I'm trying to find a bright spot in the irritating walkout of eleven Republican members of the state Senate. They're opposed to a bill that has a pretty damn good rationale behind it: preserving our one and only Earth for human habitation.
But since these ignoramuses in the GOP view carbon pollution and global warming as a good thing -- plants grow faster! summer all year long! -- they're determined to give the finger to democracy and prevent a Senate vote on the Oregon Clean Jobs bill for as long as possible.
About the only good thing I can find in this debacle is that now no one can say that Oregon has Republican politicians that are nicer, less extreme, and more courteous that Republicans elsewhere in the country.
Hey, our GOP is just as off-the-rails as Alabama! The only reason Oregon isn't stuck in the muck of right-wing craziness is that our voters have the good sense to elect a Democratic governor and Dem supermajorities in both the state House and Senate.
A little thing like giving voters the respect they deserve didn't stop Republican members of the Senate from fleeing out-of-state, though, where they've said they'll remain until their temper tantrum is rewarded by changes to the Oregon Clean Jobs bill that Democrats would be insane to go along with.
After all, anybody who has experienced life with a toddler or puppy knows that you don't reward bad behavior. That's why I was so pissed at Democratic leaders, including Governor Brown, when they agreed to kill two bills that were top priorities of the Dems to lure Senate Republicans back from their May walkout.
Not May of another year. May of this year.
Yes, after Democrats rewarded Senate Republicans last month, it isn't a huge surprise that they're seeing what they can get from Democrats this time around. They're hoping for a lot, such as a referral of the Oregon Clean Jobs bill to voters, which is totally uncalled for.
Further proof of how our Republicans in the legislature are just as sleazy as Congressional Republicans is that the Senate GOP agreed to play nice and not negage in any more walkouts if Democrats agreed to kill the two bills mentioned above, along with considering Republican amendments to the Oregon Clean Jobs bill.
Both of which happened. Democratic legislators heard the arguments for the amendments, then voted them down. This is how democracy works. Voters elect legislators, then those legislators decide on bills.
If you want to be sure that your desired legislation gets passed, first you need a majority in the legislature. Oregon Republicans are skipping the "get elected" part and jumping right into petulant walkout politics.
Oregon Democrats have a nice-looking wanted poster.
The Washington Post has a story with a headline that brings back memories of the Malheur Refuge takeover by armed militants, some of whom reportedly are now staking out the Oregon capitol building just in case -- oh, the horror of it -- the legislature tries to convene and do the people's business.
Here's some excerpts from "Threats from militia provoke shutdown at Oregon capitol, a day after GOP lawmakers fled."
Oregon’s top lawmakers will shut down the state capitol after receiving threats from militia groups, who authorities say are planning to demonstrate there in support of the 11 Republican senators who fled the state to dodge a vote on climate change.
State Senate President Peter Courtney (D) told his colleagues on Friday that Oregon State Police had informed him there was a credible threat to him, the rest of the remaining senators — all of whom are Democrats — and the building’s staff.
...State police confirmed the danger in an emailed statement.
...The militia groups’ alleged threat was the second apparent mention of violence to mar state politics in recent days.
Sen. Brian Boquist, one of the Republicans on the lam, sent a warning to state police Wednesday.
“Send bachelors and come heavily armed,” Boquist said. “I’m not going to be a political prisoner in the state of Oregon. It’s just that simple.”
Hopefully the Oregon State Police will be able to find at least two Republican senators and bring them back to Salem so the Senate will have a quorum. However, it isn't a good sign that one senator is hiding in plain sight, according to an Oregonian story.
In the meantime, senator sightings were popping up across social media Saturday.
B.J. Soper, a leader with the Central Oregon Constitutional Guard, posted on Facebook that he’d bumped into Sen. Dennis Linthicum, R-Klamath Falls, at breakfast.
“I order bacon and eggs, the wife orders huevos rancheros, the kiddo a Mickey Mouse pancake. I look across the room and lo and behold who do I see sipping a cup of joe??? SENATOR DENNIS LITHICUM,” Soper wrote. “I walk over and say ‘What in the hell are you doing here?’
“He says, ‘Good morning!! Having bacon and eggs just like you.’ I’m astonished at his candid attitude and I say ‘Man, (Oregon State Police) is on the lookout and this is a bold move.’
“He tells me, ‘It’s ok, I’m not worried, pretty sure the boys have me covered,’” Soper wrote. “He looks up at the table across from him as 4 dudes raise their cups up to acknowledge. I couldn’t help but smile! I said “OK, carry on and be safe. Let me know if I can help!!”