So this article from TPM came across my news feed today. Allow me to take a moment to deconstruct:
Wisconsin state Sen. Tim Cullen quit the Democratic caucus Tuesday — throwing a cloud of uncertainty over the party’s narrow 17-16 majority, their biggest victory from the waves of state recall elections.
Cullen announced his decision Tuesday after Majority Leader Mark Miller unveiled a list of committee chairmanships in which Cullen was the lone Democrat missing.
Sounds like someone is mad that there weren’t enough trucks at the store and they just happened to be the last one to the shelf. If anyone isn’t getting the image of an infant in a suit yet, please explain why in the comments.
Cullen’s statement leaves some ambiguity as to his new intentions:
Not really…but I’m getting a bit ahead of myself…
As of the sending of this email, I am no longer a member of the Senate Democratic Caucus. I will decide over the next few days or weeks whether to become an Independent. I will not become a Republican.
This entire episode makes clear to me that Sen. Miller has no time for my independent ideas and my support of bipartisan solutions to the state’s problems.
So, not only is Sen. Cullen mad about not having a shiny position, he also is completely ignorant of, oh I don’t know, the fact that governor Scott Walker was recently -almost- successfully recalled because his Republican administration, which had control of both houses until recalls and resignations rendered it 17-16 for the Dems (now 16-1-16 (you’ll see why I arrange it like this rather than 16-16-1 later) due to Cullen’s leaving the Democratic caucus) was destroying the ability of public sector employees to collectively bargain for pay and benefits. Or that he’s a closet Republican. He certainly is helping the Republicans by bleating on about ‘bipartisanship’ in an attempt to cover his whining.
Again, if anyone has an alternative explanation, feel free to leave it in the comments.
We’ll cut down to the update from Cullen:
“I’m a Democrat — I’m not a member of the caucus,” said Cullen. He said he will speak to people over the coming weeks to decide whether to become an independent.
“If I become an independent, the freedom that gives you is to decide issue by issue, case by case, what you’re going to do, and you’re not bound by your party or your caucus,” he said. “So that’s conjecture as to what may or may not happen in the future. But I’ll be free to do what I believe is right for my district, and what I believe in.”
Cullen said he still supports President Obama for re-election, and Rep. Tammy Baldwin for U.S. Senate.
Er, wow. Cullen is vastly exploiting the public’s ignorance of the separation between state and federal parties. State parties, contrary to popular belief, don’t have to be the same as federal parties. This is the case in BC, where the BC Liberals are the conservative party, and have not been affiliated with the federal Liberals (our ‘centre’ party in relative terms, even though they’re really centre-right) since 1980.
Senator Cullen, you are an “independent Democrat” — you are not in the caucus, but you pledge your support to them on some level. And since you’re bleating on about bipartisanship, it’s really more accurate to say that you’re a federal Democrat and a state independent if you support Democratic candidates at the federal level but waffle at the state level when you didn’t get something shiny.
And hell, the way you ignore what’s gone on in favor of bleating on about “bipartisan solutions”, I’d say that the reason you didn’t get anything shiny is because you’re a DINO. Grow the fuck up, Senator, and act like you deserve the damn position rather than pandering to the local elite.