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Constitutional Crisis in Curdistan
March 30, 2011 9:03 AM   Subscribe

There is a constitutional crisis in Cheeseland. If you haven't been paying attention, WI governor Scott Walker and the Republican controlled Senate and Assembly passed a controversial bill and signed it.

However, that does not quite make it law. The Secretary of State must designate a date of publication, direct the Legislative Research Bureau (LRB) to publish (print) the law into the books and direct the offical state newspaper of record (the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal) to publish it. Illusory tenant has a cogent analysis.

Due to a violation of Wisconsin's open meetings law, the bill was enjoined from becoming law, and the secretary of state was enjoined from publishing it. The secretary of state complied, however, the LRB published (read printed) the law with a footnote citing a statutory requirement to do so.

So, is it law ? Walker thinks so, although almost nobody else does, including the judge. She ruled yesterday that her original order must have been "Either misunderstood or ignored" and further enjoined the state from further implementing the "law".

As it turns out, Walker doesn't care and is proceeding apace. The Dane County GOP weighs in. The hearing continues on Friday.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt (377 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite

 
Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon): "Her action today again flies in the face of the separation of powers between the three branches of government."

What nonsense. Her action exemplifies the separation of powers, also know as "checks and balances". This is all very rage inducing and I hope the bill gets flushed down the shitter and these assholes re-prioritize their budgetary goals.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:07 AM on March 30, 2011 [81 favorites]


That GOP letter is one of the most childish things I've seen from a political entity. And these days, that's saying a lot.
posted by Uncle Ira at 9:07 AM on March 30, 2011 [55 favorites]


I'm not so secretly hoping that this ends up with either Walker, or Fitzgerald (or both!) in jail for contempt of court.
The WI SoS also asked for separate counsel (at state expense) because the Walker approved lawyer was not fairlly representing the SoS, I believe said counsel was granted.

and tangentially related... "Michael Kershaw, who served in several positions at Koch Industries from 1997 to 2002, will soon be brought on to manage Wisconsin’s State Energy Program, Focus on Energy." imagine that?
posted by edgeways at 9:10 AM on March 30, 2011 [16 favorites]


please warn us when we're going to click on a link that starts a download, even if it is a pdf.
posted by tomswift at 9:11 AM on March 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


"She shops at organic gourmet food shops run by leftists living in Dane County"

And we pulled at her pigtails, flicked boogers at her and stamped in dirty puddle as she walked by just to prove it!
posted by MuffinMan at 9:11 AM on March 30, 2011 [15 favorites]


That letter only makes me sad that I do not have enough vomit to cover all of the "Dane County GOP" in.
posted by kiltedtaco at 9:12 AM on March 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


Wow. Not that I didn't expect that level of stupidity, but I had to actually go to the Dane County GOP's site to make sure it wasn't faked.

(They misspell the name of their own party under the "Join!" link...)
posted by Madamina at 9:12 AM on March 30, 2011 [7 favorites]


From the GOP letter (last link): We accept that Left feels righteous vandalizing our homes and keying our cars.

Is there any evidence that this has this actually happened?
posted by desjardins at 9:13 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


This guy seems determined to drive off a cliff. I say we remove all obstacles. Seriously heading for a full-on recall, say in November 2012.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:13 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Would it matter ?
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:14 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


> (They misspell the name of their own party under the "Join!" link...)

No, I think that's how they're spelling it now. Think nucular.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:15 AM on March 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wow, they really have chosen this hill to die on, eh?
posted by rollbiz at 9:15 AM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


additionally.. additionally.

Some analysis says making this law, but staying the implementation is the best route to effectively challenge it. Because it is now open to all manner of legal attack, and people are positively queuing to file legal challenges. In addition WI is currently in early voting for a supreme court slot that could change the court makeup. If that happens and when (not if) this case gets kicked to the WISC there is a much better chance of it being voided.

Recall collections are well underway with at least one (Hopper) already collected and rumors of a few others near or already at completion.
posted by edgeways at 9:15 AM on March 30, 2011


As it turns out, Walker doesn't care

For those who have been watching, this shouldn't come as a surprise at all; he doesn't care about about the will of the people, the health of the state, the actual budget, the bridges he's burning, or the law itself.

In fact, it is becoming increasingly clear that the only things Walker cares about are Scott Walker, and how he can use this to further his political career at the national level. (and the Koch brothers, naturally.)
posted by quin at 9:15 AM on March 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


"We prioritize the Constitution and the well being of the people of Wisconsin over foie gras at cocktail parties."

if you can't grill it, can't spell it and can't drink it in a bottle, it's un-american!!
posted by pyramid termite at 9:16 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, I'm now remembering that the Dane County GOP is so spineless that they insist on hiding the name of their chair.
posted by Madamina at 9:16 AM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why did that guy materialize in the middle of their website? I don't know why they decided that drawing inspiration from an episode of "I Dream of Jeannie" would be a good idea.
posted by kiltedtaco at 9:17 AM on March 30, 2011 [5 favorites]


To the Republican Party of Dane County,

Attached is a letter that we received on March 30, 2011. I feel that you should be aware that some asshole is signing your name to stupid letters.

Very truly yours,

Judge Maryann Sumi
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:17 AM on March 30, 2011 [112 favorites]


This guy seems determined to drive off a cliff. I say we remove all obstacles. Seriously heading for a full-on recall, say in November 2012.

Well, truth told, among my republican friends - they love this. This is General Harry Kinnard saying "Nuts!" to a order to surrender. They love this sort of John Wayne daddy state, damn the torpedoes leadership.

And really, on a certain level, they are right. My main criticism of the Dems the past few years has been how utterly feckless and inconsequential they have been.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:18 AM on March 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


Rachel Maddow's segment on this last night included an interview with the WI Secretary Of State.
posted by hippybear at 9:18 AM on March 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


by the way - i've been to lots of union meetings and i've never seen foie gras or cocktails

my union must really suck
posted by pyramid termite at 9:18 AM on March 30, 2011 [32 favorites]


When religion and politics travel in the same cart, the riders believe nothing can stand in their way. Their movement becomes headlong – faster and faster and faster. They put aside all thought of obstacles and forget that a precipice does not show itself to the man in a blind rush until it’s too late.

- Bene Gesserit proverb
posted by Babblesort at 9:19 AM on March 30, 2011 [26 favorites]


incidentally Walker is also now asking for federal money for rail projects... you know? the funds he so publicly refused upon taking office.
posted by edgeways at 9:20 AM on March 30, 2011 [13 favorites]


The sun ain't gonna shine any more.
posted by JanetLand at 9:21 AM on March 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


We prioritize the Constitution and the well being of the people of Wisconsin over foie gras at cocktail parties.

Ah-hah, so how do you KNOW what they serve at those leftist organic cocktail parties? You even spelled it correctly!
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:21 AM on March 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


This is General Harry Kinnard saying "Nuts!" to a order to surrender.

Except that he knew that air support would be coming as soon as the weather cleared. This is moving into Downfall parody levels of delusion.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:21 AM on March 30, 2011 [8 favorites]


Uncle Ira: County parties, with a couple of exceptions, are pretty much always like this.
posted by Weebot at 9:22 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


You even spelled it correctly!
Yeah but you just kinda know that they're pronouncing it "fooey grass".
posted by Wolfdog at 9:22 AM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Only French people say it properly and they make love with their faces, run away from wars and smell of garlic.
posted by MuffinMan at 9:23 AM on March 30, 2011


Where are the Teahadists screaming about respect for the rule of law? If they thought Obama was "ramming things down thier throats", what exactly is Walker doing?

Right, "rule of law", like budget deficits, are just flimsy rhetorical concepts to employ against Democrats doing what Tehadists don't like, not actual beliefs of today's Republican Confederate Party. Raw power to achieve the results demanded by thier coporate controllers is the only real governing platform they have, and luckily, Walker is inept enough that he's playing with his cards facing out.

He's so transparent and blunt about his destructive agenda that it's hard to deny what he's doing is waging all out proto-fascist class war. He's giving a clear look behind the usual intellectual cover that his smoother Confederate operatives usually use to disguise thier true policy intentions. Keep on doing what you do Scott, hopefully the rest of the country is watching and won't get tricked again.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:24 AM on March 30, 2011 [22 favorites]


I do love that press release. It's conservative cultural resentment in its most distilled form
posted by Weebot at 9:24 AM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


The game of party politics and party money is well known and well in control of the Republican and Democratic Parties.

Same with control of the path to the courts. To get the matter in front of a Grand jury you have to have a Judge or the DA on board.

Rather than play their games where they have control of the board - start a new game.

Start thinking of how, in your own States how to ammend the State Constitution with new and different levers the citizens can use, rather than the "every X years vote" lever - as that isn't getting the citizens to where they wanna be.

In California ANY citizen can go to the Grand Jury (I believe that is the only state). No State has Instant Run Off voting on a Statewide level. Many don't like the tax freezes of prop 13 in California or in Florida - but given the seeming unbreakable 1 coin with 2 faces party system, I doubt actual spending discipline will result. Term limits or even tar and feathers combined with the original light tail transport outta town for transgressors might work.

But there has to be a way to bust these people's chops- playing their game they know well isn't gonna do it.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:26 AM on March 30, 2011


"They seem incapable of hearing people who say they are wrong," Miller said.

"GOP 2012: We can't hear you Lalalalalalala!"

"If you pretend no one is saying anything, then it becomes true. It's The Secret! I saw it on Oprah! We'll use The Secret to take our country back and defend ourselves from the Feminazi Anchor Baby Shariah Law which has taken over our land!"
posted by yeloson at 9:27 AM on March 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


Teahadists

I really think the only thing they had right was calling themselves Teabaggers, because everything that comes out of their mouths is nuts.
posted by yeloson at 9:28 AM on March 30, 2011 [40 favorites]




As a leftist I resent the implication that I would eat foie gras. I haven't eaten meat in a decade, much less the organs of a cruelly force-fed captive animal.

I also prefer microbrew festivals to cocktail parties, but somehow I think Walker wouldn't see the difference.
posted by headnsouth at 9:29 AM on March 30, 2011 [14 favorites]


The big question I have is why don't they just pass the bill again? They have the votes (in the sense that those who voted for it have chained themselves to this bill). If this is simply a procedural problem, getting the procedure right shouldn't be difficult.

I guess off the top of my head the state Senate GOP is worried that the Democratic Party will start cutting deals with GOP Senators by calling off the recall for those who'd vote no the second go around.
posted by Weebot at 9:31 AM on March 30, 2011


If they thought Obama was "ramming things down thier throats", what exactly is Walker doing?

he's ramming things down OTHER people's throats - you know, like they're geese or something ...

prole gras, i guess
posted by pyramid termite at 9:32 AM on March 30, 2011 [30 favorites]


Less than four months after losing nearly all of an $810 million grant, Wisconsin is again seeking federal high-speed rail money - this time to upgrade the existing Milwaukee-to-Chicago passenger line.

It shouldn't surprise me that he is trying to now get federal funds that he had previously turned down...but it does. What a fucking hypocrite.
posted by futz at 9:34 AM on March 30, 2011 [8 favorites]


Something I totally don't understand regarding the removal of collective bargaining rights: What happens if those unions strike? Can they be put in jail now? (Sorry if I simply haven't read enough on this.)

It just strikes me as weird that those "rights," which were "granted" largely because there would've been strikes had they not been, could be taken away...when the unions could go on strike to fight that. I realize that a statewide teacher's strike is a complicated thing. I'm a teacher myself, and it would take something on this level for me to think striking was a good idea. (Most teachers' strikes here in WA are misguided to say the least.) But the prospect is still there...right?
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:34 AM on March 30, 2011


The Dane County GOP weighs in.

Have you guys considered putting your political process in the hands of adults, instead?

"You must be this tall to participate in the democratic process."
posted by mhoye at 9:34 AM on March 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


In California ANY citizen can go to the Grand Jury (I believe that is the only state).

That is a terrible idea. California is legislatively deadlocked and very nearly ungovernable as a result of ideas like that.
posted by mhoye at 9:35 AM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


The extreme anti-government wing in the GOP wants to show government as incompetent, so they're engaging in a Yippie-style pranksterism (stay with me here) to show how foolish and incapable the government is. Unlike the Yippies, there is little humor or whimsy here; this movement is based on rage, and its aim here is to hurt so gravely that it dies.

Pitting one side of the government against another is an efficient way to do this. It occupies the politicians and civil servants, pro-government elements, with an internal fight, so that they are unable to govern effectively.

The element that wants a revolution here does not care if they appear unable to competently run the government, because they do not want the government in the first place.
posted by zippy at 9:37 AM on March 30, 2011 [27 favorites]


If I've learned one thiong from this thread it's that the Bene Gesserit need pithier proverb writers.
posted by biffa at 9:39 AM on March 30, 2011 [18 favorites]


Organic gourmet food! I also heard the judge is a shameless extrovert who once practiced nepotism with her sister who is a thespian New York!
posted by Ad hominem at 9:39 AM on March 30, 2011 [12 favorites]


That is a terrible idea.

And you know this because you have evidence?

Getting officials who've violated Law true billed is bad - that's what you are claiming.

California is legislatively deadlocked and very nearly ungovernable as a result of ideas like that.

Vs what - Violations of Law that gatekeepers have the option to ignore?
posted by rough ashlar at 9:40 AM on March 30, 2011


I also heard the judge is a shameless extrovert who once practiced nepotism with her sister who is a thespian New York!

not only that, she got her hand stuck in her volvo!
posted by pyramid termite at 9:41 AM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


show government as incompetent

It is. But so are most people - small businesses made of such people get to die. But any large organization will get to lumber on with incompetency.

The person who gets an implementable plan that gets larger groups of people to not act incompetent will not only become rich, but the bards will write songs of their glory for years.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:43 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm just trying to figure out what the next few steps are. Have the douchebag arrested? Will the police or whomever has authority actually arrest him?
posted by SirOmega at 9:44 AM on March 30, 2011


mhoye: That is a terrible idea. California is legislatively deadlocked and very nearly ungovernable as a result of ideas like that.

fix'd
posted by mullingitover at 9:46 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Okay, so the judge decides to hold the Governor in the contempt. So what? He clearly doesn't care and will push this as far it can go. A fine isn't going to stop him, so the alternative is jail time until he complies with the order. Will the judge do that? It risks a Nixon type crisis. It's a little known fact, but Nixon's crazy goons like Haldeman and Liddy actually contemplated shooting it out if the authorities came to arrest Nixon. I'd imagine Walker has similar guys around him.

Look, I've dealt with these kinds of conservative sociopaths before. They'll keep on pushing the envelope because no one ever sticks it to them. They know the consequences are generally outweighed by the benefits of their actions.
posted by wuwei at 9:48 AM on March 30, 2011 [8 favorites]


> (They misspell the name of their own party under the "Join!" link...)

> No, I think that's how they're spelling it now. Think nucular.

That is too good to be true "(Repubilican").
posted by zombieApoc at 9:50 AM on March 30, 2011


wuwel, I don't know how the state police work in Wisconsin, but here in NY if someone resisted them with force, that someone would end up dead.
posted by lodurr at 9:54 AM on March 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


sorry, wuwel ==> wuwei
posted by lodurr at 9:54 AM on March 30, 2011


You know, if the Left actually had the jackbooted thugs we're supposed to have, we'd have deployed them by now.

The only time I am surprised by Republican/Teabagger actions nowadays is when they take on something new (like child labor laws) that it had never occurred to me they would. But eventually they'll run out of those, also. If they were to go on long enough, it'd be women's suffrage and the right of non-landowners to vote on the chopping block.

As it is, in any political decision, I merely have to ask myself "what is the most evil possible stance on this issue?" and bang, I know how Republicans will vote.

It's not the Democrats are some kinds of heroes; they are disappointingly unwilling to call evil what it is. It's just that as someone who used to consider herself a political moderate, I am increasingly finding sympathy with a far-left worldview. If I'm going to be castigated as a socialist, then by god, might as well get some damn socialism going around here. I've certainly had my fill of unfettered capitalism-worship.
posted by emjaybee at 9:55 AM on March 30, 2011 [64 favorites]


zombieApoc, it's a graphic -- they won't be changing it soon. this is why I'm always telling our creative director we shouldn't put text in graphics, but does she listen to me?
posted by lodurr at 9:56 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


mullingitover: nah, that only fixed a portion of the problem. Tax rates and fees can't be increased without a two-thirds supermajority. Ironically, this situation--budgeting with a majority minus tax increases--makes GOP-style budgeting much easier, since spending cuts now only require a majority vote.

Even holding statewide ballot initiatives to keep taxes at existing rates (as opposed to simply extending the rates) are an anathema to the CA GOP. Sorry for the derail. I'm sure there will be a "California Government Shuts Down" FPP soon enough for all this.
posted by Weebot at 9:58 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's a little known fact, but Nixon's crazy goons like Haldeman and Liddy actually contemplated shooting it out if the authorities came to arrest Nixon. I'd imagine Walker has similar guys around him.

In many ways, I think this would be one of the best possible outcomes. The Kochs et al respect only wealth and raw power, and clearly can't be constrained by traditional legal means.
posted by ryanshepard at 9:59 AM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


The extreme anti-government wing in the GOP wants to show government as incompetent, so they're engaging in a Yippie-style pranksterism (stay with me here) to show how foolish and incapable the government is. Unlike the Yippies, there is little humor or whimsy here; this movement is based on rage, and its aim here is to hurt so gravely that it dies.

Pitting one side of the government against another is an efficient way to do this. It occupies the politicians and civil servants, pro-government elements, with an internal fight, so that they are unable to govern effectively.

The element that wants a revolution here does not care if they appear unable to competently run the government, because they do not want the government in the first place.


Yes. Yes, yes yes. Much like conservatives created Fox news to make a mockery of news reporting and make journalism and believing news reports untrustable (as noted in a comment long ago by Avenger).
posted by cashman at 9:59 AM on March 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


If you're looking for more on this, Abe Sauer's reporting from Wisconsin for the Awl has been super fantastic and is definitely worth checking out.
posted by joshuaconner at 10:02 AM on March 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


I was really hoping this involved cheese, and that Pogo_Fuzzybutt was cleverly disguising another cheese war as the collective bargaining mess.

What can I say? My morning started out very positively that I went into my day optimistic.
posted by small_ruminant at 10:02 AM on March 30, 2011


Hey, this is what WI voted for.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:03 AM on March 30, 2011


but not grammatically correct, clearly
posted by small_ruminant at 10:04 AM on March 30, 2011


Yeah, I'm still not sure why they don't just let it be declared null by the courts over a procedural issue, follow the open meetings law correctly this time and vote again. They seem to have the votes for it if it isn't a budgetary item, so why fight that they did it stupidly? To establish case law that they can violate the open meetings requirement at will?
posted by Kyol at 10:09 AM on March 30, 2011


.... it'd be women's suffrage and the right of non-landowners to vote on the chopping block.

Are you joking about that, or do you actually not know that there's a movement among teabaggers to advocate restricting voting rights to landholders? (And while they're at it, repeal the 17th amendment, which allows for direct election of Senators. It turns out that direct election of Senators is a "non-representative" way of getting a senator. Having the Senator appointed is apparently more representative. Don't ask, I don't follow it either.)
posted by lodurr at 10:09 AM on March 30, 2011 [12 favorites]


Okay, so the judge decides to hold the Governor in the contempt. So what? He clearly doesn't care and will push this as far it can go. A fine isn't going to stop him

Walker's only act here is pen to paper. Its the officials who actually take concrete steps to implement the law that go to jail. And the minute the first one does, the rest won't touch implementation. Thus, the injunction has teeth.

The longer Walker drags this out, the more it hurts him and those soon-to-be-recalled senators. That he has no plan should be obvious at this point. Guy is running at 57% disapproval right now, three months into his first term. Honeymoon, meet bulldozer.

Also anyone who says the Dems have been irrelevant or feckless need to go back and remember the health care law. They fought and won that battle and paid the price. Why people on their own side refuse to credit them amazes me, especially considering the GOP has certainly credited them and acted as if hot lead was poured into their bones when it was made law. Those who expect perfection get nothing.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:10 AM on March 30, 2011 [30 favorites]


You know, if the Left actually had the jackbooted thugs we're supposed to have, we'd have deployed them by now.

WRONG, no one called me at all.
posted by Hoopo at 10:11 AM on March 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


As for why they're not revoting, there are rumors that Senator Fitzgerald might not think they have the votes if they do it over again.
posted by Vibrissa at 10:12 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dear Canada,

Please invade The United States now, while we're busy fighting three wars overseas. I think you'd find a lot of us surprisingly willing to betray our country and turn many of our countrymen over to you to put in whatever the humane Canadian alternative to hard labor camps is (time out camps, perhaps?) in return for sane government. Thank you for your consideration.
posted by dortmunder at 10:13 AM on March 30, 2011 [32 favorites]


Are you joking about that, or do you actually not know that there's a movement among teabaggers to advocate restricting voting rights to landholders?

Please tell me you're kidding. Please?
posted by rtha at 10:13 AM on March 30, 2011


How dare those liberals be intolerant of our intolerance!
posted by electroboy at 10:14 AM on March 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


Look, I've dealt with these kinds of conservative sociopaths before. They'll keep on pushing the envelope because no one ever sticks it to them. They know the consequences are generally outweighed by the benefits of their actions.

You know, 100,000 in the streets and multiple recalls IS sticking it to them. Maybe putting our money and sweat behind those is the way to go, no? Seriously, the reason they aren't going the route of repassage is that they don't have the votes.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:15 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


After stepping back, breathing deeply, and reflecting on the situation - and I hope I am not just rationalizing here - this is a good thing. Walker is not just practicing brinksmanship, he is the kind of guy who'll gladly drive the bus off the damn cliff. I sure hope people realize the national implications of right wing policies, and I hope it's not too early for The Right to recover before 2012.

You can count on the Democrats to either fail to capitalize on this or to weakly do so. It's in the hands of the electorate, and I am not sanguine about it.
posted by Xoebe at 10:17 AM on March 30, 2011


I posted in the last thread about single serving sites with clear messages about why it makes sense to support organized labor in WI. I got sidetracked, and as the story faded in and out of the news (the Japan quake helped with that) I started to wonder if it was even worth it. I have some new ideas, and wouldn't mind working on the ones I mentioned before, but I have to ask (as a non Wisconsinite):

1) Is there a project I can contribute to and
2) If I'm looking to contribute effort then what's the best way to do it?
posted by codacorolla at 10:17 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


rtha, no, unfortunately.
posted by QIbHom at 10:17 AM on March 30, 2011 [7 favorites]


And while they're at it, repeal the 17th amendment, which allows for direct election of Senators. It turns out that direct election of Senators is a "non-representative" way of getting a senator. Having the Senator appointed is apparently more representative. Don't ask, I don't follow it either.

So...they're Canadians?
posted by Hoopo at 10:18 AM on March 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


Dear Canada,

Please invade The United States now


I don't think you'd like the guy in charge up there, either.

And this is in case the "election" talk in the other link gives you hope.
posted by saturday_morning at 10:18 AM on March 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


rtha, no, unfortunately.

In other news, I am astonished and delighted to learn that there is a prominent Republican named DeeDee Blasé.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:20 AM on March 30, 2011 [7 favorites]


> Dear Canada,

Please invade The United States now, while we're busy fighting three wars overseas. I think you'd find a lot of us surprisingly willing to betray our country and turn many of our countrymen over to you to put in whatever the humane Canadian alternative to hard labor camps is (time out camps, perhaps?) in return for sane government. Thank you for your consideration.


I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but up here we're teetering on the edge ourselves these days.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:20 AM on March 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


Just imagine how the PC could self-destruct if they had to deal with Texans and birthers!
posted by QIbHom at 10:20 AM on March 30, 2011


lodurr:
Right, but that assumes a couple of things--
1. that the judge would order the arrest
2. that the law enforcement agency responsible would actually do it.

There are political considerations here. No judge wants to see the system undermined, but at the same time, ordering the police or sheriff to arrest the governor is a huge step. Obviously if that happens the judge herself will become a target of the GOP anger, which might turn into her own impeachment etc.

There's also the problem of the governor's own protective detail deciding it wants to shoot it out with whichever law enforcement agency shows up with a warrant in hand. I can't tell who provides Walker's security. In many states it's typically handled by the state police agency, as opposed to local police. However, a brief web search turns up this curiousarticle. The guards in the article had state police buttons but would not show a badge and would not explain their status. From the article " “I’m just really curious. . . . What is your status? Are you a police officer?” “I’m a police officer. . . . I’m with the State of Wisconsin as far as I can tell you right now, Ok?”"

I do know that states have the ability to swear someone in as a reserve officer. I would not be surprised, considering Walker's privatization rhetoric, if he had his own private security force sworn in as reserve officers. This would give them arrest powers, as well as the authority to carry a weapon etc.

Say the police commander or sheriff gets an order from the court to bring Walker in. Now they have to think about whether these guys working for Walker are going to back down , or then claim that the sheriff's department is acting "unlawfully" and come out guns blazing. That's a lot to think about.

Now put yourself in the judge's shoes. Do you want to issue an order that might not be carried out by the police? Or one that might cause an armed standoff between Walker's protective detail of reserve police officers and the sheriff?

Of course if the judge does back down from this, or the local sheriff backs down from this, Walker has pretty much executed a coup. Checks and balances would no longer be operative in Wisconsin...you'd pretty much be looking at Latin America in the 1980s.
posted by wuwei at 10:21 AM on March 30, 2011 [13 favorites]


Scott Walker is the most fearless governor in the country. He's just crazy! Look, there's an enjoinder on his bill! Look at that enjoinder. Scott Walker don't care, he just keeps on going. Checks and balances? Scott Walker don't give a shit.

Eww, now he's eating a cobra!
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 10:23 AM on March 30, 2011 [57 favorites]


The police are big union supporters, so I hope walker is counting on them not obeying a court order.
posted by empath at 10:23 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


wuwei: Ironmouth said it upthread, but it bears repeating: It's not Walker the judge would order be arrested, but whatever low-level functionaries were actually implementing the law. That's not nearly as difficult, politically, to see playing out, and yet, the end result--blocking the implementation of the law--would be the same. Before long, no one would play along with Walker for fear of being found in contempt of court, which sends Walker back to the drawing board for now. There's no major political risk here.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:24 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dear Canada

In order to help you guys out, we'd need to have a government. At the present moment, we don't. Sorry!
posted by Sys Rq at 10:24 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


In order to help you guys out, we'd need to have a government. At the present moment, we don't. Sorry!

You lucky bastards.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:25 AM on March 30, 2011 [11 favorites]


From the article: In a later statement, Department of Justice spokesman Bill Cosh said: "We don't believe that the court can enjoin non-parties. Whether the Department of Administration or other state officers choose to comply with any direction issued by Judge Sumi is up to them."

Huh? The order in question specifically enjoins "Secretary of State La Follette, in his official capacity." Douglas La Follette is a named party of the lawsuit. It's one thing to claim the order is unconstitutional on separation of powers grounds, but this claim is laughable. What kind of Department of Justice says "eh, ignore the court order if you feel like it?" They are supposed to be the legal counsel for the entire state government.
posted by zachlipton at 10:25 AM on March 30, 2011


Dear Canada,

Please invade The United States now, while we're busy fighting three wars overseas. I think you'd find a lot of us surprisingly willing to betray our country and turn many of our countrymen over to you to put in whatever the humane Canadian alternative to hard labor camps is (time out camps, perhaps?) in return for sane government. Thank you for your consideration.


Dear dortmunder,

Thank you for your request. Unfortunately, we have enough trouble of our own right now - an election and participation in two the three wars you are in. Plus the hockey playoffs are about to start, eh? We wish you the best.

Cheers and beers,

Canada
posted by never used baby shoes at 10:26 AM on March 30, 2011 [20 favorites]


1. Sooner or later, if this injunction faces continuing defiance from the executive, that branch will be formally added to the lawsuit. And then disobeying the judge's order will be contempt, which at a minimum could cost everyone who is defying it a lot of money.

2. I predict Governor Walker's tenure will end just as soon as he is eligible for recall.

3. I also predict that a lot of state legislators will not hold their jobs for long.

I'd be shocked if Wisconsin voters continue to tolerate this kind of lawlessness and extremism. (And I hope they will think very hard in the future before they vote R again.)
posted by bearwife at 10:27 AM on March 30, 2011


I wonder if Scott Walker would be ok with his own precedent that he has set for future governors when a different party is in charge? The GOP is currently setting the groundwork for a tremendous socialist party takeover of the country by consolidating power into key positions. Walker is going to be really upset when all this power he has accumulated is switched to destroy private business in WI. I look forward to the day when my people can weild the power my enemies have developed.

Also: as I always say, cultural conservatives always, always lose eventually. The history of this country is the history of crushing conservative ideas.
posted by fuq at 10:28 AM on March 30, 2011 [7 favorites]


You can count on the Democrats to either fail to capitalize on this or to weakly do so. It's in the hands of the electorate, and I am not sanguine about it.

Personally, it isn't Dem politicians that are the problem, its the Dem electorate. Must we always say we are going to lose before it starts? Why can't we fight for the best we can get every time without expecting that the country is going to support the most ambitious of our proposals and declare failure if our full wish list isn't implemented? The strength of the GOP is that their maniacs never give up fighting and they don't rely on politicians to motivate them--they just go out and do it. Why can't we fight hard as Dem voters and stop saying that we are doing so fucking bad when we just shoved health care they hated down their throats and put a black president into office despite the massive racism of many of their supporters? Why can't our supporters fight instead of completely blaming the politicians for our own inaction and tepid support for our own leaders that we elected?
posted by Ironmouth at 10:28 AM on March 30, 2011 [22 favorites]


A few quick things...

It's my understanding that State Senator Fitzgerald can't be jailed, at least not for normal infractions. I would assume it's similar for the Governor too, but haven't seen legal discussion of it.

Desjardins, it looks like the claim of them having their lawns burned and cars keyed goes back to at least 2008. There's mention of it in the article about how the party chair doesn't identify himself.

The WI Democratic party has raised more money this year than it did in all of last year (a year which had a pretty big election in it).
posted by drezdn at 10:29 AM on March 30, 2011


Also: as I always say, cultural conservatives always, always lose eventually.

Cultural conservatism may be taking a beating, but their class war is going swimmingly.
posted by ryanshepard at 10:29 AM on March 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'd be shocked if Wisconsin voters continue to tolerate this kind of lawlessness and extremism. (And I hope they will think very hard in the future before they vote R again.)

Ehhhh, from my friends list on facebook, this is playing out pretty nicely with the republicans. It plays into so many of their political desires - activist judges, daddy state governors, etc etc etc. They're eating it up - they'd vote for another decade of this if they could.
posted by Kyol at 10:30 AM on March 30, 2011


"We prioritize the Constitution and the well being of the people of Wisconsin over foie gras at cocktail parties."

if you can't grill it, can't spell it and can't drink it in a bottle, it's un-american!!


You can totally grill foie gras, and I have in fact done so on a charcoal barbecue.
posted by atrazine at 10:32 AM on March 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


Ehhhh, from my friends list on facebook, this is playing out pretty nicely with the republicans. It plays into so many of their political desires - activist judges, daddy state governors, etc etc etc. They're eating it up - they'd vote for another decade of this if they could.

Uh, they don't have the votes. The fact that this excites the Teahadists means nothing without the votes. And they won't have them the next time around.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:33 AM on March 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


On the sidebar about landowners and voting rights, do they consider people with a mortgage to be landowners?
posted by maxwelton at 10:34 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cultural conservatism may be taking a beating, but their class war is going swimmingly.

This is their Barbarossa.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:35 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


One thing I wonder about is whether the state Republicans think they'll have control over all three branches for a long time, because they're acting like it. If the law doesn't get shot down on open meetings grounds, or the constitutional quorum challenge, you end up giving the party in power the ability to ram anything through that they want.
posted by drezdn at 10:35 AM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


You can totally grill foie gras

what kind of barbeque sauce do you use? kc masterpiece? is it better in hamburger or hot dog buns? or do you put into a bowl and let everyone dip their doritos in it?
posted by pyramid termite at 10:37 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


On the sidebar about landowners and voting rights, do they consider people with a mortgage to be landowners?

I assume they mean people who own land, so yes.
posted by atrazine at 10:38 AM on March 30, 2011


drezdn: They could be gambling that they're more ruthless than their successors are likely to be. That seems like a pretty safe bet, too.
posted by aubilenon at 10:38 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is their Barbarossa.

You best be believin' in class wars. You're in one!
posted by mullingitover at 10:41 AM on March 30, 2011 [13 favorites]


aubilenon, that's a good point. Personally, I would hope the Dems wouldn't pull the same shit.
posted by drezdn at 10:42 AM on March 30, 2011


Repubilican has 12,600 google hits. This may be the lizard people branch of the party. Or a horror movie.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:42 AM on March 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


>> Uh, they don't have the votes. The fact that this excites the Teahadists means nothing without the votes. And they won't have them the next time around.

Poll Shows More Americans Have Unfavorable Views of Tea Party
posted by JohnFredra at 10:43 AM on March 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


They are actively trying to prevent Dems from winning elections though. First with this bill which would defund many of the state's unions, a source of Democratic funds. Secondly, they're trying to pass a very restrictive voter id bill that would hurt the ability of the poor and students (or anyone that moves) from voting.
posted by drezdn at 10:44 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm really glad that Walker decided to piss off the judiciary before the case went to the Supreme Court. Frankly, I am more and more convinced of his venal stupidity and political shortsightedness.
posted by thebestusernameever at 10:44 AM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Jeez, with the jealosy. You guys want some fooey grass? Go work hard, get a million dollars and buy your own damn fooey grass. That's how it works, right?
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:44 AM on March 30, 2011


What happens if those unions strike? Can they be put in jail now?

They can be fired. It's on page 16 of the bill (pdf).
posted by desjardins at 10:47 AM on March 30, 2011


Go work hard, get a million dollars and buy your own damn fooey grass. That's how it works, right?

oh, hell no, homer - you just grab a goose out of the park, get yourself one of them siphon hoses from the hardware store and pump that sucker full of grits until he's fat enough
posted by pyramid termite at 10:47 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]




do you put into a bowl and let everyone dip their doritos in it?
The only reason the stuff is even considered swanky in the first place, as compared to "potted meat food product", is because of the swanky-sounding name. So... foie gras avec morceaux de maïs épicée? Absolutely! Magnificent! Why not!
posted by Wolfdog at 10:50 AM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


emjaybee: "The only time I am surprised by Republican/Teabagger actions nowadays is when they take on something new (like child labor laws) that it had never occurred to me they would. But eventually they'll run out of those, also. If they were to go on long enough, it'd be women's suffrage and the right of non-landowners to vote on the chopping block."

You were kidding, but Judson Phillips is not:
The Founding Fathers originally said, they put certain restrictions on who gets the right to vote. It wasn't you were just a citizen and you got to vote. Some of the restrictions, you know, you obviously would not think about today. But one of those was you had to be a property owner. And that makes a lot of sense, because if you're a property owner you actually have a vested stake in the community. If you're not a property owner, you know, I'm sorry but property owners have a little bit more of a vested interest in the community than non-property owners.
posted by symbioid at 10:53 AM on March 30, 2011 [9 favorites]


All mentions of Sean Duffy need to be preceded by "former Real World cast member."
posted by drezdn at 10:56 AM on March 30, 2011 [19 favorites]



GOP House freshman Sean Duffy of Ashland (WI) found himself explaining his congressional salary and benefits to a struggling local builder at a town hall meeting in Polk County last month, saying, “I struggle to meet my bills right now.”


The best part is he the same guy that used to be on the Real World and the Real World Road Rules Challange...
posted by SweetJesus at 10:56 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you're not a property owner, you know, I'm sorry but property owners have a little bit more of a vested interest in the community than non-property owners.

Gee, I wonder how that would turn out.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 10:58 AM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thanks for adding that drezdn. I had to stop somewhere! And he married another Real World cast member.
posted by futz at 10:58 AM on March 30, 2011


He's married to Rachel from the San Francisco season! I don't remember him, but I remember her.
posted by drezdn at 11:01 AM on March 30, 2011






As a leftist I resent the implication that I would eat foie gras. I haven't eaten meat in a decade, much less the organs of a cruelly force-fed captive animal.

Huh, when I break, I do it full throttle. The last 3 meat dishes I've had (over the past 5-6 years) were Spanish tripe, a pork cassoulet, and some ridiculously delicious foie-gras eggs en cocotte nonsense.

If you're going to flush your principles, go big, is what I always say.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:03 AM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've often what would happen if the executive decided to simply ignore the judiciary. The governor has the police, the National Guard, and a state bureaucracy (that which he doesn't fire) under his direct command. The judge has a gavel, a few bailiffs, and some clerks.

Who wins? Looks like I'm going to find out.
posted by clarknova at 11:04 AM on March 30, 2011


Hmm, Repubilicans literally don't know how to govern the US.
posted by fuq at 11:04 AM on March 30, 2011




The governor has the police, the National Guard, and a state bureaucracy (that which he doesn't fire) under his direct command

It's my understanding that for police, he only has the state troopers and DOJ under his direct control.

As for the National Guard, the president has final say in their use, and they can be yoinked from Walker at a minute's notice.
posted by drezdn at 11:08 AM on March 30, 2011


If you're not a property owner, you know, I'm sorry but property owners have a little bit more of a vested interest in the community than non-property owners.

"Community" depends on who you define as "human", as well. Property, apparently, cannot have a vested interested in itself, no matter what it says or it's history.
posted by yeloson at 11:08 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Newt Gingrich is apparently a Walker fan:

Gingrich said he didn’t meet with Gov. Scott Walker while in town, but said he liked him very much and was with him the last week of the campaign.

“I’m very fond of him. He was a very good county executive,” Gingrich said.


This a back-handed compliment from Gingrich. My interpretation of Gingrich's comments:

"he didn’t meet with Gov. Scott Walker while in town" = Gingrich didn't want to meet him.

"He was a very good county executive" = Gingrich doesn't think he's a good governor.
posted by zippy at 11:09 AM on March 30, 2011 [5 favorites]


I've often what would happen if the executive decided to simply ignore the judiciary.

A Trail of Tears.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:11 AM on March 30, 2011 [8 favorites]


zippy, that is foie gras for thought, indeed. Good point.
posted by futz at 11:12 AM on March 30, 2011


"He was a very good county executive" = Gingrich doesn't think he's a good governor.

Your take is interesting Zippy. As a Milwaukee County resident, I just want to point out that he was a pretty poor County Exec. In his last year in office, things started falling off of buildings, while he didn't push them off (so far as we know), he did defund the engineer position that was in charge of inspecting him.

His most extreme ideas (sell off the airport and anything else the county owns) were kept in check by a more left-leaning County Board (if you live in the fighting 14th Supervisory District, vote Jason Haas).
posted by drezdn at 11:12 AM on March 30, 2011


That GOP letter is one of the most childish things I've seen from a political entity. And these days, that's saying a lot.

Guys, this is obviously a Yes Men prank. I think the GOP is misguided, but obviously they are not this dim and childish.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:13 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is their Barbarossa.

Also their Omarosa.
posted by OmieWise at 11:14 AM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Good point, zippy. Even saying that he was fond of him sounds a little belittling--you're fond of children and pets, not people you respect. Right?
posted by overglow at 11:14 AM on March 30, 2011


I've often what would happen if the executive decided to simply ignore the judiciary.

If the judiciary has the support of the legislature, impeachment.

If not, the executive wins. The checks and balances system means that any time two branches conspire against the third, the third loses.
posted by mullingitover at 11:14 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


>Those who expect perfection get nothing.

I didn't expect perfection, but I expected Obama not to lie when he claimed to be pursuing a public option, when in reality the administration had already conceded this in negotiations with insurers. While the bill does have good things in it, it's still a net giveaway to health insurers, which are the very cause of the problem that we have. While more people will be covered, there are not adequate provisions to control the cost of care. We cannot allow these companies to skim a couple of points off the GDP while providing nothing of value.
posted by gngstrMNKY at 11:15 AM on March 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


Hey, this is what WI voted for.

I'm guessing that the majority of Wisconsin didn't select this. The people who voted for "not Walker" and the people who just didn't vote.

And the few who didn't see things going down the way it has been.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:17 AM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


The police are big union supporters, so I hope walker is counting on them not obeying a court order.

Well he can fire them any time he likes, can't he? If he sends the order, officers x,y,z,c aren't on the payroll anymore. And it's a shitty economy. What do they do now?

When acting as a group which side do the police usually come down on?
posted by clarknova at 11:19 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Teabagger Party: Re-pubic-lickin' Good
posted by AugieAugustus at 11:19 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Five years from now, the kids growing up during this shitstorm will make epic politics inspired bands.

We will see a rocking showdown between classic rock/country fusion the Teathuglicans (as mentioned above) and R&B/ska fusion the Jacked Left Boots
posted by Slackermagee at 11:20 AM on March 30, 2011


I've often what would happen if the executive decided to simply ignore the judiciary. The governor has the police . . .

Shades of the apparent canard that Andrew Jackson said in response to a Supreme Court ruling, Chief Justice Marshall has made his ruling. Now let him enforce it.

In reality, every police officer knows that the whole legal system they support turns on the judiciary . . . the ability to get charges filed, warrants issued, trials conducted, sentencings held. There is no way that the police (who I suspect are conflicted about being immune yet seeing a wholesale assault on other state worker union rights) are going to side with the governor against a judge whose orders are being defied.

Lawless executives have never gotten the support of police/military to defy court orders in U.S. history, and I don't think Scott Walker is going to be the one to buck that precedent.
posted by bearwife at 11:21 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jesus christ can we not have the Obamacare debate again? We've had it in at least 8 billion threads already. Just google one of them up and read through it if you must.
posted by Aizkolari at 11:22 AM on March 30, 2011 [14 favorites]


I didn't expect perfection, but I expected Obama not to lie when he claimed to be pursuing a public option, when in reality the administration had already conceded this in negotiations with insurers.

Fucking A, this is not about that and that is not about this.
posted by Think_Long at 11:22 AM on March 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


2. I predict Governor Walker's tenure will end just as soon as he is eligible for recall.

I'd say the resulting "Oh no! The *shake head side to side fast while letting the cheeks slap back and forth* LIBERALS *stop head shaking* are after Walker! Give to the Republican party to protect him!" And the Republican party will thusly get money from all over the world.

Its the game both sides are great at - Claim The Party will save things.

Figure out a different game, one that will break 'em.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:23 AM on March 30, 2011


fuq : I look forward to the day when my people can weild the power my enemies have developed.

Can we all agree that when we regain the levers of power we do wield them? Because up until now it seems like every effort to find a middle ground pushes us further to the rights side of the field, and I'd love to see some crazy ass leftist principles actually forced down some figurative throats for a couple of years to pull us back to a saner center.
posted by quin at 11:23 AM on March 30, 2011 [15 favorites]


This a back-handed compliment from Gingrich. My interpretation of Gingrich's comments:
"he didn’t meet with Gov. Scott Walker while in town" = Gingrich didn't want to meet him.
"He was a very good county executive" = Gingrich doesn't think he's a good governor.


I'm by no means a Gingrich fan, but that is an absolutely brilliant bit of politicking. Walker's friends and foes will both find something to like from Newt in those quotes, remaining completely oblivious to the other side...
posted by schmod at 11:23 AM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]



Figure out a different game, one that will break 'em.

It's a damn shame that the calls for General Strike lost so much steam when the unions and politicians started pushing so hard for a recall.
posted by Stagger Lee at 11:25 AM on March 30, 2011 [7 favorites]


You know who hates socialists?

Fascists.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 11:29 AM on March 30, 2011 [29 favorites]


It's a damn shame that the calls for General Strike lost so much steam

Pointing out how "your money is your vote" and calls to be mindful of the spending don't have alot of steam either.

My guess is what will have steam is "So, my involvement is to sign a hunk of paper, right now? Taking less time than me asking these questions and I don't have to do nuthing else?" The less work having to be done, the more support it'll have.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:31 AM on March 30, 2011


QIbHom wrote: "rtha, no, unfortunately."

Wow..that really makes me want to reconsider selling my last piece of land, even though I only see it once every year or two.
posted by wierdo at 11:32 AM on March 30, 2011




Hey, this is what WI voted for.

Why do we keep hearing this refrain?

If Walker went around killing people, you'd hear people say, "welp, WI voted for a killer, so, there you have it."
posted by kenko at 11:41 AM on March 30, 2011 [19 favorites]



Personally, it isn't Dem politicians that are the problem, its the Dem electorate. Must we always say we are going to lose before it starts? Why can't we fight for the best we can get every time without expecting that the country is going to support the most ambitious of our proposals and declare failure if our full wish list isn't implemented?


I disagree. The Dem politicians have been feckless. They've spent the past two decades running as "almost republicans", legislating as "almost republicans" and passing legislation that is "almost republican". At some point, one has to ask - why not just vote for the fucking republicans be done with it ?

This isn't so much about the actual outcomes and positions as it is about process - Republicans have a level of organization from top to bottom that the Dem establishment has quashed at every opportunity (c.f. Howard Dean). The Republicans are way better about getting on the TV with a message - a unified message - and framing the dialog. And so on.

The Dem failures have been failures of messaging and commitment and drive, and we got to where we are because of those failures. Now, granted, we're starting to see some movement on those fronts. There should be more, and hopefully there will be.

But for most of my adult life, the Democratic party has been shambling, terror filled, shell of a party.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:42 AM on March 30, 2011 [15 favorites]


At some point, one has to ask - why not just vote for the fucking republicans be done with it ?

Are they pulling shit like Walker is trying to pull?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:44 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


dortmunder: "whatever the humane Canadian alternative to hard labor camps is"

Penalty box, obviously.
posted by caution live frogs at 11:44 AM on March 30, 2011 [25 favorites]


We cannot allow these companies to skim a couple of points off the GDP while providing nothing of value.

Who's "we", white man? The discourse is utterly fecked in this country and things are only going to get worse. We got a Republican health plan because Republicans still control enough levers of power to stop progressive reforms. You want something better, move. This place is done.
posted by mokuba at 11:45 AM on March 30, 2011


Checks and balances would no longer be operative in Wisconsin...you'd pretty much be looking at Latin America in the 1980s.

That'd explain why insurrectionists are begging for federal money on the down-low. What's the coke scene like in Madison these days?
posted by FatherDagon at 11:46 AM on March 30, 2011


The Republicans are way better about getting on the TV with a message - a unified message - and framing the dialog. And so on.

Republicans OWN the TV.
posted by mokuba at 11:46 AM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Are they pulling shit like Walker is trying to pull?

The further to the Right the Democrats move, the further to the right the Republicans are able to move. Surely that much is clear, right?
posted by absalom at 11:50 AM on March 30, 2011 [15 favorites]




Ack! Formatting fail.
posted by futz at 11:53 AM on March 30, 2011


Is there anything that anyone can do in the U.S. that isn't ultimately the fault of the Democrats?
posted by fatbird at 11:53 AM on March 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


Republicans OWN the TV.

Is that something I'd have to own a TV to understand?

/gets on fixie, tucks cruelty-free denim into hemp socks, on my way to a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood
posted by AzraelBrown at 11:55 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I disagree. The Dem politicians have been feckless. They've spent the past two decades running as "almost republicans", legislating as "almost republicans" and passing legislation that is "almost republican". At some point, one has to ask - why not just vote for the fucking republicans be done with it ?

This isn't so much about the actual outcomes and positions as it is about process - Republicans have a level of organization from top to bottom that the Dem establishment has quashed at every opportunity (c.f. Howard Dean). The Republicans are way better about getting on the TV with a message - a unified message - and framing the dialog. And so on


This is exactly it. Although you claim it is about process, the first three points you make are about policy. The country turned rightward in the 1970s and 1980s. We've been working to turn that back. Why people do not get that we have to do the hard work first before winning the big battles is beyond me.

Also, the Dem establishment "quashed" Dean? Please, the dude did it to himself. I supported him wholeheartedly and was pissed to learn that he was a protest candidate in his own mind, running for DNC chair the whole time. Really motherfucker? Would have liked to have known that before I donated to you.

Guess what, Dean DID NOT HAVE THE VOTES. HE LOST IOWA. HE CAME IN THIRD. No "Democratic Establishment" did him in. In order to win the nomination, YOU HAVE TO GET MORE VOTES. Dean did not do that.

Obama was definitely not the establishment candidate, yet won Iowa and the nomination handily.

How anyone can call the Dems the same as the Republicans is beyond me. Obama and Palin the same? Anyone like Jim DeMint in the Dem fold? No.

Time to stick together and fight damnit, instead of yelling "we're doomed" every damn time. It is never easy to fight and win, and it is time for the Dem electorate to take responsibility for ushering in the policies they want, instead of stabbing their leaders in the back instantly upon them taking power.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:58 AM on March 30, 2011 [26 favorites]


Lately I've been feeling like I be a war correspondent from Fitzwalkerstan. It's not as fun as I thought it'd be.
posted by quin at 11:58 AM on March 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


Re: Gingrich

Overglow: Good point, zippy. Even saying that he was "fond of him" sounds a little belittling--you're fond of children and pets, not people you respect. Right?

Also Gingrich's ego. No way he's gonna concede any spotlight or equivalent standing with the great Newt Gingrich.

Even better though I hope he just sees a very limited political player.
posted by Skygazer at 11:58 AM on March 30, 2011


the Democratic party has been shambling, terror filled, shell of a party.

I see the problem in terms of the electorate, not the parties.

Parties have to go to where the votes are.
posted by mokuba at 11:59 AM on March 30, 2011


WE WOULD ALL BE UNITED IF YOU JUST SHUT UP AND LISTENED TO ME
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:00 PM on March 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


Who's "we", white man? The discourse is utterly fecked in this country and things are only going to get worse. We got a Republican health plan because Republicans still control enough levers of power to stop progressive reforms. You want something better, move. This place is done.

If we are going to get anything we want, ever, we will have to stop shitting all over ourselves any time we don't get absolutely everything the way we want it. The Dem leaders are feckless? This kind of talk is craven. If you want something, you have to fight long and hard for it.

Look at labor rights. People had been fighting for unions for decades and only in 1932 was that right nationally guaranteed. A lot of people kept on fighting the entire time, when the press was a lot more hostile. They did not give up. Why should we do so now?
posted by Ironmouth at 12:03 PM on March 30, 2011 [8 favorites]


Any part of our agenda, they're going to say that, you know, we're good to tie you up in court, and that's a dangerous precedence, because that means the one branch of government is having a direct effect on the other, which once again I think calls into question, you know, what's the motives, what's the agenda from the other side.

So he just skipped 8th grade civics and high school American history classes, I guess.
posted by rtha at 12:07 PM on March 30, 2011


1) Is there a project I can contribute to and

Open edits at the wiki. Wuwei is pulling all the weight right now.

You know, if the Left actually had the jackbooted thugs we're supposed to have, we'd have deployed them by now.

Goddamnit. You're telling me I missed hammertime AGAIN!?!
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 12:09 PM on March 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


One thing I've been thinking about the Democrats lately is that we won, but we won a long time ago. There are some pretty big progressive programs in place, things like Social Security, WIC, and Medicare. We had corporate power somewhat balanced by union power. There are things the left dropped the ball on, but the status quo for a while was pretty progressive.

The thing is, it's really hard to defend the status quo. It's easy to find problems in the present always, and the Republicans have mastered the art of gaming the media and framing their arguments. We use their terms when we use phrases like "Right to Work", "Pro-Life", or "Tax Cut." By doing this they've pushed the country to the right.

They may have pushed too far though.
posted by drezdn at 12:10 PM on March 30, 2011


Where are the Teahadists screaming about respect for the rule of law? If they thought Obama was "ramming things down thier throats", what exactly is Walker doing?
By "rule of law", they mean "fuck you".
posted by Flunkie at 12:10 PM on March 30, 2011 [10 favorites]


You know that interview Fitzgerald did with Fox's Maccallan....

[snip!!!! !$%^&**&^%$%^*(*&^%$!!!!]




*Deep breath 4...3...2...1...exhale...*

posted by Skygazer at 12:21 PM on March 30, 2011


But for most of my adult life, the Democratic party has been shambling, terror filled, shell of a party.

Most of your life?

I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat. - Will Rogers

It's been this way for ages.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 12:23 PM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Guess what, Dean DID NOT HAVE THE VOTES. HE LOST IOWA. HE CAME IN THIRD. No "Democratic Establishment" did him in. In order to win the nomination, YOU HAVE TO GET MORE VOTES. Dean did not do that.

You know who else lost in Iowa ? Bill Clinton. The Amazing Triangluating Grope Machine.

As a result of Dean and the dem failure - we ended up with Kerry - the Epitome of Democratic Mealymouthed messaging.

I am not going to take the blame for the Dems because I did not vote hard enough for them. Their failure at every point to capitalize on their assets is entirely their own.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:24 PM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


You know who else lost in Iowa ? Bill Clinton. The Amazing Triangluating Grope Machine.

As a result of Dean and the dem failure - we ended up with Kerry - the Epitome of Democratic Mealymouthed messaging.

I am not going to take the blame for the Dems because I did not vote hard enough for them. Their failure at every point to capitalize on their assets is entirely their own.


But Clinton came back and won the nomination. Dean did not.

I am frustrated by all of the hurf-durf, need new system because its all rigged against us, they control everything talk.

You have to get the votes.

And it ain't just voting. its volunteering. The GOP has a direct mail army. They stuff envelops, walk the neighborhoods, get it done. Why can't we do that, especially in off-year elections? Not "voting hard enough" is the tip of the iceberg. They do more than vote. Time for us to do that too.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:28 PM on March 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


I am not going to take the blame for the Dems because I did not vote hard enough for them. Their failure at every point to capitalize on their assets is entirely their own.

Oh, okay. Stay home then. Maybe the Federal government can look like the Wisconsin state government next time around.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:28 PM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Their failure at every point to capitalize on their assets is entirely their own.

Except we had a stimulus, health care reform, financial sector reform, the repeal of DADT. That was capitalizing. Some of it big-time.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:30 PM on March 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


> And it ain't just voting. its volunteering.

Yeah, that got Obama elected. He's pretty much been like every other president. The game is rigged. It may require one to take a step outside of it to see that.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:30 PM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Maybe the Federal government can look like the Wisconsin state government next time around.

Not paying attention to DC, are you?
posted by QIbHom at 12:30 PM on March 30, 2011


Yeah, that got Obama elected. He's pretty much been like every other president. The game is rigged. It may require one to take a step outside of it to see that.

Just like every other president? Except for all the things he got passed.

The fact that you have political differences with the vast majority of Americans does not mean the Dems are "broken."
posted by Ironmouth at 12:33 PM on March 30, 2011 [15 favorites]




Meanwhile, in Florida, the Republican House and the Republican Senate have voted to legalize the direct bribery of state house and senate members.

The first time I heard the boneheaded conservative statement alleging that money is speech, I responded that this means bribery is legal. "We're just havin' a conversation heah!"
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:39 PM on March 30, 2011 [5 favorites]


Lord, I may lose track of how many times I say this:

imo the problem in American politics is not D v R, it is that we need one, possible two more viable political parties, or... the total abolition of political parties. Right now we have a far right party, and a party that tries to encompass everyone else. The Democrats are fucked because they have to individually appeal regionally and so can not have an effective national front. The Democrats in Montana and Kansas share some but not all the same agenda as the Democrat from Minnesota and New York. Whereas the Republican from anywhere USA shares a near identical agenda as the Republican from anywhere-else USA.

This was not always the case. There use to be a lot of mushy middle ground in both parties and yeah the party "in power" got it's legislation done (usually) but there where plenty of crossover votes on both sides. The Republicans have changed this by demanding (and enforcing) purity, and so to get everything done they want the Democrats have to now wrangle all these tenuously allied members of the "Big Tent".

I would argue that in most circumstances the Democratic party model should be what is followed, that if we are to have national parties then they should reflect the national electorate, which is broad and divided. But, that makes the process very messy and very difficult. The alternative is what the Republicans are doing, centrally controlled representing the dominate white male conservative position.

3 parties are minimum with IRV. Left, center, right.
posted by edgeways at 12:39 PM on March 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yeah, that got Obama elected.

Is this sarcasm? I worked in both 2008 and 2010 elections in the Midwest. The difference was night and day, let me tell you. And volunteering/knocking on doors/GOTV is the only way we have a shot at regaining control of the house in 2012. The massive Dem advantage in 2008 was, IMO, entirely the result of Obama's popularity and people wanting to come out and be a part of the campaign.
posted by ofthestrait at 12:39 PM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


> The fact that you have political differences with the vast majority of Americans does not mean the Dems are "broken."

What does that even mean? You can say Obama got things passed (mainly things that server corporate interests), but that doesn't mean that he's not a pawn in a larger game and certainly not calling his shots.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:40 PM on March 30, 2011


so, are we going to ignore the fact that Howard Dean's 50 state strategy is what made democratic gains in '06 and '08 possible?
posted by lodurr at 12:41 PM on March 30, 2011 [5 favorites]


so, are we going to ignore the fact that Howard Dean's 50 state strategy is what made democratic gains in '06 and '08 possible?

Knowing good election strategy isn't the same as being electable or having good governing strategy.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:44 PM on March 30, 2011


but that doesn't mean that he's not a pawn in a larger game and certainly not calling his shots

It can be really hard distinguishing far left from far right, just looking at the things they say.
posted by dave78981 at 12:44 PM on March 30, 2011


Whereas the Republican from anywhere USA shares a near identical agenda as the Republican from anywhere-else USA.

QFT. Republicans are a collection of single-issue voters.

Pro-Christianism, Pro-Life, Pro-Marriage, Pro-Israel, Pro-Wealthy, Pro-Gun Rights

but that doesn't mean that he's not a pawn in a larger game and certainly not calling his shots

Obama is a pawn of 270 EVs, IMO. Next year he's got to win Virginia, and failing that he's got to win several states that turned seriously (R) in 2010, like Wisconsin.
posted by mokuba at 12:45 PM on March 30, 2011


If they can't end Guantanamo or the Bush tax cuts, they are broken.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:45 PM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


true, howard dean was much too progressive to be allowed to win. i'm just glad they only assassinated him in the media.
posted by entropicamericana at 12:48 PM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


If they can't end Guantanamo or the Bush tax cuts, they are broken.

The last time Democrats raised taxes it was in 1993, and the electorate handed them their heads the following year.

The enemy is Us.

As for Gitmo, how many voters are imprisoned there vs. how many voters wish to keep them there?
posted by mokuba at 12:48 PM on March 30, 2011


I like/ed Dean, but we don't have to deify him. For all his talk of a 50 state campaign there was more than one sole democrat challenger that was frozen out and ignored by the DNC under Dean
posted by edgeways at 12:50 PM on March 30, 2011


If they can't end Guantanamo or the Bush tax cuts, they are broken.

Broken, but still electable. And still a better choice than the alternative. Obama is a pragmatic centrist- if it's possible to get thing the done and he thinks it's right, he does it. You saw this with DADT and healthcare reform. He's willing to lay in wait until the time is right. Not everything is possible all at once. Especially with the Congress the way it is now. You might see him loosen the reins a little in his second term, and there may still be one or two more Supreme Court picks in the next 6 years. That alone is reason enough to work hard to get him reelected.
posted by dave78981 at 12:51 PM on March 30, 2011 [7 favorites]


It's not really much of a useful argument. Some people will continue to believe in "the political system" as such, and that you just need to play your cards right. The problem is the illusion of choice within freedom. It's no more than offering a toddler a choice of cereal. Anyway, I'm sorry for making a derail about Obama.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:51 PM on March 30, 2011


If we are going to excuse the actions of elected officials based on polls we might as well go direct democracy.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:53 PM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


The problem is the illusion of choice within freedom

What sort of "freedom" are you looking for from a system of government?

The terms are in conflict. If anything, the Tea Party is on the side of true freedom. No government taking your money or telling you what you can and can't do.

The System vends what it can. Perfect freedom lies within yourself.
posted by mokuba at 12:54 PM on March 30, 2011


excuse the actions of elected officials based on polls we might as well go direct democracy.

I am not attempting to "excuse" anything, merely explain.

And yes, direct democracy is basically mob rule. People call this a "republic" but the president and parties are not immune to democratic voting every 2/4/6 years.

Only the federal judiciary is immune.
posted by mokuba at 12:56 PM on March 30, 2011



I am not attempting to "excuse" anything.


So we agree...they are broken.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:59 PM on March 30, 2011


no, We are broken
posted by mokuba at 1:00 PM on March 30, 2011


Blameless, but not excused?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:03 PM on March 30, 2011


They misspell the name of their own party under the "Join!" link...

No, I think that's how they're spelling it now. Think nucular.


Nope. I'm fairly sure that's how the Red Lectoids spell it.
posted by vhsiv at 1:04 PM on March 30, 2011


The Amazing Triangluating Grope Machine - band name?!
posted by epersonae at 1:08 PM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Blameless, but not excused?

A people get the government they deserve.
posted by mokuba at 1:09 PM on March 30, 2011


bearwife:2. I predict Governor Walker's tenure will end just as soon as he is eligible for recall.

If he plays it smart, he'll not only survive recall but be re-elected. Like so:

1) Gov makes good on his provision in the law allowing the state to fire workers who participate in the general strike.

2) Gov goes on tv saying that he has restored fiscal sanity to the state by cutting out the over-entitled deadwood bureaucrats who leech off the tax payer. Teabaggers cheer.

3) Gov then goes on to say that the state is hiring! Lets get Wisconsin back to work. Positions are quickly filled by desperate unemployed people at whatever terms the state feels like.

4) Unions wither away with the drastic drop in dues-paying members.

5) Voters remember that Walker was the one who saved the day by running the socialist leeches out of town and got thousands of jobs for Real Americans in their place. Said voters will gladly pull the lever with his name next to it.

6) We get to have another futile MeFi thread about the whole affair.
posted by dr_dank at 1:09 PM on March 30, 2011 [5 favorites]


The terms are in conflict. If anything, the Tea Party is on the side of true freedom. No government taking your money or telling you what you can and can't do.

Nonsense!

The Tea Party primarily supports fewer restrictions on what others can do to me. They support removing restrictions on what my boss can do to me. They support removing restrictions on how much industry can poison the food I eat, the air I breathe, and the water I drink. If their support of Walker is any indication, they support ignoring restrictions on what the government itself can do to me.

And what does their platform offer me in return? Sure less of the money I take home now might taken by the government, but with laxer wage laws, more is going to be taken by my employer. I can see no part of their plans that increases my ability to control my own destiny, and that is the point and the meaning of freedom.
posted by Zalzidrax at 1:14 PM on March 30, 2011 [15 favorites]


If he plays it smart, he'll not only survive recall but be re-elected. Like so:...

He hasn't exactly been playing it smart so far, and I don't think he's going to start anytime soon.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 1:14 PM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


A people get the government they deserve.

You are saying that black people deserve to be imprisoned more often than white people. You are saying that teachers deserve to have their wages reduced. You are saying that gay people do not deserve marriage rights. You are saying, historically, black people deserved to be slaves and women only recently started to deserve to vote. It's dis-empowering like "vote with your wallet."

Cut that crap.
posted by fuq at 1:18 PM on March 30, 2011 [19 favorites]


If anything, the Tea Party is on the side of true freedom. No government taking your money or telling you what you can and can't do.

Excuse me??? I beg your pardon ??????

Who is taking away collective bargaining rights for government workers in Wisconsin? Who is going to arrest government workers who exercise their right to strike? Who locked protesters out of the capital building in Wisconsin? Who is employing the "police" who refused to identify themselves and ordered reporter Ann Murphy to leave a public parking garage (see wuwei's link)?

Who is against a woman's right to choose? Who is supporting draconian drug laws? Who is opposed to allowing cancer patients the right to use medical marijuana? Who is in favor of locking up "enemy combatants" and throwing away the key? Which side has been opposed to gays openly serving in the military? Who has refused to allow gay couples to marry?

And about a thousand other examples...

Teabaggers are only in favor of freedom until someone else's rights are on the line. Then, they are all in favor of tyranny.
posted by marsha56 at 1:18 PM on March 30, 2011 [8 favorites]


House Republicans will take another symbolic shot at forcing the Senate’s hand in the budget battle by passing a bill Friday that they characterized as another attempt to avert a government shutdown.

Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Wednesday Republicans would pass legislation decreeing that, absent Senate passage of a budget bill by the April 8 deadline, the measure approved by the House in February would become “the law of the land.”


Basically, they just don't care about the law anymore, and why should they?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:20 PM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


The vast majority of Americans support ending the Bush tax cuts.
The vast majority of Americans rank job creation as more important than deficit reduction.
The vast majority of Americans support ending our mission in Afghanistan.
etc. etc.

The Democratic Party is largely paralyzed by its Senate, which is not representative of its base - it is overwhelmingly white, male, elderly millionaires who are definitely right of center. Unsurprisingly they vote their own interests instead of its voter base's whenever it believes it can get away with doing so.
posted by mek at 1:22 PM on March 30, 2011 [8 favorites]


It's dis-empowering like "vote with your wallet."

reality is "dis-empowering", yes. I think I can Godwin this thread pretty well by bringing up the 1932 German Federal Elections, in which the NSDAP (Heil!) got 38%, the SPD (teh Socialists) 22%, the KPD (Purity Troll Party) 15%, and Zentrum (Catholic Centrist) got 12%.

In 1933 Hitler was able to throw the KPD out of the Reichstag and then the Centrist sold out the SPD with the Enabling Act.

History rhyming and all that.
posted by mokuba at 1:24 PM on March 30, 2011


I am wondering this more and more every month: Why is there no movement to kick-start the Libertarian party, or another third party that actually has the people's best interests in mind? Both the Republicans and the Democrats are in the pockets of corporations, along with the mainstream media. Our two-party system hasn't given voters a choice for a while now—whoever you vote for, you'll get the same lobbyist-pleasing, self-serving policies.

Meanwhile, there are uprisings in the Middle East; the Internet has never been so free. (Yeah, yeah, net neutrality is a Big Deal, but it hasn't happened yet.) I refuse to believe that there isn't anyone out there who has the money to finance a push toward a viable third party, and I don't think that it would be instantly shut down by voters. The Internet can make this a reality.

Highlight freedom. Hold up the idea of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, but do it right. (I'm looking at you, Tea Partiers—it's astounding how much you can distort the Constitution for your own benefit.) Campaign on the separation of corporation and state. Go grassroots, because the corporations will hate you, but most people will love you. This Third Party could promise to lower taxes and work for progressive social change. From my experience, Republican voters care about money first and social issues second, and thusly vote Republican. Democrats, likewise, value social issues over monetary ones, and vote Democrat. Candidates could run on the promise of compromise, of trying to see things from the other person's point of view. When was the last time that a Democrat tries to look at things from the GOP's perspective, or vice versa? Tax corporations. Overhaul the current income tax system and you'll put an end to the incessant ebb and flow of higher and lower taxes. Overhaul the insurance industry, and most of the complaints about Medicare, Obamacare, etc. will become moot. Outlaw lobbyists. The government should exist to fulfill the will of the people, not companies: Run on this platform and most voters will undoubtedly agree. Were a party to cater to both of these interests, I don't think it'd be out of line to expect a good number of voters, if not a plurality.

Most of the issues that we fight about these days have somehow been distilled into a binary choice; why doesn't anyone think outside the box? For example, when it comes to immigration, the choices we have are either keep them here or kick them out. Why not institute some sort of half-citizenship that lets illegal immigrants stay here and work, but ensures that they pay taxes and keeps them from voting (possibly for a set amount of time; possibly indefinitely)? The Democrats don't want the US to close itself off even further; the Republicans don't want to use tax dollars to support illegal immigrants. Rather than arguing about the problems, let's find a way to fix them.

The sad truth is that politics in this country are getting way, way out of hand. We care so much about state- and federal-level elections that the smaller governments (cities and counties) go unnoticed by the public—and that's exactly what the GOP and the Dems want. The GOP is getting more and more insane by the day, and the Democrats are meekly standing by, wondering how things got this way.

We need a revolution, and the time is ripe.
posted by reductiondesign at 1:24 PM on March 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wow. Living, breathing, adults wrote that Dane Co. GOP letter?
There are no words.
posted by angrycat at 1:26 PM on March 30, 2011


Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Wednesday Republicans would pass legislation decreeing that, absent Senate passage of a budget bill by the April 8 deadline, the measure approved by the House in February would become “the law of the land.”

In other news, we've received reports that Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has just announced the new mission statement for the house GOP:
"Rule of law? PSHAW fuck that noise, we'll just make that shit up!"
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 1:26 PM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Unsurprisingly they vote their own interests instead of its voter base's whenever it believes it can get away with doing so. (emphasis added)

The last phrase is key. Getting away with it means getting re-elected, which means not getting a primary challenge. And this only can happen every 6 years, so they are much more insulated than Representatives from paying for their hubris.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:26 PM on March 30, 2011


You say you want a revolution? Well, you know... we ALL want to change the world...
posted by hippybear at 1:26 PM on March 30, 2011


Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Wednesday Republicans would pass legislation decreeing that, absent Senate passage of a budget bill by the April 8 deadline, the measure approved by the House in February would become “the law of the land.”

"Okay, I call dibs, and if I did before anyone else, it's mine. MINE, I tell you!"
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:27 PM on March 30, 2011


I am wondering this more and more every month: Why is there no movement to kick-start the Libertarian party, or another third party that actually has the people's best interests in mind?

Because everyone knows it's a waste of effort as long as you have a electoral system rigged so thoroughly towards ensuring a two horse race.

Electoral reform must come before more parties become genuinely viable.

Otherwise the only function of a third party is to weaken its own platform, by siphoning off votes that could otherwise go to the lesser evil.
posted by -harlequin- at 1:31 PM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why is there no movement to kick-start the Libertarian party

The Libertarian Koch Bros and Paulites are driving much of the Teahadist-corporatist agenda.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:32 PM on March 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


Unsurprisingly they vote their own interests for the interests of their largest campaign contributors and most generous lobbyists...

There that's better.

See the connections between the Koch brothers and the Tea Party.
posted by marsha56 at 1:32 PM on March 30, 2011


Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Wednesday Republicans would pass legislation decreeing that, absent Senate passage of a budget bill by the April 8 deadline, the measure approved by the House in February would become “the law of the land.”

Is the three legged stool analogy still relevant anymore with these shenanigans?

One leg to rule them all, one leg to bind them,
One leg to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
posted by Slackermagee at 1:37 PM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oops, got that wrong, but you all get the point.
posted by Slackermagee at 1:37 PM on March 30, 2011


On the sidebar about landowners and voting rights, do they consider people with a mortgage to be landowners?

Well, I'm sure people wouldn't mind if the banks cast their votes for them while they are paying off their mortgage. I mean, the bank owns the property, so it just wouldn't be fair if you got to vote until you've earned it. But don't worry about it: if property owners have more of an interest in the community, banks must have a HUGE interest in seeing the community succeed. Just wait 30 short years, and you'll have earned your stripes. Oh, by the way, the fees for using a different bank's ATMs are now $50.
posted by Saxon Kane at 1:37 PM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why is there no movement to kick-start the Libertarian party, or another third party that actually has the people's best interests in mind?

BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
posted by Saxon Kane at 1:38 PM on March 30, 2011 [10 favorites]


Electoral reform must come before more parties become genuinely viable.

Why could they not happen simultaneously? There's no chance that either of the two parties around now would push for election reform, so why not attack from the ground up? Get Third Party officials into local office. Then you can have Third Party mayors, then governors, then Representatives, then Senators. By that point, you're a legitimate party and things are nearly as far-fetched.

Libertarian Koch Bros

Oxymoron, no?

BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Hence the "or." If there's no party that actually caters to the people, isn't the people's duty to create one?
posted by reductiondesign at 1:42 PM on March 30, 2011


Electoral reform must come before more parties become genuinely viable.

All you need is enough votes. The problem with these "third parties" is that they usually express extreme views that people don't agree with.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:44 PM on March 30, 2011


The Democratic Party is largely paralyzed by its Senate, which is not representative of its base

Not reversing the Bush tax cuts was something the House decided on. They didn't want to have to run on raising taxes on anybody in 2010. This is because attack ads work, and attack ads work because we are a nation of idiots. Now, why we are a nation of idiots would be too much of a derail I guess.

The Senate is conservative, yes, but that is by constitutional design, both in its rural overweighting, state-wide electorates, and 6 year election cycles.

Public polling on Afghanistan isn't so clear cut, btw. Plus you have to adjust all public polls for how much people actually "care" about the issue.

"Obama has added 30,000 additional U.S. troops to their force in Afghanistan, and other NATO countries have added 7,000 more. Is this increase in U.S. and NATO forces something you support strongly, support somewhat, oppose somewhat, or oppose strongly?

Support: 48% / Oppose: 48%

http://www.pollingreport.com/afghan.htm

I don't know what the public support on Guantanamo is, but last year most people were apparently in favor of keeping the place open.
posted by mokuba at 1:45 PM on March 30, 2011



The Polk County GOP has sent a takedown notice to Talkingpoints memo concerning the video of GOP rep Sean Duffy complaining about how hard it is to make ends meet on only 174,000 dollars per year.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:46 PM on March 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


Is this the Wisconsin thread?
posted by futz at 1:46 PM on March 30, 2011


I'm with Ironmouth here. Canada is showing how parliamentary systems don't necessarily work any better than ours.
posted by mokuba at 1:46 PM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]




reductiondesign: Why would you say to kick-start the Libertarians if you DON'T think they cater to the people?

I took you to be saying "Libertarian party or another party -- both of which have the people's best interests in mind."

Are you saying that you meant "we should kick-start the Libertarian party, or we should kick-start some other party that, unlike the Libertarians, has the people's best interests in mind"? That would be a rather odd thing for you to assert.

Anyway: Libertarian Koch Bros isn't an oxymoron, because Libertarianism doesn't really have much to do with Liberty, just like the Tea Party is neither fun nor a refreshing beverage.
posted by Saxon Kane at 1:48 PM on March 30, 2011


The Polk County GOP has sent a takedown notice to Talkingpoints memo concerning the video of GOP rep Sean Duffy complaining about how hard it is to make ends meet on only 174,000 dollars per year.

OMFG. The crazy keeps getting crazier.
posted by futz at 1:48 PM on March 30, 2011


Meanwhile, in Florida, the Republican House and the Republican Senate have voted to legalize the direct bribery of state house and senate members.

At some point in the not too distant future, we, as a nation, are going to need to have a serious conversation about the amount of power that corporate lobbyists hold over our governing process. Whether or not this conversation will be called "class warfare" I couldn't tell you, but if things keep going the way they have been, that conversation is going to start involving less harsh words and more thrown bricks.

Because we've reached a point where they aren't even hiding the corruption anymore, they have gotten so arrogant about their abilities to do what they want that it's not even worth it for them to obscure the ways they are selling us for personal payouts.

And I really hope we can get control of this before that happens, because there are areas of this country that would go up like a tinderbox from all the pent-up frustration and anger.
posted by quin at 1:49 PM on March 30, 2011 [11 favorites]


And I really hope we can get control of this before that happens

I hate to say this, but I think we already lost that one.
posted by lordrunningclam at 1:54 PM on March 30, 2011


Wow, Sean Duffy is really incredible!
posted by Mister_A at 1:54 PM on March 30, 2011




GOP wants Duffy video removed from the internet.

Yeah, that will happen.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:56 PM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Reading through the haranguing of the spineless sell-out Democrats on this thread is particularly confounding. The Wisconsin Democrats have been almost peerless* in their political fighting so far, even in the face of a very disciplined operation (and Scott Walker, with a couple of exceptions here and there, has been running a pretty tight ship.)

The Democratic state Senators fled the state to stop a vote. The WI Democratic Party has been instrumental in organizing 100,000-strong protests. They've forced their opponents to take legally questionable actions to pass their agenda under glaring, national media attention. They've organized unprecedented, massive, concurrent recall efforts in order to flip the control of the state Senate. They may flip the state Supreme Court in a matter of days.

These are not actions of a spineless party. I understand a lot of this is sentiment is because we are conflating frustration with national Democrats with this situation, but come on! This is a WI thread! Let's give them all the credit they deserve!

*The IN Dems could be arguably better, since their walkout was quieter and more effective
posted by Weebot at 1:57 PM on March 30, 2011 [31 favorites]


In defense of Sean Duffy: six kids. SIX KIDS. I don't think he should be living the high life on the public's dime, but six kids is a lot. A half dozen even.
posted by Slackermagee at 1:57 PM on March 30, 2011


Dear Internets:

Please remove any and all copies of my embarrassing video from you immediately. I said stupid things and if anyone finds out, I will be in big trouble with my boss. So, please, take it down. Take it down.

Sincerely,

The Duffmeister
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:57 PM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ironmouth and saulgoodman: Point taken, I understand that the lower level functionaries will be the ones jailed for contempt. Ultimately, thought, Walker is still in the driver's seat since he is the executive. And when I said "no consequences," I meant no jail time. Because having people marching in the street isn't on the same level as jail time. What we're seeing in Wisconsin is the direct result of the impunity that the powerful and their servants have enjoyed in the United States for far too long. In retrospect, not jailing Nixon sent the signal that you wouldn't face real penalties. So he got impeached. So what. He still got to play elder statesman and make plenty of money. He never did any jail time, though his goons did.
posted by wuwei at 1:58 PM on March 30, 2011


I gotta remember to call my family in Wisconsin.
posted by klangklangston at 1:58 PM on March 30, 2011


So he got impeached. So what.

And St. Raygun didn't even face impeachment.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:59 PM on March 30, 2011


Libertarian Koch Bros

Oxymoron, no?


Actually, no. The Koch brothers describe themselves as "libertarian" and fund vast numbers of "libertarian" causes. Try to read some of the issues being discussed.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:59 PM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


In retrospect, not jailing Nixon sent the signal that you wouldn't face real penalties.

the chief executive is immune from all but impeachment by the house and conviction by the senate
posted by Ironmouth at 2:00 PM on March 30, 2011


Nixon wasn't impeached.. he resigned under threat of impeachment
posted by edgeways at 2:00 PM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


(and later pardoned)
posted by edgeways at 2:01 PM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


GOP wants Duffy video removed from the internet.

That's a video of a PUBLIC employee in a PUBLIC forum in a PUBLIC building.

Fuck the GOP. Really. As my dad used to say, "They can want in one hand and shit in the other, and see which one fills up first."
posted by Benny Andajetz at 2:01 PM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


wuwei,

Nixon was not impeached; he resigned before impeachment proceedings got going. He certainly would have been impeached and removed from office. After his resignation, he was pardoned by Pres. Gerald Ford, a move that elicited howls of outrage across the country.
Now, therefore, I, Gerald R. Ford, President of the United States, pursuant to the pardon power conferred upon me by Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, have granted and by these presents do grant a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from July (January) 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974.
posted by Mister_A at 2:01 PM on March 30, 2011


the chief executive is immune from all but impeachment by the house and conviction by the senate

Is that true? If so, is it by legal precedent. I wasn't aware that the Constitution addressed other, potentially criminal penalties. Wasn't Clinton forced to testify in a legal hearing against him?
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:02 PM on March 30, 2011


i think the procedure for criminal acts is impeachment, conviction, then criminal prosecution.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:02 PM on March 30, 2011


and...

I know I am a bit guilty of this as well, but can we rerail this now that the spleen venting has been done?
posted by edgeways at 2:02 PM on March 30, 2011


the chief executive is immune from all but impeachment by the house and conviction by the senate

Is that true? If so, is it by legal precedent. I wasn't aware that the Constitution addressed other, potentially criminal penalties. Wasn't Clinton forced to testify in a legal hearing against him?


It has long been the position of the Justice Department.

Clinton was forced to testify in a civil proceeding, not criminal. He tried to argue that he was immune from all suit, but he lost.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:03 PM on March 30, 2011


So immune only from criminal proceedings and only during term of office? Can the POTUS be prosecuted for crimes in office after leaving office even if not impeached? Or are these open questions? I'd sure like to see GWB prosecuted. And Obama, too, if it turns out he's used any of those unconstitutional powers he has reserved for himself.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:08 PM on March 30, 2011


So immune only from criminal proceedings and only during term of office? Can the POTUS be prosecuted for crimes in office after leaving office even if not impeached? Or are these open questions? I'd sure like to see GWB prosecuted. And Obama, too, if it turns out he's used any of those unconstitutional powers he has reserved for himself.

Out of office, yes.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:10 PM on March 30, 2011


edgewise,
Thanks, I forgot that. Ironmouth, my comment still stands, I don't care if the Justice Department position is that the President cannot face criminal penalties. Nixon should have. It's not the end of the world if a chief executive faces criminal penalties when out of office-- the R.O.C. on Taiwan put its former president, Chen Shui-bian, on trial. To paraphrase what the prosecutor said, you can't run the government like an organized crime group.
posted by wuwei at 2:10 PM on March 30, 2011


I don't care if the Justice Department position is that the President cannot face criminal penalties. Nixon should have. It's not the end of the world if a chief executive faces criminal penalties when out of office

The immunity only lasts when actually holding the office.

do we really want to be like Taiwan?
posted by Ironmouth at 2:12 PM on March 30, 2011


The immunity only lasts when actually holding the office.

Unless you're GWB, of course.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 2:16 PM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


re: third party discussion...

progressives cleaned up this state a hundred years ago, with the help of an educated and motivated electorate. we can do it again, and we can do it bigger.

a progressive reform party could run against the Ds and Rs on a platform of cleaning up government and making things fair. the campaign reform wouldn't necessarily have to come first in order for this to happen. they'd implement the reform after taking power. given this latest round of extreme legislation and tactics, i think public opinion would support these things. i can think of a recently-defeated WI senator that would fit the leadership role for this whole idea quite nicely.

is it possible ? i'd like to think so. will it ever happen ? ................

......................
posted by g.i.r. at 2:17 PM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ironmouth,
Sorry, I misunderstood you -- I thought you were claiming the president should be permanently immune from criminal suits.

I am not going to get drawn into "do we want to be Taiwan." I was simply observing that it wouldn't be the end of the world if a former president stood trial in the United States.
posted by wuwei at 2:19 PM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Isn't contempt of court a civil offense and not a criminal one, however? I seem to remember that being at the crux of the issue in a previous post about people jailed for not paying alimony....
posted by Zalzidrax at 2:23 PM on March 30, 2011


The Wisconsin Democrats have been almost peerless* in their political fighting so far, even in the face of a very disciplined operation (and Scott Walker, with a couple of exceptions here and there, has been running a pretty tight ship.)

I was at the Capital on the Saturday the Dem' senators came back and was impressed. Interestingly, a disproportionate number of attendees were in their fiftys and sixties. For a lot of these people, this was not the first time they marched on the Capitol -- many were active back in the 1960's demostrations in Madison. Choosing WI as a point state may have been a real mistake for the Republicans; there are a lot of people who miss those activist days and who have a lot more savvy and resourses than they did 45 years ago.

And Walker is a perfect foe; there's been a number of times where he could have shown some political savvy and avoided conflict (ex. focus on pensions, not unions; allow discussion when you know you have a lock on the votes needed, etc.) but he never did. He seems to relish fanning the flames.
posted by rtimmel at 2:28 PM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


[PDF] Statement from the Department of Administration this afternoon about whether or not they'll continue implementing act 10.
posted by Vibrissa at 2:33 PM on March 30, 2011


a progressive reform party could run against the Ds and Rs on a platform of cleaning up government and making things fair.

I would vote the fuck out of a progressive reform party, particularly if they focused on things like campaign reform and lobbying. Vilify both the Republicans for blatant corruption and Democrats for acquiescently ceding our country to the right by noninterference.

Seriously, even if the only thing they accomplished was to pull the national narrative back to the left a bit, they would be heroes in my world.
posted by quin at 2:33 PM on March 30, 2011 [8 favorites]


“It’s my opinion it’s published, it’s on the legislative website, it’s law.”

It has to be true. I read it on the Internet!
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 2:42 PM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


You would have to call it just the reform party, because progressive means socialist now. I think this would be awesome. A 21st century party of goo-goos would be an excellent starting point.
posted by absalom at 3:00 PM on March 30, 2011


I'm not sure how we got from here to Taiwan, but impeachment is not on the table, and even recall is an uphill battle. The constitutional crisis exists at the current level, but the GOP is likely to want to short-circuit that by having the conservative-leaning Supreme Court dismiss the cases when they get there. We have a small window of opportunity next week by potentially electing a Dem-leaning justice to replace a pretty odious one in the pocket of the Wisconsin Manufacturers, but she won't take office until August.

There's no doubt that the GOP base loves Walker for sticking it to the unions, but a number of moderates, including people who have public employees in their families (and a surprising number of small businessmen seem to have teachers as wives), and a good swath of independents, are disgusted with the procedural bypasses the Republicans have used. As noted above, they actually had the State Senate Majority Leader take action reserved for a constitutional officer, the Secretary of State, who happens to be the one remaining Democrat in statewide office right now. That's the sort of thing that gets moderates' and independents' blood boiling.

The FitzWalkerStan administration's best hope is that by recall time things have died down or other concerns have taken people's attention. To that end, they're stoking more "union thug" rhetoric and trying to pin the protests on outsiders. (Walker told the audience in Janesville yesterday that there was a "national" Teamsters truck out front. In fact, it belongs to Joint Council 39, based in Milwaukee.) The best bet for the Democrats is that Walker will continue to commit political seppuku by finding ever more unprecedented ways to bypass the Constitution. Time will tell, and April 5 will be a good indicator, but ideally he'll have destroyed the Republicans' chances in this state for years to come. Still, there's a huge reactionary deadweight in this state.

People say things like "general strike" but that was never operative outside of the UW-Madison TAA and the Wobblies, though it was interesting that the Firefighters Association chief mentioned it. The public employees are too easily fired, and private employer unions too easily decertified, if that route had been followed. There's already been too much economic stress in the state, and unemployment remains depressingly high, making such a tactic pretty dangerous. People have to have nothing left to lose to go to there.

I think something has been awakened in terms of getting oxen gored, showing a lot of voters the true face of the class warriors they've been electing to higher office on a broad assumption of "my taxes will be cut". There are a lot of workers who would never have showed up on a picket line in their lives, and now they're doing it to save their lives. There's a huge spike in awareness of the shrinking middle class and the corporate control of government and the media that has average schoolteachers talking like Alex Jones. I think it remains to be seen whether the state Democrats will tack over this way to take advantage of these trade winds, but they'd be fools not to -- and if they aren't there are schoolteachers and social workers and street sweepers who are suddenly energized and motivated to go take those legislative jobs. It's going to be interesting to see.
posted by dhartung at 3:01 PM on March 30, 2011 [12 favorites]


i just got a pro-walker robo-call, here at my house. what a load of fucking garbage......
posted by g.i.r. at 3:06 PM on March 30, 2011


President Grant got a speeding ticket. IMO, Harding would have been tried if he had not died.
And Nixon, but a pardon solved that.
posted by clavdivs at 3:11 PM on March 30, 2011


The Koch brothers describe themselves as "libertarian" and fund vast numbers of "libertarian" causes.

They can call themselves whatever they want, but their continued funding of the Tea Party doesn't seem very freedom-oriented to me. There's a bit of a disconnect between words and action with a lot of right-wingers, I think. Abortion laws, gay marriage bans? These things aren't what I would call libertarian.
posted by reductiondesign at 3:13 PM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


progressives cleaned up this state a hundred years ago, with the help of an educated and motivated electorate. we can do it again, and we can do it bigger.

My mindset exactly. I just can't figure out why no one is actually doing this.
posted by reductiondesign at 3:14 PM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Are you saying that you meant "we should kick-start the Libertarian party, or we should kick-start some other party that, unlike the Libertarians, has the people's best interests in mind"? That would be a rather odd thing for you to assert.

I think that a libertarian party need not be like the Libertarian Party. Sorry if that was confusing; I'd be in favor of any party that promotes itself—and is—honest, unselfish, and truly for the people.
posted by reductiondesign at 3:16 PM on March 30, 2011


absalom: "You would have to call it just the reform party,"

Oh, please, no! Preston Manning would show up!
posted by QIbHom at 3:33 PM on March 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


This guy seems determined to drive off a cliff. I say we remove all obstacles. Seriously heading for a full-on recall, say in November 2012.

No. If Democrats in Wisconsin are going to recall him then they need to do it this year while they have enough popular momentum to bring out the voters in droves. 18 months from now, things could get a lot worse...or they might stay about the same, and people get used to it because the sky hasn't actually fallen. Sure, drastically and indiscriminately shrinking government is likely to leave the state badly damaged over the long term.

But it could result in a temporary illusion of progress, especially if the national economic trend holds steady and there is modest growth in the economy, incomes, and jobs. If unemployment were to fall from 9% to 7% between now and November 2012 - hardly impossible - then it seems quite likely to me that Walker could survive a recall election and claim he had been vindicated by events. Rather than driving off a cliff, he's playing a game of chicken and holding tight to the center line. My hunch is that recalling him will require Wisconsin Democrats to do the same, and in their case holding the center line may mean deliberately avoiding a general strike so that Walker does not have any excuse to 'call out the guard' or complain that the state is being held hostage. Rather, a successful recall will require a majority of the electorate to see Walker's governance as being dangerously self-destructive and for that to happen the public-sector employees are going to have be the fender protecting the people in the car (ie the citizens of Wisconsin) from Walker's drag-racing vehicle (engine of big business! giant wheels of social conservatism! Ok...that's as far as I can take the car analogy).


Walker and the state party are not as stupid as they look. First, they too can say they're fulfilling 'the will of the people.' Every politician says that, but in Walker's case he came into office with a 52% electoral majority which Democrats ignore at their peril. It's true, he didn't campaign on the abolition of collective bargaining, specifically, so it's not accurate to claim he has a mandate for that. But let's get real - he ran as a hard-core social conservative, he said clearly right before the election that he planned deep cuts in public sector wages and benefits, and anyone who follows politics knows that many Republicans have an irrational hatred of unions and would simply outlaw them if they had the choice. The only surprise about Scott Walker since he took office was the speed and confidence with which he's pushed his agenda. It's not like he ran as a moderate consensus-builder and suddenly started breathing fire right after taking his oath of office. Wisconsin voters had a pretty good idea of who they were electing, and a lot of them wanted a guy with a wrecking ball. Although turnout was only about 50% and quite a bit lower than the 2008 election (which Obama won handily), Democrats should not rely on on having that turnout available in any recall election. In 2012 there'd be a presidential election too, and voters who want to re-elect Obama are unlikely to vote for Walker...but John McCain was a terrible candidate. If Obama stumbles or the GOP fields a credible national candidate who can challenge him, a repeat of the 2008 result is in no way assured.

Also, don't make the mistake of thinking Walker & his allies don't understand the constitution or that they're throwing themselves into conflict with it. Judge Sumi's decision to issue a restraining order rests on established case law which clarifies the state constitution's requirement of publication - IIRC, a 2009 case which holds that publication of an act specifically requires the Secretary of State's designation of a publication date before the act can have the force of law. It is this procedural act which Judge Sumi has temporarily enjoined. The fact that her decision rests on precedent matters, because the state constitution is vague enough to be interpreted different ways. And as we all know, most people are not very good at parsing the constitution. Judge Sumi's ruling is entirely correct (in my amateur opinion), but in a dry technical fashion that is only of interest to attorneys, legal scholars, and bureaucrats. Most people hate reading that stuff, or newspapers would just reprint original documents instead of dumbing them down. The general public just looks at the outcome and reads the quotes from the competing sides, and then roots for whichever side they feel better about. And when it comes to rebels vs. complicated rules of civil and/or legislative procedure, most people are going to favor the rebel because the legal system is too damn complex to understand unless you're a giant nerd. Hell, most of the computer/web programmers I know hate the legal system because it's so complicated and difficult to understand, and they deal with logic problems day in and day out.

The Wisconsin supreme court will handle the matter, and I don't think there will be a constitutional crisis as such unless the WSC issues a definitive ruling and Walker tries to circumvent or override it. But he doesn't have to do that to win. He can let it drag out for a long time, because the longer it drags on the longer he can say that vested interests are trying to block his 'reforms.' Is he talking crap about the separation of powers and ignoring the basic concepts of check and balances? Of course he is. But only people who think law school sounds like a good time are going to roll up their sleeves and jump into the technical argument. The Republicans are nowadays a know-nothing populist party that are all about campaigning and gestural politics. when the judiciary gets in their way they deride them as activists or unelected politicians or liberal priests in black robes, and when the judiciary happens to agree with them they make out that it was obvious and treat the judges as if they were just rubber-stamping a truth which was self-evident to everyone but the left. Walker and friends blowing off the judicial branch and behaving like children with a tantrum is a positive development as far as the GOP voter base is concerned. They don't understand judges and courts, so they want a 'man of the people' to put them in their place. A woman judge with strong liberal connections and a funny name? Scott Walker could tell her to get back in the kitchen and make him a sammich and his base would fall over themselves to applaud him.

I personally feel that postponing action at the ballot box for a year to get the campaign ducks in a row and trying to recall him in 2012 is exactly the sort of thing that irritates many voters about the Democratic party. I myself am a duck-arranger who prefers getting everything right and pressing the 'go!' button on a sure thing, rather than relying on emotion and popular enthusiasm for a cause to carry one through. But this conflict in wisconsin is very much one of populism rather than policy. If a showdown is ostponed for a year then it looks very much as if the state's problems are being treated as a sideshow in a national electoral strategy. Also, within the state it's going to be hard to articulate a positive message on behalf of Obama and any Congressional candidates at the same time as a negative message about Walker. Just because they're on opposite sides of the question does not mean the two campaigns will automatically mesh.

Based on what I saw in the California recall election that brought Schwarzenegger to power, the only way to win this is to strike while the iron is hot: a very simple and very clear argument for why Walker must go, and a very strong alternative ready to go immediately afterwards - an alternative candidate with excellent name recognition and little baggage, and an alternative policy that addresses the immediate problems. It won't be enough to say 'we'll fix the public sector that Walker broke' - whatever is proposed will need to clearly cost less and deliver more than Walker's approach. Enough to persuade some of the people who are unsure of or hostile towards unions, and pointing to the fact that the pre-Walker system worked OK for a long time won't do that. Walker wouldn't have been elected if people already thought the public sector was doing a great job; the Democratic campaign in 2010 overestimated the public's understanding of and admiration for the job that public-sector workers do. It's essential to show they will make government work better, rather than requiring voters to change their mind about how it runs now (up to very recently).

Even if it's stupid shit like saying 'I will cut the time required for a visit to the DMV in half,' Democrats are going to need to sell something positive to the electorate, rather than avoid something negative that may happen later if Walker stays put. Everyone knows they need insurance, but nobody enjoys having to buy it. That's what the 2010 campaign was about - vote Dem or the GOP will happen - and it failed. Instead of appealing to voters' conscience or common sense (both of which are highly unreliable if you ask me), Democrats need to tempt voters with the prospect of benefit(s) in their necessary interaction with government. I mention the DMV because it's stereotypically a place people hate having to go because they're going to spend a long time waiting in line. You don't sell groceries by reminding people they need to eat and farmers need to be paid, you sell them by telling people that the supermarket is a fun place to buy yummy stuff for cheap. Most people see government as a necessity, and the GOP has succeeded in making many of them see it as an imposition. The Democrats' task is to make it seem friendly and convenient, and way better than it is in the state next door, so that people will want to come to Wisconsin because the state is so good at getting things done.
posted by anigbrowl at 3:33 PM on March 30, 2011 [7 favorites]


No. If Democrats in Wisconsin are going to recall him then they need to do it this year

Legally not eligible for recall this year. Check the law.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:37 PM on March 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


And as we all know, most people are not very good at parsing the constitution. Judge Sumi's ruling is entirely correct (in my amateur opinion), but in a dry technical fashion that is only of interest to attorneys, legal scholars, and bureaucrats. Most people hate reading that stuff, or newspapers would just reprint original documents instead of dumbing them down. The general public just looks at the outcome and reads the quotes from the competing sides, and then roots for whichever side they feel better about.

Its gonna be of interest of anyone who tries to implement the law, as they will be found in contempt of court.

Listen, the politics of this are separate from the Judge's order. A legal challenge is very standard in these situations and so is a temporary injunction. This is way, way, way over the top.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:40 PM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Abortion laws, gay marriage bans? These things aren't what I would call libertarian.

They sure do like reduced government oversight of business, lower taxes, and fewer social services. That's most of the way there.

And why is being pro-life incompatible with being a libertarian?

Gay marriage? First, it's a state's issue. The Feds should stay out of it. Second, why does the state care about marriage in the first place? It's a religious institution. Obviously the state shouldn't make gay marriage legal because the state shouldn't be marryin' folk anyway (the next logical step, of eliminating heterosexual marriage, has not been taken. I'm sure it's just around the corner).

Honestly, they seem to share a lot of positions with most libertarians I know. Not the pot-smoking bits, but most of the rest.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 3:40 PM on March 30, 2011


And why is being pro-life incompatible with being a libertarian?


Government telling someone what they can do with their own body.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:43 PM on March 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


The Democratic state Senators fled the state to stop a vote. The WI Democratic Party has been instrumental in organizing 100,000-strong protests. They've forced their opponents to take legally questionable actions to pass their agenda under glaring, national media attention.

It's good strategy and I do not think they're spineless, but opposing Walker by running away and hiding is easy to mischaracterize. I sort of hoped they would protest outside the legislature and let themselves get arrested, although I understand that would have allowed the Republicans to pass the bill more quickly instead of getting stuck on the quorum problem.

That strategy only works once, in response to an underhanded surprise attack. Once it has taken place and you've returned, you can't rally the troops by shouting 'Flee! the enemy is upon us!'
posted by anigbrowl at 3:43 PM on March 30, 2011


Legally not eligible for recall this year. Check the law.

D'oh - thanks for correcting me on that. In California you can start pushing a recall almost straight away. That being the case, the extra time is both a challenge and an opportunity for WI Democrats - keeping people annoyed at Walker while avoiding charges of sabotage is going to demand a high level of political skill.
posted by anigbrowl at 3:47 PM on March 30, 2011


It's good strategy and I do not think they're spineless, but opposing Walker by running away and hiding is easy to mischaracterize. I sort of hoped they would protest outside the legislature and let themselves get arrested, although I understand that would have allowed the Republicans to pass the bill more quickly instead of getting stuck on the quorum problem.

Walker's disapproval rate is over 57% right now. He's getting slaughtered in the public opinion battle. Even Rassmusen shows him getting CRUSHED. Independents have turned against him.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:49 PM on March 30, 2011


keeping people annoyed at Walker while avoiding charges of sabotage is going to demand a high level of political skill.

he refuses to put this behind himself. the subject of this FPP is exactly why he is treading on thin ice.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:50 PM on March 30, 2011


We're on the same side here, I'm just not as optimistic as you about Walker coming unstuck. I mean, Bush managed to get re-elected in 2004 despite [everything]; approval/disapproval ratings don't seem like a very reliable barometer of voting behavior to me, or there wouldn't be so many incumbents in Congress. Conceding defeat at the last moment, and then jumping back in for another go with eye-rolling but hyper-strict adherence to procedural rules will play fine with his base, and the center can be fickle.

I hope Wisconsinites have more sense than to give him a pass, but I've been disappointed before. He's beatable, of course. I just feel it's very important to present voters with a candidate and platform that's more than just 'not Scott Walker' at the next ballot.
posted by anigbrowl at 4:06 PM on March 30, 2011


They can call themselves whatever they want, but their continued funding of the Tea Party doesn't seem very freedom-oriented to me. There's a bit of a disconnect between words and action with a lot of right-wingers, I think. Abortion laws, gay marriage bans? These things aren't what I would call libertarian.

Libertarian /= loves "freedom". The deregulation crazy, the deification of Wall Street Big Money Boyz, the attacks on public workers and unions, the demonization of anything remotely associated with the concept of a public good or shared resources, those are all plays directly from the "libertarian" wing of the extreme far right. That the social issues motivated Religious Right has taken up and become conflated with some of the mantle of the Koch-funded "starve the beast" economic theory doesn't invalidate the fact that these economic policies we're designed and advocated by, and for billionaires who call themselves and the policies they support "libertarian".

In other words, the libertarians are running much of the Tea Party show, and this is what a world run by "libertarian" basically looks like in practice.

Also, you don't get to make up your own definitions (unless you happen to own a cable news network).
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:08 PM on March 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


According to United Wisconsin, they have contact info for at least 174,000 people who want to recall Walker, and will do so as soon as they can. While I'm sure there's chaff in that number, I think it's a great sign. There are people not included in that number who are just as interested in recalling Walker but not as internet savy.

I know that as soon as petitions are available, I can get the signatures of both my parents and likely several other family members. If there are 100,000 people on the list and each gets five friends to sign the petition, Walker is recalled.
posted by drezdn at 4:29 PM on March 30, 2011


I agree with drezdn that we have a really good start on recalling Walker, but I agree with anigbrowl that this is a difficult task before us. The recall petitions for some of the GOP State Senators may be running into some natural caps as they reach saturation in their districts for the people who really want to recall; and even in the districts where the petitions succeed, we are going to have to offer a credible alternative or the incumbent could coast to an easy victory. I really hope there is activity behind the scenes to do that. Three districts were won by Republicans with slim margins, meaning they are naturally competitive, and may even have candidates interested in a re-match. More broadly, though, it's going to be tough to get more than a couple Senators or Assemblypersons really, truly replaced. If we do even minimally, it will be an historic wave of recalls unlike anything this country has seen before -- frankly, unprecedented -- so it's a pretty high mark we're shooting for.

To get the Gov? Only two have ever lost office in a recall election in the entire history of the US (the concept of the recall only having originated about a century ago). The credible alternative, I suspect, is going to be Russ Feingold -- but he's going to have to accept the popular draft. If he doesn't, though, we have a few legislators like Barca who could have enough of a profile now to take a shot (and wouldn't have to sacrifice their seat just to run, either).

But again, there is this constitutionally-mandated delay, and keeping momentum and focus is going to be a challenge.
posted by dhartung at 4:52 PM on March 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


Bush managed to get re-elected in 2004 despite [everything]

2011 is a pretty significantly different moment, both politically and economically, than 2004.
posted by scody at 4:53 PM on March 30, 2011


If there are 100,000 people on the list and each gets five friends to sign the petition, Walker is recalled.

Well, he would be put on the ballot for recall. The signature gathering is the first step, then there is electing him out, then there is electing someone else.

I think he is going to fall, simply because he is the one continuing to make all sorts of very public gaffs and missteps. Which are likely to continue.
posted by edgeways at 4:58 PM on March 30, 2011


then there is electing him out, then there is electing someone else.

No. It's just a new election [in Wisconsin], as if his term were up.
posted by dhartung at 5:02 PM on March 30, 2011


ooops, ok
posted by edgeways at 5:14 PM on March 30, 2011


Canada is showing how parliamentary systems don't necessarily work any better than ours.

When the leading minority party ignores conventions and tells bald-faced lies in Question Period, and your Queen's representative and Queen herself don't give a flying fuck to enforce the transition of government to the leading coalition majority, ie. does not submit to the will of the people…

…well, yeah, you're every bit as fucked as you are with a fascist or Scott Walker.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:23 PM on March 30, 2011


OP: The Wisconsin State Journal is the actual 'official' state newspaper where laws must be published (not the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal - even the JS got it right, for once!)

Hey, this is what WI voted for.

Not only bad for ending the sentence in a preposition, it's woefully inaccurate. Walker was elected on the strength of the rural vote. In the City of Milwaukee it was a lobsided 74% for Barrett vs 25% for Walker and the results (results in .xls file format) in the County of Milwaukee were similar to that of the City.

Voters here obviously knew something that the non-urban voters were too blinded by Koch + Co buying massive amounts of airtime and ad space to know what Walker would do to sell off the state for pennies on the dollar and kill unions (You didn't hear Walker complaining about people from out of state interfering in WI politics through contributions to his campaign now, did you?!!).

I don't expect people who make such ill-informed statements such as "this is what WI voted for" to actually care enough to do the math and parse the results.
posted by kuppajava at 5:53 PM on March 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


Based on his history, I think Brandon was serving up that comment with a large side of hamburger.

I'm embarrassed to admit that I actually did not vote last fall; I was going on vacation and I didn't get my shit together in enough time to vote absentee (you have to submit your request a certain number of weeks in advance). But you can bet your ass I'll be there bright and early Tuesday morning.
posted by desjardins at 7:13 PM on March 30, 2011


Desjardins, if you're in the Fighting 14th County Supervisory District, check out Jason Haas. His opponent is ever so slightly saner than Basil Marceux.
posted by drezdn at 7:25 PM on March 30, 2011


Sheboygan DA calls out Walker Administration for ignoring TRO Sheboygan is very very Republican. While the DA himself might not be a Republican (I don't know), it's an interesting read.
posted by drezdn at 7:27 PM on March 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


drezdn: Wow, what is up with where 4 and 14 meet along the lake (PDF map)? I am right there. Fortunately I found this URL which plugs in my address and tells me I'm in 14. Jason Haas FTW. Thanks for the heads up.
posted by desjardins at 7:41 PM on March 30, 2011


DeCecco, although a bit of a prude in prosecuting sex crimes, is a Democrat.
posted by dhartung at 8:49 PM on March 30, 2011


I'm embarrassed to admit that I actually did not vote last fall; I was going on vacation and I didn't get my shit together in enough time to vote absentee (you have to submit your request a certain number of weeks in advance).

That actually works to our advantage, since it reduced the number of signatures required by .25
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:59 PM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


The credible alternative, I suspect, is going to be Russ Feingold

Please.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:33 PM on March 30, 2011


i just got a pro-walker robo-call, here at my house. what a load of fucking garbage

Just part of the game the party structure already knows and the free speech of your money you vote with every day buys.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:13 AM on March 31, 2011


How anyone can call the Dems the same as the Republicans is beyond me. Obama and Palin the same?

Of course they are not the same, as one is male and the other is female. Nihil simile est idem.

But then again:
omnia dicta fortiora si dicta Latina

Anyone like Jim DeMint in the Dem fold? No.

Wasn't Nixon listed as a Republican and has now been stated as he'd make a fine Democrat?

But as another lawyer had pointed out - There is not a dimes bit of difference between the two parties.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:36 AM on March 31, 2011


Hell, most of the computer/web programmers I know hate the legal system because it's so complicated and difficult to understand, and they deal with logic problems day in and day out.

When a computer is producing corrupt results - it gets replaced.

When the legal system produces a corrupt result, that become the basis for future legal decisions ... the corruption gets baked in. Its why things like jury nullification were supported by T. Jefferson - so the people could be like the Internet and route around the damage. Its why a process exists to modify the Constitution - to fix the damage of vague words or even give Citizens more control.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:46 AM on March 31, 2011


Can the POTUS be prosecuted for crimes in office after leaving office even if not impeached?

Get the charges in front of a Grand Jury and have 'em true billed.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:50 AM on March 31, 2011


Why is there no movement to kick-start the Libertarian party, or another third party that actually has the people's best interests in mind?

1- Because Libertarians are insufferable. Get a Libertarian on TV to talk about tax policy and they will tell you that there is no such thing, that taxes are theft. Then they start spouting off about all kinds of Hot Button Topics that make people recoil in horror. Quite like the GOP, the party has been overrun by quasi-religious thought patterns. All or nothing, ideological purity or GTFO, etc.

2- Because of that, they don't have any ground level support. There are almost no libertarians in local office, learning how to work the system and how to talk to voters and what their needs and wants are.

3- Because most of the people who go around saying they are libertarians are really authoritarians who don't want to pay taxes. Or gun nuts who don't want the gub'mint telling them they can't run a slave farm.

4- The closest thing to a libertarian we've seen is Ron Paul '08. He went out and made boring speeches about how liberty is good, and a lot of people thought it sounded good. And it does sound good, right until he starts yammering about gold and fiat currencies.

5- Most normal people are libertarian. Most people here are libertarian. Pro-choice, drug legalization, sex worker legalization, (some of) the EFF policies, the ACLU, the rights of people to form unions, the rights of people against the power of the state/police, the rights of people in general- those are all libertarian concepts.

6- Actually, I forgot about another libertarian- Gov. Jesse Ventura of MN. And because he disagreed with the GOP on some things, he is branded "a liberal".

Where it breaks down is that it starts getting scary when you start hitting the edges. Sure, anyone should be able to buy pot if they want. But we start getting hinky when we think of a world where crack and meth would also be legal. We don't like paying taxes, but when we consider a world without social safety nets, it scares the fuck out of us.

Again, look at us on metafilter. Lots of libertarian leanings, but not for everything. As a group, we tend to agree with a lot of the things in #5. But start talking about guns or intellectual property rights, and it goes out the window.

Everyone is scared by something different. Group enough people together, and we are going to start banning shit.

As individual liberty approaches 100%, so does personal responsibility. Libertarianism isn't anarchy, it is merely trusting our fellow humans to treat our freedom to not be fucked with the same way we do theirs. It is inherently respectful of every individual. And that is scary. With no police, we have to trust our fellow humans to not violate our rights. And we have to be ready to defend ourselves should some other person go off the rails and start violating our rights.

If everyone has the freedom to do what they want with no external barriers, we have to be constantly vigilant. And that's why the Libertarian Party sucks. They fail to recognize the circular nature of rights. If individual liberty is paramount, then surely we have the right to band together and form a government, and to cede some of our individual rights to the collective for the sake of expediency. The LP falls into the same trap that all partisan politics does, it creates a boogeyman. Theirs is "the government." Much of their thought is informed by thinkers and philosophers who were (rightly) complaining about the power of Kings, and falsely translate those ideas onto democratic governments.

Anyway: Libertarian Koch Bros isn't an oxymoron, because Libertarianism doesn't really have much to do with Liberty, just like the Tea Party is neither fun nor a refreshing beverage.

The Teabaggers have nothing to do with libertarianism, but I'm not sure about Koch. I've said it before, but I think the Koch family foundation got sold a bill of goods with the AFP org. I don't know the players, but it looks very much like some creepy dude in a suit (some kind of Rove character) sweet talked the KFF into funding them by talking about freedom and liberty and prosperity. And then instantly turned it into a propaganda machine once the check cleared.

I desperately want Koch to get some spokesman on TV and say what their agenda is. Because I honestly don't think it is as evil as it is being made out to be. But the longer they don't do this, the easier it is for them to become the Soros of the left. IE, a convenient boogeyman.
posted by gjc at 6:59 AM on March 31, 2011 [5 favorites]


7- Most of the Libertarian Party don't want to deliver anything to the voters to show they can lead. In the Libertarian future you'd need to be able to show that someone's free will hurt you and this is typically done with the courts. To show you can lead AND make an effort to keep the courts a level playing field you'd need to organize court watchers to report on corruption in the courts. But go ahead - make that pitch to the "officials" in the "party".
posted by rough ashlar at 7:07 AM on March 31, 2011


The Koch brothers are, I think, legitimately libertarian. Make one of them a dictator and they would do things like legalize pot. The problem is, like most conservative libertarians, they prioritize the economic agenda over everything else if they have to make a choice, so they end up supporting authoritarians like Walker.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:19 AM on March 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


When the legal system produces a corrupt result, that become the basis for future legal decisions ... the corruption gets baked in. Its why things like jury nullification were supported by T. Jefferson - so the people could be like the Internet and route around the damage. Its why a process exists to modify the Constitution - to fix the damage of vague words or even give Citizens more control.

Except that jury nullification itself is a corruption. It is the moral equivalent of police officers letting people they like off with warnings and throwing the book at people they don't like. Juries exist to make the justice system more trustworthy, to show the accused that they aren't getting shafted by a corrupt system. They exist to provide transparency- 12 regular folks are presented with the evidence and the law, and those people agree or disagree whether the accused is guilty of that law or not.

Jury nullification, on the other hand, provides opacity. It turns the jury room into a black box of randomness. It allows juries to place their personal opinions above the law, and if a jury can ignore the law, it can also ignore the evidence.

(Not to mention, a nullified jury can itself be nullified and the accused get re-tried, because no jeopardy attaches if it can be shown that the jury was pre-disposed to one verdict or another.)

The process by which corrupt decisions by the judiciary are corrected is through the legislative process, and to some extent by the executive branch in its power to choose the justices. If a corrupt result happens, the executive pardons the conviction, and the legislature passes a new law that is more clear. (And as you say, amends the constitution if necessary.)

Precedent can only exist only as long as nobody wants to change it.
posted by gjc at 7:27 AM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, some of the libertarians I've known sort of have this "after the revolution comes..." mentality that allows them to justify all sorts of things. The thinking is that since we don't live in the perfect libertarian society, all sorts of behavior that's contrary to their libertarian ideals is acceptable since they're not being treated fairly by the government.

I imagine if you called a libertarian out on something like this, they'd justify it by saying that those jobs should be privatized anyway.
posted by electroboy at 7:54 AM on March 31, 2011


Judge Sumi specifically amended the TRO today to say that the Bill was not a law and anyone attempting to implement it would be in contempt.
posted by drezdn at 8:03 AM on March 31, 2011 [2 favorites]



The DOA is still implementing the law. The rationale is that since they weren't a party to the action they aren't bound by the TRO.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:08 AM on March 31, 2011



Oh, wow, Drezdn.... Here's the new order. Look at the last paragraph.

Walker won't care though.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:10 AM on March 31, 2011


The thinking is that since we don't live in the perfect _____ society, all sorts of behavior that's contrary to their _____ ideals is acceptable since they're not being treated fairly by the government.

Not exclusive to libertarians. See: Robin Hood.

Most of the honest-to-goodness philosophical libertarians I know are upper middle class or upper class. That doesn't seem to be the way NAFTA is going ... there's going to eventually be a socialist coalition party (that is probably also called the US Socialist Party) that will rise up to challenge the pluto-parties but we'll probably all be dead.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:12 AM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


The DOA is still implementing the law.

From the timestamp, it looks like that story was published before the amended TRO. I hope they don't try to skirt this version.
posted by drezdn at 8:14 AM on March 31, 2011


Walker just caved. They aren't going to implement the pension provisions until the TRO is sorted out.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:21 AM on March 31, 2011 [4 favorites]


5- Most normal people are libertarian. Most people here are libertarian. Pro-choice, drug legalization, sex worker legalization, (some of) the EFF policies, the ACLU, the rights of people to form unions

The right of people to "form unions" may be in there, but there's no collective bargaining rights under libretarian fantasies, as it limits the rights of individual workers to bargain. So the right to form a union aint worth shit.

Libretarianism is something everyone sees themselves in, but the people collecting the money are for the unfettered power of capital over individuals. I'm against that. The fact that pot would be legal too and 'no iraq' is how they get dumbass 20 year olds to gladly volunteer to fetter themselves to the Koches of this world.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:29 AM on March 31, 2011 [6 favorites]


Libertarianism as the term is currently used in American politics is nothing more than shorthand for 'the one with the most money is in charge.' Unless there's an ethos of restraint among the powerful, any regime that is genuinely libertarian (in the sense in which the Kochs & R. Emmett Tyrell use the term) will always devolve to the person with the most power getting to do pretty much whatever they want. Restrictions against the violation of the property rights of others or restriction on the forceful constraint of the 'free will' of others can always be routed-around if you've got enough money -- and money in modern capitalist society equals power. Since the ethos of restraint in modern America is essentially that restraint is a vice (because, hey, you're restraining your pursuit of what's morally right, amiright?), libertarianism essentially equals control by the person or common-interest-group that most effectively combines power, lawyerly rationalisation powers, and ruthlessness.
posted by lodurr at 9:42 AM on March 31, 2011 [3 favorites]



More on the caving here.

So - there is a hearing tomorrow, and from what I understand about the laws, she is almost certainly going to find that there was a violation of the open meetings laws.

How long will it be before the State Supreme court hears this and rules ? It's gotta be mid-may at the earliest, I would think.

But provisions of this bill are retroactive to March - for example, state employee pay - and so the June paycheck could contain 3 months of deductions - on top of the mandatory furloughs.

For me, that would amount to about $2000 out of one paycheck. That's gonna hurt.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:17 AM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


According to one of the lawyers I follow on twitter the Supreme Court could hold a hearing on the appeal as soon as they want.
posted by drezdn at 12:26 PM on March 31, 2011


According to one of the lawyers I follow on twitter the Supreme Court could hold a hearing on the appeal as soon as they want.

OK, lets break this down. The judge has made no findings on the law at all. She has only found that there is a likelihood for success on the part of the plaintiffs, one of the prongs of determining whether a TRO should be granted. The GOP's appeal (the Wisconsin government's appeal) is of the TRO, not of the merits. So the Supreme Court could not hold any hearing on the appeal in general, because the original court case has not been heard yet. The only thing that has been heard is arguments regarding whether or not a TRO should issue.

Note that the GOP has for years challenged laws like this. They are only making a big deal of it because they want to lessen the political damage. She's made no decision.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:44 PM on March 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


There were more people at the Janesville Walker protest than at the tea party rally in DC today. (More reporters at the tea party rally though).
posted by drezdn at 12:44 PM on March 31, 2011


Also, where's Joe Beese? Did I miss something?
posted by Ironmouth at 12:46 PM on March 31, 2011


The Appeals Court already declined to rule on the appeal to the original TRO, saying the Supreme Court was the appropriate venue. It is considered unlikely that they would do so immediately before the election Tuesday. I'm not certain, either, whether they are limited to the consideration of the appeal of the TRO, or could simply take up the matter as a whole. I don't think there has been anything resembling a lower court finding of fact that they could review. (OK, what Ironmouth said.)
posted by dhartung at 12:47 PM on March 31, 2011


The Appeals Court already declined to rule on the appeal to the original TRO, saying the Supreme Court was the appropriate venue. It is considered unlikely that they would do so immediately before the election Tuesday. I'm not certain, either, whether they are limited to the consideration of the appeal of the TRO, or could simply take up the matter as a whole. I don't think there has been anything resembling a lower court finding of fact that they could review. (OK, what Ironmouth said.)

Unless they somehow have some sort of original jurisdiction, then no, they cannot take up the matter until a decision on the merits has been made.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:51 PM on March 31, 2011


Supreme court: jurisdiction. SECTION 3. [As amended
April 1977] (1) The supreme court shall have superintending
and administrative authority over all courts.
(2) The supreme court has appellate jurisdiction over all
courts and may hear original actions and proceedings. The
supreme court may issue all writs necessary in aid of its jurisdic-
tion.
(3) The supreme court may review judgments and orders of
the court of appeals, may remove cases from the court of appeals
and may accept cases on certification by the court of appeals.
[1975 J.R. 13, 1977 J.R. 7, vote April 1977]

looks like they can hear original actions. hmmmm.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:54 PM on March 31, 2011



Unless they somehow have some sort of original jurisdiction, then no, they cannot take up the matter until a decision on the merits has been made.


If I understand this correctly, Wisconsin's Supreme Court doesn't always play by the rules.
posted by drezdn at 12:57 PM on March 31, 2011




Just to be clear, homunculus is referring to a video that was posted earlier of Sean Duffy.
posted by dhartung at 1:22 PM on March 31, 2011


A local angle to this story was the walkout on Walker by Janesville City Councilman Yuri Rashkin. Unfortunately, he was alone in taking this action. He was blasted by fellow Councilman Frank Perotto, leading to dueling comments from Perotto (calling in while State Sen. Tim Cullen was a guest) and Rashkin (in person) on a local talk-radio show with a hard-line right-wing host (beloved by the company, whose chairman is on the Wisconsin Manufacturers Commission, the major benefactor of Republican and conservative candidates in the state). An article on the disagreement appeared this morning in the newspaper (owned by the same company as the radio station, thank you media deregulators). The key issue is whether a member of a "non-partisan" council must perforce always represent the entirety of the community and enjoin themselves against any activity which could be deemed partisan.
Sorry if this is too inside baseball. I prefer it to asides over Taiwan, and not just because I know Yuri personally and Frank a little less closely.
posted by dhartung at 3:40 PM on March 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also, where's Joe Beese? Did I miss something?

He got a time out.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 3:44 PM on March 31, 2011




Former Governor Patrick Lucey has resigned as honorary Co-Chair of the David Prosser campaign and endorsed Joanne Kloppenberg. Lucey cites a lack of civility from the Prosser campaign.
posted by drezdn at 6:21 PM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]




beat me to it drez
posted by edgeways at 8:06 PM on March 31, 2011




anigbrowl: I don't see how that changes my point. In fact, I think it supports it. The extraordinary risk that this type of filibuster inherently has was something that the Wisconsin State Senators most certainly were well aware of -- you probably wouldn't be a politician if you can't gauge that type of political risk! That they came to the conclusion that fleeing the state was an acceptable option, and that it worked, speaks either to the depths of their commitment to labor or to their abilities as political tacticians. Or both! Regardless of which it is, those are certainly desired attributes for any Democratic pol.

Seeing the public opinion disaster that has befallen Walker, the recalls, as well as the squirming of other GOP pols in the state like Justice Prosser and Rep Duffy (though I actually agree with him about congressional pay being low, but that's a subject for another day), the Wisconsin Democrats are certainly setting themselves up for a mighty fast rebound after 2010.
posted by Weebot at 8:21 PM on March 31, 2011


The Wisconsin Democrats twitter feed says they have enough signatures to recall Kapanke.
posted by drezdn at 5:07 AM on April 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


and here is a news story about it. The story doesn't mention Hopper's recall, but iirc the recall Hopper folks announced last week they had the signatures. So this is 2 of 8.
posted by edgeways at 6:08 AM on April 1, 2011


Judge Sumi's house is supposedly under 24 hour police protection. Haven't found a link to back it up yet.

Also, Sarah Palin has endorsed Prosser.
posted by drezdn at 7:35 AM on April 1, 2011




The audio of today's hearing is being streamed here. A nice collection of tweets from the courtroom and overflow room are here.
posted by lriG rorriM at 8:23 AM on April 1, 2011




Also, Sarah Palin has endorsed Prosser.

Excellent - the kiss of death.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:53 AM on April 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I know some people where really hoping the president would get involved in this publicly somehow. And, I admit, in the early days I too thought this. But, I've come to change my mind about this. I think this is a fight WI residents need to fight, and certainly they need help from all over, but looking at how much negative attention Palin brings to this, and how much flak is going around from using outside sources to collect recall signatures for the D recalls... I think it is good he is more behind the scenes. The D senators mention talking to him a number of times when they where in IL. A lower profile keeps the focus on it being a WI issue and not some silly "referendum on the president".

and... I expect this summer we are going to start seeing the backlash against the Tea Party. If Madison can get 100K in the dead of winter, summer should be a blast.
posted by edgeways at 9:03 AM on April 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


OTOH, a lot of the college kids go home.

OTOOH, those lazy union teachers have all summer to thug it up.
posted by desjardins at 9:07 AM on April 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


A lower profile keeps the focus on it being a WI issue and not some silly "referendum on the president".

In fact we've seen over and over just how badly they've wanted to make it about Obama and the be able to leverage his image, to get more support and cement a national level image.
I love that Obama simply ignores Walker, same as he does with Palin. It must really bruise his worked up ego.

Besides the ground operations needed to get their shit together and this has re-energized everyone and got people thinking hard NOW.
posted by Skygazer at 9:58 AM on April 1, 2011


OTOOH, those lazy union teachers have all summer to thug it up.

Precisely. That's when the go back to pumping iron, getting new tats and generally ya know, KICKING ASS!!!
posted by Skygazer at 10:01 AM on April 1, 2011


The other thing is that they will need good candidates to run in these recall elections.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:59 AM on April 1, 2011


Indeed, Ironmouth. I have been saying this for weeks (living in Paul Ryan's district, where for several elections running the nominated challenger was a complete joke).

The Chancellor has responded to the Cronon records request:

UW's Martin says some Cronon emails won't be released
Chancellor’s message on academic freedom and open records

When faculty members use email or any other medium to develop and share their thoughts with one another, they must be able to assume a right to the privacy of those exchanges, barring violations of state law or university policy. Having every exchange of ideas subject to public exposure puts academic freedom in peril and threatens the processes by which knowledge is created. The consequence for our state will be the loss of the most talented and creative faculty who will choose to leave for universities where collegial exchange and the development of ideas can be undertaken without fear of premature exposure or reprisal for unpopular positions.

This does not mean that scholars can be irresponsible in the use of state and university resources or the exercise of academic freedom. We have dutifully reviewed Professor Cronon's records for any legal or policy violations, such as improper uses of state or university resources for partisan political activity. There are none.
Emphasis mine.

posted by dhartung at 11:58 AM on April 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Looks like the Chancellor has been paying attention to events in Virginia.
posted by headnsouth at 12:13 PM on April 1, 2011


headnsouth, there is no way that any Virginia case law can set precedent for Wisconsin courts ruling on Wisconsin law.
posted by dhartung at 12:20 PM on April 1, 2011


headnsouth, there is no way that any Virginia case law can set precedent for Wisconsin courts ruling on Wisconsin law.

Not as a matter of stare decisis (precedent that must be followed), no. Bear in mind that the doctrine of persuasive precedent means that courts often examine the findings of other jurisdictions to learn from the legal arguments and judgments made in similar cases, however.
posted by jaduncan at 12:29 PM on April 1, 2011


True but there has been significant attention paid to the controversy in Virginia, and the principle is the same even if the legal precedent won't apply. I'm sure that Chancellor Martin is aware that defending the free exchange of ideas in academia is asking for trouble, but he's doing it anyway. I'd like to think that the debacle in VA has had at least some value.
posted by headnsouth at 12:29 PM on April 1, 2011


I'm sure that Chancellor Martin is aware that defending the free exchange of ideas in academia is asking for trouble, but he's doing it anyway.

She. Chancellor Biddy Martin is a woman.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:31 PM on April 1, 2011



The judge is going to continue the TRO and the hearing until the immunity for the Fitzgerald brothers expires or is otherwise voluntarily relinquished.

The immunity expires when the legislative session does which is not for quite some time. The bill is effectively dead, it seems, barring the legislature repassing it, or the Supreme Court taking over jurisdiction and allowing it to stand.

I have a question - can the SC take over a hearing that is still ongoing, or do they have to wait until the matter has been concluded ?
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:42 PM on April 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


More Americans Back Unions Than Governors in State Disputes

headnsouth -- didn't mean to discourage you, as you were simply pointing out a parallel situation. As for "defending the free exchange of ideas in academia", that's a task I would have always considered to be far less onerous in Wisconsin, where it's practically a cornerstone of modern state government -- but that very cornerstone is, of course, what the current assault means to undermine.
posted by dhartung at 12:49 PM on April 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


I've met Biddy Martin in the past (before she came to Wisconsin) and she is a darn powerful force to be reckoned with and a very skilled leader. I'm particularly impressed by the way she's come to adopt Twitter and communicate so openly, which is pretty unheard of for a chancellor to do. I'm glad, but not surprised, to see her doing the right thing here, and hope she'll continue to speak out:
"To our faculty, I say: Continue to ask difficult questions, explore unpopular lines of thought and exercise your academic freedom, regardless of your point of view. As always, we will take our cue from the bronze plaque on the walls of Bascom Hall. It calls for the "continual and fearless sifting and winnowing" of ideas. It is our tradition, our defining value, and the way to a better society."
posted by zachlipton at 1:40 PM on April 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Wow.

Biddy for Governor!
posted by Skygazer at 2:58 PM on April 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


The judge is going to continue the TRO and the hearing until the immunity for the Fitzgerald brothers expires or is otherwise voluntarily relinquished.

The immunity expires when the legislative session does which is not for quite some time. The bill is effectively dead, it seems, barring the legislature repassing it, or the Supreme Court taking over jurisdiction and allowing it to stand.

I have a question - can the SC take over a hearing that is still ongoing, or do they have to wait until the matter has been concluded ?


The Fitzgeralds do not count here and their immunity is not relevant. The TRO prevents Executive Branch officers from acting to publish or enforce the law while the case is pending. That's where the case is.

If the plaintiffs win, the GOP appeals, but the law is unenforceable.

Real question is if the Dems win in the Supreme Court, will the GOP stalwarts hesitate to do it again?

I get the feeling the Dems have multiple recall petitions fully ready, and will release over period of a few weeks for max coverage.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:42 PM on April 1, 2011


I get the feeling the Dems have multiple recall petitions fully ready,...

Hope you're right. This is one bad deed I'd like to see punished.
posted by Mental Wimp at 4:25 PM on April 1, 2011


Wisconsin union law likely on hold for 2 months

Sumi on Friday extended indefinitely a temporary restraining order preventing the secretary of state from putting the law in effect. She is considering a lawsuit that says Republican lawmakers didn't provide the proper public notice when they convened a special committee to amend the plan before its passage. The state has appealed the order to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, but the court has not indicated whether it will take the case and has no deadline for making a decision.

Republicans could try to get around the issue by passing the bill again, but party leaders said again Friday they have no plans to do that.


I get the feeling the Dems have multiple recall petitions fully ready, and will release over period of a few weeks for max coverage.

My love for the state party has burgeoned in recent weeks, but even I wouldn't attribute this level of strategy to them. And again, Mental Wimp, even a successful recall petition will be for naught if a credible alternative candidate is not fielded, and there will still be a strong bias for the incumbent (though we could hope, for instance, that Hopper would decline out of embarassment -- his replacement by the GOP could be more re-electable).
posted by dhartung at 4:53 PM on April 1, 2011


Still, this is going well for a change.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:54 PM on April 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I honesty hink that Fitzgerald had to twist arms and threaten Armageddon to get it passed the first time in the senate. And even then one senator defected. A defection of two more would kill the bill outright and there was ample news that at least two other R senators where considering bailing on the bill. Fitz has, at best a tenuous grasp on the senate in this affair and bringing it up yet again could see mass defections. The longer this drags out the more it plays into the hands of the protesters and the democrats. And the last thing 8 of the R senators want is to have to vote again for the bill.

I truly hope the bruhaha continues into next year and the other R senators become eligible for recall in this climate.

(and I really wish the R assemblymen would also be threatened with recall)
posted by edgeways at 10:08 PM on April 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


All in good time, edgeways.

About the Budget Repair Bill, as told by a Republican police officer:
The budget repair bill from Governor Walker has sparked a lot of controversy and has divided a state and has the potential to divide the country. Public workers have been made out to be the “haves” and private workers as the “have nots”. I vote about 90% republican. I am also a public worker and have been my whole life. I have 25 years on as a police officer. Let me tell you my story.
posted by dhartung at 2:02 PM on April 2, 2011 [9 favorites]




Chicago Tribune story. The McPier ruling seems to be about the ability of state legislatures to change private employers' union contracts, so its applicability to the state changing its own employees' contracts or allowing local government units to do the same is not so clear as all that. It's a significant win for labor, though.
posted by dhartung at 10:31 AM on April 3, 2011




Basically, I do employment and labor law, employee/union side almost exclusively.

The doctrine of preemption means that the National Labor Relations Act controlls collective bargaining in the country. Therefore no state law may preempt federal law on the subject.

Public employee bargaining rights are a creature of statute. States and the federal government grant these rights. There are no strike rights in these schemes, so the discussion upthread does not apply.
Teachers are a whole different ball of wax.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:09 AM on April 4, 2011


Thanks dhartung and Ironmouth.

This will cost at least 10 Million to clean up.

Finally, all of my fellow 'Sconny residents, vote tomorrow.
posted by drezdn at 6:50 PM on April 4, 2011


An old meme gets new life re the Kloppenburg/Prosser race. Very very funny stuff..


Favorite line: "Douchebaggery isn't even a real word!"
posted by Skygazer at 1:28 PM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]




As an interesting aside, the dispute I mentioned above involving two City Councillors came just days before one of them was up for re-election. As it happens, the conservative-leaning guy who criticized the liberal-leaning guy [who was not up this year] lost amid the record (spring) turnout that locally went 62% for Kloppenburg.

Most people seem to attribute his loss to the foolish personal attacks on the other councilman, including an implicit attack on the protesters that councilman joined, excluding them as legitimate representatives of the community in favor of the business owners who bought expensive dinner tickets.

Again, I imagine such small-bore political dramas playing out statewide as the fallout continues.
posted by dhartung at 12:09 AM on April 7, 2011 [4 favorites]




That link is implying a lot here, Scody.

One Wisconsin Now estimates put overall turnout near 38 percent, a wild outlier to historical data and the earlier mid-day estimation of Waukesha’s own officials. In April 2009, turnout was 20 percent; April 2008, turnout was 22 percent and in April 2007, turnout was 24 percent. All of these elections had hotly-contested Supreme Court races as well.


It is well known that turnout is remarkably high compared to other elections because of the politically charged atmosphere in the state right now.

Statewide turnout was 33%. But the Wisconsin Government Accountability board predicted a turnout of 20%. In Dane county, almost 49% of registered voters cast a ballot.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:44 PM on April 7, 2011


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