Full circle

November 16th, 2012
By

Dante Carpenter, the chairman of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, has sent a letter to state House Democrats urging them not to turn to the seven Republicans in the chamber to settle a leadership impasse.

House Speaker Calvin Say and Rep. Joseph Souki and a dissident faction have divided the House’s 44 Democrats over who should control the chamber.

Carpenter argued that the net result of turning to the Republicans would be that half of the Democrats would be empowering a “super-minority” of Republicans at the expense of the other Democrats.

My concern is that the result of many hundreds of campaign volunteers, thousands of volunteer hours, out-of-pocket expenses, etc., will have been ignored. These combined efforts that produced a huge turnout which helped ensure success for nearly every Democratic Party Candidate, clearly affirmed the desire for Democratic leadership in the House. To cater to the Republican super-minority would fly-in-the-face of the wishes of the electorate and could be problematic going forward!

As an equally disastrous outcome, the voting public could become quickly disillusioned and disenchanted with the leadership, or lack thereof, for not finding common ground and pursuing a course of objectivity as a function of the DPH Platform, i.e., action to benefit those voters’ needs versus the individual personalities and vanities of certain elected officials.

Carpenter, of course, was famously part of Senate President Dickie Wong’s Democratic-Republican Coalition in 1981. Former Gov. Ben Cayetano — who was then a senator in Wong’s faction with Carpenter and now-Gov. Neil Abercrombie — described the coalition in his autobiography as a “milestone in Hawaii politics.”

Wong turned to Republicans to obtain the 13 votes necessary to organize the Senate after Democrats were deadlocked at 10 to 7.

Cayetano wrote that establishment Democrats — like Carpenter is doing today — criticized Wong’s move.

I was unmoved by the criticism. There were enough examples to show that, when it suited their purpose, the Democratic establishment was willing to cross party lines to help Republicans defeat Democrats.

4 Responses to “Full circle”

  1. ohiaforest3400:

    OK, so, I get Carpenter’s implied point that, if the Speaker only becomes Speaker because of GOP votes, the Speaker will be under constant threat from those GOP reps that, “If you don’t hear/passkill this bill, we’ll pull our votes and you’ll lose your speakership.” It’s not usually that extreme, but these splits can be even more difficult to manage than a 44 cat herd.

    But under the current system, the Dems won’t even hear a GOP bill in the house, much less pass it. Sure, a Dem might be lead introducer on a bill that a GOP rep shops around, but then it’s a Dem bill come time for taking credit at the next election. Or, they might scoop the contents out of a GOP bill and put it into a Dem bill but, again, the GOP doesn’t get credit. Stupid pet tricks, really.

    We need some adults in the Capitol. That includes the 5th floor, too.


  2. Manoa_Fisherman:

    I don’t know if the appropriate term for this ironic situation should be “bachi” showing the bad things you do catch up to you for Carpenter, or “shibai” where Carpenter is full of shit for trying to expect others to do as he says, not as he did?


  3. Goober:

    All this talk of bi-partisanship is just a hole in the middle that both ends won’t meet.
    A big doughnuthing.

    “Dante’s Inferno” of keeping both parties in limbo.
    Purgatorions and Paradisons.

    Seems that dissidents, I would consider to be Democratic Tea Party members,
    counterparts to Republican Tea Party members. DINOs or RINOs.


  4. Eric4Senate:

    Dante is running scared that the “public could become quickly disillusioned and disenchanted with the leadership, or lack thereof”. Sorry Dante it is too late they have known that fact for quite a while now.
    Is it really “disastrous outcome” if the people were exposed to the truth..
    Dems should stop trying to cover up their lack of leadership and stop deceiving everyone.
    It just shows that all they care about are power and their special interests. They know that a 2 party system would never allow them the absolute power that they have had for generations, even if that 2 party system is totally within their own party.
    They can’t even handle 7 republicans in the house exposing their cronyism.
    With the low turnout the “Voting public” that voted Democrat is actually minority compared the overall population. They are all about themselves and ignore more than the 47% of the population especially conservatives who they are also suppose to represent.


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