Perhaps Charlie Sheen is the spiritual leader of Indiana House Democrats.

Pat Bauer, leader of the AWOL representatives, might soon declare he has been drinking “tiger blood” and what he and other Democrats are still doing in Illinois is all about “winning.”

It’s actually all about not being able to accept losing and the verdict of voters. Many Republicans, whose stated mission was to reform education and keep state spending in check, were installed throughout state government.

The Democrats lost power directly. But some power can be garnered by manipulating responsible people, who want and need others to act responsibly.

Indiana Democrats in Illinois are trying to see how far Hoosier voters and working representatives can be pushed by their determination to avoid playing by the rules.

The Republicans caved on right-to-work legislation, the supposed reason the representatives left the state and the House without a quorum. Now missing Democrats are claiming their absence is a stand on “principles” — whatever principles are involved in extortion and a rejection of democracy, where the majority rules.

What is appalling is the acceptance of this behavior by some, who just don’t want to the see the GOP agenda pass, as something less than reprehensible — which, clearly, it is.

Democrats last week were pointing to Republican Abe Lincoln, who supposedly ducked out of an Illinois legislative session in 1840 via a window to prevent a vote on a bill. And they have repeatedly justified staying holed-up in Urbana based on a 36-hour Republican caucus inside the Statehouse in the last decade. The meeting was designed to thwart some Democrat policy measures.

First, neither of those are the same as fleeing the state to hold the whole General Assembly session hostage. We expect debate and legislating to involve the use of parliamentary rules for advantage. We don’t expect a sledge hammer taken to the process by simply refusing to have one party not participate for weeks at a time.

Secondly, such arguments are based on the idea that our government is all a partisan row absent any honor or duty to institutions or people outside of party affiliation. Do they really believe Republican tendencies to do wrong in past years create a Democrat entitlement to do wrong now?

We as citizens could replace missing Democrats with kindergarteners, who have usually learned better.
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