Friday, February 18, 2011

As Wisconsin Goes, Will We?...

Things are certainly heating up in Wisconsin and from what I have read about those Wisconsin winters, the heat from union supporters must be a welcomed energy source.  It certainly warms my heart to see folks of all ages marching and yelling for the right of workers to organize.
What I don’t know is how Scott Walker managed to get elected with 52% of the vote.  His biography is not impressive.  Walker didn’t even finish college.  He attended Marquette University, but dropped out 36 credits short of graduation.  Wikipedia tells us that his grade point average was in the C’s.  They also quote this explanation for his leaving. [Here]
In the end, I figured I was in school to get a good job.  So once I had one, family became more important than getting a degree. 
I guess one doesn’t have to look much farther than this short statement to know that Scott Walker doesn’t have much respect for formal education--or much understanding of what learning is all about, either.  It’s not surprising that he is against teachers’ unions or teachers in any large group.
His political beliefs are in the same conservative, reactionary box as Bachman and Palin.  He’s pro-life, anti-abortion in all circumstances, even in the case of rape, incest and saving the life of the mother.  He also opposes state agencies providing birth control to under-18 teenagers without parental consent.  He’s for abstinence-only education in schools.   He believes that pharmacists should be allowed to refuse to fill prescriptions for contraceptives if doing so runs contrary to their religious or moral beliefs.  (Scott Walker is the son of a Baptist minister.)  He’s also against stem cell research--of course.
That’s the man who is leading this reactionary outrage in Wisconsin.
The fact is that Governor Scott Walker created this so-called deficit crisis all by himself.  TPM has the story: [Here] [The emphasis is mine.]
...this broadside comes less than a month after the state's fiscal bureau -- the Wisconsin equivalent of the Congressional Budget Office -- concluded that Wisconsin isn't even in need of austerity measures, and could conclude the fiscal year with a surplus. In fact, they say that the current budget shortfall is a direct result of tax cut policies Walker enacted in his first days in office.
‘Walker was not forced into a budget repair bill by circumstances beyond his control,’ says Jack Norman, research director at the Institute for Wisconsin Future -- a public interest think tank. ‘He wanted a budget repair bill and forced it by pushing through tax cuts... so he could rush through these other changes.’
So Walker cooked up the entire mess, just to do battle against the powerful (and Democratic) Teacher’s union and the right of collective bargaining.  
The Washington Post carried a story on Friday [Here] that said “President Obama thrust himself and his political operation this week into Wisconsin’s broiling budget battle...”  Doesn’t that sound encouraging!  I think we are going to have a battle in many states and we'll need all the help we can get.  Certainly what we are seeing in Wisconsin will spread to other states.  Union supporters are currently poised to protest in Columbus, Ohio.  The Post mentioned that union leaders have predicted that similar actions will probably also take place in Missouri, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. 
Don’t you smell some very large, corporate Republican rats?  When will the Democratic base wake up?  As I’ve said before, dust off your marching shoes.  The snow is melting and it’s time for hitting back.  Rights are never completely won.  They must be redefined and fought for by each new generation.   
We’ve had a hard winter, but let liberal thinking and liberal values have a grand and loud rebirth this Spring.
It’s our turn at bat.  Are you ready?...

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