With money to fix roads hanging in the balance, presidential politics could stand in the way of the new trend of bipartisan action on big, controversial issues.
But, really, any notion that there’s a new era of bipartisanship at the state Capitol should be shelved, despite the Democratic and Republican coalitions in the Legislature that pushed through deals on increasing the minimum wage and the Detroit rescue package. And that’s because each was an anomaly that brought Democrats to the bargaining table in Republican-controlled Lansing.
When you break down the Detroit votes, for example, you see two very different pictures in the House and in the Senate. In the House, almost all the Republicans voted for the rescue. A few Democrats were the holdouts. In the Senate, Democrats made up the difference as most Republicans -- 16 out of 26 -- voted “no” on the main bills in the Detroit package.
What this says is the parameters of each deal were different (even when we’re talking about the exact same legislation) depending on whether it’s the House or the Senate. For example, a larger proportion of the Republicans in the Senate have serious primaries.