Hard Endings

In these last days, the boxes come out. Empty stacks of them line the halls like flimsy coffins. Senator McKenzie announced this morning we have tied now with the 10th longest session in our 121 year history. By Friday we will tie with the 5th longest. Yet this one with its gut wrenching policies and passionate, even desperate bipartisan debate, seems to have passed like a blurred dream.

–Long evenings pouring over each new version of Tom Luna's long, painful bills to find any change, the implications of each new word or deletion.

–Walking in here from dark streets in the snow or rain or cold. People honking, waving, thumbs up.

–Streams of email like water, where my email box came alive, filling faster than i could read or move to sort or answer.

–The tears of teachers. Many times. Passing words. Me wishing I could say how sorry I am, in my core.

And somehow I expected we would do more than just damage, that there would be a limit to the damage we were willing to do. But, with a few brilliant exceptions, we moderates and Democrats lost every major floor debate: protecting schools; trying to stop the bleeding in Medicaid, mental health and disability services; protecting private end of life and medical decisions; opposing the Republican Party's attempts to strip voters bare, branding party affiliation in waterproof marker on every human chest.

And here I need to say this –say the Republican Party seems broken, bogged down in divisive social and anti-government issues that have been impairing its ability to deal with our state's failure to recover economically; to grow not destroy jobs; protect services which people's lives depend on; stop policy that is already demoralizing and decimating the most important profession in this state, policy which gives millions away to corporations under the guise of reform.

I wish all those moderates out there and in here who have been bashed and bloodied — those who have had enough of all this would join Democrats, help us re-build the Democratic Party back to something powerful enough to check this freight train that is taking our schools and economy downhill before our eyes. What more does it take? What more has to happen? What more can they do to you?

3 thoughts on “Hard Endings

  1. Lisa - April 4, 2011

    Inspired prose from a weary warrior! You did what you could with the tools available to you…let’s hope all those students who rallied will register *D* and vote!

  2. Sandy Allgeier - April 4, 2011

    Thank you so much for all of your hard work. I appreciate your effort, even though it has seemed so futile at times. We are all doing the best we can, but we can’t speak out like you.

  3. Nicole, I think the writing is on the wall finally – a bit faint, but I’m seeing it more and more. This year has brought forth the compassion-bereft in the Republican party like no other year before it. But I’ve been seeing a groundswell of disgust from, yes, even Republicans who believe this session crossed the line into heartless and pure party politics. But Democrats, moderate Republicans and Independents can’t sit and lick their wounds. We have to use our outrage to turn this around. We need strong spokespersons for the other side to cut through the ideology and stupidity. We need to get organized. I’m not giving up, but I know that we’ll probably have to see more pain until it turns around. Thank you for fighting the good fight.

Comments are closed.