"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Push Comes to Shove

Tonight the Wisconsin State Senate went to the nuclear option, passing the portion of Scott Walker's budget repair bill that does not require a quorum of 20 (which would have to include 1 Democrat Senator) -- the section that limits collective bargaining by public employees.   (Under Wisconsin's Constitution, any bill that is "fiscal" -- that spends money or raises taxes -- has to have a quorum of 60%.  For non-fiscal bills, a simple majority sufficies.   So the Wisconsin GOP simply split off the part they could pass and passed it.   Good for them. 

The inevitable is occurring as we speak.  The Madison left has gone rabid, storming the Capitol and taking over the building.   Here's a picture:

Two things already noted by others: 

1)  Does anybody remember those supposedly "angry" Tea Partiers storming any public buildings after hours when Obamacare passed?

2) Is it my imagination, or is this crowd almost 100% white?  Would the media notice that fact about a conservative rally?  Yes.   Will they notice it about this mob?  No. 


Mickey Kaus comments helpfully on the procedural move the Wisconsin GOP Senators used:

One way to think of this is as “reverse reconciliation.” The latter allowed Democrats to pass Obama’s health care bill, despite the Senate’s normal supermajority (60 vote) antifilibuster requirement, because it was deemed a bill that affected the budget. In Wisconsin, Republicans passed their bill despite the normal three-fifths supermajority quorum requirement because it was deemed a bill that didn’t affect the budget. Different rules, same basic trick. Sauce. Goose. Gander.

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