“Should” is a strong word, but this story does seem well worth following to me.
If you haven’t been following what’s happening in Wisconsin, you should. It’s a lot more than simply a Battle of the Budget, and a lot more than just a partisan political maneuver. The newly elected Republican Governor Scott Walker is trying to become a rising star in the GOP by pandering to their Tea Party base. He’s trying to crush the state workers union in a move reminiscent of then President Ronald Reagan’s destruction of the Air Traffic Controllers Union in 1981. Democratic lawmakers, in an attempt to block Walker’s move, have fled the state so the legislature will not have a quorum.
The demonstrations in the state capital have been growing daily, with nearly 70,000 there on Saturday. And while Fox News and some other media outlets want to make it seem like the demonstrators are evenly divided, the reality is that nearly 90% of the demonstrators are opposed to Gov Walker. And this despite the Tea Party’s attempts to rally their troops and get them to the Capitol
Gov Walker would have you believe it’s only about the looming state deficit, and the need to extract wage and benefit concessions from the union. The unions have agreed to the pay and benefit cuts, but have refused to give up their rights to negotiate as a union.
Gov Walker is making a run at attaining Palin Status within the Republican Party. But his antics might galvanize and energize a moribund labor movement that has been in decline for many years. Stay tuned. This is sure to get a lot more interesting before it’s over.
Above photo from Salon.