Fence-sitting is Nixon’s modus operandi (MO if you prefer the pun), and straddling that fence takes up so much of his time he apparently can’t find enough to handle all the legislation that come across his desk as two more important bills failed to gain his signature one way or another, making them law by stagnation.
Healthcare reform and late term abortion are serious topics of concern in America today, especially the former, which is why Missouri made a point of passing laws in regards to them. As The Source reported yesterday, the belief was that after months languishing on his desk the healthcare compact legislation would be vetoed without comment; so no signature is certainly better than Nixon cracking out the veto pen. There was also concern over the fate of the late term abortion bill, which likewise avoided the axe.
However, every time Jay Nixon fails to personally enact (or veto) legislation he undermines the (perceived) image that he actually governs anything:
Groups on both sides of the [abortion] issue were disappointed in the governor’s refusal to take a decisive stance.
They’re not alone. In addition to advocacy groups being frustrated over his inability to take positions, lawmakers have been left fuming over his vetoes of bi-partisan legislation and his complete lack of input during drafting sessions.
So, what has Nixon signed into (or out of) law recently?
He managed to sign bills that drug test welfare recipients, that further push political correctness by striking the legal term “mental retardation” from all Missouri documents, and that optimistically claim to outlaw synthetic marijuana (which may end up costing over $100 million in tax revenue), among other smaller issues.
Likewise, he vetoed a bi-partisan bill to keep Missouri relevant in the presidential primary process and another to require voter ID at the polls, in addition to vetoing the Congressional redistricting map - before being overridden.
But when it comes to major national issues like healthcare and late-term abortions he continues his streak of being all over the place by keeping his opinions (and ink) to himself. As the Missouri Record opines:
Perhaps Nixon is ashamed to be a Democrat. Or maybe he's pretending not to be a Democrat. At times, though, it seems he's pretending not to be governor.