterns of fugitive Democrats across the great plains." Seton Motley of the Washington, D.C.-based Media Research Center weighed in: "First, Wisconsin. Now, Indiana. When we said 'runaway government,' it was a complaint — not a suggestion." Comedian Stephen Kruiser snickered that OFA — the Democrats' political organizing arm, Organizing for America — now stands for "Organizing Fleeing Americans."
Note: Many of the loudest Washington and Hollywood critics of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's decision to resign from office in 2009 are themselves now AWOL on the Wisconsin and Indiana AWOL-ians. Who's all for mocking "quitters" now? Anyone?
One mortified Wisconsin taxpayer speaks for many. "As the daughter of former Wisconsin Senate Minority Floor Leader William R. Moser (D-Milwaukee, Dist. 6)," Mary Magdalen Moser told me, she's humiliated by the "flee-bagging" politicians. "I am ashamed of the actions taken by the minority party to subvert our system of government by boycotting its legitimate processes. Anarchy is undemocratic, and I know that my Dad is spinning in his grave right now. ... I do not support refusing to participate, because that will not solve any of the issues facing our state."
Remember the 2008 Democratic Party chant: "Fired up! Ready to go!" Well, there's a new Democratic Party motto in town: "Ready to go? OK, then, let's blow this pop stand!" It's difficult to see how Obama and his absconder allies can "win the future" when they're stampeding over each other to escape the present.
Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies" (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.