February 20th, 2011
|01:10 pm - Worried Musings on Wisconsin|
I'm impressed & pleased with the continuing protests in Madison Wisconsin against the tea-bagger governor's attempt to gut public employee unions, but I am also concerned. What we have currently have is peaceful protests that will attract media attention for a while, but will ultimately be ignored - the one bright spot in this is some of the US media have made comparison's to the various protests in the Middle East, which casts the tea-baggers is a remarkably negative light. Unfortunately, given the situation in Wisconsin, if all continues as it has, sometime within the next week or two, at least one Democrat in the state senate will resurface, the bill will pass, and the protesters will all go home.
The only other option is if the occasional rumors and threats of the governor using riot police to disperse the protesters comes true. If Governor Walker is indeed that much of a brutal idiot, then things might change, because mass media footage of peaceful protesters being tear-gassed, beaten, or forcibly dragged away tends to change public opinion, especially since the US mass media is currently showing remarkably similar scenes from the Middle East. That's a ghastly thing to hope for, since in such events people always get hurt, but it also seems to me the only real chance for the overall situation to change for the better. Once again, I wonder what the hell happened to the US, and how to one entire political party become so actively & especially so blatantly evil.
|Date:||February 20th, 2011 11:46 pm (UTC)|| |
The goal at the moment appears to be to raise the heat on a few Republican state senators, to convince them to reject this measure to avoid recall elections (there are at least 3 who won by small margins back in 2008 who can be recalled immediately, and several more who could be threatened with a credible future recall if they pass this thing). I don't see any way that riot police fighting with protesters would be beneficial politically. Fortunately, I don't see any likelihood of it happening either. The police have been behaving admirably throughout these protests, yesterday working to smoothly contain attempts at violent provocation by TP counter-protesters
Oh, thanks for that. I wasn't aware that Wisconsin had recall elections, and that makes a huge difference.
Of course, it was only four months ago that the people of Wisconsin elected Scott Walker and gave total control of the legislature to the GOP. I wonder how much Wisconsin majority politics have changed, versus how much what we're seeing is a vocal minority.
|Date:||February 21st, 2011 09:15 pm (UTC)|| |
Indeed - w/o some seriously negative publicity, recalls seem unlikely at this point. OTOH, maybe this could set the stage for recall elections in a 6 months or so.
|Date:||February 22nd, 2011 03:00 am (UTC)|| |
I'd say it is now or never. I can't see how you'd get worse publicity than this.
Consider also that a recall election is called by a minority of the district population signing recall petitions, so it doesn't necessarily require swaying the muddled middle to get a recall, it can also be done by a seriously energized base. It certainly looks like there is one of those in WI at the moment.
|Date:||February 22nd, 2011 03:18 am (UTC)|| |
True, if they can make it work, that would be awesome. That would also likely cause tea-baggers in other states to scale back a bit to avoid the either same problem as well as fear of defeat in 2012.
|Date:||February 22nd, 2011 02:45 am (UTC)|| |
Hard to tell. The question is whether the WI senators in marginal districts want to find out how their elections go when the elections are effectively nationalized (I'll happily contribute money to the Dem running in a recall election, but I would never have thought to give money to a Dem state senate candidate 4 months ago or 2 years ago), and when their opponents' base is fully riled up. Even worse for them, the marginal Republican senators are probably relatively moderate (marginal districts, elected in 2008 rather than 2010), so there's no guarantee they wouldn't get undercut by fire-breathing right wingers in a recall election. Of course, they might well survive, but do they want to risk it?
I'm hoping they decide to back down and kill this and we never have to find out (although breaking the Republicans control over the senate would probably be better in the long run, it is definitely not a sure thing to happen).
There also seems to be movement (among Republican legislators) in Indiana and Ohio to kill the similar anti-union bills there, to head off massive protests there, so the Wisconsin protests are having a larger effect as well as a local effect.
|Date:||February 21st, 2011 04:50 pm (UTC)|| |
because mass media footage of peaceful protesters being tear-gassed, beaten, or forcibly dragged away...
tends to be covered up and rapidly pulled from the media feeds. Tell me, how much of the G20 riots with kids being blasted with ultra sonic beam guns did you see that wasn't from indie media or someone's blog? That shit happened in my town and you didn't even see the dirt on the local news.
Nothing to see here citizen, move along. Just some other people getting uppity. The situation is under control. Back to work.
"Once again, I wonder what the hell happened to the US, and how to one entire political party become so actively & especially so blatantly evil."
The current story being told to us every night goes like this: "We have been in a recession since 2007. In order to recover, we all must make sacrifices. After all, it was our collective greed that got us into this mess in the first place." We accept our collective guilt and the idea that we must pay for our guilt by suffering and sacrifice.