Are You Sure You Want This to Be Your Moment, Scott Walker?

pic credit: me, appreciating the stomping grounds of my youth
(October, 2010, road trip from SF to DC)

Disclaimer: I support Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's mission but I do not support the way in which he implemented it, as you cannot simply rip away the crack without some kind of system in place to replace it. Look around, people, it's ugly out there. People are pissed. I'm not saying they should continue to get handouts nor am I saying this wasn't needed, I'm just saying he should have snuck it in the backdoor instead of jamming it in without nary a drop of warning.

In case you guys haven't noticed, madness has set in around the country and all the tranquilizer darts in the world couldn't save us now. Talk about bad timing.


Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, whose efforts to curtail the rights of public-employee unions have thrust him into the national spotlight, is pushing other new Republican governors to follow his lead.

He said he communicates regularly with Ohio Gov. John Kasich and has spoken with Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval. And Walker has suggested that his counterparts in Michigan and Florida seek to address their budget problems in part by demanding major concessions from public workers.

"There's a lot of us new governors that got elected to do something big," Walker said this week. "This is our moment."

Funny, Walker also happened to say "this is our moment" to a certain blogger cum fake Koch brother in the prank call heard 'round the world:
Walker: [blah about his press conferences, attacking Obama, and all the great press he's getting.] Brian [Sadoval], the new Governor of Nevada, called me the last night he said—he was out in the Lincoln Day Circuit in the last two weekends and he was kidding me, he said, “Scott, don’t come to Nevada because I’d be afraid you beat me running for governor.” That’s all they want to talk about is what are you doing to help the governor of Wisconsin. I talk to Kasich every day—John’s gotta stand firm in Ohio. I think we could do the same thing with Vic Scott in Florida. I think, uh, Snyder—if he got a little more support—probably could do that in Michigan. You start going down the list there’s a lot of us new governors that got elected to do something big.

Koch: You’re the first domino.

Walker: Yep. This is our moment.

As of the writing of this post, Buffalo Beast was still presumably breaking under the weight of increased traffic. But the audio and transcript of the call can be found here. As can this very astute observation, which all of us should keep in mind in times like this:

So there you have it, kids. Government isn’t for the people. It’s for the people with money. You want to be heard? Too fucking bad. You want to collectively bargain? You can’t afford a seat at the table. You may have built that table. But it’s not yours. It belongs to the Kochs and the oligarch class. It’s guarded by Republicans like Walker, and his Democratic counterparts across that ever-narrowing aisle that is corporate rule, so that the ever-widening gap between the haves and the have-nots can swallow all the power in the world. These are known knowns, and now we just know them a little more.

But money isn’t always power. The protesters in Cairo and Madison have taught us this—reminded us of this. They can’t buy a muzzle big enough to silence us all. Share the news. Do not retreat; ReTweet.

The revolution keeps spinning. Try not to get too dizzy.

It would be really easy to turn this into the evil Republican governor against the common American worker but let's get a few facts straight: Scott Walker is not a regular Republican governor, he's high on power and desperate to fix what he perceives as a broken system by any means necessary while getting some good press coverage in the process. Public sector unions are not representative of the American worker, they are political machines that pick the candidates that are going to treat them most favorably during their terms (and that usually works out to be Democrats but that's coincidental based on Democrats' tendency to favor big fat government, nothing personal). Are we sensing a pattern here yet, people?

In reality, Scott Walker and the unions he is battling in Wisconsin right now are not that different. Everyone wants the power and no one has the self control to say no.

Would you?

A frequent argument I'm hearing from the left is that the fight in Wisconsin is over who gets to keep the capital, "The Man" or "The People." First of all, the people are trying to stage a fight against the people so let's think about that first and foremost but secondly, we ALL need to stop and realize that THE CAPITAL IS GONE. That's right. We've been robbed. Fleeced. Punked. And while the thieves have long since slipped through the backdoor and stashed the loot in Fed reserve accounts and European vaults, here we are bitchfighting amongst ourselves over the scraps.

The longer we drag this out, the more time they have to safely tuck away their bounty.

Just remember that next time you want to yell at a Republican or bitch out a Democrat. The unions didn't rob you. Scott Walker didn't rob you.

Are you fucking people listening yet or do I have to keep yelling? Because I will, I have nothing else scheduled.

Jr Deputy Accountant

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.


W.C. Varones said...

Totally disagree. There's a cycle of corruption where the unions funnel taxpayer money into campaigns to elect politicians who will give them more taxpayer money. If you're ever going to break that cycle, you do it now when you're at your peak electoral majorities.

Just because we failed at breaking up the corrupt TBTF banks doesn't mean we should choose to fail at reining in the corrupt unions. They are both looters who corrupt the political process to get what they want.

Anonymous said...

You're going to have to keep yelling. The folks in Madison are protesting the wrong people. The enemy is the global banking cartel that stole the wealth from their communities. It's hard to say who's become more corrupt while that was happening unnoticed- the politicians or the unions, but that's just a sideshow. One of those groups will ultimately have to take the fall for the banksters. A civil war will take our minds off the real culprits.


And you are entitled to your opinion as always (I have been loving your coverage of this bullshit, even if we don't necessary agree on the situation).

Look at it this way: if you had an infection in your brain, would your doctor just cut your brain out or would he try to treat the infection through your blood? I ask that question pre-Obamacare, hopefully you don't have to go to Canada to get good medical treatment.

Kill the infection and SO much of this shit dies with it. Ya with me?


no no, it won't be civil war, it'll be an alien invasion. Take me to your leader!

There will be civil war alright but it won't be manufactured and they'll have no control of it. And you know how that makes TPTB feel.

wcv said...


I think it's more like you have an infection in your brain and gangrene in your foot.

While you're trying to treat the brain infection, you still should amputate the foot.

Bonniemann said...

When you say sneaking it in, do mean using an executive order on the first day in office like Mitch Daniels did 7 years ago? Not one protest by the state employee union and Daniels was re-elected by a wide margin.

Drew said...

Here's the poop -- the Republicans have done a great job of turning one segment of the middle class against another segment of the middle class, over and over again. And the winners of it all are the rich.

Note that Wall Street and its fund managers just had its SECOND BEST YEAR EVER in 2010, while the rest of us are looking for creative new ways to cook with Spam.

So the politicians and their lobbyists spend 30 years convincing the ideological idiots that near-total deregulation really means "freedom and liberty." Wave a few flags, show a photo or two of Reagan, talk about the commies and the deal's done. The housing/banking system goes completely tits up in '08 as a result.

Do we blame the well-connected fat cats who lead the deregulation efforts to make their next billion? Nope, we blame the poor schlub who took out a Fannie Mae home loan and defaulted. He's the lazy SOB who failed in his test of "Personal Responsibility" and caused the mess.

Now, we're blaming the 50K/year union teacher for the budget shortfall. Scott Walker just passed three sweetheart tax deals for business and people making over $300,000K, which adds $117 million to the deficit he's been weeping over for six months. But whatever. Teachers are evil slackers.

The only class warfare going on here is between the members of the middle class who would like to maintain at least something resembling a decent lifestyle, and the other members of the middle class who serve as useful idiots for those in power.

Anonymous said...

I see both sides as having some good points.

GOP: clearly costs are out of control, and this is at least partially due to sweetheart union deals (I'm from PGH PA we know all about that).

In some places at least (ie: CA, NJ), the system has been massively gamed by the unions (double-dip pensions, pension spiking etc). This needs to stop, and stop now.

Dems: It's a matter of some debate how bad the WI budget situation really is...the unions may have a point re: the actual budget situation...but pointing to other states that are more bankrupt doesn't mean you can keep spending.

I would probably be pissed off too if businesses were getting tax cuts while my pay/pension was also cut.

To sum up, I think the GOP is doing the right thing, but in the wrong way.

IMHO they should have tried to renegotiate the contracts with the "Nobody needs to be laid off/fired" carrot, backed up with the "We will change the legislation if you don't play ball" stick.

In addition, I don't think that you can lump public unions in with private unions - public unions elect their bosses, thus there is no adversarial relationship as with private negotiations where everyone is trying to get the best deal...nobody is trying to get the best deal for the taxpayers.