Wisconsin Assembly “Debate”

The Wisconsin Assembly went into session around noon on Tuesday, and has been in “debate” since then on Assembly Bill 11, Governor Walker’s budget repair bill. Through Wiseye I have been listening to the proceedings in my office when I can during the day, and have watched and listened to quite a bit at night. I have learned a lot.

What we have here is a massive stall tactic by the Assembly Democrats, who are hopelessly outnumbered 58-38. They have proposed well over one hundred amendments to AB11 (thus far), all of which have been tabled (or killed) by the Assembly Republicans. The “debate” over each amendment has been mostly the Democrats making fun of the Republicans, calling them Scott Walker’s errand boys, and the like. We hear many sad stories from constituents of the Democrats districts, and endless droning on each and every amendment. Of course they have picked up the new lefty meme du jour, talking out their ass about things they know nothing about, such as the Koch brothers and selling power plants.

At the end of the testimony we have a vote on tabling the amendment. Each and every time, it ends up 58-38. 58-38. 58-38. The amendment is tabled. Over and over and over.

On occasion the Republicans will fire back with a question or two and there is an actual “debate” over a factoid. But in large, the Democrats are just stalling.

I assume this was the case when the Democrats had the majority, but really don’t know. I highly doubt that those sessions went this long.

As of this morning there isn’t any news that the Assembly has passed anything and there is no coverage on Wiseye so everyone must have decided to take a nap.

I think it was Bismarck who said (and I am paraphrasing) that nobody should see how two things are made – war and sausages. I think that legislation should be added to that list.

UPDATE 6.13am – the Assembly is back in session.

11 thoughts on “Wisconsin Assembly “Debate””

  1. I heard on the radio that Keith Ellison is talking smack about Governor Walker.

    As a Minnesotan, I apologize. Oh, and for Garrison Keillor too.

  2. Your last line is rather ironic: Bismarck’s quote does not mention war.

    He in fact said it exactly as you propose — He said “Laws and sausages are two things people should never witness being made”.

    On another literary front, shouldn’t Republicans start generally refering to the Koch’s as “today’s Emmanuel Goldstein”. Just intellectual enough of a charge to drive the self-defined smarter set nuts, and would have an impact on everyone who goes to google to find out what who he is.

    And let’s face it, maybe Sarah “Goldstein” Palin started needed to be replaced (at least for the moment) by fresh blood, so, Koch’s it is!

    There’ll be another one, obviously. It’s pretty fundamental to the movement.

  3. “Adrew” (Andrew?) has the comparison right, though Wikiquote claims that Bismark didn’t actually say it.

    It’s still a good line, whoever said it first.

    And there was a funny follow-up recently in the New York Times. Craft sausage makers, it turns out, are annoyed that their beautiful processes are so often compared to making legislation.

  4. The most important vote will be in 20 months whe4n we find out how many of the 58 and 38 are returned to office.

  5. I thought I read that they had reached an agreement this morning limiting the number of amendments and the debate time for each. The math worked out to the Democrats running out of time sometime after noon, depending on what time the session started. Was that not true?

  6. Wow. The Dems are still introducing amendments as of 5.34pm. They are about 54 hours into session now. On the last one, as an interesting note, some Democrats even voted for tabling.

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