The question isn’t whether Mark Green has been a rubber-stamp or a lap-dog during his years in Washington. The question is: Who is he a lap-dog for?
Yesterday, the Journal Sentinel tempered, as it must, a review of Green’s 90% pro-Bush voting record with a swipe at the Doyle campaign for "getting it wrong" by claiming Green’s record was 92% Bushie. While gently pointing out that Green had compiled a record more slavishly-Bush than any other Wisconsin House Republican (no small feat with Paul Ryan in the mix), the separate headline claims the study cited by Doyle for the 92% figure "doesn’t support" the ad (which, by the way, stopped running months ago).
The bulk of the ad itself, however, is fully supported and provides numerous reasons to question Green’s judgement, if he has any. Most of the ad outlines specific votes Green made against education funding, raising the minimum wage and for tax breaks for oil companies.
At the end, the 92% figure is noted, and cited as coming from the Congressional Observer. [Note: Have you seen any legitimate citations in all those lying Green ads? Didn’t think so...] According to the determined detail-checkers at the J-S – at least as far as Doyle ads are concerned – the Observer’s 92% figure was for votes with House leadership, not for the Bush agenda itself. So the Doyle claim was 2% off. Someone call the Ethics Board or, at least, that hysterical J-S former editor who is so distressed by both campaigns (see last post, below).
But, this begs the question: what possible difference could there be between Bush’s agenda and that of the House leadership? One of the reasons that the Bush team has been able to march the government this far to the edge of the cliff is that the Republicans have marched in lock-step with each other on virtually all issues. Every issue, each piece of legislation and every vote is run through Rove’s political office for content and timing. This is the primary reason that the House is likely to go back into Democratic hands in three weeks – to bring accountability back to Washington for the first time in six years. Or, as Diane Keaton commands to Al Pacino about his family business in The Godfather, "this all must end!"
Of more concern to Green, I would think, should be that the Observer study shows him to be even nuttier than Bush. On the few issues where the House leadership breaks from Bush, it is always to the Right. For instance, on immigration, the House (and Green) voted to make criminals out of anyone who would provide humanitarian assistance to illegal immigrants. It can’t be good for Green that it isn’t Bush that he has been too close to – it’s Tom DeLay.
But the more important issue is not whose bag Green is in, Bush’s or DeLay’s – it is that he is in the bag in the first place. Green is not a leader, but a flunky, a too-willing GOP functionary. Like Bush, Green is an empty suit, available to be filled with all manner of bad ideas and agendas.
What is Green going to do when he has to do more than just cast a vote as directed by his party leadership? When he is actually in the drivers seat, who is going to be holding the map and pointing the way for him? To this point in his political career, Green has proved either uninterested or incapable of going his own way, of exercising any independent judgement about anything.
As governor, Green would be the ultimate rubber-stamp for a radical Republican legislature that will rush bad ideas like concealed-carry and rigid property tax freezes to his desk. If you liked one-party rule in Washington for the past six year, you’ll love it in Wisconsin.