For Republican legislators, these are the best of times.
Thoughtful-looking, chin-in-hand, close-up photos on the front page. Admiring newspaper profiles. Crowded news conferences. Lobbyists lined up to see you. Donors lined up to give to you. Big offices to move into. Gavels to wield.
Then, at noon tomorrow, boom! The big gavel comes down. And the fun starts.
Suddenly, political platitudes give way to real votes and real choices. And real people – and their lobbyists and advocates – who might get mad. And reporters who persist in asking nettlesome questions.
It’s a great opportunity for Republicans: the first time they’ve run the legislature since the 19th Century.
And a great risk: the worst budget crisis the state has ever had.
No problem, they proclaim: The voters sent us here to cut spending.
So what’s their first move? Apparently, they’ll instruct Governor Perdue to cut spending this year.
In other words, let’s get to work – passing the buck. Literally.