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Thursday
Dec132012

O'Brien Never Tires Of Head Pounding

There's an old gag line, one of my favorites in fact, about why you keep pounding your head against the wall.

The answer, of course, is that I pound my head against the wall because it feels so good when I stop doing it.

Former New Hampshire House Speaker Bill O'Brien apparently never got the line...or the joke for that matter.

For those of us who thought we had stopped pounding our head against the wall regarding right to work legislation, WHAM!  Here it comes again.

Cue the Hank Williams Junior music.

Are you ready for some head pounding?

As if he weren't  disgraced enough with last November's election results...as if it weren't bad enough that Billy the Bully couldn’t get right to work passed when he had nearly a three to one majority in the wake of the 2010 election...along comes Billy bragging on his face book page (or whatever it is that passes for social media these days) that he will take the lead in pushing for right to work this year.

Somebody's gotta do it, he must think. After all, Will Smith, the Seacoast Republican who pushed the issue not once but twice this past session, went down to defeat in November.

If Republicans couldn't get right to work passed when they had 298-102 and 19-5 majorities in the House and Senate, how could any sentient human being think he or she has a chance when Democrats have a 219-179 advantage in the House and trail only 13-11 in the Senate (with at least two Republicans senators unabashedly opposed to right to work).

Over on the blue blog, Democrat Chair Raymond Charles Buckley opines that this is O'Brien's first step toward regaining power in two years. 

Could be, but I fail to see how going back to a losing (not to mention bitterly divisive) issue is a winning career move.  I suspect this is just Bill O'Brien being the consummate ideologue as we all know he is.

Either that or he's been reading Charge of the Light Brigade again...."into the valley of death rode the thousands"...is that how it went?  O'Brien would have been great at Gallipoli!

But a comparison seems in order here.

Putting right to work now would be like me putting an anti-trapping bill forward with Republicans in control by a three to one margin.  That's what some anti-trappers asked me to do after the 2010 election.  Hey, I don't mind fighting for a good cause, but there's only so much pounding your head against the wall one human being should be allowed to inflict upon him or herself (excluding masochists of course).

I deferred in 2010, but with a much friendlier atmosphere now, anti-trapping, unlike right to work, can be tried again.

Apparently Bill O'Brien hasn't learned that politics is the art of the possible, and Ray Buckley's observations notwithstanding, Bill O'Brien's comeback will be hindered by a lack of adherence to that one simple principle.

The question is--how many Republicans will O'Brien drag into this breach...this out of the trenches assault into the line of fire...this time. 

My guess is it'll be less than 50 percent.  Ah yes, maybe a tabling motion would be appropriate...although Democrats most certainly won't want to stop O'Brien and Company from shooting themselves in the proverbial feet.

What’s next…O’Brien taking up the gauntlet in the departure of David Bates in another attempt to repeal gay marriage?

Oh mon Dieux or the suitable German equivalent (I can't think of it right now...it's certainly not Hail Victory!).

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Reader Comments (2)

By your logic no one would keep pushing for gay marriage. After all, it went down to defeat in thirty or so consecutive referendums around the country, and DOMA passed the US Congress almost unanimously. How about marijuana reform, how many times has that been defeated? Should we stop trying?

Besides, I seem to recall some Representative who keeps filing a bill to abolish cultural resources. What advice would you give him?
December 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRep Dan McGuire
Dan just doesn't seem to get it...or perhaps doesn't want to.

My logic is merely one of timing. Gay marriage would never have succeeded when Republicans had huge control...nor would an anti trapping bill. Jim Splaine realized that timing was everything; that's why he did gay marriage when he did. Similarly, now is not the time to try to repeal gay marriage or to go for right to work again. Better to work behind the scenes and wait for a more propitious time...to fail to do that is simply grandstanding. The time for marijuana reform is MORE--not less--propitous now, so that analogy hardly holds!
As for cultured affairs, the Rep you speak of is, of course, I, but I have only done it once before...when Republicans were in control (it failed then thanks in large part to a certain EDA Chair who shall remain unnamed). The reason I have filed it again this year is not to grandstand but it's done with full knowledge that Governor Elect Hassan will not have the monies she needs to increase UNH funding or do any number of other things. The time is certainly propitious for Democrats to understand that we need to set priorities if we want to fund vital services...and cultured affairs cannot be a priority in lean times...even when Dems are in control.
As always, you don't have to thank me.
December 18, 2012 | Registered CommenterRep Steve Vaillancourt

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