Just a few weeks ago, the 14 members of the Democratic caucus of the Wisconsin State Senate left Wisconsin in order to block a vote on a bill to strip public employees of their collective bargaining rights.
And since then, Republican Governor Scott Walker and the Republicans in their state senate have been throwing a fit, whining about the Wisconsin 14.
Apparently having figured out that threatening fines and the loss of parking places isn't going to intimidate the 14 into returning to the state, Wisconsin's Republicans have authorized the arrest of the 14 Democrats. They have ordered the police in Wisconsin to find, arrest, and bring the Democrats back to the Capitol there.
However, they have a problem - the arrest authority doesn't extend beyond Wisconsin. Even if Wisconsin police wanted to, and thus far there hasn't been any indication that they want to be involved in this mess to the slightest degree, they can't cross into Illinois to chase down the Democratic state senators.
So, the Republicans are bringing in bounty hunters, who don't respect little things like state lines. Or civil rights.
Or sometimes even human life.
One of the 14, Sen. Fred Risser, is 83 years old; another, Sen. Julie Lassa, is almost seven months pregnant. No chance of anything going catastrophically wrong there, right?
I don't know if the Republicans' efforts will be successful, but if any of the Democrats or other innocent bystanders are hurt in any way by the Republicans' escalation here, using force to impose their will on a political minority....?
Let's just say that "hell to pay" will be far too mild a term to describe the aftermath.