Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wisconsin Really Does Suck

"Why is Minnesota so cold? Because North Dakota blows, and Wisconsin sucks." --traditional Minnesota jibe.

I've been keeping an eye on doings in Wisconsin this week. The Badger State's new Tea Bagger governor, Scott Walker, has decided that stripping public employees of their right to collectively bargain is the best way to reduce the state's deficit. In other words, let's screw the middle class!--gee, why didn't I see that as the quickest and best way to balance the budget?

Unfortunately for Walker, Wisconsin state employees have a differing opinion:

All week, workers have flocked to the capitol in giant waves of protests. On Wednesday, they were rallying on the capitol lawn and picketing the streets on the capitol square. Crowds numbering as many as 13,000 have at times have shut down traffic. Unions contend Wednesday's crowd is closer to 30,000.
So many Madison public school teachers called in sick today that the district closed down.

Inside the capitol, protestors(sic) in the capitol's hallways and rotunda are chanting "kill the bill." The bill would patch a $137 million hole in the state's current budget, but in the process, it would rework collective bargaining laws that were written 50 years ago.

Walker has even threatened to call in the National Guard to stop a walkout of state employees. The National Freaking Guard. What are they going to do, have drill sergeants teaching geometry to high schoolers? Or, perhaps, have artillery officers perform as replacement workers for nurses? Hey, maybe Gov. Walker would use infantry troops to replace highway workers!

Simply put, this is nothing more than union-busting, a classic rightwing strategy designed to destroy opposition to their policies, enrich their corporate masters, and screw workers. But I thought that the Tea Party voters who put Walker in office were against the encroachment of the government on individual liberties? Ohhh, I see: only when it's a Democrat supposedly doing it! Digby elaborates on this:

I continue to be amazed that the Tea Partiers, who are allegedly willing to take up arms against the despotic socialist government at the drop of a hat, are backing this fellow. If anyone has even a shred of doubt left that these so-called libertarians are nothing more than sad, confused, ideological drama queens, this should eliminate it. After all, what we are seeing in Wisconsin is a "leader" who is stating that he will bring in the army to stop American citizens from exercising their rights. This is the very definition of the "men with guns" libertarian boogeyman.

The cognitive dissonance is mind-boggling, and further proof that the Tea Party is nothing more than a collection of frightened, uninformed, hypocritical, and well-manipulated people. If a Democratic governor threatened to send armed troops to enforce his "radical" ideas, he'd be pilloried by the professional Right. If Pres. Obama said that he's going to send the 101st Airborne to Texas to ensure that health care reform is enforced there, we'd hear calls for his impeachment and lynching--and not necessarily in that order. Most of the Tea Party adherents are people just like the teachers, nurses, and highway workers in Wisconsin who are fighting for their basic rights. So why aren't they out there in the streets of Madison with them?

I guess I have to ask it: Why does the Tea Party hate America?

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