If the Wisconsin Republicans’ plan was to jam through the defeat of collective bargaining with a sketchy parliamentary move, they should have done it the minute that Democrats vacated the state. If that had happened, the howls would have been loud but fairly short-lived, since it’s easier to energize people when they’re trying to prevent something from happening, rather than complaining after the fact.
Instead, we have today’s trainwreck. Walker got his number one item, but he paid a huge price. He’s almost certainly a one-term governor. There’s a dissenting Republican in the Senate, and presumably we’ll hear more from him. If there’s a general strike, the union’s side of the case is now clearly outlined in the public mind. If the unions don’t strike, they look like paragons of restraint. And what about the recalls? No matter the outcome, they’ll occupy the press and public attention for the next few months.
The Democrats and unions took a sad song and made it better, as far as I can tell. One of the side-effects of our distraction-oriented media and low-information voters is that only one issue can be front-and-center in the public debate. Unions haven’t had much attention recently, so the slippery lies that blame them for all of our many ills have gone unchallenged. In Wisconsin, that’s not going to be the case for the next year or so.
The Governor won’t allow recalls, imo. The vote would not have happened unless there was some type of assurance that the recalls wouldn’t happen.
I don’t mean to sound negative but I don’t think you can ever underestimate how short the American public’s memory is. Also too, you can never underestimate the stupidity of the American voter who can be distracted by by stupid stuff like Sharia law and Gay rights.
I think Walker’s plan all along was to fire a bunch of union workers and get people to start calling him Reaganesque.
Another Half-Term governor. RECALL. RECALL. RECALL.
Just Some Fuckhead
@JPL: What do you mean, won’t allow recalls?
I think this is true. That’s why it was so inspiring to watch, for me anyway.
They’re proud of the work they do, they believe it’s worthy of reasonable compensation, and they wouldn’t allow media and conservatives to devalue and demean it.
I think they succeeded in advancing that essential argument: work that doesn’t turn a profit has value. Since conservatives and media measure value in dollars paid, the public sector union members challenged them on their own measure: “what is the work of cops, firefighters and teachers worth to you?”
Not much, as it turns out,but throwing the question back at them is essential.
Recalls are on the books, and are in process for 8 of the republican state senators, all who voted for the union busting bill last night. Scottie would have to declare them null and void, or some such shit, by his highnesses ass, to circumvent the law. We may need national help to get rid of this guy.
Think of how low voter turnout (and overall engery & enthusiasm) was on the Democratic side in the last election. Walker has turned that on its head in Wisconsin specifically. I fully expect him to get absolutely trounced the next time he’s up for election. In fact, he may realize this at some point and resign to take a job at Faux News while his conservative star is still shining brightly for the moment.
@JPL: The Governor can’t prevent recalls.
i’m left wondering WWBW? (What would Broder write?)
@JimF: That’s my mind set. I figure if they could pass a law taking the collective bargaining rights away from public employees in five minutes they can do anything. Fitzerald in one of his statements alluded to the fact that he wasn’t sure it could be done.
Legally it might not be able to be done but you know they will try.
Being a “one term governor” after having accomplished so much for the super-rich and executive class is not actually a punishment.
If Walker never ran for any office again he’d be gifted with some multi-million dollar a year board position, or prestigious think-tank position with a huge salary, speaking tours with giganto-fees, whatever his benefactors feel is an appropriate reward.
I’d be very cautious seeing all this in terms of the political future of Scott Walker. I’m not saying it’s irrelevant, but it isn’t the only incentive Walker could be considering.
@mai naem: That “stupid American voter” shtick only goes so far. The fact is, our side (Dems, libs) gets just as distracted by policy minutia and personality issues, rather than focusing our energies on fighting the conservative agenda.
Recalls are governed by the state constitution and Walker can’t easily change that (requires two votes of the legislature, separated by a general election, then a popular referendum after that). The elections are governed by a board of judges all of whom have been appointed by a Democratic governor, so it will be much harder to steal any election. I guess they could just legislate that one away, too, but it’s too late to do that with this recall since the process has already officially started and recorded.
So, at least we have that going for us…
@El Cid: I agree. That’s why it’s so important to keep these guys out of office in the first place.
@Mike: After seeing WI democracy in action, I have no faith anymore.
Fitgerald (not the governor) seemed to question the intent of the law and whether or not you could recall just because of tough votes.
Y’all are dreaming if you think more than 2 Rethug Sens get recalled. I’ve gotten to mails from Chris Bowers et al., telling me in near-breathless terms that they have 15% of the signatures needed for a recall petition. 15%? With no bump up to 20% or 25% three days later? Doesn’t sound like they’re setting the world on fire. (Although last night’s putsch may galvanize voters, but who knows?.)
As mai naem wrote, short memories and voter stupidity/apathy are in endless supply. We had four years of Bush/Cheney doing their damnedest to fuck over the country, and Kerry still lost badly. (Yeah, I know, it’s tough when you run a quasi-corpse against a real, live campaigner, but still …)
Walker get recalled? Yeah, sure, and Scott Brown is going to get stomped by Martha Coakley in next year’s thrilling rematch. And tomorrow, Charlie Sheen will wake up and say “Shit! What have I been saying? I gotta grow up, ASAP!” What Mencken said (or what he’s often quoted as saying), lo these many years ago, still applies. In fact, it’s worse, because of the multi-decade Rethug effort to kill public education. I’m just sad I won’t be around to alleviate my kids’ suffering when the Rethugs finally succeed in their long-planned-for destruction of an enlightened America.
Wow, and in the space of only two comments!
Or do you not see the irony (or perhaps inherent contradiction?) contained within your two statements?
Of course they won’t get many of the Senators recalled–they got elected for a reason. But in the very least, this keeps the issue percolating and in the public consciousness longer than would have been the case otherwise.
For the sake of my own kid, I sure as hell hope your kids aren’t internalizing your hopelessness.
I was working last night and didn’t hear about this until about an hour ago. Budgets matter, my ass.
I cannot believe how stupid the GOP has become on so many levels. But how did long-term thinking become so irrelevant? The Republicans have guaranteed themselves quite a stretch as a minority.
It’s all so slash and burn, and the hell with tomorrow. Worse, all I can see in this country’s future is one side undoing what the other side just did. Back and forth, back and forth. And all the while, Wall Street rapes more and defrauds more often. All in the name of instant gains. All this is othing more than self-destruction.
But thanks for the Liz Phair reminder. I will definitely have to listen to that song this morning.
@SFAW: thanks for the cynicism. The recalls on several of the repug senators are ahead of schedule. It’s a long process, that’s why they give them 60 days to make it happen. And that’s before last night. Fitzgerald was complaining that the recalls were happening without even a vote taking place, well we’ve got a vote. Is he happy now?? On recalling Walker, they need to wait until next summer, when an energized teaching corp will have 2.5 months to scour the state for 550,000 signatures. Hell, we can get 200,000 from the state employees.
Krugman and others were right about the politics of spite; and for the first time in my 56 years I’m ready to give up on this country. Talk about the banality of evil!
@JPL: I read this differently. I believe the fact that they tried this marginally legal maneuver now rather than earlier is that the polling on the recalls is looking atrocious for the GOP and so they need to get everything done before the recall. Don’t worry, though. Koch, Inc. will take care of everyone who takes a hit for team GOP.
They aren’t. And I’m not hopeless (well, some think I’m a hopeless case, but that’s not what you meant, I assume), but I also realize that it will take at least 20 years of concerted effort to un-fuck the country. And, given the current attention span of the American electorate, “20 weeks” is probably considered the event horizon, and maybe even 20 days.
My daughter, thank FSM, has become aware (through her own efforts/analysis) of how insane/stupid/evil the Rethugs are, so I am hopeful she will be politically active even after she’s old enough to vote.
Know any other half-term governors who have gone on to make a ton of money and stay in the spotlight?
Walker either ends up employed by the Kock brothers or he runs for President. The man’s ego knows no bounds.
Not yet he hasn’t. If any of the recalls go through, possibly. Anyway, there’s a good chance he wasn’t even designed to be a multi-term governor. My theory, which is mine, is that 2010 was viewed as Peak Wingnut, an unlooked-for gift, and they are making the most of it before Obama hatred subsides a bit. They are just going to jam in as much crap as possible while they can.
@SFAW: No, I don’t see any irony. They first comment was directed at a prior comment that the only reason we lose elections is because people are distracted by conservative wedge issues, to which I noted that the liberal side gets too distracted as well. The second comment explains the importance of Democrats winning elections. It seems consistent to me.
Glad to oblige.
I agree that last night will energize the base to some extent. But I’m still willing to bet a beer or two that there won’t be more than two of them recalled. Once the Rethugs start fighting back against recall, they’ll create enough FUD that they’ll keep their seats.
I certainly hope you are right and I am wrong. But history is more-or-less siding with me on this one.
That Hugo Chavez sure is an evil authoritarian for getting the parliament to give him emergency decree powers.
He’s a terrible enemy of democracy, and the US needs to keep funneling money to fund the opposition to make sure this awful authoritarianism doesn’t spread to other countries in the hemisphere.
He was given this power by his lockstep ruling bloc of the national assembly, who act simply as his toadies so that Chavez can carry out his radical goals unfettered. And now he will have 18 months to lock in whatever laws he and his preferred legislature want so as to keep the next legislature from undoing these fait accompli.
Chavez used the pathetic excuse of massive floods displacing almost 150,000 people to ram through acts such as providing housing to flood victims. As a dangerous precedent, before even getting his new powers, he used the excuse of the most severe drought in a century to forcibly regulate hydro-electric power generation and use.
Critics say that next will come measures designed to disempower and gut the opposition in the legislature, whose numbers don’t make a majority but are a rivaling minority. After all, Chavez cynically pushed this through before the next assembly session, when the minority opposition will have up to 40% of seats.
The assembly passed sections allowing the Supreme Court to review the decrees and the citizens to revoke any decree via referendum if 5% of voters petition it.
In this country we would simply never accept such authoritarian measures used to push through executive acts in a rushed manner so as to disempower the minority opposition to oppose them.
Here, in a country which appreciates the principles of democracy, our leaders would never use the mere majority of the legislature to ram through laws giving the executive vast powers or to weaken opposition forces throughout a state or nation. No one would even think it possible for one of our leaders to completely ignore the objections of a minority holding up to 4 out of every 10 seats.
Our politicians would wisely reserve the use of emergency powers for responses to minor budget deficit issues, and would apply them to such common-sense purposes as removing rights to collective bargaining, or to remove elected officials by executive order, or to immediately award profitable taxpayer-funded contracts to hand-chosen private interests without a fair and open bidding process.
America needs to act, and act quickly, before Chavez’ manipulative authoritarianism can spread to any other nation with leaders hungry to grab such concentrated power.
Exactly. If the current crop of republicans serve only one term but enact the anti-democratic oligarchic policies of their corporate paymasters, they will have achieved the terms of their employment by the 400 Families. In fact, one might even think that the more they over-reach, the more successfully they will have achieved the goals of the people who put them in there.
The Kochs and the rest of the 400 are not stupid – they know that the country is at a tipping point towards complete oligarchy, and they can only fire off a few more devastating shots at us before we wake up. They are shooting to kill now. If the assassins they’ve hire to do it can’t get re-elected, so be it. They’ll be taken care of.
Thoughtful Black Co-Citizen
The WIGOP move calls to mind the words of a Chris Rock bit:
“WE WON! WE WON!
What the FUCK did we just win??”
See also Pyrrhic Victory.
@SFAW: I agree, getting all 8 recalled would be an astounding accomplishment. Getting two would make me happy, with others to be replaced in Nov. 2012. But we need that sense of belief that we can do this to get it done.
OK, here’s the thing: polling data and analysis have shown, reasonably consistently, that educated and intelligent voters tend to vote for Dems, and to want Left or Center-Left policies. So, even if the Dems don’t keep shooting themselves in the collective foot, “low information” voters will still vote for Rethugs and against their own interests.
It’s also a lot easier to play the Fear card on stupid voters than it is on those who have a clue about reality.
I will point out that Walker doesn’t yet have what he wants, either.
The maneuver done to pass this appears to violate the state’s 24 hour law. The insistence it was fiscal in the first place makes it eligible for challenge as well. That means it goes to court.
Odds are it ends up in the state supreme court. And that brings in a separate and very interesting play. There is an election scheduled on April 5 for a state supreme court justice position. The incumbent, David Posser, is a Republican. (Served in the assembly as such from 1979 through 1996.) His challenger is JoAnne Kloppenburg, an assistant state AG, ESL volunteer teacher, ex-Peace Corps volunteer, … all the earmarks of a DFH.
It’s going to be interesting.
Or, to be less long-winded: who do you think puts these guys in office in the first place?
@JPL: At this point, I would not be so sure the collective bargaining take away will ever go into effect. The procedure used to enact it appears to violate Wisconsin’s Open Meetings Law. Any lawsuit filed on this issue would ask for an injunction forbidding the enforcement of the law. There is a very good chance that such an injunction would be granted.
@MikeJ: I guess it is, but my screen name is actually my initials, not that I ‘Sat by” while things have gone to hell. My political activism started during the Viet Nam war and has continued since; but I’m just disgusted that the meanness that controls our national discourse is so deeply embedded now. And exhausted.
This whole episode is both amazing and sickening. I’ll go ahead and Godwin the thread. Walker is a little Hitler, and Fitzgerald is his willing lackey in the Senate. The “conference committee” vote was despicable. I don’t hope they are recalled. I hope they and the rest of the legislators who voted on this, and the political apparatchiks in Walker’s regime end up homeless and hungry on the streets.
Yes, I’m a petty, vengeful fuck. Where’s my Moore Award?
I think this happened even before he took office.
Kochs trying to kill Linux? Not quite, but they are jointly funding with Microsoft the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution which hates FOSS and are pals with the guy behind the SCO lawsuit. They definitely are trying to outlaw satire (targeted at them) though.
joe from Lowell
@SFAW: Maybe we can whimper our way to a just society.
ty for the Liz Phair reference…..
@Kirk Spencer: Kloppenburg, in my opinion, is going to trounce Prosser and restore a 4-3 sane v. evil split in the WI Sup. Ct.
And you are right that the constant drumbeat that the collective bargaining bits were fiscally necessary also opens up the possibility of a legal challenge. All of this is happening before the bill/bills have been passed and signed into law.
This is the exact thing that worries me the most. When the elites are untouchable and unaccountable that cynicism will infect their opponents, too. Once violence and assassination become common methods of self expression for the oppressed classes the backlash and overall atmosphere of violence could become very unhealthy indeed.
@El Cid: Beautifully done.
It’s interesting, because if you watch the video, the senate leader recites a predicate statement where he reads what they did to comply with the rule but the minority member who objects raises open meeting (good for him for getting it all in there!)or, the law.
Is it possible Republicans missed that? Complied with the procedural rule (quorum) but forgot the law?
That seems like a huge error.
I don’t think Walker or any of his flunkies give a shit about recalls or their political careers. This was a smash and grab job bankrolled by the Kochs, who are now throwing them all a big fundraiser for being good little doggies. It’s the wingnut welfare circuit for them now. Holding elected office is only a means to this end for these people.
@El Cid: Walker may get monster wingnut welfare, but he isn’t getting a think tank job. The think tank, even the most hackish, require some academic credentials, and Walker ain’t got none.
joe from Lowell
People don’t run for political office to get run anymore. If you have the juice to get yourself elected governor, you have much better opportunities to get rich without the hassle than actually running for and serving as governor. Spiro Agnew was an anachronism forty years ago.
People run for office because they want personal power, and/or because they are committed to achieving certain political ends. Recalling Scott Walker and his cronies and turning their legislative priorities into a pile of smoking rubble in the next legislature would be a fine revenge.
You folks are dreaming if you think there is going to be any repercussions from this, you’re out of your mind.
These clowns are driving the last stake in the heart of the unions. Obama even helped with the auto bailouts.
and this from above::
They are untouchable. Obama has perpetuated this as well. He is one of them despite the “slick talk”…
Get it through your heads. This shit we are seeing today from the plutocracy and their minions in government will not end by democratic process. There will be no reversal. The only thing that reverses it now will be violence, strikes and revolt.
joe from Lowell
Er, get rich, that is.
can someone tell me what was “anti-democratic” about what just happened?
because, about the only thing that seems anti-democratic about the whole thing was when the Dems left the state in order to stop the machinery of the legislature. otherwise, everything that’s been done has been, as they say, by the book. the vote last night was perfectly legal under WI law, as far as i can tell.
not liking the result is one thing, but following legislative procedures is not dictatorial or anti-democratic. following the written rules is not a violation of those rules.
Can’t tell if you’re saying I’m whimpering, or if you’re being cynical about Dems in general, or what?
Except for that pesky 24-hour notice requirement. And, um, lying for three weeks that all this stuff was essentially fiscal. Not sure the second one isn’t legal, but the first one surely is.
And WTF about the Dems leaving the state is “undemocratic”? There is nothing in democratic principles that says a minority has to bend over and take it because they’re in the minority. See: U.S. Senate, GOP filibusters and secret holds.
If Dems stop shooting themselves in the collective foot, then the fact that some “low information voters” vote against their own interests won’t matter because they will be in the minority.
Even more grand, some of those low information voters might actually start voting for Democrats if we can ever get to the point where we stop telling ourselves how much we suck.
@JPL Who cares what Fitz thinks about recalls. A state senator was recalled in the 90’s for supporting a stadium tax. The recall flipped the legislature. There’s plenty of precedent and since the process has already started, they really have no power to stop it. They know this, which is why they decided to ram this through anyways.
@kay: The law specifies 24 hours notice for meetings in general, which did not happen. It also allows meetings with two hours notice in emergency situations, which apparently also did not happen.
@Xenos: Look, this isn’t an exception. It’s a major method by which the super-rich get what they want out of elected officials.
There’s this bizarre notion which floats around that the super-rich interests just get what they want during a politician’s term when they come up and lobby and then, pow, that politician changes their outlook and vote.
Not that that doesn’t work, but you’ve got campaign manipulation on the front end — weeding out people from running by denying them financing and indicating and then giving backing to preferred ranges of candidates — and on the back end as well.
They gave Reagan a multi-million dollar ranch mansion when he left. As a ‘thank you’. Reagan may have been on their side anyway, but by precedent they knew he always had been easy to buy, and it never hurts to give a big, flashy example to any other politician wondering about their post-office future.
Oh, I forgot — the incentives include positions on nice foundations as well.
I think that it is a mistake to misunderestimate apathy. People, simply, do not care.
If it takes longer than two sentences to make your point, you have lost your audience.
@Omnes Omnibus: I think they’d be hard-pressed to argue that this law was an “emergency” for a 2-hour notice. But hell, it’s not like they have much respect for rule of law to begin with.
@cleek: Do you mean legally, or formally anti-democratic or substantively anti-democratic? Walker has pushed procedural and formal measures well past traditionally established standards for democracy.
Lying about when votes will be held, cutting off the votes, the declaring a plainly fiscal bill to be non-fiscal in order to get around the quorum – these may well be illegal and subject to reversal in court. Lying to the public about supporting collective negotiation and then going out the first week and trying to gut it – that is a political issue, and something that can only be fixed through political processes.
They (the Wisconsin R’s) are just going to go for broke now because they ave no reason not to. It’s going to get crazy.
Those public utilities are going to be in Koch’s hands before you know it. Then the Koch’s and their sweet sweet political contributions and support will be magically gone leaving Walker high and dry and a pariah forever. Hope Walker thinks it was worth it. Sad thing is he probably does.
Sucks they will have taken the state down with them. But lie with dogs and you get fleas.
@cleek: There was nothing at all anti-democratic about what the WI Republicans did. The people of Wisconsin elected them on their platform of busting unions, and that’s what they did. It’s all good.
it’s not just what they did. it’s how they did it. have you seen the video of the shyt they did? I mean, it was unfuckingbelievable. and the taking away of the video and putting on the music at the end….
Thanks. I figured it was intended as a “sunshine law”. They all look the same. Ohio has a whole set of them, and they’re wildly popular. We have a single non-wingnut on the local school board and he uses sunshine law provisions about once a month, to force them to state what they’re up to. It’s an effective political tactic, too, because the implication is they’re doing something underhanded.
@arguingwithsignposts: Since they did not comply with the two hour provision either, it doesn’t really matter. Also, it is not their respect for the rule of law that comes into play here, it is that of the courts. Courts tend to take things like that quite seriously.
Well, yes, but unless this is reversed the Democrats are going to have a hell of a time raising campaign funds in the important swing state of Wisconsin.
& what happens if it goes to the Roberts Court?
Ponies for everyone!
Which is my way of saying: you’re fooling yourself if you believe that to be true.
@Omnes Omnibus: I read somewhere that Fitzgerald said they posted it on a capitol bulletin board at 4 p.m., thus fulfilling the 2-hour requirement, and only e-mailed legislators at 4:10 as a courtesy.
Thus, in their pointy little heads, they met the 2-hour req.
Just reporting what I read there.
@Omnes Omnibus: No they don’t. First, you don’t have to be in the policy analyst team. You can be on the boards, as a representative and spokesperson, and so on and so forth.
Second, it’s not like right wing think tanks are themselves limited to some sort of notion of ‘accredited’ experts. Don’t let the category name fool you. The Club for Growth? Pasture for right wing politicians.
You really think that a Republican governor who pushed through anti-union and anti-regulatory and anti-employee rules wouldn’t be seen in the ‘policy expert’ category of various right wing hack tanks?
which may not be applicable due to other parts of the Open Meeting Law.
then why bring it up?
actually, there is. it’s what happens when votes are tallied. if you don’t have the votes, you lose the issue. want to prevail? get more votes. and the fact that the US Senate has bullshit rules doesn’t matter in the WI legislature, which has its own set of rules.
So you’re saying that they could have done all of this only to have it reversed by the court anyway because they screwed up the sunshine law?
Now that would be funny. Especially if the court doesn’t rule until after the recall process on the 8 Senators that decided to support this little power grab gets underway…
that politicians did things they didn’t run on is neither news nor a crime. it happens every day.
@The Raven: State law issues, no Roberts Court involved. And, as I have noted, there is a reasonable likelihood that the law will not go into effect until after the court challenges are resolved and then only if the Rs win and the law has not been overturned by a subsequently elected D majority.
And one of those rules is the 3/5 quorum rule for fiscal matters. If leaving so there isn’t a quorum isn’t democratic, then why have that rule?
Because they made the argument all along that it was fiscal. I was just suggesting that there may be some argument to be made there that the part that passed was passed illegally because of prior statements to the opposite effect.
And there is no fucking way they can legitimately argue that the parts that were passed were an “emergency.” Not that they won’t do so.
cermet, I hate being such a cynic about this mess going on–I really do. It has gotten worse since Reagan.
In retrospect, what sealed the deal for me was: a.) no repercussions for the criminality of the Bush administration and, b.) the difference in treatment of Wall St. and the auto industry in the bailouts of each industry by the Obama administration.
The Wall Streeters got made completely whole and are even now earning big-time bucks lending out the money we borrow as a nation to keep the economy on life-support–or gambling with it. The UAW workers got hosed in many respects–especially those in the future.
And the propaganda machine of the media still manages to stir up enmity between the different groups at the bottom of the pile that are getting fucked over and left behind. This has been a successful tactic for nearly our entire history as a nation. It will continue to be a successful tactic until there is much worse wide-spread suffering followed by a backlash.
“standards” are a courtesy. what matters is the legality. and it looks like they were aware of the rules and most likely met them.
i hope they are. but i’m not counting on it.
bottom line: want better outcomes, elect better representatives. and it should surprise absolutely nobody that the GOP is anti-union. anyone who is surprised by this has been asleep for the last 30 years.
Your comments are always so succinct. And my response to this one is Exactly !!
I also find it interesting that Rove’s ads against Unions was released yesterday as well.
There is a concerted effort in this country to assume all rights previously granted to many be reverted to the few. Oh and also too…don’t matter what color you are.
My two young twenty somethings are rather convinced this country is headed towards another civil war. Extreme? Possibly.
@arguingwithsignposts: Well, that could change the 2 hour part. There is also a requirement that the notice be “in such form as is reasonably likely to apprise members of the public and the news media thereof.” It will spend much time in the courts. Much time.
This is an enormous win for us.
Democrats facing Republican majorities in other states should duplicate the tactic – leave town, prevent formation of quorums, and stall insane Republican political tactics. Draw attention to them, polarize, then Win.
And why the hell isn’t the DNC initiating recall efforts all over the country right now? Why is it only in Wisconsin?
They’ll have to work on getting a million exceptions to the sunshine law, which is what the crazed conservatives are doing in Ohio. “Executive sessions”, appointing people to public-private “boards” who are not actually subject to sunshine laws, etc. Kasich wants all those crony-filled appointed boards not for their bidness expertise but because they’re not accountable to anyone, and they don’t have to reveal anything.
He doesn’t want to live in the governor’s residence not because he loves his house, but because he’s not required to reveal any official business he conducts there. An end run.
Following the letter, if not the spirit, of the rules, probably establishes a rebuttable assumption that actions are legal and do not violate whatever principles guaranteeing democratic processes exist under Wisconsin constitutional law. (There might be a federal issue lurking in all this too that might give federal courts some jurisdiction.)
However, if the rules do not clearly state that posting something on a bulletin board, for example, is adequate notice, then there is all sorts of room to argue whether the abbreviated procedures are legal or not. The procedures followed in Wisconsin reek of cuteness and bad faith, so there should be some basis for getting a court to evaluate whether or not they are legal.
Judas Escargot (aka ninja fetus with a taste for bruschetta)
We may need national help to get rid of this guy.
Where is the WI AG in all this?
As with all things, ramming something down someone’s throat is OK if you’re a Republican.
@cleek: Apparently you’re not really up to speed with what’s been happening in Wisconsin, so I’ll clue you in on a basic point: Walker and the Republican legislators either hid their main platforms entirely, or directly lied about them — specifically, promised to safeguard collective bargaining rights for unions — in order to get union endorsements and thereby get elected. Not surprisingly, when these Republicans showed their true colors and proceeded to do precisely what they were elected not to do, the people of WI went apeshit in large numbers, hence it’s news, as in, headlines and column space nationwide, over an extended period. See how that works?.
The Republic of Stupidity
You mean like this steaming pile being ramrodded thru the Michigan state legislature right now?
I guess ‘Emergency Financial Manager’ sounds so much more reasonable that ‘Dictator’… or ‘Czar’…
But should the POTUS’ wife suggest we eat better… it’s time to foam at the mouth…
Well, I hear they have laws against “Sex by Surprise”.
Unless the Democratic Senators return to the Capitol and the Wisconsin GOP then passes the same measure as part of the budget once they have a quorum.
@The Republic of Stupidity:
Is that even remotely constitutional?
Police in Madison unloading crowd control gear: http://twitpic.com/4857y5
@someguy: Well, it could be done in Wisconsin because the Dems had enough Senators to deny a quorum. It could not be done in Ohio because they don’t. Wisconsin had a particular set of circumstances that allowed this to happen. As far as why the national Dems aren’t organizing things, I don’t know that it is a bad thing. Wisconsin’s protests are a true ground-up, grass roots thing. If. for example and just for example, Obama got involved, it would entirely bigfoot what is going on and make all about the national figures and issues.
@SFAW: Well, who knows what the future will be? But I see no reason to hang out in political blogs if things are really irreversibly hopeless. That would be really pathetic.
@Judas Escargot (aka ninja fetus with a taste for bruschetta): Hard right wingnut asshole. No help expected from that quarter.
@Omnes Omnibus: YES! YES! YES! National Dems need to offer moral support, and that’s it. The best thing that could happen to Republicans politically is for Obama or other national political figures to take over the fight.
The things the Republicans are doing today:
1) Celebrating how they fucked over the teachers and other unions
2) Investigating Mooslims for being extremists
3) Explaining why Newt is running for office when he’s openly admitted his “passion” for politics keeps “forcing” him to commit adultery and divorce his wives. Hey, Wife #3! So sure you wanna have hubby go off campaigning for months on end?
How the hell anyone can justify voting Republican ever again is beyond me. It’s not about health care, it’s not about communism, it’s not about balancing the budget. For the Republicans it’s about tax cuts for the uberwealthy, making abortion and sex illegal, and eliminating political opposition so they can one-party rule for all time. For the love of GOD, people! Stop voting Republican. THEY ARE NOT WORTH IT.
Here’s a slogan for your t-shirts: “Republicans Lie”. Wear it. Believe it. AND FUCKING VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE.
a politician misrepresenting the facts of his own positions during an election is a story as old as elections. it is not news. it is not novel. it is not even surprising. nor is it news that the GOP hates unions. nor is it news that being in the minority is a good way to lose votes.
@Zifnab: Constitutional? Sure. State governments have pretty much plenary power to take over local governments for any or no reason. They can also go in and force any number of changes to, for example, collective bargaining systems that are themselves based in state law.
In many ways states are more powerful than the federal government.
@MattR: But they already have a law. They would be admitting that yesterday’s actions were illegal. I know, it wouldn’t stop them from doing something like that, but, by that point, another two Rs could be flipped. A variety of things can happen. Christ, there seems to be a huge “It’s all over; let’s just give up chorus” around here this morning.
There you go again.
Several of the WI senators got elected by about 1,000 vote margins. They are vulnerable.
If you’re talking about how the governor can “declare” a city/township bankrupt and install his own boss to “clean up” AKA kill the local unions and privatize everything to where it’s three times the original costs, then yeah that may be unconstitutional. It could well violate people’s civil rights to elect their local officials. It’ll take years to settle in the courts, but hopefully by then the Republicans will be excised from power and the laws written out anyway.
@Mike: The precedent makes me feel better. Thanks.
Godwin away. The really fucked up thing is that the emergency powers bill in Michigan is a goddamned mirror of the emergency powers legislation Hitler used to dismember the Weimar Republic.
This episode has made it even more clear how important unions are to the future of the democratic party, and how clearly the republicans know that and will find any excuse to destroy them.
It makes it even more frustrating that Obama and the democratic majorities we had until recently could not pass the union card check bill they campaigned on.
I know, we needed sixty votes, or someone put a hold on it and Senator Reid was compelled to honor it. Or whatever.
We aren’t going to get chances with a majority like that again for a long time, it is just so frustrating to know what wasn’t done with that opportunity.
The Republic of Stupidity
I would like to think not, but that certainly doesn’t appear to be stopping them from trying…
I’m beginning to think the Bush Years were simply a dry rehearsal…
They are definitely vulnerable now. The Republicans did not campaign on union-busting, only on “balancing the budget”. Now they are openly busting the unions without even worrying about the budget (that all was proved a lie the second they pulled that stripped bill stunt last night).
Another thing: the voter turnout during midterms was pretty meager, wasn’t it. Most voters stayed home because “meh” they didn’t care much one way or another. I swear to GOD they care now.
One more thing: in the Midwest/Great Lakes region, the union vote was pretty much split between Dems and GOP. There’s nothing like the Republicans union-busting to drive most if not all of the union voters squarely into the Democratic camp.
Yes, it is politics, and as long as it is legal, it is fair game to do. And neither side is acting nobly and both are playing very hard ball politics and are only subject to those keeping score for the next election, that would be the voters.
Fleeing a quorum while less common, is also as old as politics, same as campaign lies, and neither are “undemocratic”, provided the tactics are not crimes or misdemeanors.
The Republic of Stupidity
Some got elected by just a few hundred votes…
Don’t know if the recalls will succeed, but we gotta try…
The ability to dissolve towns or incorporated cities? The ability to simply write out any and all local laws without legal review or challenge and dismiss all local elected officials? The ability to replace those elected officials with private corporate entities?
That is an authoritarian nightmare.
Just hope that it doesn’t end up pursued by the US Supremes. If Citizens United is any indication, we’d end up having the United States of Exxon-Mobil by the years end.
The Republic of Stupidity
Well, dang… isn’t that the whole point of concern trolling?
To take the steam out of the opposition?
@WyldPirate: 100% abso-fucking-lutely dead on, unfortunately.
I have not yet begun to fight.
The Republic of Stupidity
There… better, no?
Then that is what we do. It is open, us-or-them class war.
@The Republic of Stupidity:
I start thinking of Rich “starbursts on my TV screen” Lowry.
I didn’t need that visual.
Who you going to fight? The cops, the military? You ready to go all the way? I don’t think so.
Any other pearls?
To quote Shakespeare or someone else: “I say live it or live with it!”
Not sure if you mean me, but in case you do: I don’t see it as being irreversibly hopeless. As I noted earlier, it’ll take a 20-year (or so) effort to fix things. Zealots/fanatics (e.g. Rethugs and their base) are usually up for such a struggle; the rest of the world, not so much.
Just another cockeyed opportunity to it’s Obama’s fault so let’s “get rid of Obama”, for the obsessed in that department. Barely disguised and as dependable as the sun rising in the east.
@The Republic of Stupidity: Bunch of fucking assholes if you ask me, which you didn’t. Simple situation is this: it would have been better if the WI legislature had stayed Democratic and Tom Barrett was governor. That didn’t happen. Therefore, this bill is being fought with the weapons available. There are reasonable grounds to challenge the bill in the courts. There is a reasonable likelihood that the enforcement of it will be enjoined while court proceedings go on. This has energized liberals, unions, and working people in the state. The recalls are proceeding apace. 2012 is unlikely to be a good year for Republicans in Wisconsin.
let me put it this way, then: IMO, fleeing the state to avoid a direct consequence of the election (ie. your party has too few members to block legislation you don’t like) is more anti-democratic than using arcane parliamentary tactics to get around said fleeing. maybe it’s not absolutely anti-democratic. but it’s leaning in that direction.
the voters spoke; they said the GOP won enough seats to run the legislature. that was the voters’ opportunity to make their “will” manifest, and they used it to choose the GOP. i have a hard time feeling sorry for them. whatever they promise during elections, union busting is to the GOP as shitting is to geese.
Until now, I hadn’t really made any kind of mental association/connection between Lowry’s “starbursts on my TV screen” and wet dreams. And I don’t think I was a poorer person for it.
But now that I can’t un-think it, thanks to you, you schmuck: Ewwwwwwwww!
Steve in the ATL
@Omnes Omnibus: There were only state law issues in Bush v. Gore as well….
Third Party, Folks.
Oh, sorry, for a second there I thought I was over at digby’s place.
amended: i do feel sorry for the people who will lose their jobs. i don’t feel sorry for people who thought the GOP was anything but union-hostile.
@cleek: Others clearly disagree with your opinion. I expect that legislators will use the rules of the body in which they serve to advance the interests of their constituents. I don’t blame R’s in the US Senate for using the rules. They piss me off, and I think the rules should be changed, but that is a horse of a different color. In this case, the WI Senators are using the rules on behalf of their constituents. Don’t like the rules? Change them.
Sorry, don’t agree. While politicians lie in campaigns, there are matters of degree, and this asshole Walker took it to an extreme in my opinion. To a degree that could easily be considered theft by deception, which I do equate with being no less anti democratic than what the dems are doing. There are reasons for quorum requirements, and the lack of any law for an elected rep from not showing up and participating in governing actions, which is in itself, a vote of sorts for the people these politicians represent, and are primarily accountable to. It is also why we have recall laws for both sides.
And a Republican on the WI Supreme Court is up for election on April 5th?
If this is a deep long-term strategy, I’m having trouble seeing it, Gov. Walker. You seem to just keep making things worse. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying the hell out of it, but I’m kind of wondering when James O’Keefe’s going to jump out of the woodwork and yell, “Punk’d!” at all of us. Because no one can be this stupid. Can they?
I don’t think that’s fair. I don’t think any individual voter followed the Ohio state races more closely than I did, and this was simply not on the radar. There’s been a sort of truce between unions and conservatives in Ohio since the 1980s. That’s a long time. The 40-45% of union voters who vote GOP were not being unreasonable when they relied on what’s happened their whole adult lives.
Further, they asked. Ohio GOP Senators filled out candidate questionaires where they assured police and fire that they would NOT gut arbitration rights.
exactement. This “well he didn’t run on a UNION-BUSTING platform” is a bullshit excuse. The voters and, most particularly, NON-voters of Wisconsin have nobody but themselves to blame for this megalomaniac being in office.
Republicans vary by region. The New York Republican and the California Republican and the Kansas Republican aren’t cut from the same cloth by any stretch.
And there are still a lot of places where the Democrats haven’t been any better on unions than their Republican counterparts. When you’re in “throw the bums out” mood, people don’t always check what kind of bums they’re throwing in. :-p
That’s the glaring problem in the two-party system. Assholes can win “by default”.
The only thing that has been more consistently devastating to the left than the Fear Card is the self-congratulatory cynicism of those from our side.
I am participating in one of the MoveOn rallies scheduled for this coming Tuesday to support unions and oppose the GOP budget; I am going to be holding the bullhorn and leading the crowd in chants and introducing speakers.
I will be sure to include the chants of “We! Can’t! Win! and “GIVE UP, GO HOME!” and such shite.
Fuck U6: A More Accurate Measure of the Total Amount of Duck-Fuckery in the Economy
Wait, I thought the pearls and smelling salts threads was yesterday?
Huh, must be cleek’s terminal case of the vapours that’s confusing me.
Fucking parliamentary gamesmanship, how does that work?
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
@Xenos: I suspect a lot of state constitutions read like Texas in this regard. Cities have power because the state delegates it to them. They don’t have any independent power. The state decides whether a city exists or not.
that and $5 will get you a coffee at Starbucks
police and fire, you say? police and fire… unions. hmm. something there sounds familiar.
I don’t know how far this goes…but I still say fight.
These bastards are actively trying to destroy what is left of a free society. I am not inclined to passively accept my fate on this one.
@Omnes Omnibus: This. Thanks for making it into the Capitol last night. I was stuck in a meeting (close, but couldn’t get there). I’ll see you, if only in spirit, up on the Square in the coming days.
Ah, if only that were true!
No, the reaction to the so-called “self-congratulatory cynicism” is not nearly as prevalent as is the FUD-driven Rethug support.
Fixing the cynicism thing is significantly easier than edumacating the 27%-ers or even the “whom shall I vote for today? Both candidates are so similar! Oh, woe!” independents.
@eemom: They voted for a Senator (six years!) who if I remember correctly, explicitly refused to take a position on anything, give interviews, and stated that people would find out what he was about “after the election.” So I guess they really hated Feingold.
Gee, I wonder if Johnson has any positions that are unpopular with the voters?
There were lots of people who didn’t vote for these guys, but the majority who did certainly don’t inspire a lot of confidence.
You never caught on that he was having a metaphorical orgasm when she winked?
Is this true? My general experience of open-meeting laws (not in Wisconsin) is that violating them can lead to civil or criminal penalties but doesn’t invalidate business conducted at the meeting.
There’s a bit of an untruth here. Voters across the state don’t vote in senators. They are elected by district, just like Reps. The governor is the only state-wide elected official involved here. So, no, “the voters” didn’t speak in that sense.
Whatever, the point remains that denying quorums is not anti democratic, and is in fact a form of parliamentary maneuver, albeit a harsh one.
Yes, yes, yes. And yes. Municipalities do not even have standing to sue the state, as they are treated as subdivisions of the state. They can not be legally created except by state law, can not change their form of government except by state law, and can be dissolved, merged, whatever, under state law.
I have not read up on what is going on in Michigan, but it appears to be a law that will give these powers directly to the governor. If so, it is an astonishing abdication of power by the legislature — but whether or not it is legal depends on the Michigan constitution. I have absolutely no idea what that allows.
@liberty60: And don’t forget the ever popular, “Whose house? THEIR house!” That always get’s ’em fired up and ready to go home.
ETA: Who’s? Whose? Damn it, where’s my Strunk and White when I need it?
In Ohio, Republicans already have a supermajority, so that won’t work
Because Wisconsin is one of the few states where you CAN recall state legislators.
I disagree. They would simply spin it that the Democrats are threatening to challenge the law in court so to be safe they reaffirmed it using the normal procedures just in case some activist judge sided with the Deomcrats in any lawsuit about the original bill.
Shock Trooper in the War on Christmas
@cleek: Why is it more anti-democratic to avoid a quorum than for politicians to lie to voters?
I’m not clear on what you’re saying, but the Ohio law doesn’t exempt police and fire, unlike the Wisconsin law.
We held a “town hall” type meeting two weeks prior the Ohio elections where we invited teachers and others to tell them about Kasich’s plans for school consolidation.
Had a single person in that room (including two local newspapers) been aware that he planned to gut collective bargaining for every public employee in the state, that would have been a very different session.
It appears obvious at this point that this was a planned conservative assault that might extend to 15 states. Did you know that, prior? If not, why not?
@Joey Maloney: I’m going to answer my own question. From http://www.wisfoic.org/an-openmeetingslaw.html at the bottom of the page:
I wonder how many union members in WI don’t want to be in a union, and would rather not pay union dues?
@Corner Stone: Probably about as many as those who are not and want to be.
Emily L. Hauser/ellaesther
Quite genuinely one of the best headlines I’ve seen, possibly in ever.
My hat -> off.
@cleek: And what if the GOP, having been elected, proposed a law that all who voted Dem in the last election should be executed? Okay, they didn’t say it during the campaign, but we all know that’s what alot of GOPers would love to see. The voters should have known. And even if elected Dems could stop it by leaving the state, they shouldn’t, because it violates the spirit of democracy.
Yes, that’s your premise carried to a purposely stupid extreme.
The Pubs lied about their intentions. They’ve used every trick imaginable to ram an unpopular aenda through. The Dems responded with the only play they had. And you think they’re the ones at fault? No wonder Dems have so much trouble getting things done.
oops. sorry, skimmed and misread.
i admit, i haven’t been paying attention to the OH situation. but again: the GOP is the GOP. and in the Days Of Teabaggers, the GOP is worse than ever. if anyone in this country voted Republican in 2010, well, what the fuck were they expecting ? the party is not the congenial middle-of-the road party it once was.
@joe from Lowell: Trudeau FTW!
@Joey Maloney: The law is voidable. Look at Section 19.97. My view is that the court would enjoin because the harms from not doing so would be difficult to undo if the court ultimately voids the law.
While we’re at it, Florida’s Tea Party governor has just started restricting the rights of former felons to vote again:
To be clear, we are talking about people who have already served their time, not felons currently in jail.
On the bright side, the governor and Cabinet did listen to a full thirty minutes of comments first, so, you know, they’re listening.
well how about we all just provide a hat tip to those astute cynics amongst us who have a deeper understanding of these events and acknowledge their superior acumen navigating the deep waters of Wisconsin laws and electoral wisdom and instead move on to how we can help Wisconsin, help itself and what we can do nationally to beat back this coordinated effort to empower American Feudalism? My own efforts will consist of contacting my local Democratic party and get off my lard ass and start working for better candidates and outcomes.
i’m pretty sure that’s unconstitutional.
i never said that.
I sympathize with that. I get enormously frustrated myself.
I just think that is (perhaps!) not the best way to persuade people to consider voting for a Democrat or liberal, next time.
No one likes to hear “I told you so”. I don’t know what the point of that is, as a practical matter, other than some personal feeling of vindication. I’m impatient with it not because it isn’t true, but because I don’t know what good it does.
I guess I probably did. It was the thought of the evidence being on the TV that made me go “Ewwww”.
They should walk. Everybody that carries a card in WI should strike, as soon as he signs the bill. Never mind the principle of the thing, just as a practical tactic. Right now, the crisis has been simmering for weeks, and this action is the boilover. Anything that happens today and tomorrow is still Walker’s fault, in the public mind. They already agreed to take the pay cut, so the Republicans lost the “it’s necessary to balance the budget” talking point.
He bet huge, and apparently broke the law doing it. Don’t call him, go over the top. All-in, nobody works if he signs this bill.
Wait till the Dems recapture the Senate or the Governor’s mansion, and the GOP throws a high holy fit about evil Democrats “ramming through” this or that.
As I recall, the Affordable Care Act was the greatest debasement of the US Congress in all of US History. And Dems didn’t even use Reconciliation to get it passed. :-p IOKIYAR appears to stand strong even if you’re as staunch a Democrat as Cleek.
Probably, but I don’t wanna be the ex post facto test case.
It’s not so much a case of “I told you so.” In my mind at least, it’s more an impatience with people parsing exactly what this miserable thug did and didn’t say while he was running for office, which is absolutely useless at this point. That and $5 will get you a Starbucks coffee, as cleek said above.
@cleek: Your point is noted. In a legislative battle of epic proportions, the minority party should, in your opinion, leave completely legal tactical options on the table because they are in the minority? Is this correct?
@cleek: Wisconsin exempted the police and fire unions. Ohio, which is what kay is discussing, did not.
I agree with your general view, though: anyone who didn’t see this coming is a fool. One thing that this whole extended episode has made clear is just how disciplined and coordinated the Koch/Republican push has been. Republicans elected in Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan – nearly identical legislation all at once. Minor tailoring for local conditions makes it even clearer how careful this all has been: Snyder in Michigan was a bit more careful, because the unions have more say here, but the same crap was predictably showing up – “gold plated pensions”, ridiculous estimates of the amount of money public sector workers are paid in contrast to private ones, etc. Anyone could see this coming a couple of years ago, when suddenly every Fox news talking head seemed to start dumping on the SEIU all at once, calling them thugs, etc. (The SEIU? Really? Janitors, nursing home workers, government office assistants? This is not exactly “On the Waterfront” material we’re talking here. Why them? All of a sudden? All over the place?)
But for an awfully long time – the hard hat riots, air traffic controllers endorsing Reagan,… rank and file union workers have shown themselves able to be blind to the simple fact that the Republican party is fiercely committed to making them poorer and weaker. I can only hope that this time it has finally become so obvious that even they can’t fail to see it.
IMO, it does more good than shouting for armed revolution or screaming about authoritarian takeovers and dictatorial usurpation. maybe i live a sheltered life, but if i’m sure that were i to walk up to the person nearest me and start with the “Scott Walker is a dictatorial authoritarian anti-democratic power grabbing monster who is going to destroy America!” stuff, that person will probably avoid me, forever.
if i say “you know, the GOP hasn’t been union-friendly in decades (ask any teacher!) it’s not entirely surprising Walker and the WI GOP did what they just did. unfortunate, but not surprising. seems like voting Democratic is a safer way to go, if unions are important to you,” i’d at least get a fair hearing.
one “good” is in only in the eye of the bomb-thrower. the other kind is at least open for debate.
@eemom: Okay, I will grant you that many people are just plain stupid, but that does not make it right to screw them over.
(NB: When I originally typed the phrase “just plain stupid,” it came out “just palin stupid. I almost left it.)
If Obama won’t return your calls, then he’s just not that into you. Quit turning everything into a tirade against him.
The most depressing thing about this is seeing all of these “It sucks to be you, Wisconsin” comments.
When civil rights were the hot issue in the ’60s, the Left didn’t just stand back and smugly snicker about how Mississippi voters got what they deserved, or how “this is democracy”, or wring their hands over how we could do nothing about school segregation or Jim Crow laws.
A minority in Wisconsin is fighting for their rights, while some on the Left just throw spitballs at them and mock them for being in the minority. Others just sigh that we’re all fucked, so why try and why even care. Instead of standing up for the “little guy”, we’re trading smug remarks about how the “little guy” is stupid, so he’s on his own.
Hand-wringers suck. Nobody in this country ever got their civil rights by hand-wringing and whimpering. We’re all a minority in one way or another, and we’re all screwed when the Left’s position comes down to “It sucks to be you”.
did i say that ?
@RalfW: Recall elections are also funny elections, since they usually occur at non-normal times, meaning highly motivated voters have the advantage and normal rules don’t apply. It seems to me that the biggest hurdle will be collecting all the signatures to begin with. If that can be accomplished and withstand the inevitable challenges, I think you’ll see that many of those seemingly safe GOP senate seats will prove to be vulnerable.
Is Scott Walker a Democrat?
Are you talking from your perch on a conservative radio or TV show?
That person will probably tune into you every day for the next ten years.
@General Stuck: Quorum busting is not democratic, but it is a right that has a long history of being reserved for the minority in democratic forms of government.
@cleek: I think you, at least, implied it.
ETA: That is to say that, if someone summarized your comments in a “Shorter Cleek,” that person could very well come up with what I said.
that’s not “the Left’s” position. and, as far as i represent “the Left”, my position is : care about unions? don’t elect the GOP! while not perfect, the Democratic party is really your only option !
if you didn’t know that, well, you should’ve done a little research before voting – elections have consequences! think first! and remember this lesson next time!
what could be more Left than that ?
@cleek: It’s going to be awesome. Keep this kind of shit up and you will end up in a civil war.
whatever you were trying to say there went clear over my head. sorry.
Nobody is parsing what the wingers and Walker said or didn’t say to get elected. Cleek was doing a false equivalence that what the dems senators did was “more undemocratic” than what the wingnuts did, which was explicitly lie in what appears to be a pre meditiated attack on union busting (ditching bargaining rights) Walker expressly stated he would not do to get elected. I and others called bullshit on that, as I am calling bullshit on you eemom.
Yeah, pretty much.
And if that isn’t what you meant, you’re a retty shitty writer who has no real real clue as to how is message is being recieved.
I define undemocratic as whatever tactic is not illegal, and lying is also undemocratic, and offends the gawds, but is also not illegal for politicians to do to get elected.
Delaying a vote, is not the same as denying a vote, imho.
That’s the beauty of the defunding education play. Its long-term effects are even more powerful than its short-term effects. Just look at the South.
@cleek: No specific statement. Perhaps in my mood today I am misreading your concerns, but that is the take away I got from your series of comments. At the very least, you have left yourself open to that.
sigh. “retty” = “pretty.”
That’s what I get for typing with cold hands.
Well, I didn’t say anything like that, and most of the discussion on this thread is about procedural rules and law, so I didn’t see a lot of bomb-throwing either.
I’m simply saying that had I known there was a 15 state conservative strategy to gut collective bargaining rights, I would have made damn sure we brought that up at the local event we held on education. That we discussed whether Kasich was going to close smaller rural high schools in a room full of invited public school teachers is an indication that this was not part of the 2010 campaign or debate, in Ohio. They made vague noise about cutting budgets, which is what they always do.
Democrats have been running on reforming health care my entire adult life. The two situations are not comparable.
um, no. equivalence implies equality.
@FreeAtLast: That second paragraph shpuld have been in block quotes as well Something wrong with the comment editing software today?
@FreeAtLast: That second paragraph should have been in block quotes as well Something wrong with the comment editing software today!
How about “false worserer” then?
The demographic shifts in this country mean nothing, if non-white, non-upper-middle-class-to-wealthy, non-middle-aged and older Americans don’t turn up at the polls every election.
As long as voter participation in this country is dominated by a minority of voters, there’s no reason to think the GOP won’t be able to keep on doing what they are doing.
@cleek: I don’t think your “Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?” approach will get people fired up, which is, I think, part of the purpose of these discussions.
Second, I think we’ve gone beyond the whole “let’s have a reasonable conversation and a free but civil exchange of ideas” point. If someone can’t see this is bad all the way around, there is no hope for them. Maybe they’ll see later, when it actually affects them, but right now anyone chortling over the republican “win” is an asshole and an idiot and all the talking in the world won’t matter one little bit. These are the people who still think Obama is going to outlaw their guns ANY DAY NOW.
Our side is worried about following rules and being polite. Their side is worried they won’t have enough ammo to take us all out.
i’m not sure there’s an objective way to measure who is “worse” here. IMO, the Dems took the more extreme action. you disagree. i’m ok leaving it at that.
but, i stand by the point that a politician misleading voters is absolutely not news. nor is it news that the GOP in general is anti-union.
What could be more Left than that? Hmm… I don’t know. Maybe you could try not spending all of your time telling those of use fighting a rearguard action against Walker’s agenda bend over because we got what was coming to us.
You’re acting like these fuckers won 100% of the votes. They didn’t, so you (and everyone else who says this is ‘Wisconsin getting what it deserved’ can kindly FOAD.
Uh, there’s a big difference: Union members don’t vote lopsidedly against the GOP. While blacks in the South essentially couldn’t vote at the time, they knew damn well who the enemy was. Still do.
Judas Escargot (aka ninja fetus with a taste for bruschetta)
The 40-45% of union voters who vote GOP were not being unreasonable when they relied on what’s happened their whole adult lives.
(Sorry. Couldn’t resist.)
I’ll grant you this much: I’m a shitty typist–especially when my hands are cold. However, the intersting thing here is that despite my omitting two letters in my post, my meaning is plainly evident. And even with your flawless spelling you now seem to be implying that what everybody thnks you are saying is not what you are saying. Ergo the meaning you wish to convey is not the meaning we are receiving.
Are you just bored today? You usually don’t come off like such a douchebag. I lurk here quite a bit and rarely post because my areas of expertise (energy production, hazardous waste regulations and workplace safety standards) aren’t usually germane to the topics discussed here at BJ.
I don’t know if I can throw out a pithy “shorter cleek” here, but perhaps a “blunter cleek” would be: Fuck ’em, we lost the election so we have no choice but to like what happens until the next election, because they won the election–and that totally means we can’t even try to influence incomes anymore, after all, we lost th elections.
Good comment. It’s choosing sides time for this now for the time being Cold Civil War, I don’t much care about following Queen of Marksbury Rules, or having quaint debates on their finer points. Grab a loaded ad hominem are fire for effect.
I don’t pretend to know what’s going to happen, but I hope that the unions in Wisconsin call for a general strike and shut everything down.
Maybe I’m looking for the silver lining to this shit fest but if a general strike happens in Wisconsin, there’s the possibility of it opening up to the broader nation.
We’ve got to play hardball.
Cleek, you’re absolutely right, no one should be surprised by the GOP pulling this bullshit after all these years, but I think there has been a general detente between the GOP and labor for the last 20 years.
While everyone knew that the GOP was opposed to the very idea of unions, there hasn’t been a ton of action like this in recent years. So the actions may not be a surprise, but I think a lot of people were surprised by the length and extent of what’s happening.
I know if they call a general strike in Wisconsin, I’ll drive up there again to support them even though I work in a industry that will never ever have unions.
Walker described his actions as “dropping a bomb” in what he thought was a private phone call with a donor.
His own words.
I’m saying Conservative talking heads spout that kind of crazy jibberish all the time and people lap it up. So clearly blabbing about someone being a “dictatorial authoritarian anti-democratic power grabbing monster who is going to destroy America!” isn’t the turn-off you’d think. In fact, its a major draw.
@debit: ty debit…. When the actual purpose of a legislature is to promote civil discourse and debate and the creation of laws and having the other side has more or less say, “fuck you, we’re not interested in even allowing you to have you speak your piece”, it kind of hits home to folks. Yes, I think we all have an understanding that Republicans are anti-union, but the fact that we’re seeing a coordinated effort at the state level to dismember them at the same time is something that most democrats (much less Republicans) would never have dreamed of them doing. These guys are talking about rolling back 80 years of social legislation and rights, I’m not sure that I can find another historical precedent to match that lil’ bit of ninja politics in our national history much less anyplace else on the planet excepting the rise of fascism in the 20’s/30’s in Europe. This doesn’t appear to be a time for counting coup but rather getting out there and rejecting their politics and their methods.
The GOP is anti union, but Walker said he wouldn’t destroy them. His lying is not news, nor for politicians, but I stand by the point his lie was extreme and explicit and is not the least bit less extreme than dem senators lawfully using a political tactic that is just as common as the extremeness and degree of baldness of Walker’s particular lie, in this particular situation.
there’s a stated purpose here ? i’m asking for mustard ?
yeah, well, i disagree.
but, tell me: what actions are you going to take ? and what actions are appropriate for other people to take ? be as specific as you can.
:-p Dixiecrats in the South were no friend of the African American. Republicans in the North couldn’t give to shits about blacks either way. Even when they could vote, it wasn’t particularly clear who to vote for. It wasn’t until AFTER Kennedy campaigned on civil rights and Johnson put his name to the Voting Rights Act and Nixon campaigned on the “silent” (re: racist) majority and state’s rights, that the dusky hued minorities began voting (D) en mass. Before that, African Americans were actually more often a Republican vote. Certainly, during the Eisenhower Era, blacks couldn’t help but notice it was a Republican President that integrated the school systems.
Here we’ve got Unions in a similar pre-LBJ situation. Republicans are breaking out into the anti-union equivalent of the Song of the South. National Democrats are kinda dithering and fretting and looking the other way. Unions are still waiting for a Democrat to actually pick up their banner. I’m curious to see who gets run for Wisconsin Governor against Walker and whether he’s pro-Union enough to really light a national fire.
@cleek: Well, I could rent a car to get to Madison to join the protest this weekend. I might also contribute to the ActBlue page for the WI D senators, or I could stay home and be smug and condescending on a blog. I wonder which one will be more productive in the long run?
Yeah, I know, I be sayin’ that
well, i disagree.
could be that i’m a retty shitty writer (i don’t claim otherwise). but misrepresenting your debate opponent, assigning motives and positions without evidence, and generally putting words in their mouths is completely typical – here, and everywhere. and when a person is saying something controversial, the urge to pile on can be much more satisfying than just responding to what was actually written. i’m not immune to it myself. in other words, the strawman is everybody’s pal.
yeah. insults are good, too. and, even easier to do than strawmen.
0. no, not “fuck ’em” so much as “yes, this is what the GOP stands for. you should have known that. remember this, next time.” and, really, what other options are there? armed revolution? a coup? the democratic solution is to work the process as best you can until you win an election.
1. we don’t have to “like it”. not my words.
2. they did win the election. and winning elections means they are in the driver’s seat
3. i never said anything about not trying to influence the election. again, not my words. i initially said the Dems actions were “anti-democratic”, but i’ve since softened that a bit.
4. yes, we lost the election.
has anyone else noticed that sully hasn’t talked about WI stuff at all in the past couple days.
the silence is kinda telling.
EDIT: and of course, literally the minute i post this, sullivan puts something up about WI reactions.
both of those sound like good options. WI’s a bit of a drive from NC, so i’ll have to go with the donation, myself.
not sure who was encouraging people to “be smug on a blog”, though. that doesn’t sound like a good way to solve any problem!
And the Republicans seem to be doing everything it takes to get them all to vote next year. The only thing to really be worried about is when Republicans move to change the voting laws. That’s when I hope people really speak up.
I’d really like to know who’s behind this orchestrated drive to disenfranchise more than half of the national electorate (Independents aren’t safe), and how long they’ve been planning this. Where are the progressive O’Keefes?
Yes. I think Godwin no longer applies in this situation.
Yes insults are good, and sometimes warranted. If everybody thinks you are saying one-thing, and you maintain you are saying something else perhaps some of the responibility lies with you.
Nice work on re-capping “retty shitty writer” it doesn’t come across as being at all petty.
Of course they are “not your words” that’s why it’s called a paraphrase, akin to the brouhaha around “shorter” and “all internet traditions.”
Which, for the record, I am aware of.
I do want to acknowledge your point 3 and transition away discussing our mutual but distinct failings as essayists. The Dems were playing hardball parlimentary politics (though not unprecedented) which I think we’ve seen in the last two years can pay off handsomely in subsequent elections. If anything I think avoiding the quorum could well be seen as a very early gambit in redressing points 2 and 4.
After all, being blatanly obstinate seems to have worked out fairly well for the GOP.
Apologies in advance for any seemingly inevitable typos. Honestly, I am reasonbly well educated!
@Fe E: reasonbly!
Yes, even I find that hysterical as shit!
I’m gonna go run my hands under some warm water or something.
some, perhaps. but when people can’t point out where i said the specific things they claim i said, that “some” can’t be too big. also some people here not only understood what i wrote, but agreed with it. so, i can’t be that terrible of a writer.
“shorters” are (at least) supposed to be funny. not sure anyone was trying to be funny here (if they were, they failed).
but just making shit up because it’s easier to argue against then what i actually said is not a paraphrase. it’s just bullshit.
i hope so. though i haven’t taken a survey, my gut says this won’t hurt the Dems among people who support unions. partisan GOPers will see it as the most flagrant violation of everything America stands for, of course. let’s hope the former outnumber the latter.
and speaking of making shit up because it’s easier to argue against then what i actually said…
bring back the edit feature!
are people incapable of comprehending subtlety?
There’s a difference between saying “you got what you deserved” and saying “you shouldn’t be surprised.”
I absolutely don’t think the people of Wisconsin deserve to be screwed over because they elected this scumbag. I do think they’re accountable though — especially, to my mind the MOST contemptible element of the population, even more than the wingnuts: the people who DON’T FUCKING VOTE.
And I certainly agree the Dem Senators should fight to the death on this, whatever it takes.
Hell, I’ll even throw in that I think the pregnant Senator should have her baby in Illinois, unless it is a high risk pregnancy or some other unusual circumstance where she absolutely has to have her own doctor. My second child was delivered by an unknown doctor in the wrong hospital because we didn’t have time to get to the right one, and I wasn’t traumatized.
Ivan Ivanovich Renko
But only if the dictator is also a black guy.
I sometimes think that’s backfiring. Nothing seems to inspire people to pay careful attention to voting like some conservative douchebag nattering on about how they can’t. We may have been going about this all wrong, begging people to vote. Conservatives DARE them to TRY :)
It also forces liberals to concentrate on the mechanics of elections, ie: (proper) registering, voting, the keeping of elaborate lists, lawyers at the ready: all the boring details.
Which is why I didn’t use “shorter”, and opted for “blunter” instead.
The GOPers do see it that way, but then, that’s how they see everything–I’ve been reading the comments on a few local papers (a guaranteed source of concentrated ignorant belligerence), but WI has a very traditional blue collar-union vibe and I have a pretty strong hunch that the number of Dem-leaning, union sympathizers just rose markedly.
I guess my take on this (from MN) is that the GOP has brutally overplayed their hand and will get beaten like a snare drum in the next election — regularly scheduled or otherwise — and any tools that that the WI Dems can come up with to slow the trainwreck are only going to help them.
I would agree if walker et al. had actually campaigned on limiting public employee union workers’ bargaining rights.
Glad you asked.
Specifically, I am:
1. Participating in a rally next week, as I mentioned earlier;
2. I am organizing a local MoveOn council here in Orange County Ca to draw together the liberals in my area to try and defeat a local Republican Congressman;
3. I joined the local Democratic Central Committee and got elected as a delegate to the California Democratic Convention
4. I donate to Act Blue, and directly to candidates;
5. Most importantly-I don’t fucking try to fill David Broder’s shoes with the “they are all the same” bullshit.
Sounds like either
A) A former Nader voter, now in recovery
B) Someone who thought/thinks Nader is a fucking clown with delusions as to his (i.e. Nader’s) own value.
Either way, my hat’s off to you for all that you’re doing or planning to do.
Americans are dumber than a hammer and have absolutely no brains or balls.