Braveheart and the PA State Budget

I’ve compared Pennsylvania policy-making to Braveheart before, but the move from a public conference committee to secret, backroom negotiations between Gov. Rendell and legislative leaders (the “nobles”) to cut a deal on the Pennsylvania budget presents too great an analogy to my favorite movie to pass up.

In particular I am reminded of the first major battle, in which all the Scotsmen have come down to fight, but then start to flee when they see the size of the British force. One of the nobles (Lochlan, to be specific) yells “Wait until we have negotiated!” (i.e. to get a better deal for their own benefit, like additional lands or WAMs, at the expense of the commoners). Of course, then William Wallace comes and gives The Speech, and the Scots choose to stay and fight.

Later in the movie, these same “nobles” do indeed cut a secret deal for more lands (or maybe to fund their favorite pork project, I can’t remember), betraying William Wallace, and abandoning the Scottish army, allowing them to be slaughtered.

Note: If you have never seen Braveheart, the nobles who cut the secret deals are not the heroes of the movie.