Former Governor Bill Milliken was fond of saying that doing good public policy should come first and getting re-elected second and in fact if you did the former, the later would take care of itself.
Or put another way: The public's will should be done first and the politician's strong desire to stay in office should be subservient to that.
Ha. What a joke.
It is now all about winning and if any good public policy gets accomplished it is like colleratal damage or an unexpected event.
The latest and ugly example to illustrate this centers on the governor's ill-fated effort to pass a health care market place for thousands of uninsured in Michigan. It was an outgrowth of President Obama's health care program which Governor Rick Snyder was eager to dive into. "Let's just do it," the silly governor advised the House GOP caucus.
But House Republicans said let's not.
First they hid behind the "reason" that no action should be taken on the governor's program until the high court ruled on the president's program. Well the high court ruled and that excuse was eliminated only to be replaced by the real reason the Republicans wanted to duck the issue.
It was an election year and the R's did not want to embrace anything that helped the Democratic president and besides lots of voters didn't like the Affordable Health Care act anyway, so why offend them and run the risk of losing an election.
So instead of doing public policy, that the governor wanted to do, they did what they wanted to do, run for re-election sans this albatross around their collective necks.
At a recent conference on the issue, one sheepish GOP House member, who works on health care issues, had to concede that nothing was done.
And then when confronted with the notion that perhaps his colleagues bailed for fear of helping the president ,this lawmaker sat quietly while many in the 800 person audience erupted in applause over the intent of the question.
Yep in Lansing these days it is "Me over thee." Sorry Governor Milliken.