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State Sen. Brian Boquist (R-Beatnik Coffee House)

Republican members of Oregon's state Senate, faced with the likely passage of an intolerable bill that would surely destroy freedom forever, fled the state Thursday to prevent the body from having a quorum necessary to hold a vote. And what was the horrible, liberty-destroying bill they took such extraordinary steps to try and kill? Free abortions for undocumented immigrants who deny Christ while hugging trees? Or perhaps any restriction on guns, ever? Nope: It was a plan to reduce carbon emissions through a cap-and-trade program -- which had already been modified with Republican amendments in the state House.

As allowed by Oregon's constitution, Gov. Kate Brown ordered the state police to compel the wayward legislators to return to the Capitol, but by then, most had already gone to other states, mostly Idaho, although there were rumors some skedaddled to Missoula, Montana, too. We'd ask Yr Editrix to go look for 'em, but she drives a Prius and they'd naturally be wary. And the new solar panels on her roof mean it's unlikely any would drop by for a visit.


As Oregon Public Broadcasting reports, this is the second time this session the Rs have pulled this maneuver.

[The walkout] follows another in May over a business tax for public schools that wound up being signed into law. After staying away from the Capitol for four days, Republicans struck a deal that resulted in the end of high-profile bills to tighten state laws regarding vaccines and gun control.Republicans also say they were given assurances they'd have meaningful impact on HB 2020 moving forward. In exchange, they agreed not to walk out for the rest of session.

Ah, you see, but Republican state Senator Chris Bentz, the lead R on the cap and trade bill, says that since his desired amendments weren't included in the final version, obviously it was the Democrats who broke the agreement, so walking out was the only honorable thing to do.

Senate Republican Leader Herman Baertschiger Jr. cried great big tears of oppression about how badly his caucus was treated.

We have endured threats of arrest, fines, and pulling community project funds from the governor, Senate president and majority leader. We will not stand by and be bullied by the majority party any longer.

For the little it might be worth, nobody's talking about arresting the dipshits -- so far, the state police have been phoning the Rs and informing them they're required by law to show up in Salem. A statement from the Oregon State Police said the agency's chief weapons in this case would be "polite communication" and patience. No word on whether that might escalate to deploying the Comfy Chair.

Still, some Republicans went into full hyperbole mode. State Sen. Brian Boquist (R-Groovy Daddy-o) warned on the Senate floor that if state Senate President Peter Courtney exercised his constitutional authority to call in the cops, there'd be MURDER, though he later apologized.

As it turns out, evil Spock Boquist also elaborated on what it would take to force him to actually appear in the Senate and represent his constituents: a firefight, probably!

Boquist clarified in email to The Oregonian that he objected to his comments being called a "thinly veiled threat."

"Nothing thinly veiled," Boquist wrote. "I have been in political coup attempts. I have been held hostage overseas. I have been jailed politically overseas … Not going to be arrested as a political prisoner in Oregon period."

He'll cap and trade... YOUR ASS!

All that talk of shooting it out with the jackbooted state police and their tyrannical polite communication got some militia loons excited, too. On Facebook, the state "3 percent" militia, an anti-government group that looks forward to an armed rebellion, called for a mobilization of gun humpers:

The "patriots" are planning an armed slob picnic for the Capitol building in Salem next week -- and claim the action was requested by a state senator.

Rightwing loons also are excitedly reminding each other that Oregon State Police officers were the tyrannical tyrants who murdered High Plains Grifter (and shitty novelist) LaVoy Finicum at the end of the Bundy dipshit militia wildlife refuge standoff and jamboree. For no reason at all -- just because he tried to run over cops at a roadblock and then went for his gun (like the hero of his own bad novel).

So yeah, this has the potential to get stupid and ugly, fast. Or at the very least, grifty: A GoFundMe supposedly to help the brave Republicans in exile has reportedly raised $17,000 already.

Over on 4chan yesterday, the trolls were thrilled at the prospect of the Oregon fuck-tussle leading to a new civil war, because doesn't everything lead to a new civil war? Samples:

  • "WE NEED A LEGAL ARMED PROTEST TO SHOW THAT WE WILL NOT BE SUBJECTED TO THIS"
  • "Dude, a Dem governor is sending the state police to arrest Republican legislators. If they get into a shootout, and kill a Republican, shit will get real fast. I'm not saying it would be the spark that sets everything off, but it would be massive."
  • "THE JEW IS AFRAID"
  • "Wish I was in Oregon. These R legislators need to be defended by red white and blue blooded Oregonians."

And then, as is traditional, they all started accusing each other of being Soros/Antifa/CIA infiltrators.

Yr Wonkette remembers being pretty inspired back in 2003, when Texas Democrats holed up in a motel in Oklahoma, killing a Republican redistricting bill that would have gerrymandered the state. So we might say we can't get too high-dudgeon-y about Republicans pulling a similar stunt -- but we do feel somewhat compelled to point out that Democrats weren't calling out armed supporters looking forward to a shootout, either. Seems a tad different.

[Oregonian / Oregon Public Broadcasting / Oregonian / Associated Press / Oregonian / Salem Statesman-Journal]

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Doktor Zoom

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.

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