The opposite of democratic government is government by caucus.
The state’s General Assembly has been crowded with Democrats for the last few decades. The last time Connecticut's Senate and House had majorities of different political parties was in the 1963 and 1965 sessions, nearly 50 years ago.
Democrats outnumber Republicans in the state by a two to one margin, and unaffiliateds are slightly more numerous than Democrats. Previous Democrat governors allied with Democrat caucus leaders have formed budgets and created laws without effective input from Republican Party leaders, some of them, such as former Governor Dannel Malloy, boastfully.
Connecticut has been a one-party government for decades. Jodi Rell, now residing in state income tax free Florida, was the last Republican governor; the General Assembly has been controlled by Democrats for nearly half a century; all constitutional offices in the state are held by Democrats; and the state’s U.S. Congressional Delegation is made up of all Democrats. In addition, Democrats have been in command of the state’s larger cities for decades as well.
One party government leads inescapably to government by caucus, an arrangement in which a handful of party leaders are tasked with herding partisan legislative cats. The cat-herders in the state’s dominant Democrat Party are President Pro Tem of the Senate Martin Looney and Speaker of the House Matt Ritter.
Government by caucus deprives both the minority Republican Party and Democrat legislators of an effective and independent voice in state government. Republicans are silenced by a partisan force majeure, and Democrat legislators are forced to march to the tune of the cat-herders. This is how democracy dies – not by a thrust of a sword through the heart, but by a death of a thousand cuts.
Helping to administer the thousand cuts are various progressive coalitions currently working mightily to steer a way around Republican inspired spending caps.
CTMirror recently reported, “A massive coalition — consisting of nonprofit social service agencies, nursing homes, cities and towns, advocates for education and early childhood development, progressive policy groups and Child Advocate Sarah Eagan — promised to defend legislators willing to work around the spending cap to protect key services.
“In a separate announcement, a veteran Hamden lawmaker announced the formation of a new Tax Equity Caucus, backed by nearly three dozen representatives committed to redistributing state and municipal tax burdens.”
“Equity” is simply a means of transferring assets from the presumed “haves” to the presumed “have nots,” a process as old as the biblical injunction, “to whom much is given, much will be required” (Luke 12:48),” or Karl Marx’s adaptation, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs," an injunction that first appears in the Critique of the Gotha Programme, written in 1875.
Marx theorized that, as the socialist promise reached its fulfillment in communism, there would be enough goods and services to satisfy everyone’s needs – but first, the control of goods and services must be wrested from a free market system and invested in the Communist Party leadership, a form of monarchical socialism that is both undemocratic and an affront to anyone who prizes liberty.
Historically, both communism and fascism spring from the same socialist root. Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini all emerged from the socialist womb at pretty much the same time.
Purely as a practical matter, there is little difference between a one party state administered by a caucus devoted to self-preservation and a socialist structure in which democracy and small “r” republican government lie prostrate at the feet of an ideologically driven ruling class.
This is the correlation of forces that faces any governor of any party who, in a hyperinflationary period, wishes to control spending, the primary engine of both inflation and administrative growth. Well intentioned though he may be, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, anxious to swell government coffers by increasing business growth, is simply holding his finger in a surplus dam that is on the point of bursting. And the neo-progressive numbers weigh against him.
President Joe Biden, the “moderate” Democrat turned neo-progressive, has added 7 to10 trillion dollars of spending to the national debt. California Governor Gavin Newsom, the Democrats’ default presidential choice, has just waved goodbye to two Nordstrom stores in San Francisco, driven from the City by the b
Bay, former Speaker of the U.S. House Nancy Pelosi’s home turf, by gangs of shoplifters and streets filled with tent dwellers.
In the meantime, ideological drift has pushed the Democrat Party of former President John Kennedy off a leftist cliff. And, bereft of all irony and satire, a quantifiably leftist media has followed the neo-progressive pied pipers towards journalistic oblivion. Presently, “only 16% of Americans have a great deal/quite a lot of confidence in newspapers,” Gallup reported last year.
Don Pesci is a political columnist of long standing, about 40 years, who has written for various state newspapers, among them The Journal Inquirer, the Waterbury Republican American, the New London Day, the Litchfield County Times, the Torrington Register Citizen and other Register Citizen papers. He maintains a blog, among the oldest of its kind in Connecticut, which serves as a repository and archive, for his columns; there are approximately 3,000 entries in Connecticut Commentary: Red Notes From A Blue State, virtually all of them political columns stretching back to 2004. He also appears once a week Wednesdays on 1080 WTIC Newstalk radio with Will Marotti.