Long ago, I was the parent of a child who went though the "terrible two's." Temper tantrums were common. Crying fits happened routinely.
So I feel for Democratic leaders in the Oregon legislature. They have to deal with Republicans who are the adult equivalent of immature children.
The worst thing is, my daughter grew out of her terrible two'ness, while Oregon Republicans show no sign of acting responsibly.
Almost certainly they're going to do the walkout thing again in this legislative session, thereby denying the 2/3 quorum that the Oregon constitution insanely requires for doing the people's business in the state House and Senate.
(A majority of members present is a typical quorum requirement.)
Oregon Republicans are acting like national Republicans. Unable to appeal to a majority of voters in this state, they're choosing to behave like wanna-be autocrats instead of making their policy positions more palatable to citizens.
Usually a minority party aspires to becoming the majority party.
But that takes work. You have to grasp what turns voters off about your party. For example, professing fervent loyalty to Donald Trump isn't a recipe for electoral success here in Oregon.
Yet Republicans in this state are still stuck in the muck of what Trump spread during his four undistinguished years as president.
Their newest trick, which actually is an old maneuver for them, is demanding that bills be read aloud in the Oregon legislature before being voted on. I guess that made sense in the 1800's, which is why it's in the state constitution.
However, as an Oregonian story says, times have changed.
Oregonians who tune in to the state House’s Tuesday floor session will hear a new voice, enlisted by Democratic leaders in response to Republican delay tactics and COVID-19 cases at the Capitol.
A computer will take the place of state House clerks, who faced the task of reading bills — some of them hundreds of pages long — aloud because minority Republicans have insisted upon it.
None of the bills scheduled for a vote in the near term are hugely controversial, but refusing to waive the state Constitution’s bill reading requirement is one of the few power moves available to Republicans, who hold 23 seats in the 60-member House, as they try to change or block parts of Democrats’ agenda this session.
...The requirement to read bills aloud before final House and Senate votes comes from Oregon’s original 1859 Constitution but in practice Democrats and Republicans routinely waive the mandate in order to save time.
The full text of bills is available on the Legislature’s website, the Oregon Legislative Information System. People can also watch committee meetings and floor sessions on the website, as the Capitol is currently closed to the public.
It's amazing how hypocritical Oregon Republicans can be. The Oregonian story quotes Republican Leader Christine Drazan as saying that Democrats “do not get to control everything.”
Well, actually they do. Or at least, should, since voters have given Democrats healthy majorities in both the state House and Senate.
In a democracy, the majority rules. So if you want to rule, you need to become a majority. Like I said, this takes work -- and Oregon Republicans aren't willing to do what it takes to accomplish that.
So political temper tantrums are the childish way the GOP is acting out in the state legislature. They're demanding that Democrats give up on progressive priorities, even though when Republicans controlled Congress, they made zero substantive efforts to reach out to Democrats.
Likely Oregon Republicans will be walking out of one or both legislative chambers before too long. This is akin to my daughter turning over the Monopoly board and yelling "it's a tie" when I was about to bankrupt her.
It took her a while to completely let go of temper tantrums, but even so, she did much better than the Oregon GOP.