A Week in Oregon

For the second time since April, Oregon's Republican lawmakers are boycotting the state senate rather than risk losing a vote. If they don't soon return, over 100 other bills won't be voted upon, and state employees won't be paid.

Republican senator Tim Knopp defended the action, saying, "This is democracy."

Democratic governor Kate Brown had a different view: "They are turning their backs on Oregonians and they are turning their backs on the democratic process." As is her right under Oregon law, Brown ordered state police to find the Republicans and bring them to the capitol. Armed militia members pledged to do "whatever it takes" to prevent this.

Republican senator Brian Boquist taunted the police, saying that when they come for him, they should "send bachelors and come heavily armed." Since then, he and other Republican lawmakers have fled the state to elude capture.

On Saturday, the capitol building was closed by police based upon “a credible threat from militia groups.” On Monday, Democrats reported to work anyway.

The last time that Oregon militiamen took up arms against the state was in 2016 when 26 of them occupied and vandalized the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The occupation ended 39 days later when a militiaman was shot to death by the FBI. 

The Malheur occupation was inspired by the conviction of area ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond for setting fire to federally protected wildlife habitat because they weren't allowed to graze cattle on the land. Soon after the Malheur occupation, Trump pardoned the Hammonds. That same year, he referred to those who parade under swastikas and Confederate flags as "good people."

Like the heavily armed groups of Republican thugs that call themselves militias, the Trump administration and Republican lawmakers will do "whatever it takes" to insure that all power is in their hands. Of late, they have been redrawing state voting districts in order to marginalize black people, and, just today, Trump vowed to postpone the 2020 census indefinitely because the Supreme Court won't allow him to include a question that would penalize Democratically controlled states. These are not guesses; these are facts that have been admitted to by the Trump administration and Republican lawmakers.

When I heard that Oregon state senator praise democracy only to explain that democracy means taking his toys and going home anytime he might lose a vote, I remembered Melania Trump saying, "We must do our best to ensure that every child can live in comfort and security with the best possible education," even while her husband was busy denying basic necessities to children, and a less fortunate woman was watching her husband and child drown in the Rio Grande because of Donald Trump's harsh border policies (see photo). America's "first lady" had previously said that she opposes cyberbullying, conveniently overlooking the fact her powerful husband is up before dawn each day bullying people on the internet. The words of Republicans might look like cake icing, but one must remember that the cake contains arsenic, and that the Republican Party represents the world's gravest threat to America democracy.


Elephant's Child said...

I saw stories about that particular temper tantrum ('you won't play the game the way I want so I am taking the bat and ball and you can't play either'). Sadly we all too often see stories about the Trump bullying and the insistence on winning at any cost (so long as he doesn't pay it). I do worry that his and the Republican behaviour encourages like minded people the world over.

Snowbrush said...

Child, these people are fascists who now have enough power that they don't pretend otherwise except for the fact that they avoid the word. Words and behaviors that would have been unimaginable before Obama (which was when racism enjoyed a resurgence in America) have become so commonplace in America that they're like mass murders in that the details run together into one horrific jumble. Basically, America is becoming so diverse that the fascists know that if they don't take control now, they won't be able to ten years from now. We're at the point that nothing would surprise me, but a very great concern is that if Trump loses the next election (which he won't if Russia and the riggers in his own party have anything to say about it), he will claim that it was stolen (he was saying this in 2016 until he won), and simply refuse to relinquish power. Whether he might succeed, I don't know. I do know that he has millions of heavily armed supporters, and that part of the reason they're heavily armed is so they can war against their own government. I'm forever wondering if this was what Germany was like in the late '20s and early '30s. It seems that it is.

angela said...

It’s sounding very scary right now
Gestapo tactics
May sanity prevail

Emma Springfield said...

I hope, I hope, I hope this ends soon. If people who are fed up with this crap vote these people out of office and vote in those who will work to make our country better that will make a huge difference.

PhilipH said...

The photo of this young man and his child drowned in the river has shocked the world.

Many will remember that photo of a 9-year old Vietnamese girl fleeing from her village after an American General ordered the napalm-bomb raid which inflicted almost 50% burns on her back. Shocking as it was, she survived. That photo went a long way to ending that war, a war that the then American President, Nixon, was involved.

Will the photo of the bodies in the river make any difference to Mr. Trump. Unlike the Vietnamese girl, who now does useful work in the world, the two bodies in the river are spent. Gone forever.

Trump is a danger to one and all. He has the power of life and death to millions, everywhere, especially in Iran. He came dangerously close to starting a war a few days ago when he *generously* spared many lives by retracting his order to ATTACK, with only minutes to spare.

This American President is an insult to America. A danger to the world.

PhilipH said...

We have a blonde candidate for Prime Minister in the UK who is not unlike Mr Trump in some ways. I'm sure Trump would support Boris if he had a vote. Boris Johnson is a bit of a braggart, well-liked by many of his Tory colleagues, like Donald T, but he would be a disaster as the P.M. of Britain.

Snowbrush said...

"If people who are fed up with this crap vote these people out of office and vote in those who will work to make our country better that will make a huge difference."

I'm concerned about gerrymandering, election rigging (my concern centers mostly around foreign governments now that few states use paper ballots), and Trump getting his way on the census so that liberal states will be even more underrepresented.

"Will the photo of the bodies in the river make any difference to Mr. Trump."

My guess is that he just sees it as a political inconvenience. Publicly, he has already blamed the Democrats (saying that the "humanitarian crisis could be fixed in fifteen minutes if they were willing"--by which he means giving him money for his border wall) just as he always blames them for everything. Even when he held the presidency and his party held the two houses of Congress, he blamed the Democrats for everything, although it was his party that could have given him everything he wanted if they so desired. However, as time has passed, those within his party who opposed him have been weeded-out--or, in the case of McCain, died--so that whatever he now wants, he now gets, that is until a bill gets to the House, which is currently controlled by the Democrats and reminds me of a nest of mad hornets in their desire to nail Trump. Marion consistently calls me a Democrat, but I am not, one of my issues being their desire to provide free medical care for everyone, including people who are in the country illegally. Ah, but where is the money supposed to come from!!!??? Politicians say this kind of crap even while knowing that it's not going to happen. Politics here has become all about the two parties sucking up to their most extreme members while leaving the people in the middle with no one to vote for. I agree with the Republicans in that America doesn't have the resources to take care of the problems of the entire world, and thinks largely to greed, we're not even doing a passably job of taking care of our own people.

rhymeswithplague said...

"the Republican Party represents the world's gravest threat to America democracy."

What about ISIS/ Hamas? Hezbollah? Antifa?

All a great deal worse than the Republican Party.

If Antifa is so pure and righteous, why do they wear masks like the Ku Klux Klan?

Snowbrush said...

"What about ISIS/ Hamas? Hezbollah? Antifa?"

What about them? Are they wicked? Yes. Are they dangerous? Yes. (I can't even imagine a more wicked group than ISIS.) But do they have even a smidgen of control over the American government. No, although it is true that ISIS came into existence BECAUSE of America's heavy-handedness in the Middle East.

"If Antifa is so pure and righteous, why do they wear masks like the Ku Klux Klan?"

I live in Oregon's Willamette Valley, and I censure the Republican Party; therefore I regard Antifa as "so pure and righteous"? I don't think so. Antifa--and before Antifa, anarchists--are scary people who, as you well know, wear masks so they can get away with assault and vandalism. The following link is about their recent activities here in Oregon: https://bigthink.com/politics-current-affairs/antifa-mask-law. Every now and then Trump supporters and other fascists (for instance, neo-Nazis and men who support rape by denying its reality) hold a march here in the Willamette Valley, and when they do, Antifa and other counter-demonstrators also make an appearance, the result being that the people holding the demonstration are invariably out-numbered. Why no one has yet been killed, I can't imagine given that both neo-Nazis and Antifa favor violence in this land with a million privately-owned assault rifles. I also don't know why the masks can't be banned. In Singapore, demonstrators need masks to avoid being identified and killed, but that is not yet the case here. I would guess, however, that if masks are banned, the ACLU will claim that the ban violates free speech although it seems to me that the wearing of masks actually inhibits free speech because masks cause other demonstrators to be so fearful of violence that they stay away. All that said, if Trump is elected, those masks will be needed here for the same reason masks are needed in Singapore.

I also want to make it clear that my censure of the Republican Party shouldn't be taken to imply support for the Democratic Party (AKA the Democrat Party as many semi-literate Republicans insist on calling it) as anything other than our nation's only hope of crawling out of the black hole of fascism. Unfortunately, the Democrats (with the appalling rhetoric of some of their leaders, their talk of reparations for black people, and their insistence on free health care for anyone who swims the river, etc.) are supporting policies that alienate me and others who are not on the far left. I'm afraid this next election will be like the last big one in that most American won't be voting FOR one candidate so much as AGAINST another candidate. Perhaps you will go into it feeling that you have no option other than Trump just as I might go into it feeling that I have no option other than Dog Shit if Dog Shit turns out to be the Democratic nominee. I'll say it again as I've said it before, I used to vote for the candidate not the party, which meant that I sometimes voted Republican. I would no longer do that because the Republican Party has no room for any candidate who doesn't at least pretend to be solidly behind Trump.

kj said...

It's disgusting, snow. unthinkable and shocking. and immoral. it's even harder to believe this goes on in your state. I'm counting on the Democrats to present a fair and realistic immigration plan, to offer both medicare and private insurance options, and to outline how the economy and jobs will continue to grow without wrecking our fragile climate. If they don't do this, and they lose the election, I will be doubly disgusted.


Snowbrush said...

"it's even harder to believe this goes on in your state."

In national elections, Oregon is a Democratic state. In state elections, the Coast and the Willamette Valley (where most of the people live) vote Democratic while Southern and Eastern Oregon (which constitutes three-fourths of Oregon's land area) is timber and ranch country, and votes Republican.

"I'm counting on the Democrats to present a fair and realistic immigration plan, to offer both medicare and private insurance options, and to outline how the economy and jobs will continue to grow without wrecking our fragile climate."

My fear is that they will continue Trump's legacy of pandering-to-the-base while joyfully sticking it to everyone else. This reparations proposal alone would keep the country inflamed for years, doesn't have a snowball's chance of succeeding, and wouldn't address a single urgent problem. It also seems exceedingly strange to me to propose free health care for illegal immigrants when our own citizens are dying because they can't afford to pay $750 for drugs (like insulin) that cost $3 to manufacture.

Love to you too...