March 10, 2011

The "mob scene" at the Wisconsin Capitol this morning aimed at preventing the Assembly from voting.

"Mob scene" is Meade's expression.  He was there, unable to get in and hearing rumors about legislators unable to get in.

MORE: From Meade: Legislators can get into the building, but Republicans are being blocked from getting to their offices and into the Assembly chamber. It's the Assembly that needs to vote on the bill that the Senate passed last night, leading to the renewed protests. Meade heard from a source that Democratic legislators unlocked at least one door that leads to the doors for a cluster of Republican legislative offices. That would appear to be part of a scheme to prevent the vote. [ADDED: The door was unlocked to let the area filled up with protesters and block the office doors.]

"This is what democracy looks like" — that's the chant we've heard for 3 weeks. How do you like this new democracy, that has a mob storming the Capitol and, with the aid of the minority party, blocking the access of the majority party into their offices and into the legislative chamber? It looks more like anarchy to me.

110 comments:

Drew said...

"Mob" seems a pretty good descriptor to me.

Calypso Facto said...

My hypothetical protest sign: This is what ochlocracy looks like!

Revenant said...

Told ya, MadisonMan.

Although hopefully they'll leave peacefully and allow the vote to happen. Otherwise it is time for arrests and felony charges.

DADvocate said...

The undermining of democracy by the party named after democracy.

Paddy O said...

"preventing from voting"

I don't think "democracy" means what they think it means.

kent said...

"This is what Ape Law looks like!"

Rialby said...

You should all be so proud of yourselves.

shoutingthomas said...

I want to know...

Only six weeks or so ago, we were discussing how the presence of one nasty sign completely disqualified the Tea Party from participation in the political process.

Why isn't this same standard applied to these bastards?

PatHMV said...

Is this still what democracy looks like?

TWM said...

"You should all be so proud of yourselves."

I can't speak for all of us, but I am. So are my parents.

PETER V. BELLA said...

Mobs are populated by mobsters. Organized crime is everywhere!!!!!!!!!

Real American said...

Mob tactics is how most unions get their way. It's WHY they're so dangerous and need to be busted.

Pogo said...

Democrats: "Stand with us, or we will kill you."

Sofa King said...

This makes me angry.

James said...

Scott Walker is currently holding a news conference at the State Fair Grounds just outside Milwaukee.

kent said...

Why isn't this same standard applied to these bastards?

"IOKIYAD!"

James said...

Walker just said the Assembly will vote today...

shoutingthomas said...

What can you expect?

The Dems are protecting their campaign money.

The union is protecting their kickbacks in the form of wages and benefits.

traditionalguy said...

By Jove, she's got it said Professor Higgins. This is an insurrection ending the Wisconsin Government that was instituted by law. Has the Wisconsin Robespierre made his move yet? He is probably a murderous looking one with the loudest bullhorn.

jerryofva said...

Let's be honest. This is what Fascism looks like.

Duce! Duce! Duce!

Pastafarian said...

In all seriousness: If Meade goes out there in daylight, or if the both of you go, you need to dress in a shirt with a Che head or black power fist. Maybe your neighbor can loan you a Rage Against the Machine tee.

What am I saying -- it's Madison. Of course your neighbor has several.

Seriously -- if you go down there and you're recognized, it could be a very dangerous situation.

rhhardin said...

What's needed now is a charismatic leader.

James said...

Walker is calling out Mark Miller again....

He says the Assembly vote will happen today. Rumor is the Representatives are looking for an alternate location to meet.

kent said...

Let's be honest. This is what Fascism looks like.

Well, it's not as if these are the sorts of slopebrows who fetishize and fantasize constantly over government-run, high-speed choo-choos running on time, or anthing like tha --

... oh. Oh, wait.

edutcher said...

Why haven't all the union teachers brought the school children to show them what democracy looks like?

NOW call in the Guard.

PETER V. BELLA said...

President Obama has contacted the United Nations and NATO to urge a No Fly Zone over Wisconsin.

Bryan C said...

So where are the Capitol Police in all this? Making sure that the legislature is able to do their jobs without interference is pretty much the reason for their existence, even if the state police have decided to go AWOL. No functioning government can exist if this sort of thing is allowed to succeed.

(This sort of mob action is, of course, why the Federal government moved from Philidelphia, and why the Constitution eventually created the District of Columbia. And why the District can never, ever be a soverign state.)

Windbag said...

Kykos. Turn the handle.

Emil Blatz said...

What are the rules on a quorum of the Assembly meeting (and voting) at some location other than the Assembly Chambers in the Capitol? If the Dept. of Administration was not thinking of this (the likely physical obstruction of the Assembly chamber) at about 7 minutes past 6 pm last night - they need to be fired.

mimoore said...

This IS what "participatory democracy" looks like in the US.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

Forget the pizza, the crowd now roars for Souvlaki and Gyros, with Tzatziki on the side of course.

Edging more towards Greece every day.

twinsdaddy said...

If there's anything we've learned since the year 2000it's that the words Rhodes Scholar, Pulitzer Prize, comedian, Democracy, racist, Community Organizer and dissent don't mean what we think they mean

James said...

Walker says they are consulting with the Judge who ordered the building opened last week on how to manage the crowd currently in the building.

He frequently refers to "outside agitators from outside of Wisconsin" who are bent on stirring up trouble.

JohnJ said...

Again, a lot of these protesters look like students; I still don't quite get that connection. What-in-the-world do these students think they're fighting for? …the obligation to finance bloated salaries and benefits when they finally become taxpayers?

YoungHegelian said...

Prof. Althouse,

Grab yer binoculars and see if there's a battleship floating on Lake Mendota.

If it's named "The Potemkin", get outta town now!

Quilly_Mammoth said...

I don't think these protesters understand how close Middle America is to having just about enough of their antics. By which I mean Pitchforks and Torches to chase the monsters out. A thought which seriously frightens me.

This is so unsettling to the average American that my sister, the liberal lawyer, a Friend of Bill and Obama supporter, has decided that public sector union are a bad thing. _She_ brought up FDR's objection to them.

kent said...

LEFTIST PROTESTERS DRAGGED OUT OF WI ASSEMBLY – Try to Break Into Rep’s Offices

"This is what The Ox-Bow Incident looks like!"

James said...

The Capitol is on lockdown now as they attempt to clear the Assembly chamber.

Alex said...

March 9th, 2011 will long be remembered as the day the American Bolshevik Revolution began. Viva la Revolucion comrades.

YoungHegelian said...

@Bryan,

"This sort of mob action is, of course, why the Federal government moved from Philidelphia, and why the Constitution eventually created the District of Columbia."

It's also why the District of Columbia has traffic circles.

P. L'Enfant and the other city planners figured out from the French Revolution that if you placed cannon at the intersections of the major streets at the circles one could control traffic in a given area.

They haven't had a chance to use the cannons yet, but they keep the grapeshot around just in case.

galdosiana said...

Again, a lot of these protesters look like students; I still don't quite get that connection. What-in-the-world do these students think they're fighting for?

That's because they ARE students. They're mostly grad students who belong to the TAA. Last night we received an "Emergency" email telling us to get to the Capitol immediately because the evil Republicans were planning a sneak attack. They are now calling for a general strike.

In terms of a university strike, we need to watch UW-Milwaukee closely. Our spring break in Madison begins tomorrow after classes, which will most likely interfere with an immediate strike on our campus, but Milwaukee's break isn't for another week yet. If there is a TA/faculty strike at Milwaukee, there will be one here by the time spring break is over.

Calypso Facto said...

The daughter of a co-worker just called to say she was forcibly evicted from the chamber. So there's hope!

YoungHegelian: Except grapeshot is now called beehive. And it makes a real mess against ground targets.

deborah said...

Charismatic leader? Hmmmm.....Trooper would lead us in a conga line if we asked him.

MayBee said...

I love the reports that the minute they got into the Capitol last night, the kids started Tweeting for pizza.

Why do I suspect that free pizza is more of a goal than teachers' bargaining for class size?

Browndog said...

Why are the democrats engaging in behavior and tactics that are clearly wrong?

Because it's the right thing to do...

Candance Moore said...

Mrs Althouse, you and Meade deserve a Pulitzer for this blog, seriously. It will stand through history as an example of what real eyewitness reporting is supposed to look like in contrast to biased news outlets.

Shanna said...

Meade heard from a source that Democratic legislators unlocked at least one door that leads to the doors for a cluster of Republican legislative offices.

That seems to be potentially dangerous. Hopefully the crowd has no wacko's in it.

Fat Man said...

The Founding fathers were concerned that the $&^$@ show in Madison is indeed what democracy looks like. That is why they wanted to found a republic.

madawaskan said...

Sounds like they've got Bastille Day all ass backwards.

MadisonMan said...

Apparently Berceau (my rep) has been locked out of the Assembly Hall. I wonder by whom.

James said...

What are the rules on a quorum of the Assembly meeting (and voting) at some location other than the Assembly Chambers in the Capitol? If the Dept. of Administration was not thinking of this (the likely physical obstruction of the Assembly chamber) at about 7 minutes past 6 pm last night - they need to be fired.

That can't be done...the state constitution specifies that the Assembly meetings must be open to the public.

On another note, the Assembly is now cleared and they aren't letting anyone into the Capitol unless they are wanded/searched. People who got in last night are being ejected unless they undergo a search.

Revenant said...

This makes me angry.

We're winning. If we stay calm and professional this will work out great. :)

Paul Zrimsek said...

The threat of a TAA strike is definitely the Democrats' ace in the hole. After one week without any seminars in Critical Race Theory, the state will be brought to its knees and ready to bargain.

Revenant said...

That can't be done...the state constitution specifies that the Assembly meetings must be open to the public.

You can have meetings "open to the public" anywhere. I had one in my backyard once.

The problem right now is that the legislators are being physically prevented from entering the chamber and voting. If they go someplace else -- heck, is the football stadium available? -- that (a) is open to the public but (b) Democrat goons can't forcibly keep them out of, it seems to me that they could legally hold the vote there.

Just Lurking said...

So storming the capital failed the first time around, and their solution is to storm it again?

Ok... Since covering the building with posters failed to make an impression on Walker the last time, this time they should vow to use even more tape. That'll show him.

Oh, and they didn't use enough cowbell. More cowbell!

Pogo said...

" If we stay calm and professional this will work out great"

Probably so. Their tactics have always been to provoke violence. But much like Bush never got credit for remaining above the fray, I have no doubt that if violence is not brought upon them, they will supply it themselves, and blame Walker anyway.

It's just what they do.

LawGirl said...

The Founding fathers were concerned that the $&^$@ show in Madison is indeed what democracy looks like. That is why they wanted to found a republic.



Precisely. This is what mob rule looks like. Our REPUBLIC looks like voting for representatives who we send to the statehouse to vote their conscience. I'm truly proud of the Republicans for standing their ground here (although I do wish they'd done it MUCH MUCH sooner).

Scott M said...

The Founding fathers were concerned that the $&^$@ show in Madison is indeed what democracy looks like. That is why they wanted to found a republic.

What we're seeing is how wafer-thin (to use both a Monty Python reference and an outrageous French accent without using sound...admit it, you hear it in your head) the veneer of civil society is. The republican form of government, small "r" mind you, is a bulwark against exactly what we're seeing.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it."

Just Lurking said...

When the TPers lost in their attempt to kill Obamacare, they went to the ballot box and voted.

That's what representative democracy looks like. Not at all like the theatrics we are seeing in Wisconsin.

You're right Althouse. What this crowd is clamoring for is anarchy. They are playing with fire.

JohnJ said...

"After one week without any seminars in Critical Race Theory, the state will be brought to its knees and ready to bargain."

Aaa-ha-ha-ha...

Enjoyed that.

Having been an undergrad at Madison in the early 70s, I kinda' understand the romance and camaraderie of a loud, public demonstration. But, I'm now wondering whether some of the more savvy students, at least, are beginning to sense that they're being played for suckers?

ricpic said...

Why aren't the cops arresting the thugs blocking legislators from the chamber floor?

Triangle Man said...

But, I'm now wondering whether some of the more savvy students, at least, are beginning to sense that they're being played for suckers?

Was there a TA union when you were at Madison?

galdosiana said...

The problem with a TA strike--if it is big enough, and if it gains faculty support (in the form of a faculty strike)--is that it could entirely shut down the campus. I've been reading a lot lately about the strikes in Canadian universities that have been happening over the past couple of years. They've actually had to implement "failed semesters" because of the strikes. (Meaning that the semester classes are canceled midway through the semester and students must be refunded.)

We have to be through week 12 in order to avoid refunds. Right now, we're at week 8.

MayBee said...

The problem with a TA strike--if it is big enough, and if it gains faculty support (in the form of a faculty strike)--is that it could entirely shut down the campus.

The deadline for incoming Freshman to decide which college they'll attend is getting dangerously close for such shenanigans.

It seems like the wrong season to be wasting peoples' tuition.

bgates said...

How do you like this new democracy

I don't like it. That's why I voted against the guy who promised to draw on his long history with it and use it to "fundamentally transform America". Well, his goons are doing what he wanted. How do you like it?

Revenant said...

Supporters of Walker's bill should also prepare themselves for the inevitable injunction issued by a Democratic judge shortly after the bill goes into effect.

Then it'll take however long to wind through the courts.

galdosiana said...

The deadline for incoming Freshman to decide which college they'll attend is getting dangerously close for such shenanigans.

It seems like the wrong season to be wasting peoples' tuition.


And this might very well be at the back of their minds. The problem is that they've got the university by its proverbial balls: if they strike, classes will be affected to a potential where they will have to be canceled. Since the strike is technically illegal, I would think that the university would have the authority to fire any striking workers---but just think of the next semester: where will they get hundreds (or potentially thousands) of grad students and/or profs who are qualified to teach the courses that would need new instructors? I really don't know what the university could/should do in the case of a major strike, particularly if the faculty get involved.

JohnJ said...

"Was there a TA union when you were at Madison?"

Not sure. If there were, I don't recall ever hearing much about it.

But many of these protesters appear too young to be graduate students, including that giddy coed who gave a YouTube tour of the occupied Capitol a couple of weeks ago. Surely some of them—and even some of the TA Union members—must be entertaining the notion that they're running with the wrong crowd.

Mwalimu Daudi said...

The "new civility" being promoted by the media - sure looks pretty uncivil to me.

Chris said...

Althouse: Anarchy? Really?

Has lawlessness come to Wisconsin?

I've been down to the Capitol and witnessed the protest today. There's outrage, to be sure. But the protest is peaceful . . . despite your apparent and bizarre wishes that it be otherwise.

"Looks like Anarchy" is your description. It is unjustified.

It is Pathetic.

MayBee said...

The problem is that they've got the university by its proverbial balls: if they strike, classes will be affected to a potential where they will have to be canceled.

Well, that's the problem with these unions in a nutshell. These employees of the university aren't interested in what is best for the university.
There would be real life consequences to the TAs actions. They don't care. They don't care if tuition has to be increased to keep their benefits. They don't care if students don't select UW because it's poorly run.

Simon said...

PatHMV said...
"Is this still what democracy looks like?"

Democracy seems to look more like this, now.

Milwaukee said...

So, do the Republicans need to board up the windows of Democrats, and take the keys away from all Democrats, staffers and legislators alike? Without keys, they could ask security to let them into their offices. Yes, they do. Interesting how we have this behavior from Democrats and their supporters, and they claim Wednesday evenings vote by the Senate to be "thuggish" tactics.

wordsmith2 said...

Galdosiana: You asked "where will they get hundreds (or potentially thousands) of grad students and/or profs who are qualified to teach the courses that would need new instructors?"

My boyfriend, who has been unable to find a job (with a Ph.D. in engineering from the UW and teaching awards from his stint as a TA), would be happy to return as a lecturer. I suspect that a lot of the recent graduates of the Education College who have been unable to find teaching jobs in Wisconsin would be glad to take the place of TAs who can't be bothered to actually focus on completing their graduate programs.

DADvocate said...

"Looks like Anarchy" is your description. It is unjustified.

When a mob is interfering with the operations of the legislature, it is anarchy. Anarchy doesn't have to be violent.

rebelcajun said...

Now the Honorable Rev. Jesse Jackson has inserted himself into this cause. A washed up wannabe just couldn't stand to miss a chance at some publicity! Good luck Rev.

jcr said...

When a mob forcibly prevents Wisconsin's elected representatives from attending sessions of the legislature, it's time to call up the guard and remove them from the premises. They have crossed the line from protest to violence, and should be dealt with accordingly.

-jcr

Calypso Facto said...

Union-loving FDR, weighing in from the grave again:

Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees. Upon employees in the Federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people, whose interests and welfare require orderliness and continuity in the conduct of Government activities. This obligation is paramount....Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable.

MadisonMan said...

Told ya, MadisonMan.

It's hard to tell what's going on down there. Too bad I don't have an eyewitness.

I've read in the past 2 hours that the Capitol has been cleared, that the Capitol is jammed, that it's open, that it's locked, that the Assembly Vote is happening, that the Assembly is empty, that people are locked in the Hall, locked out, etc. etc.

Timstigator said...

My liberal spouse now thinks public unions have outlived their usefulness and is against them.

A sure sign of the End Times. Or the End of the union movement.

Calypso Facto said...

Too bad I don't have an eyewitness.

Don't you? Your daughter didn't bring her cell?

Chris said...

"When a mob is interfering with the operations of the legislature, it is anarchy. Anarchy doesn't have to be violent."

My understanding is that the legislature voted.

I did not mention violence in my post. You missed the point.

Your description: "mob" "interfering" etc. Full of loaded terms. Please take a step back.

Sofa King said...

My understanding is that the legislature voted.


The Senate did. The Assembly was supposed to convene this morning, and could not.

Kevin said...

I worked for a union in Wisconsin, I moved to Texas then Florida, where we are "at will" employees, can be fired at the will of management. The union in Florida is ridiculous. Unions are not powerful here or in Texas because they have nothing to offer the average worker as they are impotent in dealing with management

MadisonMan said...

Your daughter didn't bring her cell?

Home sick.

MayBee said...

Your daughter didn't bring her cell?

Home sick.


Sick out?

jerryofva said...

Alex:

Just the unarmed peasants in the hinterlands revolting again.

Calypso Facto said...

Good for you, if not her, MadMan.

My son just confirmed he's sticking to his class schedule and not taking part in the shenanigans. The people I know who've been down to the protest say it's a lot edgier today with lots of out-of-staters.

MadisonMan said...

Sick out?


Um, no. Actually sick.

MadisonMan said...

I suspect my son is at school, as he doesn't answer his texts from me. They have a Bag and Tag policy where if you are seen using your phone, you lose it for a day.

If you want to see amusing teen righteous indignation, ask a West student about Grace, who apparently does a lot of confiscating.

MayBee said...

Um, no. Actually sick.

I'm sorry to hear that. I hope she feels better.

MadisonMan said...

Thanks. She has too many irons in the fire.

JorgXMcKie said...

Chris, please try to stick to terms you understand. Anarchic and anarchist don't mean violent. Those Awful Amish Anarchists [they're Christian anarchist who believe only in God's law, but think that includes being good neighbors] are pretty danged peaceful,

They don't even mean disorderly. They mean, without law, or without government [which effectively means without law], and Ann was obviously correct.

Not only are you pathetic and wrong, you are also evidently suffering from the effects of a lack of oxygen due to a severs cranio-rectal inversion.

Have one of those "sick note" giving doctors take a look at it.

WV: finsin, Sin for five bucks?

ronald said...

So where are the cops? Are they in collusion with the dems?

algie said...

"A word means exactly what I want
It to mean no more and no less"
H. Dumpty

"We are 'peacefully' exercising our rights"
Madison Protesters



The Anthem & Lament Of The Unions


Our Senator's over the border
Our conduct is over the line
Anarchy reigns in Wisconsin
And Unions they think it just fine

Hold Back Hold Back
Your votes from this bill OH NO OH NO
Hold Back Hold Back
Hold Back your votes from this bill

Please do not hold it a against us
As we riot and upset the state
Our actions continue unhindered
The police they do aid not abate

Hold Back Hold Back
Your votes from this bill OH NO OH NO
Hold Back Hold Back
Hold Back your votes from this bill

Our actions are praised as most righteous
Michael Moore our actions approved
It matters not that they're illegal
We'll cry foul now if we are removed

Hold Back Hold Back
Your votes from this bill OH NO OH NO
Hold Back Hold Back
Hold Back your votes from this bill


If Walker calls out the State Guard now
And tranquility reigns here again
The orderly conduct of business
In the State House then can begin

Rolled Back Rolled Back
The rioters actions are no more
Rolled Back Rolled Back
No matter how much they do roar


....uuuu..'o^o'..nn!n....algie
Illegitimi nOn carborundum

Buford Gooch said...

The few on here who defend these idiot protesters mark themselves as of the same mentality.

slarrow said...

I'm just waiting for a sharp entrepreneur to hit up CafePress and create the obligatory, "I stormed the Wisconsin Capitol, and all I got was this lousy brown shirt!"

Nickname unavailable said...

"This is what democracy looks like." Phew, I guess it's a good thing that the United States is a Republic and not a democracy!

Scott M said...

"I stormed the Wisconsin Capitol, and all I got was this lousy brown shirt!"

Or

"I stayed up all night at the Wisconsin Capitol and all I got was this long knife."

Alex said...

I can't tell you the amount of times I've told a liberal we live in a REPUBLIC only to get a glazed look back.

Alex said...

Constitutional Republic

John Adams defined a constitutional republic as "a government of laws, and not of men."[2] Constitutional republics are a deliberate attempt to diminish the perceived threat of majoritarianism, thereby protecting dissenting individuals and minority groups from the "tyranny of the majority" by placing checks on the power of the majority of the population.[3] The power of the majority of the people is checked by limiting that power to electing representatives who are required to legislate with limits of overarching constitutional law which a simple majority cannot modify.

Liberals prefer Direct Democracy

G Joubert said...

It looks more like anarchy to me.

I don't live in Wisconsin, but if I did I'd side with Walker on this collective bargaining issue. That said, don't forget Thomas Jefferson: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure." In that context, these protests are legitimately part of the crucible, whether we agree or not.

struggling law student said...

First let me say Thank you to everyone who has posted on this site. I've read a lot of blogs and article comments that are malicious and use foul language. It's refreshing to read comments that concise and well thought out without using foul language or name calling.
I'm glad to see that those who got into the Wisconsin Assembly last night are being removed so that they go through the appropriate screening. I can only imagine the chaos that could ensue if someone was able to get in with a weapon of some sort.
I don't live in Wisconsin, but have followed this, as have many others from differing states. I believe that the steps that Governor Walker is taking to balance the states budget, remove the collective bargaining agreements that have cost the state tax payers billions of dollars, and providing accountability for actions is quite heroic. Today the theme seems to be that to acquiesce is good and to dissent is bad. It's time for the silent majority (yes, that's us) to stop being silent. Keep up the noise and our conservative, collective (pun intended) voices will be heard.

Alex said...

In that context, these protests are legitimately part of the crucible, whether we agree or not.

Except Jefferson meant for people needing to uproot a tyrannical government from time to time. These thugs stand up for the status-quo, they are not revolutionaries! WE the private-sector workers are the true revolutionaries who make our voices known through the ballot instead of idiotic street theater.

John Clifford said...

These protesters don't realize they're playing with fire. Neither do the Dems in general. Thwarting democracy has been the rule for them and it has become obvious since the 2000 presidential election.

Perhaps the key idea in American politics is that we abide by the results of elections, even if we don't agree with those results. Certainly the Dems want their opponents to abide by the results of elections ("We won."), but they are not willing to do so when they lose.

The danger here is, what happens to a society when no one abides by the results of elections? Of course we know the answer... and it isn't pretty.

Don't the Dems realize that they aren't the well-armed ones?

damikesc said...

If we were a democracy, they would REALLY not like how things turn out. Democracies have rights if the majority approves of them...

cbinflux said...

Walker controls the State Police, right??! Put them to work, or fire them.

Richard said...

Let's be honest. This is what Fascism looks like.

It has a name as a Fascist praxis: Squadrismo

Eris said...

"You're right Althouse. What this crowd is clamoring for is anarchy. They are playing with fire"

No,they're not. The mob and its toadies the police know they have a monopoly on violence. They can play with fire and fire all they want and the only return fire will be blog posts and talk.

rw said...

I am ashamed that so many people here wish violence against their neighbors. So you want the police to arrest and beat you kid's elementary school teacher. Get your head out of Fox News' a** and think for yourself.