Republican state senators in Oregon have disappeared this month in an attempt to block a vote on climate change legislation. Minority parties have resorted to similar stunts for generations. One sure result: More division.

Passage of a climate change bill seemed likely last week in Oregon, where Democrats control the Legislature. So the outnumbered Republicans in the state Senate, who deeply oppose the measure but could not make a difference with their votes, decided to hit the road instead and gum up the works with their absence.

The tactic is called quorum-busting because it leaves the majority party unable to

Illinois, 1840: A hasty jump

Texas, 2003: A painful retreat

Indiana, 2011: Political point scoring

US Senate, 1988: Dragged in feet first

Wisconsin, 2011: 'Not a regular tactic'