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View Diary: Wisconsin Senate Democrats ready for a long fight--let’s help them out (261 comments)

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  •  Filibusters are allowed by Senate rules (1+ / 0-)
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    Jay C

    and when we advocated preventing them we were advocating changing the rules and expecting the Republicans to play by the rules.  In a constitutional, democratic republic, our expectation is legitimate and everyone needs to play by the rules for the system to work.

    But the rules of the Wisconsin Senate require Senators to attend the Senate when it is in session unless the Senate has given them permission otherwise.  So, the Democrats are not playing by the rules.

    That's the difference.

    This is equivalent to the Republicans filibustering after we achieved the rules reform we wanted.  

    •  The filibuster exists to protect the minority from (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, ER Doc

      the tyranny from the majority. And a quick read HERE    shows that the US Congress has a history of using similar tactics, including an event in 1988 that resulted:

      After a cleaning woman gave a tip that Senator Robert Packwood of Oregon was in his office, Giugni opened the door with a skeleton key. Packwood attempted to shove the door closed, but Giugni and two assistants pushed it open. Packwood was "carried feet-first into the Senate chamber by three plainclothes officers" and sustained bruised knuckles.

      When elected officials believe that the majority is using the cudgel of their numbers and have no other option, walking away in protest is a perfectly reasonable reaction.

      "Everyone needs to play by the rules of the system to work"?  Well, the rules require a quorum, so that  a few can't simply dominate the many.

      Isn't that what the majority is trying to do here?

      The Killer Ds are a group of Texas House Democrats who left Texas for Ardmore, Oklahoma during the week of May 12, 2003. The Killer Ds left to prevent House consideration of the redistricting legislation that would have benefited Texas Republicans. The Texas Constitution requires 100 representatives, or two-thirds of the 150-member House, to conduct business in the lower chamber. The absence of 52 House Democrats prevented Republican passage of the redistricting plan during the 2003 regular session

      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      There are some times when the majority is acting so offensively, so oppressively -- cutting off the rights of large swaths of its citizens -- that the minority HAS to do something other than simply sit by. Walking out has been an effective way to handle this in the past.

      The Texas legislature wanted to redistrict the state to ensure that progressive voices would be silenced as much as possible for the foreseeable future.

      If legislators did this often and for rather mundane reasons, it would be seen as a political stunt. But we're talking about the attempt to bust government unions by a Koch Brothers-backed governor. If it works, it won't stop in Wisconsin.

      It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... - C Dickens.

      by grover on Fri Feb 18, 2011 at 04:34:02 PM PST

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