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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Republicans: Putting the "Mad" in Madison

Somehow, against all odds and despite Republican assclownery at its most full-blown, the mainstream media have been able to keep a straight face even when the NY Times publishes a story telling us how WI Gov. Scott Walker was tricked by a Buffalo Beast blogger into thinking he was talking to his boss David Koch over the phone. Among the admissions this inexplicably incumbent dunce made to an ad-libbing Ian Murphy: Tricking renegade Democrats into coming back to Madison so the Republicans can claim to have a quorum and Walker likening himself to Ronald Reagan and PATCO in 1981. So, forget about his "mandate" and mantra of fiscal responsibility: It's all about his legacy or repeating history by latching onto Reagan's tattered coattails.

Yeah, you heard that right. The Murphy/Walker interview that's made an even bigger stir than Sarah Palin getting punked in 2008 by someone claiming to be French President Nicholas Sarkozy helped exposed the meanness, venality, underheanded treachery and Reagan worship that, perhaps more than anything else, has kept this country from truly moving forward in over three decades.

The prank call also revealed that Republicans from coast to coast and everywhere in between can't get shit done except through illegitimate means such as stealth legislation, trickery and chicanery, fake mandates and, in the case of now-former Indiana Deputy Attorney General Jeff Cox, violence and threats of death a la Libya, Tunisia and Egypt (Sidebar: Don't forget, this is coming from the same JCCentCom who, while ridiculing anyone drawing parallels between Cairo and Madison, espoused treating the peaceful strikers like the Mubarak and Qaddafi regimes treated their protesters.). Right wing violence to opposition is something that of late used to be the specialty of the Tea Baggers. Now Republican terrorism is virtually mainstream.

Am I taking this man's words out of context, seeing something into a mere Twitter tweet that really isn't there? Uh, no. He meant every word. He really wants to kill public union members.

Wisconsin is getting the lion's share of the pro-labor/anti-labor coverage not because the demonstrations surrounding the State House are the biggest or that's it's become the epicenter of the American labor struggle but because its Governor, Scott Walker, has been fully exposed as an intractable tool of far right oligarchs like the Koch Brothers who have turned union busting into a lucrative industry.

Walker not only received $43,000 in campaign donations from the Koch Brothers but has also signaled he will not negotiate with public unions that have already shown a willingness to accept compromises, which was Big Labor's first mistake when dealing with Republican politicians and corporate tycoons. But they were willing to compromise and that isn't good enough.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, at first as stubborn an asshole as Walker and Chris Christie combined, had since backpedaled and decided not to support an anti-collective bargaining provision in the state budget when he saw what he was up against. Ohio decided to give back collective bargaining rights to their public workers (but only after throwing in a poison pill amendment that stripped from them the right to strike, which is the ultimate power of a union).

If the stakes weren't so high in this ongoing labor struggle, the spectacle would be comical. Democratic state lawmakers from two states have fled to Chicago like Prohibition-era bootleggers or bank robbers and frustrated Republican governors accusing them of drawing pay while shutting down the government and all the while screaming for the repeal of union rights and budget woes while just as stubbornly refusing to rescind tax cuts for the rich. But there's nothing funny in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana or anywhere else where there's labor unrest.

Republicans are always eager to bring back the good old lawless days when tycoons, magnates and other oligarchs determined how many hours a week their workers should work, what they should earn and how safe their workplaces were.

Leaving such decisions to those self-dealing entities naturally resulted in unions. Now, with maniacs like Jeff Cox advocating death, he's pushed the United States that much closer to the 20's and 30's, when people fought, and died, in the streets of America during the labor riots. Yes, Jeff Cox is now out of a job and good riddance. But just by posting those messages on Twitter as an appointed official, the damage has been done.

He got it out there and, however much we may ignore it, it is now on the table.
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