Madison, Indiana?

posted at 1:36 pm on February 22, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

At what point does the decision to hold democracy hostage transform from a localized example of petulance to a national strategy?  Perhaps when Democrats try to paralyze another state legislature whose agenda they cannot control … say, in Indiana, for example:

House Democrats are leaving the state rather than vote on anti-union legislation, The Indianapolis Star has learned.

A source said Democrats are headed to Illinois, though it was possible some also might go to Kentucky. They need to go to a state with a Democratic governor to avoid being taken into police custody and returned to Indiana.

The House was came into session this morning, with only two of the 40 Democrats present. Those two were needed to make a motion, and a seconding motion, for any procedural steps Democrats would want to take to ensure Republicans don’t do anything official without quorum.

The issue?  Same as in Wisconsin.  Republicans in the legislature have offered a bill that addresses union prerogatives.  In comparison to the proposal in Wisconsin, however, this one is rather mild.  It would bar unions and private-sector firms from establishing rules that require non-union employees from being forced to pay representation “fees,” a back door for forced dues payments.  It puts teeth in the open-shop environment, and it’s broader in scope than the Wisconsin bill (which only applied to public-sector unions), but it doesn’t restrict collective bargaining rights at all.

Democrats in Indiana may only be staging a momentary walkout as a way to express solidarity with their colleagues in Wisconsin — or more accurately, their Wisconsin colleagues who have fled the state rather than allow the elected legislature to conduct business.  Even a symbolic walkout carries significant and deeply damaging consequences to representative democracy, however, as I explain in my column at The Week today (specific link later when posted):

The true test of a representative democracy comes not in an election, but in the aftermath of an election. If the losing party or parties in the election recognize their loss and continue to participate in self-governance, then representative democracy works. When the losing side refuses to participate and boycotts governance, especially in such a manner that vital legislative work gets obstructed, then representative democracy itself is threatened. …

The fleeing Democrats have essentially stolen the will of the public and their right to self-governance. Wisconsin voters elected Republicans to majorities in both chambers and Walker as their executive by convincing margins. The minority in representative democracy has a right to be heard, but do not have the right to stop the process of governance by shutting down the legislature. In essence, those state Senators who went on the lam have attempted to overturn the last election through unprecedented and illegal obstruction and dereliction of duty. They have demonstrated the haughty arrogance of those who refuse to accept their role as public servants and instead make themselves into autocrats.

If Republicans overreached with their budget-repair bill and unfairly restricted the rights of unions, then let Democrats go on record opposing the bill and make it the centerpiece of the next legislative election in Wisconsin. Under the circumstances, though, the Democrats who have tried to hijack democracy in order to dictate terms should be the ones who fear the next election the most.

Given the White House and DNC involvement in the Madison protests, it seems clear that this has become a national strategy on the part of Democrats — to run out on legislatures where they hold the minority, and to hijack government in an attempt to make the majority the servant of the minority.  The party should change its name to the Anti-Democrats … or, since they seem enamored of running away as a political tactic, we can take a page from their book and call them Fleebaggers instead.

Update: Here’s the link to my column.


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Be careful, Dems, or the Repubs may try this the next time Professor O’Barry tries to jam through another “America destroying” bill.

NickDeringer on February 22, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Amazing and eye opening. Democrats the party of Shut Down the Government!

txmomof6 on February 22, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Unbelievable. Hoosiers, take back our state from the radicals.

hoosiermama on February 22, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Winning friends and influencing people…….in the wrong direction. The “Fleebaggers” are hanging themselves. 2012 will be very ugly for them.

Winebabe on February 22, 2011 at 1:41 PM

Come on, this is hilarious. I wish this were 2012 instead of 2011.
Keep it mature and classy Dems.

ORconservative on February 22, 2011 at 1:42 PM

Fleeing and hindering these governing bodies is a usurpation of the power and will of the people. I attended the 20 MAR 2010 protest of the healthcare vote. At NO TIME, would I have supported such a tactic by Republicans who were in the chamber.

I now support the active pursuit, yes, physical pursuit and denying the ability of these people to sleep, eat, sit, drink, travel and engage in commerce. They should be hounded, humiliated, shamed, and consequentially dealt with.

ted c on February 22, 2011 at 1:42 PM

Dems showing their true colors. They are all for a representative government when they set the agenda. When someone else wins, time to take our toys and go home. How Progressive!

search4truth on February 22, 2011 at 1:42 PM

Another Obama inspired WTF moment!

dczombie on February 22, 2011 at 1:42 PM

I read this and I think of Boss Emeritus’ headless chickens.

ProudPalinFan on February 22, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Because you know, it’s all going so well in WI.

MJBrutus on February 22, 2011 at 1:43 PM

So, this is representative democracy in the Age of Obama?

Run and hide if ya can’t just vote “present?”

Who’s yer representative?

coldwarrior on February 22, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Are they coming to Chicago to help stuff the ballot box for Rahm today? I hear it could be close and Rahm may not get a majority, forcing a runoff.

Knucklehead on February 22, 2011 at 1:44 PM

When they win an election the Dems say they can do anything they want because “We won”. When the lose an election, no dirty trick to overturn the results is beyond them.

Time for the GOP to start playing hardball.

cool breeze on February 22, 2011 at 1:44 PM

This won’t end well for the Democrats.

JammieWearingFool on February 22, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Is Ohio next?

How many Dems can hide out in Illinois.

SlaveDog on February 22, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Come on Dems, let’s have a 50 state strategy on this. Every capital shut down. With 10% unemployment I’m sure most Americans are on your side as you defend teachers making $100K a year while 70% of the kids can’t read.

angryed on February 22, 2011 at 1:45 PM

There IS a Madison Indiana – nice little river town by Cincinnati

And I like fleebagger or fleabaggger – both are appropriate: flee the state to live in fleabag hotels while on the lam.

Solidarity! Someone has to be the adults here and we’re on the right side of history.

moflicky on February 22, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Ah, the fleebagger Democrats.

Good Lt on February 22, 2011 at 1:47 PM

Marxists have truly infiltrated and taken over the Democratic Party.

rbj on February 22, 2011 at 1:47 PM

Fleebaggers! awesome….

ornery_independent on February 22, 2011 at 1:47 PM

At what point does the decision to hold democracy hostage transform from a localized example of petulance to a national strategy?

January 20, 2013, when they try to mob the inaugural of the 45th POTUS.

Christien on February 22, 2011 at 1:47 PM

I read this and I think of Boss Emeritus’ headless chickens.

ProudPalinFan on February 22, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Speaking of the Boss Emeritus, did she close out her registration to join? I went to sign up and didn’t see a link to do so

predator on February 22, 2011 at 1:47 PM

A new crop of GOP State Governors in the headlines. Doing the hard work.

Romney and Huckabee hardest hit.

SlaveDog on February 22, 2011 at 1:47 PM

So, this is representative democracy in the Age of Obama?

Run and hide if ya can’t just vote “present?”

Who’s yer representative?

coldwarrior on February 22, 2011 at 1:44 PM

The funny thing about that white speck on the top of chickenshit? Its still chickenshit.

darwin-t on February 22, 2011 at 1:47 PM

I’m sure most Americans are on your side as you defend teachers making $100K FOR 9 MONTHS’ WORK a year while 70% of the kids can’t read. angryed on February 22, 2011 at 1:45 PM

FIFY

Akzed on February 22, 2011 at 1:48 PM

rules that require non-union employees from being forced to pay representation “fees,” a back door for forced dues payments mandatory democrat party contributions.

Vashta.Nerada on February 22, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Dems = Cowards

SPGuy on February 22, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Cut a deal with the IN Dems, IL can now be confined to Cook county and the northern half of Lake county IN that borders Cook county. The rest of the area will become IN. Liberals can live with liberals with this arrangement.

WashJeff on February 22, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Just imagine if it had been Republicans doing this….

pseudonominus on February 22, 2011 at 1:49 PM

But, Mitch Daniels is a RINO!

cpaulus on February 22, 2011 at 1:49 PM

predator@1:47,
Yes, MM closed registration after being open for 12 hours yesterday. Lots of new ones on her site now.
L

letget on February 22, 2011 at 1:49 PM

The Party of Go

Christien on February 22, 2011 at 1:49 PM

Are they coming to Chicago to help stuff the ballot box for Rahm today? I hear it could be close and Rahm may not get a majority, forcing a runoff.

Knucklehead on February 22, 2011 at 1:44 PM

When its all said and done though Tiny Dancer will be the mayor.

darwin-t on February 22, 2011 at 1:50 PM

How about a bill that declares their seats vacant upon a willful showing of contempt of the state house or senate by obstructing the government by a walkout? Then let the governor pick their successor from any citizen in their district and convene the legislature the next day with a mass swearing in.

Tennman on February 22, 2011 at 1:51 PM

Man I hope the “fleebaggers” tag catches on!

loudmouth883 on February 22, 2011 at 1:51 PM

Old and Busted: Bedbugs
The New Hotness: Fleebaggers!

Christien on February 22, 2011 at 1:52 PM

Just imagine if it had been Republicans doing this….

pseudonominus on February 22, 2011 at 1:49 PM

Not only would it be the lead story on all national news casts, it would be the teaser and lead story on all local news programs. As it is now. *crickets*

darwin-t on February 22, 2011 at 1:52 PM

wow…

this is getting out of hand.

upinak on February 22, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Unbelievable. Hoosiers, take back our state from the radicals.

hoosiermama on February 22, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Have you contacted the governor yet? I did. But if he hasn’t got the stones to do whatever is in his legal bag of tricks, there’s not much we can do. On the bright side, these fleebaggers will never again be able to claim they are not totally owned by the unions.

SKYFOX on February 22, 2011 at 1:54 PM

This is also known as the Little Willibuster.

(as in Little Willie won’t go home).

Chomsky Dance Recital on February 22, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Democrats are the Party of GO

Jason58 on February 22, 2011 at 1:55 PM

But, Mitch Daniels is a RINO!

cpaulus on February 22, 2011 at 1:49 PM

No, more of a squish than a RINO, but he’s also term-limited so he can act on principle instead of expediency.

SKYFOX on February 22, 2011 at 1:56 PM

It occurs to me that these walk-outs are kind of like the filibuster.
Except that they’re illegal.

Count to 10 on February 22, 2011 at 1:56 PM

I just love to see “Fleebags” is getting its proper due.

Odie1941 on February 22, 2011 at 1:58 PM

WashJeff on February 22, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Very OT……….

Just had a huge gas explosion at Birch Street. Building leveled.

Knucklehead on February 22, 2011 at 1:58 PM

How many Dems can hide out in Illinois?

SlaveDog on February 22, 2011 at 1:45 PM

At first I wanted to say “No! Keep ‘em out!” But I have to admit that Illinois is pretty much lost. Even in a wave election we went solidly Democratic except for the US Senate seat, which Kirk barely won over a mob banker, no less.

So — I’m willing to take one (or two, or more) for the team. Bring all your Dems here. My state’s politics can’t really get worse, and it may improve some others.

jwolf on February 22, 2011 at 1:59 PM

this is getting out of hand.

upinak on February 22, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Yep. Project this on a national scale and it starts to look a bit like the 1860s. IYKWIMAITYD.

a capella on February 22, 2011 at 1:59 PM

They should be given no quarter.

ted c on February 22, 2011 at 2:00 PM

As I recall, they tried this in Texas over redistricting. It worked… for awhile. But then they came back and the redistricting went forward as usual. Except things got way nasty for them at the next election. I wish I had a way to find out exactly how many of those who fled were voted out, but suffice it to say, Texas has a vast Republican majority now.

Are Wisconsin, Indiana and soon Ohio following these same footsteps?

UnderstandingisPower on February 22, 2011 at 2:00 PM

RTW laws are not free market, the state shouldn’t dictate hiring policy to a company.

commodore on February 22, 2011 at 2:00 PM

This is great timing because it divides Bammie’s OFA/SEIU army of fake protesters. Bammie will also find it difficult to slander two more states at the same time he attacks the states suing over Obamacare, and Arizona for just being there. So many targets, so little time.

slickwillie2001 on February 22, 2011 at 2:02 PM

If we get a few more governers with the guts to do the same pretty soon they will wind up in canada or in a boat offshore

bullheadbob on February 22, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Democrats are the Party of GO

Jason58 on February 22, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Nice. I was thinking of posting the exact same thing. The trouble is too many people are too stupid to understand that “go” isn’t always “good,” because both words start with the letter G.

How about the Party of Hell No Yes, We Won’t Will Go!

Christien on February 22, 2011 at 2:02 PM

OT: Does anyone know what is going on in the grain markets today? Something happened. They all FELL DRASTICALLY. Limit down, limit down, remove limit down, through the floor. What’s going on? I’m not a commodity trader, I don’t follow this, just hear it every day on the radio. Today they were freaking out.

UnderstandingisPower on February 22, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Just had a huge gas explosion at Birch Street. Building leveled.

Knucklehead on February 22, 2011 at 1:58 PM

Shake the house?

WashJeff on February 22, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Space reserved for J-School graduate to write article about (insert government shut down here) being Republican’s fault.

>
>
>
>
>

I mean why not? I just got done reading an article by a real, live, AP reporter saying that no Wisconsin Democrats are in hiding as they’re been available to any news organization that’s asked, from an undisclosed location.

MNHawk on February 22, 2011 at 2:04 PM

“Fleebaggers”, huh?

I prefer “Childish Little D-bag Wuss’s” but hey, who am I to say?

Tim_CA on February 22, 2011 at 2:05 PM

The true test of a representative democracy comes not in an election, but in the aftermath of an election.

THANK YOU MR. MORRISSEY
..what the democrats are doing, and have been doing isn’t democracy, representative or otherwise.

Skandia Recluse on February 22, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Can they vote on anything without the Dems? Start running through any legislation they can.

Next, make it clear that this is all private spending that they are doing. If they buy lunch, rent a hotel room, buy a hooker, etc. it is coming out of their own pockets.

Third, if they can, declare that anyone who vanished is fired for dereliction of duty. They will hold special elections in several months. Until the special election is held, the Republicans have 100% of the congress and should be able to pass anything they want.

jeffn21 on February 22, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Shake the house?

WashJeff on February 22, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Yes, big time, I thought it was an earthquake. Park Forest water dudes were digging and hit a gas line. Possible fatalities.

Knucklehead on February 22, 2011 at 2:07 PM

Love the Fleebagger term. Will use.

Also, this is Daniels’ moment to show he can accomplish something in this partisan environment. If he elevates his game, maybe there’s a way forward for him.

If not, his presidential hopes could be dashed on the rocks of partisan rancor.

Time will tell.

cs89 on February 22, 2011 at 2:07 PM

If I go there will be trouble
And if I stay it will be double

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

Christien on February 22, 2011 at 2:07 PM

The true test of a representative democracy comes not in an election, but in the aftermath of an election.

Ed, the excerpt from your column at The Week is one of the best things you’ve written. It sums up exactly what’s going on: a soft coup designed to overthrow election results.

INC on February 22, 2011 at 2:08 PM

The fleeing Democrats have essentially stolen the will of the public and their right to self-governance.

Yes, and the President of the United States has encouraged this.

INC on February 22, 2011 at 2:09 PM

Union made owned!

forest on February 22, 2011 at 2:09 PM

Party of No right?

El_Terrible on February 22, 2011 at 2:09 PM

I don’t know about Indiana, but in WI, they have to have a Dem present to make a quorum. No Dem… nothing can happen. Repubs can’t just govern on their own. But I heard in Indiana, two Dems were still present, so must not be the same rules????

UnderstandingisPower on February 22, 2011 at 2:09 PM

Like someone else said, there IS a Madison, Indiana and I was thinking “how did they get involved?” It’s a nice little place.

Love the term Fleebagger!!!

As a side note, my uncle is an Indiana Fleebagger! Don’t blame me. It’s tense during the holidays.

Oink on February 22, 2011 at 2:09 PM

And if this fails I guess they are going to hold their breath until their faces turn blue. What a bunch of brats.

Indiana is not Wisconsin. I don’t think folks in the hoosier state will like this very much.

Terrye on February 22, 2011 at 2:10 PM

Illinois the Land of Lincoln Fleebaggers…

PatriotRider on February 22, 2011 at 2:11 PM

And the good people of Wisconsin do like it? I doubt it. I’m betting the Dems who did this will find out just how much the voters didn’t like it long about the next election.

UnderstandingisPower on February 22, 2011 at 2:11 PM

The babies lost fair and square, and now they’re gonna take their balls and go home.

Christien on February 22, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Where’s Barry?

This is kind of weird. Reading this, it occurred to me that this would be about when the WH announces Obama is planning to take AF1 out for another campaign spin. You know a few quick flights to controlled venues where he can get his narcissism fix for the week.

But nothing yet. In fact, just to check what Obama is doing, I hit Fox, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC and there isn’t a single story on the front page about Barry.

It is refreshing, but after him having thrust himself into the spotlight 24/7 for the last two years, it does leave enough of a gaping hole in the news cycle that I have to ask, “Where is Barry?”

Dusty on February 22, 2011 at 2:14 PM

At what point does the decision to hold democracy hostage transform from a localized example of petulance to a national strategy?

S/b “representative democracy”.

Pure democracy is exactly what the fathers intended to avoid…keeping the rebels in check.

The left aim for pure “democracy”, so long as they have one vote more than the other side, no matter what it will take.

Schadenfreude on February 22, 2011 at 2:14 PM

The babies lost fair and square, and now they’re gonna take their balls and go home.

Christien on February 22, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Assuming, of course, they have any.

coldwarrior on February 22, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Waiting for the Ft Sumter moment, you know it’s coming

Sugarbuzz on February 22, 2011 at 2:15 PM

How long do the Democrats expect people to put up with these silly games?

Chip on February 22, 2011 at 2:16 PM

And yet, the LSM is supportive and sympathetic…

d1carter on February 22, 2011 at 2:16 PM

Just looked it up. The Senators in WI serve for four-years, but the Senate is stagger-elected every two years (half are up for reelection every two years). Of the Dems, 8 of the 14 are up for reelection in 2012.

Right now the WI Senate is split 19 Repubs to 14 Dems.

Just for those who might be considering political consequences to all this down the road.

UnderstandingisPower on February 22, 2011 at 2:16 PM

Can we put a fence around the entire state of Illinois? I’m assuming that’s where they’re running to.

teke184 on February 22, 2011 at 2:17 PM

Ed, if you came up with the term, you should TM Fleebaggers.

Schadenfreude on February 22, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Just looked it up. The Senators in WI serve for four-years, but the Senate is stagger-elected every two years (half are up for reelection every two years). Of the Dems, 8 of the 14 are up for reelection in 2012.

Right now the WI Senate is split 19 Repubs to 14 Dems.

Just for those who might be considering political consequences to all this down the road.

UnderstandingisPower on February 22, 2011 at 2:16 PM

At least two of those 14 Dems may get recalled well before 2012, as the petition process is underway.

teke184 on February 22, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Indiana is not Wisconsin. I don’t think folks in the hoosier state will like this very much.

Terrye on February 22, 2011 at 2:10 PM

Well, I think it’s pretty obvious democrats don’t care what state citizens think. Their only concern is how to protect the unions and keep money coming in for themselves and the union bosses.

darwin on February 22, 2011 at 2:19 PM

Well, the term appeared a few days ago…

Schadenfreude on February 22, 2011 at 2:19 PM

I hit Fox, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC and there isn’t a single story on the front page about Barry.

It is refreshing, but after him having thrust himself into the spotlight 24/7 for the last two years, it does leave enough of a gaping hole in the news cycle that I have to ask, “Where is Barry?”

Dusty on February 22, 2011 at 2:14 PM

There’s a reason for that. Barry is in Cleveland today, and he told some businessmen there that just like everyone else, his administration is working hard to tighten budgets and live within their means.

You think I’m kidding? I’m not. In fact, Rush said that MSNBC cut away from Barry’s speech just after he said this. Apparently even the state-run media can’t figure out how to spin the president being in one state saying we have to live within our means while his minions are in another state demanding we do exactly the opposite.

At some point here, the lies are no longer going to be able to work for him. What happens then?

UnderstandingisPower on February 22, 2011 at 2:19 PM

Let’s hope that Obama and his handlers don’t buy off some of the RINOs in WI and elsewhere.

Schadenfreude on February 22, 2011 at 2:20 PM

This is a
Whining,
Then
Fleeing
Moment.

Electrongod on February 22, 2011 at 2:21 PM

OT but…. WI dems have been found, all at one resort. Now we need the protestors (tea party?) to announce where they are so they’re hemmed in.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/116672439.html?page=1

For those who wondered, Wisconsin requires 20 of the 33 senators to be present for a quorum, then 17 votes to pass. The current WI senate has 19 republicans, and 14 whiner-babies. Therefore, just one of the 14 needs to be returned to make a quorum (but that one doesn’t have to be Dem…just a 20th person).

Daisy_WI on February 22, 2011 at 2:21 PM

On the White House thread albill linked to this video that was put up yesterday at American Thinker.

Obama: I will ‘paint the nation purple with SEIU’

It’s old, but excellent.

INC on February 22, 2011 at 2:21 PM

At least two of those 14 Dems may get recalled well before 2012, as the petition process is underway.

teke184 on February 22, 2011 at 2:18 PM

I wondered about this. What does WI state law say? Can a Senator be recalled? I’m assuming by your post yes. Is it at all likely? Just curious because that could really be interesting.

UnderstandingisPower on February 22, 2011 at 2:21 PM

fleebaggers. Great term Ed!!!!!!!

karenhasfreedom on February 22, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Thanks, letget.

Mebbe next time.

predator on February 22, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Oh, look its the Want To Flee Party!

UnderstandingisPower on February 22, 2011 at 2:22 PM

I wondered about this. What does WI state law say? Can a Senator be recalled? I’m assuming by your post yes. Is it at all likely? Just curious because that could really be interesting.

UnderstandingisPower on February 22, 2011 at 2:21 PM

From what has been explained to me, a state official can be recalled once they are X number of days into their term.

The senators who were elected in 2008 are eligible to be recalled as a result, but not any senators elected in 2010 nor Walker himself, despite what the Dems are hoping for.

teke184 on February 22, 2011 at 2:25 PM

As far as the likelihood of a recall goes, it seems possible. It sounds like you need to get at least 1/4 as many signatories as the senator got votes in their last election.

Given how pissed off people are over there right now, it seems likely.

teke184 on February 22, 2011 at 2:26 PM

If I willfully did not show up to work because I disagreed with decisions being made there, I would be FIRED.

Only cowards run from a fight.

One question: Will the fleebaggers charge their daily expenses to official accounts whilst on the run?

LEBA on February 22, 2011 at 2:27 PM

Okay, that means that 8 of the 14 CAN be recalled immediately. SWEET! I take it that the good citizens of WI are on it already. Any info on just how a recall would proceed? Length of time to put it into place? Special elections afterward? Is it state-wide or district by district?

UnderstandingisPower on February 22, 2011 at 2:28 PM

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