Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wisconsin and the Future of This Country

In the face of massive protests of the state's citizens, Wisconsin Republicans demonstrated yet again that they couldn't care less about what the people of the state want. They just spit on the people's wishes and proceeded to vote to curtail the collective bargaining rights of the citizens. The Republican-spurred descent of this country into barbarity continues.
"In 30 minutes, 18 state senators un-did 50 years of civil rights in Wisconsin. Their disrespect for the people of Wisconsin and their rights is an outrage that will never be forgotten," Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller said.
Yes, it will. People will forget and proceed to vote for a Republican candidate in 2012 in happy, sheepish droves. CNN just dedicated 10 seconds to the events in Wisconsin and then offered a half-hour-long segment which used the words "Muslim" and "terrorist" in every other sentence. A few more scary stories about bad, threatening Muslims or Latinos and the people will forget about how the Republicans deceived them in 2010 with their empty talk about jobs, economy, etc. and rush to vote for them yet again.

I'm starting to think that Americans are people who are happy to accept growing poverty, a constant threat of unemployment, lack of social benefits that the rest of the civilized world enjoys freely, sinking living standards, etc. as long as they are promised that they will be able to force women to give birth against their will and prevent gays from getting married. Well, if that's what people want, they should definitely get it. If they are fine with the Republicans treating them like cattle and robbing the blind, let them vote the way they want.


Pagan Topologist said...

I am less pessimistic than you on this. It seems that recall petitions are on track to remove several Repubenron, sorry, I mean Republican, senators from office.

Clarissa said...

That would be good. I'd love to be mistaken on this. Do you think that people will not vote Republican in 2012?

Canukistani said...

"A few more scary stories about bad, threatening Muslims or Latinos and the people will forget about how the Republicans deceived them in 2010..."

Damn Right! Have you seen the cartoon Right wing radio duck? Donald Duck meets Glenn Beck.

profacero said...

I hope Pagan T is right. Some say opinions of actual Americans are not these, but when this is what people vote for it's hard to tell.

Obama just de-funded the National Writing Project. Should one vote Democratic is my real question ... they always say voting third party amounts to voting Republican, and I find that to be emotional blackmail.

Pagan Topologist said...

"Do you think that people will not vote Republican in 2012?"

I do not know. I used to think that there was so little difference between the parties on a national level that the correct thing to do was to vote for a minor party candidate whenever there was one running who was to the left of the Democrats. (For example, in 2008, I voted for Cynthia McKinney, the Green party candidate for President.) Sometimes I suspect that the President's over-arching agenda these days is to push the Republicans so far into the right-wing fringe that those of us on his left will vote for him rather than allow the republicans to turn this country into a feudal society as they seem to wish.

Clarissa said...

I find it unbelievable that after the Bush administration brought us into this economic crisis and threw hundreds of billions of dollars away to bail out the criminal bankers, people went to the polls and put Republicans into Congress just 2 years after that. Because they believed that the Republicans would. . . fix the economy.

I know that there are many intelligent, progressive people in this country (most of whom seem to come to my blog :-)) but the majority keeps making these voting choices that are just baffling.

Pagan Topologist said...

I think what happened was that a lot of progressives just stayed home in disgust and did not vote. I did vote last November, but a lot of others I know on the left did not. This led to the Repubenron victory.

[I suppose I will continue using the word 'Repubenron' which was coined by a friend of mine.]

Clarissa said...

Please do. This term describes the reality perfectly.

Canukistani said...

There have been a lot of calls on facebook and the blogosphere for a general strike in Wisconsin. According to the Firedog blog the unions in Wisconsin will be in a good situation for it after March 13.

“First, labor contracts for most state employees expire March 13. Really all bets are off after that. Second, while under Wisconsin Statute 111.70(4), public employees are unable to strike during negotiations with an employer, a recent court ruling stipulated that the legislature is not the employer of public workers, and therefore workers could go out on strike against them.”

Unfortunately the Republicans have anticipated this and made a change to SB 11 in the bill which they just passed.

“In the Legislative Financial Bureau’s memo on modifications to SB 11, page 16, there is a provision titled “Discharge of State Employees.” It states that under current law, “the Governor may issue an executive order declaring a state of emergency for the state or any portion of the state if he or she determines that an emergency resulting from a disaster or imminent threat of a disaster exists.” Remember that the Wisconsin Republicans have shown a disturbing penchant for complying with existing law in the most limited sense. In the event of a Governor declaring a state of emergency, the new SB 11 would allow an appointing authority to discharge any employee who fails to “(a) report to work for any three days during the state of emergency, (b) participates in a strike, work stoppage, sit- down, stay-in, slowdown, or other concerted activities to interrupt the operations or services of state government.” There is a clear coordination between the language used to vilify those exercising their 1st amendment rights and the language used to activate this provision. The Republicans very clearly are interested in giving Governor Walker the ability to wield unreasonable, unprecedented power.”

The drawback is the optics of having the state National Guard patrolling the streets against the citizens of the state and most of the employees affected are highly trained professionals who would be hard to replace in a hurry.

Clarissa said...

And still, do you believe that these same people will not rush to the polls to vote for a Republican presidential candidate in 2012? I'm sorry to be harping on this but the prospect of another Bush clone in office for 8 more years is daunting. I don't think this country can take 8 more years of that. The Republicans overtook Congress only 4 months ago and look at all the damage they have been able to wreak since then.

J. said...

Are you familiar with the film "Hacking Democracy"?


The computerized voting machines are likely hackable anyway, regardless of who votes and what they vote for. And large numbers of Republicans devote their energy not to winning people over but to making sure it's next to impossible for a lot of Democrat-based sites to serve the voters, and to get people ineligible to vote. The system is so broken it's just completely demoralizing.

And whether the rest of the country (i.e. the media) cares what's happening in Wisconsin...people in Wisconsin do:|met:100300|cat:0|order:1

I still have hope.

Canukistani said...

Of course they will elect a Republican president. There are a lot of parallels between today and the twenties. Calvin Coolidge rose to prominence breaking the Boston police strike in 1919 and ending the progressive era in American history. Also it was the time of the first Red Scare flamed by Republicans where certain portions of society were demonized especially unions. You had the Republican Presidents Harding and Coolidge. The American plutocracy was at its highest point until recently.

Clarissa said...

That's exactly what I'm thinking, Canukistani. I think that a Republican president will win in a landslide in 2012 because he will promise to repair the economy, create jobs and fix our morals.

I want to be wrong, of course.

Canukistani said...

Here's a comment by a teacher in Alabama about the situation in Wisconsin.

Clarissa said...

It's sad that a person with such poor writing skills who has no idea how to construct an argument would teach anything to anybody.

I read the comment twice and only have a very vague idea what this person is trying to grumble about. Unions? Colleagues? Dues? Teachers? Life in general? Everything at once?

Pagan Topologist said...

I know you do not like The New York Times, but I think this is a really good column.