Blame belongs to those who didn't compromiseAmid the failure to compromise on conditions for a decent mining bill and the news that the company involved is abandoning the project altogether, it's only natural that the two sides involved in the political struggle over the bill would cast blame on one another.
But let's assess that situation deeper. Republicans are upset that all 16 Democratic senators (plus moderate-Republican Sen. Dale Schultz) didn't vote to accept their bill, which was written in part by Gogebic Taconite itself, the company that would have carried out the actual mining (maybe?). Their bill, it should be observed, would have relaxed environmental standards and loosened the ability of citizens to voice their concerns or challenge decisions that the company would make that would affect their lives.
On the Democratic side, things are equally frustrating. The Democratic/Schultz compromise bill would have made reforms as well, but also would have preserved a process acceptable to the people, keeping in line values of environmental respect and citizen involvement.
What's most frustrating of all is that the compromise bill had the 17 votes needed to pass in the Senate. The only reason it didn't pass was because Republican leaders refused to let it stand for a full-chamber vote.
With this in mind, who is truly to blame here? The party that had a bipartisan plan with the backing of a majority number of duly-elected legislators? Or the party that controlled the Senate but had a minority number of lawmakers refusing to let any legislation pass that wasn't their own?
The Republicans would like to have you blame Democrats for not accepting their own bill. But the Democrats had a bill with bipartisan and majority support, ready to pass and put people to work. It's not the Democrats' fault that Republicans couldn't budge, not even a little, on the issue.