So let's see. In 2003, after Republicans had retaken control of the state Senate to go with their control of the state House, they did things like introduce a bill to re-redistrict the federal congressional districts to their partisan advantage, without giving any notice to the Democrats, then ramming it through during the last days of the session with no debate on a straight party line vote. Voters, disgusted with the GOP's failure to focus on the state's fiscal crisis, tossed them out in droves and gave the Democrats control of both houses. Democrats flex their muscles once in control by . . . deciding to give Republicans some committee vice chairmanships in the Senate. Or at least that's what incoming Senate majority leader Ken Gordon is said to be considering.
Now I don't think the voters want the Democrats to come in and exercise the same kind of extreme partisanship that the Republicans showed when they were in control. But if you ask me, this is going too far. Getting control of the House and Senate gives Democrats a chance to show how we would govern the state. Giving some of that control back to the Republicans sends the message that we don't really think we're ready, or capable, of governing. And I agree with Gordon's critics who point out Democratic activists did not pour out their hearts working for the party's state level candidates so they could install Republicans in important positions. One has to wonder, is the soon-to-be-term limited Gordon thinking about what is best for the party he is supposed to be leading as it attempts to re-establish itself as a viable alternative to the GOP in this state, or is he thinking about positioning himself as a centrist for a possible run at statewide office?
Surely he can't imagine that the Republicans would ever consider reciprocating if and when they get back in power in one of the branches of the legislature.