Given that many Democrats expressed sympathy for the Occupy movement, it is perhaps not surprising that they have appropriated Occupy tactics.
Yep, a number of Democrats are occupying the U.S. House of Representatives. Alas, though several of the Demorats occupying the chamber are of noticeably of mature years, I must report that they are not behaving in the most mature fashion possible:
“We don’t have any intention of leaving anytime soon,” [sit-in-leader Rep. John L.]. Lewis said…
“The House cannot operate without members following the rules of the institution, so the House has recessed subject to the call of the chair,” his spokesman AshLee Strong said in a statement…
On Wednesday, the group of lawmakers chanted from the floor: “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired!” and “No bill, no break!” while the House remained in recess.
The Democrats want Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to call a vote on a bill to strip anybody on the no-fly list of the right to buy a gun. Many people are on the list for inscrutable reasons (the late Senator Ted Kennedy and Weekly Standard writer Steve Hayes made the list).
Moreover, say opponents of the bill, this would strip people both of due process and Second Amendment rights in one fell swoop and put decisions into the hands of the unseen and un-elected bureaucrats who control the list.
I'll go out on a limb and bet that, if the bill were passed, the names of a lot of innocent people could appear on that list. But it would be unlikely to pass. A similar bill was voted down in the Senate. Allahpundit notes of this bill:
All [the Democrats] had to do [to get it passed] was make a simple concession to due process by requiring the feds to go to court and show their work, proving to a judge within three days of the attempted purchase that the person on the list was actually dangerous.
It should also be noted that even he ACLU is against the bill that the Occupy Democrats want. In a statement the ACLU said:
Our nation’s watchlisting system is error-prone and unreliable because it uses vague and overbroad criteria and secret evidence to place individuals on blacklists without a meaningful process to correct government error and clear their names…
The government contends that it can place Americans on the No Fly List who have never been charged let alone convicted of a crime, on the basis of prediction that they nevertheless pose a threat (which is undefined) of conduct that the government concedes “may or may not occur.”
Criteria like these guarantee a high risk of error and it is imperative that the watchlisting system include due process safeguards—which it does not. In the context of the No Fly List, for example, the government refuses to provide even Americans who know they are on the List with the full reasons for the placement, the basis for those reasons, and a hearing before a neutral decision-maker.
Of course, as Speaker Ryan has tweeted, this is a publicity stunt.
Last I heard, the Democratic solons were singing "We Shall Overcome," the anthem of the civil rights movement. The kids vow to either protest or hold their breaths until they get their way.