Something Many Other Democrats Are Afraid to Do
Supposedly it is political poison to be against tax cuts. But when Republicans in Missouri voted to gut state spending on vital services to support tax cuts, Democratic Governor Jay Nixon took arms against that sea of troubles, and by opposing them, ended them.
The Missouri House of Representatives failed on Wednesday to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a sweeping tax-cut bill that had inflamed partisan debate and mobilized people in all corners of the state for and against it.
The vote to override his veto wasn’t close. In the face of pressure a lot of Republicans retreated.
After more than an hour and a half of debate on the floor, 94 members voted in favor of overriding the veto and 67 against it, falling well short of the 109 votes needed to defeat the veto.
How did he do it? Easy, logic and common sense and good old fashioned campaigning. There was also a nice dash of hardball politics, something Mr. Obama needs to learn in the coming weeks.
Mr. Nixon, a Democrat, prevailed against a Legislature with Republican supermajorities in both chambers on a core Republican issue. Barnstorming the state through the summer, he argued that the tax cut would decimate financing for education, mental health and other vital services. He scoffed at the Republican argument that the cuts would bring businesses and jobs to the state.
“With the economy we’ve got right now, the thing that employers say to me is, ‘I need trained workers, I need people with math and science backgrounds, I need people that are good in it,'” Mr. Nixon said in an interview last week. “They don’t say to me, ‘Get me a third of a point less on some tax line somewhere.'”
Mr. Nixon enraged some opponents by withholding $400 million in state spending that he said he could not release if the tax cut became law. He successfully stitched together a broad coalition of support from education interests, with more than 100 school boards across the state passing resolutions to sustain the governor’s veto.
And the tea party folks, well they make a lot of smoke, but here there was not much fire.
Hundreds of protesters descended on the Capitol and packed the legislative chambers to push for overrides of the governor’s vetoes. They rallied outside the building before lawmakers gathered. Many wore green T-shirts from the Grow Missouri Coalition, which has been one of the chief advocates calling for an override of Mr. Nixon’s veto. Others wore stickers that read, “I support
Second Amendment Preservation Act,” a reference to a bill that would prevent
federal gun laws from being enforced in the state. Missouri
So yes, common sense can prevail. It just needs Democrats willing to stand up for their principles. Are you listening Mr. President? Well are you?