This will be a short diary, but CNN.com, of all places, has a gem of a story on the history of state legislative walkouts to avoid a quorum. One state legislator who attempted to flee the statehouse to avoid allowing the opposing party to proceed to a vote with a quorum: none other than young Abe Lincoln, who in 1839 actually jumped out a window in the State capitol building to try and prevent the majority from pushing through a bill.
I thought we knew everything admirable there was to know about Lincoln!
The story quotes extensively from a gentleman with great knowledge of the topic, Karl Kurtz, director of the Trust for Representative Democracy at the National Conference of State Legislatures.
It's a great read and a great way to rebut the claims of the Joe Kleins of the world, who are wringing their hands that the approach taken by the Wisconsin 14 is not "democratic."
As Kurtz points out, in many States there is no filibuster, so the only remedy available when the majority is overreaching and trying to jam a bill down without proper deliberation is the skedaddle.