Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Nixon Scorns Puppy Supporters and St. Louisans

Governor Jay Nixon is helping to ensure that Missouri remains the Puppy Mill Capitol of the world. Despite the fact that a majority of Missouri voters supported the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act, and despite the fact that Nixon himself had brokered a compromise with legislators, he decided to project weakness by caving in to bad faith demands that he sign a full repeal before the compromise is considered. Now he has to sit back and twiddle his thumbs while waiting for Republicans to spontaneously decide that they are going to work to round up votes to pass a compromise that's further away from what they were originally advocating for. Or, more likely, Nixon is simply planning on acting "gee shucks" shocked when Republicans say "whoops, I guess we couldn't pass the compromise after all!"

I understood the initial politics behind this. Nixon has to veto a lot of stuff from this crazy legislature. He's expected to veto a Republican bill that would weaken anti-discrimination laws. He will likely veto attacks on the minimum wage and right-to-work-for-less legislation. I'm grateful that we have someone in office who can block these shameful attacks on workers. Yet Nixon also wants to be seen as a middle-of-the-road compromiser. So it's not surprising that he would throw dogs under the bus.

However, the politics changed once Republicans demanded that Nixon sign the full repeal before they would "think about" the compromise. Giving in to bad faith negotiators makes Nixon look weak and stupid, and if he thinks he can feign ignorance if it turns out that Republicans don't actually fulfill their end of the bargain, he is sorely mistaken. All Nixon would have had to say by vetoing SB113 is that he respects the will of Missouri voters. Missourians who couldn't take that as an explanation will never vote for him anyway. Now he's completely at the mercy of people who have never done anything to improve conditions for dogs and who have no incentive to do so now.

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