by Doug Book, staff writer
In November, Michigan voters roundly defeated ballot Proposal 2, a union-sponsored measure “…which would have amended the state constitution to guarantee collective bargaining rights to public and private-sector employees.” (1) For the first 2 years of his term, Governor Rick Snyder had consistently advised Michigan organized labor to keep such a proposal off the ballot. “My concern is that [the proposal] could start a whole divisive atmosphere of other people trying to put right-to-work on the ballot,” explained Snyder. (1)
Of course those “other people” so feared by the timid governor were fellow Republicans in the Michigan legislature!
In point of fact, Snyder cared no more about unions attaining greater power than the prospect of a future Republican attempt to thwart it. His REAL concern was being placed in the middle should Michigan voters decide against the proposal. For such a vote would provide just the impetus needed for house and senate Republicans to draft the right-to-work bill longed for by Michigan conservatives for decades. The cowardly Governor Snyder knew he would then be forced to sign the bill into law, making a powerful enemy of organized labor.
In short, this craven, finger-in-the-political-wind Republican hoped to keep friends on both sides by doing absolutely nothing and counseling others to do the same. Unfortunately for Snyder, the republican-controlled legislature is currently crafting that dreaded right-to-work bill and will have it on the governor’s desk before Christmas.
Prior to the November election Snyder stood firmly against the building of an ObamaCare exchange in the State of Michigan. But upon the re-election of Barack Obama, Snyder did a full about face, reportedly conceding, “Hey, it’s the law of the land, we have to make the best of it.” (2)
“The governor is absolutely in favor of Michigan having a state-run health care insurance exchange as part of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act..,” said ObamaCare opponent Jacob Hoogendyk. Indeed, not only did Snyder suddenly change his view of ObamaCare, he announced that he had filed papers with HHS stating Michigan would accept a state-federal partnership exchange should the legislature not permit the building of a state exchange. (2)
Fortunately, the Michigan House Health Policy Committee voted 9-5 against the building of a state-run exchange. Whether the governor will now secure his second choice, that of the state-federal partnership, remains to be seen.
Michigan Governor Richard Snyder has become a textbook example of the “rabbity RINO”: a Republican perpetually unnerved at the thought of displeasing anyone but fellow members of the Republican Party. A leader would make full use of the advantage Republicans enjoy in both the state house and senate. But Snyder is the furthest thing from a leader, being quite at ease with any occurrence which does not involve an actual decision on his part.
Those who wonder why the Republican Party has such a difficult time convincing conservatives to flock to the polls, look to the governor of Michigan for the answer.