“Something is building in our politics.”
[Editor’s Note: this is a huge story with massive implication. The democratic governor should have gone ahead with the legislative session, even if it meant calling out the National Guard. What happened here was a coup d’é·tat. Fascism is building in the country and the dithering opposition party doesn’t fully appreciate the threat. — Mark L. Taylor]
By Charles Pierce
n these times, everything looks like an ill omen. The capitol is crowded with crows. But it is not an exaggeration to say that if you’re not following the ongoing insanity in Oregon, you are missing a look into a very dark future. It begins with a not-at-all-unusual squabble between the Republicans in the Oregon legislature and the Democratic Governor, Kate Brown. At issue is a huge bill aimed at dealing with the climate crisis. On Thursday, every Republican member of the Oregon state senate took a powder, denying Brown and the Democrats a quorum and effectively killing the bill.
People with guns have involved themselves in a legislative dispute while the officials of one of the political parties was rooting them on, and one session of a state legislature was cancelled because of it.
Now this is not an unusual tactic. Not long ago, Democratic lawmakers in Texas and in Wisconsin blew town for the same purpose—to throw sand in the gears of a legislative act of which they did not approve and could not stop by conventional means. In Wisconsin, it was to slow down an anti-union measure. In Texas, it was about a redistricting map that gerrymandered the Texas legislature into a farce. The legislative lamsters all had a good time, taking goofy videos in what appeared to be Holiday Inn lobbies while Republicans back home fumed. (The Texans, it should be noted, won a temporary victory.) What makes Oregon different is what the fugitive Republican senators did.
Common cause with armed domestic terror groups
The Republican senators—with the full support of the Oregon Republican Party—made common cause with armed domestic terror groups. (Calling them a militia is a misnomer, regardless of what they may think of themselves.) When a Republican state senator named Brian Boquist heard that Brown was sending the Oregon state police after them, he told a local television station:
“Send bachelors and come heavily armed. I’m not going to be a political prisoner in the state of Oregon. It’s just that simple.”
Almost immediately, the local domestic terror groups sprang to Boquist’s defense. From ThinkProgress:
A member of the Oregon 3 Percenters — a militia group whose members have vowed to combat what they perceive as constitutional infringement — said they would act as the senators’ de-facto bodyguards against the state police. “We have vowed to provide security, transportation and refuge for those Senators in need,” they wrote in a Facebook post. “We will stand together with unwavering resolve, doing whatever it takes to keep these Senators safe.” …