Tag Archives: progressive movement

Lawmakers on the lam!

A NOTE AFTER THE FACT: My post below fails to note  that this Wisconsin fight isn’t capital vs. labor. It’s different in that the private sector isn’t involved. But the sentiment doesn’t change – there’s been an assault on labor (you and me!) for decades.

I see Wisconsin* State Democratic legislators have taken to the road to prevent a quorum vote on a budget cutting bill because if they stayed in the State they could be legally compelled to attend a session. So they’ve removed themselves from the jurisdiction, It’s all over the news; here is a good place to keep up on it – from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Those ladies and gents in Madison are following in the footsteps of giants. In the footsteps of Texans, that is.

May, 2003. Memories . . .  

“With action in the Texas House brought to a standstill, roughly 50 state Democratic representatives said they would remain in neighboring Oklahoma “as long as it takes” to block a Republican-drawn redistricting plan that could cost them five seats in Congress.  “There’s 51 of us here today, and a quorum of the Texas House of Representatives will not meet without us,” said state Rep. Jim Dunnam.

The 2003 Texas stampede to Oklahoma inspired  Mr. Thomas Delay himself to exert a little  unlawful  pressure on State authorities to travel over those state lines. Which was bad. Bad, bad, bad, even though those miscreant lawmakers (who’d found themselves a nice motel with a good pool table as I recall) had surely annoyed Mr. Delay, he probably wishes he hadn’t done it. Because that was one of the things for which Mr. Delay was investigated and indicted. Ah, hubris.)

Good times. Who says politics is dull?

* ALSO:  It would be interesting if this centuries old capital/labor battle were to be fought on the home ground of the last century’s greatest progressive, Robert LaFollette. These guys forget that the ‘right to collective bargaining’ was established after much blood had been spilled, and the parties realized that talking was better than shooting.

 (The tension of course never went entirely away and there has always been a faction that would destroy ‘labor’ – actually they want the laborers, they just don’t want uppity folk looking over their shoulders to see if safety is being observed or if wages are fair.)