Oregon Cancels 'Making Laws,' Thanks To Militia And AWOL Republicans!
All 11 of Oregon's Republican state senators remained AWOL this weekend after fleeing the state last week to block a carbon cap-n-trade bill. When one of the R's threatened to shoot any state police sent to bring legislators back, things got stupid, with militia groups offering to "protect" the Republican senators (and also to collect money from gullible goobers worried about the nascent police state). On Friday, Senate Dems cancelled a planned Saturday session after Oregon State Police warned of a "credible threat" from militia groups.
Friday, Democratic state Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward posted on social media a text message from Senate leadership:
"The State Police Superintendent just informed the Senate President of a credible threat from militia groups coming to the Capitol tomorrow," the message says. "The Superintendent strongly recommends that no one come to the Capitol and President [Peter] Courtney heeded that advice minutes ago."
Courtney's office confirmed to [Willamette Week] that police had informed him of a threat.
"The Oregon State Police have advised us that there might be a militia threat tomorrow, so the Capitol building will be closed," said Carol Alice McCurrie, Courtney's communications director. "We don't have any details beyond that one."
Seems reasonable enough: State police warned there's a credible threat, so the Senate cancelled a session the Republicans had no plans to attend anyway, because then there'd be a quorum and the cap and trade bill would be passed.
The state GOP explained Democrats are simply afraid of real Americans, don't you see:
Haw haw, chicken Democrats, not willing to get shot! Still, thanks for the confirmation that the state GOP considers itself officially aligned with people making armed threats.
As it turned out, Willamette Week reports that only about 100 protesters, none of them wearing full battle rattle, showed up for protests Saturday and Sunday. The state Senate did hold a brief session Sunday, although without a quorum, it quickly ended. Still, there was some excitement:
Sunday's demonstrators flew a flag from a logger's chainsaw. The day before, a protester walked a horse up the Capitol steps. Spooked, it refused to walk back down, and left a large deposit of manure on the marble.
Republicans have taken to mocking the Democrats for cancelling the Saturday session, although a state police captain confirmed to Oregon Public Broadcasting that there had been a threat. To further confuse matters, the state GOP posted a photo on Twitter of a protest by loggers that actually took place last Wednesday, suggesting the Democrats were fleeing a peaceful demonstration, Ha! Ha!
Senate Republican leader Herman Baertschiger Jr. -- who we should note was among the Ones Who Walked Away From Salem, O -- issued a statement Sunday saying the silly Democrats just made up all this "militia" nonsense themselves because they are afraid of Republican voters.
"The peaceful rallies on the steps this weekend were done by Oregonians who will be directly impacted by the gas and emissions tax or House Bill 2020," Baertschiger said. "Democrats were reactionary to rumors and lacked the courage to face these Oregonians by closing the Capitol building on Saturday."
Which we suppose makes the Oregon State Police a bunch of panicky rumormongers? Not that we've ever seen cops overstate a threat, but to be clear, there were actual dipshits looking forward to an armed conflict last week -- like Republican state Sen. Brian Boquist, who warned that if Gov. Kate Brown sent cops to make him go do his job, she'd better "Send bachelors and come heavily armed. I'm not going to be a political prisoner in the state of Oregon."
Democratic state Sen. Sara Gelser took issue with the Republicans' attitude, noting that it might be kind of helpful if the R's repudiated violent threats instead of leaning into them.
What a wimp! As we all know, the REAL violence is when racists get banned from Twitter.
In any case, the rest of the legislative session, which ends on June 30, appears to be in the crapper while the Rs courageously hide out across state lines, refusing to face the Democratic majority. As a result, hundreds of bills, including must-pass budget legislation, will die without being passed. Gov. Brown, a Democrat, is expected to call a special session in July, and maybe the Rs will show up. Or maybe they'll just let the state burn down, because government is bad, and then won't that be a huge victory for liberty?
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.