Let’s conduct a thought experiment. Suppose that you were the Speaker of the House of Representatives for the State of Missouri. Now suppose you were called on to decide whether you would bring House Bill No. 253 up for a vote in the veto session this fall. HB 253 is the tax cut bill that was overwhelmingly passed by the Missouri Legislature but vetoed by the Governor. It has been widely acclaimed by the Missouri GOP and conservative activists as a crucial move to stem the tide of growing government. If you were confronted with the possibility that some in your Party would vote on the bill to their detriment, how would you respond? Would you pull the bill back so that your Party members would not have to face the question? Or would you hold the members’ feet to the fire and bring the bill up for a vote no matter what? How you make that call reveals where your loyalties lie. They say a lot about your goals in politics. This is the call Speaker Tim Jones must make.
Before I proceed further, I must declare that I have no doubts that Tim Jones is a man of good faith. I am sure he is a man of good faith. That is not my concern. I prefer that he and all my readers consider their commitment to politics and their goals in the engagement in politics. This is not so much a call for judgment on Tim Jones as it is an attempt to adjust our thinking.
How you answer this question reveals much about your loyalties. If you decide that you would pull the bill if you believed that your Party would reveal a weakness on the issue of tax cuts, what does that say about your loyalty? It shows a loyalty to the Party. If you fear that a roll call vote on a tax cut bill will put some in your Party on record for a critical legislative issue and you want to hide that record, your loyalty is to the Party. If you decide that you will submit the bill to a vote no matter the outcome, you reveal to the voters how their elected officials think on critical issues no matter the Party. It reveals a loyalty to the people and their right to judge. We live in a culture that loves “transparency.” What better way to provide transparency than to subject the bill to a vote and show the voters how their elected officials think?
This is a hotly contested issue. It is also a close issue. The projection is that the bill will pass or fail an override by only a couple of votes either way. Character is formed in the crucible of hotly contested issues. Strength of character is also shown forth in the crucible of hotly contested issues. This is precisely the issue on which votes need to be recorded. We need to encourage the Speaker to hold the vote. We must change our thinking to defend liberty and not support the Party. Only then can we expect our elected officials to do likewise. Our elected officials took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of Missouri and not the Party. Part of that Constitution proclaims that their duty is to protect the people in the “enjoyment of the gains of their own industry.” I, for one, want to know our elected officials’ views on that very important issue whether they be Republican or Democrat. We must remind them of their oath.
- Breaking through the noise: Some facts about HB 253 (thirdfloorblog.wordpress.com)