Republican Thugs, part 3

The third part in our continuing storyline of thuggery on the Republican side played out today at the Capitol(parts 1 and 2 here). As The Progressive magazine reports:

Today the Assembly is “debating” SB 93, the so-called concealed carry law. A small group of gun rights activists and Scott Walker supporters are in the capitol to witness the proceedings. The Assembly broke for caucus shortly before noon, just when the Solidarity Sing Along, organized by the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice, was getting started in the rotunda as it has done every weekday for the past 14 weeks.

Among the crowd was former Republican State Senator Dave Zien, who is wheelchair-bound as the result of a motorcycle accident in March in which his left leg was partially amputated. Zien went down to the rotunda floor and aggressively rolled his wheelchair over the singers’ belongings and some of their toes while yelling, “Scott Walker for President!” Solidarity Singers called for the police, but despite their unusually large numbers in and around the Capitol they did not immediately show up.

Meanwhile, two other men unfurled a “Don’t Tread On Me” banner up on the first floor and began walking around with it, draping it over the singers’ heads as the singing group concluded with “Solidarity Forever.” They hit several of the singers in the head as they attempted to raise the banner over their backs. One of the singers grabbed the banner to toss it off of his body. The banner waver grabbed him in a headlock and delivered a punch to his abdomen as others continued to scream for the police.

Now maybe our friends on the right, can report about real violence at the Capitol, instead of the silly made up stories they have been trying to push. One thing to keep in mind is these thugs are gun rights activists. These are the people that the republican legislature is arming to “protect themselves” when in reality its them we need protecting FROM. Let’s hope that all involved(including Zein) get charged with felonies and can never ever carry a gun!

UPDATE: Police have released the name of the assailant, Henry Rahr of Green Bay. Rahr has said he’ll contest the citations he was issued for Battery and Disorderly Conduct in court.


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28 thoughts on “Republican Thugs, part 3

  1. This is why we can’t accept angry-man radio’s BS about who we are. It’s all projection, and a LIE. We need to fight and confront these bastards everywhere they stick their nose into things.

    For people with “Don’t Tread on Me Flags”, they sure like to tread onto others. Selfish twits.

  2. Well you know, Dave Zien, (Son named Aryan) is a crazy person.

    However, as someone who goes to the cap often, this is the first outburst of actual violence I’ve seen. And that includes the idiotic shenanigans of segway jeremy.

      1. doubtful, I’m a secret anonymous commenter 😉

        who also has terrible spelling.

      1. As someone who loves political theatre, i also agree the Segway Jeremy needs to update his act. However that being said, lots of things happening at the Capitol are tiresome.

  3. Curiously, the local right-wing bloggers are silent on Zien’s behavior, as well as the assaultive behavior of his compatriots.

  4. Zien’s 2 cohorts are both certified firearms instructors. Is that nuts or what? They should immediately lose their permits.

  5. That’s because no one cares about this. I bet you can find at least one a person who was arrested for the same thing during the protests in February and March. Because I’ve heard stories. The bottom line here is concealed carry passed both houses of the legislature with a supermajority. Meaning this would have gotton done without a Republican Governor. Today is a great day for people’s rights in the State of Wisconsin.

    1. As a pro-gun democrat I find it appalling the joy that they take in passing this bill.

      It doesn’t do anything, and for fuck’s sake, we can’t carry in Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan or Iowa (despite what they want you to think). Wisconsin should have gone with the Florida model, (But they did! Exclaims republicans, they didn’t, that’s just a lie they tell the base). I’m concerned that in the haste they didn’t actually put together good public policy.

      And I like concealed carry, I should be able to carry my tear gas launcher in my pocket while I’m hunting down criminals as a bounty hunter.

      This is important.

      Also, Pete, I look forward to your examples of actual physical violence perpetrated on another person during the protests. Not percieved threats leaked to the press, (I’m sure I could track down an equal amount of threats against dem leggies during this same period), actual physical violence. If not, well you have lost some more credibility, hack.

  6. Yeah Pete, it’s a great day all right.

    80,000 Wisconsinites are going to lose their health insurance but at least they can carry a Hellcat .380 in their jacket pocket.

    You have a strange definition of great, my sad and misguided friend.

  7. Someone please explain to me the whole “concealed” thing?

    If I’m carrying, I want the dumb son of a bitch about to rob my ass to KNOW that I’m carrying…wtf?

  8. It’s shocking that people are shocked by Zein’s behavior.

    Yes, he has a cult following but flamboyantly “unique” people often do. Why would they give him an ovation? Just simple human response to an old guy who held the fort for a long time. I guess if they didn’t I’d think it was unbelievably crappy. I mean, if Dave Obey who has been known for decades to have a serious temper, suddenly began some kind of decline and starting hitting people, would the Democrats really negate all his years? be openly harsh to an old man of the party?
    No, I think they’d kinda look the other way about the embarrassing parts, make note of the good parts, and hope like hell he gets some help and doesn’t escalate.

    In Zein’s case, this is NOT a sudden development. Not sudden at all. His compulsiveness and recklessness seem to be worsening though. And that was not his first bike accident. The one a year or so ago up here was hushed up or something. My close family member saw an accident that was never reported. Also there have been credible remarks that he may have a “substance problem”. Which would not be odd at all since many ill people attempt to self-medicate with alcohol.

    I can not substantiate those claims with “data”, but I believe it to be very true.

    Now, as to how he kept getting elected though “erratic”…
    Zein kept a relentless contact with his constituents. The opposite of say Randy Hopper who seemed to go “all Madison” at an incredible speed. Zein started his day in dive-diners by 5 a.m., visiting with rural people, getting to know old farmers that most legislators would consider beneath them.
    When hunters came off the fields and talked about their days, Zein knew their names and joined in with them on a genuine level. They could talk about their kid’s 4wheelin’ and all that. How many guys who live in a mobile home outside Bloomer woudn’t love to sit around and shoot the shit with an important guy who listens to their opinions?
    Wouldn’t YOU. I would. Few now even listen (either side) at their “listening sessions”.
    He loved the status of being the cool guy, no doubt, but he was also “with them” in a way that politicians never are. He was in my old neighborhood constantly. I was sick of seeing him. Who can say that about their legislators?

    I did not ever like Dave Zein. But many people did.
    Though Dave Z. is not admirable to me for a number of reasons, the rest of politicians could learn from his treatment of his people. IMO he’s always been crazy, dangerous and annoying. But he (unlike anyone else) did seem to bond one-to-one with the people that are UNIVERSALLY IGNORED AS IRRELEVANT by every other politician. They repaid him with apparently feverish devotion. And I’m sure a lot of people will not want to rush to see him humiliated by laugh-and-point approach to a possible mental decline.

    I believe y’all just got done with uppity harangues about the sanctity of not bothering “special people”. Dave Zein held office, had views we all didn’t like, was pushy and obnoxious, etc. But he is just as “special” as anyone at the old “Olympics”. Kinda obvious, eh?
    Say an autistic person lashes out, there might be charges brought, but what about all the mockery and contempt? it’s okay as long as the guy is on the other side of the political aisle?

    His current situation has nothing to do with his political affiliation. No more than Jeff Wood’s addiction problem had to do with HIS Republican status. We have a lot of substance and mental-health issues in good old WI. The typical responses to and support for those issues is not good. You could easily call them barbaric.
    Yeah, I imagine the righty blogs are quiet about Zein. Making note of these incidents is important, but the rush to all-out ‘step-in-it’ with joy and contempt may prove to not be a good idea.
    Oops. Too late.

  9. His current situation has nothing to do with his political affiliation

    The hell it doesn’t. Or are you going to tell me the two goons he brought in who intimidated and attacked the singers are also substance abusers and/or have mental health issues. If they are, they shouldn’t have federal firearms licences.

  10. According to law, having a mental illness or a substance abuse problem does not excuse one from prosecution/imprisonment for any crime committed. The criteria for a sentence of not guilty by reason of insanity or mental defect is very stringent. Substance abuse has never excused anyone from prosecution/imprisonment for a crime.

    Having a physical disability also does not excuse one from a crime. I don’t know the man involved, Mr. Zein, so I can’t comment on his problems, but if he did the things mentioned above, he deserves to go to jail/pay a fine.

    It doesn’t surprise me at all that right-wing gun enthusiasts attacked people singing. I’m only surprised they didn’t shoot anyone.

  11. If someone with “special needs” needs help by all means make sure they get ALL of the help they need whether they have insurance or not or can pay for it or not. DO not leave them or their families wanting for anything. THAT being said, part of that treatment absolutely positively should NOT include electing them as LAWMAKERS!

  12. Captain Fabulous,

    If Dave Obey and Richard Trumka head to the capitol rotunda and attack Walker supporters who are singing Queens ” We Are the Champions “, I’ll be the first to condemn them both and call for their prosecution. I’ve already called out Dave Obey on this blog over the last few weeks for joining Dick Gephardt’s lobbying firm. I’d be much more forgiving if he’d just punched someone or ran over their belongings with a wheelchair.

    I don’t know anything about Ziens problems other than that he had a recent motorcycle accident and lost part of his leg. Your claim that the typical societal response to mental health or substance abuse issues is
    ” barbaric” is flat out false. There are plenty of available services out there, and society currently has a greater awareness and compassionate understanding of these things than at any other time in our history.

    The main point is that for four months the Walkerites have been claiming that the protesters in Madison are out of state ” union thugs ” bent on fomenting unrest and maybe even violence. And it just wasn’t true, but that didn’t stop anyone from repeatedly claiming it.

    So it’s a grand irony that a former GOP state legislator and an out of state pal are directly involved in the first real incidence of violence that I’m aware of since the whole thing started, and on the very day that the long awaited conceal and carry bill is passed. You’d think that passing the bill would be satisfying enough. It’s further ironic when you consider that these self proclaimed constitutionalists, celebrating their perceived 2nd Amendment victory, demonstrate so little regard for the 1st Amendment rights of their fellow Americans.

    I will say that if Zien kept company with those you describe as
    “universally ignored as irrelevant” by all other politicians, that’s to his credit. The democrats pay scant attention to America’s real working class, which is to their discredit.

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