Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Maybe Not

Tunisia. Egypt. Bahrain. Yemen. Libya. Madison.

Yes, Madison, WI. This is getting little to no attention from the mainstream media, but there is a protest happening in Madison that I believe is the spark we have been waiting for to motivate and mobilize the working people of America. And I believe the wonder of what happened in Tunisia and Egypt lit the flame in mid-America last week.

The newly elected Republican governor, Scott Walker, announced on Friday that he was going to unilaterally suspend collective bargaining for public employees, as well as a pay cut (including benefits) of about 20%. In essence, the governor is going about busting a union.
Governor Walker threatened to call out the National Guard if the people rallied, which they did, in large numbers. John Nichols, a writer for The Nation, lives in Madison and reported yesterday that upward of 20,000 came out and marched onto the Capital. 30,000 are there today. 
The state Democrats walked out of the chamber in protest of the vote, leaving the Republicans without a quorum. The State Police have been ordered to bring them back. I just heard that two Republicans have gone missing as well. If true, two who don't want to vote on this bill. It is also reported that the Democrats have left the state.

Finally. I knew it had to happen, but I did not know what would be the catalyst. I believe, I ardently hope, this is it. Carl Rove is happily saying the less union members, the less union dues in the coffers for elections. Bust the unions, pit the people against one another and beat the working person into the ground. I think some people went to bed Thursday night thinking they were members of the Tea Party and woke up Friday knowing they are members of the working class.

Victor Juhasz Image
Mean time, Wall Street paid themselves 135 billion in 2010. The Federal Reserve is optimistically expecting economic growth of 4% this year, but joblessness to stay where it is. In other words, Wall Street will share in even greater gluttony, while everyone else has to take it in the shorts. Home foreclosures continue to rise.  As our President said in regard to what is happening in Madison, the working people need to adjust to the new economic reality. The people of Madison are saying, maybe not.

We are on our own. We don't have the politicians, we have ourselves. 

3 comments:

  1. Hope you're right. Still, there's so much apathy and inertia within the middle class it's akin to entrenched poverty. We may be past the point of no return - at least until there are a 10,000 Madisons.

    The Repugs and big corps have been union busting for a long, long time and unions have been defiled and marginalized.

    Reagan is responsible for the modern era of unabashed greed which brought us to the current mess. And even knowing this, a huge number of Americans still think he was a great president.

    While I want to believe the protests in Wisconsin can be the domino of change ... there just isn't evidence within modern American history (except for the late 50s, early 60s civil rights movement) to support the idea.

    Instead of the Egyptian style of change we may ultimately see something along the lines of the French Revolution. Americans like their violence. (Which I hope doesn't happen.)

    btw, how in blazes did a once progressive Wisconsin elect such a vile politician?

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  2. Oy. I hope you're right. I'm feeling financial despair these days -- can't get out from under.

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  3. Why is it that more people are not aware of what is going on there? Quite a post!

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I really appreciate the concept and sentiment behind awards, but I cannot participate in them anymore. I have too may and I have not got the time to devote to participating properly. To all who have honored me, I am grateful but I don't have seven more things to tell anyone about myself! And I'm a terrible passer-oner.