The labor standoff in Wisconsin over Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate public workers' collective bargaining rights just took an exciting new turn. The state's Senate Republicans voted unanimously a short while ago ordering Senate Democrats to return from their out-of-state hiding spots to Madison by 4:00 p.m.
The Senate also voted for a "call of the house," which is the mechanism used to compel senators to return to the chamber.
That means the Senate sergeant at arms can "with or without force" and with or without the help of any law enforcement officers in the state to take them into custody and bring them to the state Capitol.
Finally, the potential for some senator/cop hand-on-hand combat. The problem with Senate Republicans' plan, though, is the same basic problem they've had all along: Democrats have fled the state, making it hard for Wisconsin law enforcement officers to apprehend them. Then again, some of the 14 Democrats have been rumored to sneak into their Wisconsin homes from time to time. They should stop doing that, since police officers will probably be at each of their homes after 4:00 today with the legal authority to get handsy.
This ultimatum doesn't appear to be scaring Democrats into rushing back, though. State Sen. Chris Larson tweeted shortly after the news, "...and Senate Republicans have officially gone 'round the bend. Next up, dropping puppies from the top of the Capitol onto protestors." You mean that hasn't happened yet?
[Image from outside the Wisconsin Capitol this morning via AP]