Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Why the Tea Party Should Be Nervous

The Tea Party should take a closer look at what’s been happening in Madison. Unless you’ve been watching Faux News, and seeing only close-ups of the idiotic Hitler and Mussolini signs being toted by a handful of angry and misguided people, you’re seeing a lot of teachers, firefighters, cops, nurses, plow drivers, sanitation workers, EMT’s, and other “regular folks” demonstrating against the Walker power-grab.

The Tea Party, as I understand it, proclaims itself (among other things) to be the new patriot movement, the defender of all that’s good and decent in America. The Tea Party was able to muster a few thousand followers for a brief rally Saturday, to listen to such luminaries as Joe the “Plumber”, whose 15 minutes of fame expired a couple years ago, and Miss Vicky, one of the barking gasbags of shout radio in Madison and Milwaukee.

If I were a Tea Partier, I’d take a long look at the hours and hours of footage available at the click of a mouse. Those are some pretty “regular” folks up there, carrying signs and marching. Just as “regular” as the Tea Partiers claim to be. (OK, the folks up on the square now seem to have far fewer spelling and grammar errors in their signs and placards, a la “Keep Goverment (sic) Hands Off My Medicare”.)

I assume that one of the things that’s off-putting to the Tea Partiers is that a lot of representatives of the sources of Democratic political power are up there carrying signs and marching. Of the top ten organizations that contribute to political campaigns, three are heavily Democratic contributors (SEIU, AFSCME, and NEA) and a lot of the folks demonstrating are affiliated with these organizations.

Regardless, these “union folks” who teach our kids, plow the roads, patrol our streets, treat us when we’re ill, and haul off our garbage represent a very authentic face of America, one every bit as authentic as the Tea Party claims to be.

And every one of them performs a service so vital to our society, so fundamentally necessary that their job is part of our GOVERNMENT. Yes, the cop that walks the neighborhood beat, the sanitation worker who picks up your garbage, the teacher who teaches our kids, are all part of the GOVERNMENT.

That must really piss off the Tea Partiers.

(Image at the top stolen from Isthmus Daily Page.)


  1. Speaking of nervous ... Real patriots (if you wear it on your sleeve, you ain't one) should be wary of buying into the jack-in-the-box surprise agenda of the new governor. And they should be asking him some hard questions.

    It is no secret the money pipeline that put Mr. Walker in the Statehouse leads directly back to the Koch brothers (ironically two of the biggest pipeline industry polluters in American history). REFERENCE: http://bit.ly/4Cz9Xk

    The Koch boys are not speculators. Make no mistake: They are investors, savvy, extraordinarily successful businessmen who know what they want and what they're buying before they lay cash on the barrelhead.

    Considering that collective bargaining by public employees is a complete and utter non sequitur to Wisconsin's budget problems, and given that the Kochs have a long and well-known dislike (actually hatred would not be too strong a word) for unions, it does not seem farfetched to infer the Koch brothers knew precisely what their largesse to Mr. Walker would buy.

    Their ability to drive a hard bargain is legend. They get what they want. They paid, and received something of value in return. They own at least one governor. That's the stuff investigations are made of.

    Paul Soglin, the next mayor of Madison, was in front of the Isthmus video camera recently, offering the realistic observation that no amount of protesting or lobbying would ever bring Mr. Walker into sync with Wisconsin's proud and honorable traditions.

    Defeating the political vandals and nonsensologists would have to be done by thoughtful (and we might add, courageous) Republicans who are not beholden to big corporate money and understand the damage the party hardliners are bent on causing.

    Mr. Walker will not back down because he cannot. He has sold Wisconsin's birthright for a mess of pottage. He has promised his loyalty to others besides the citizens of Wisconsin. It's not unlike making a deal with the Mafia or to pursue the analogy to its logical extreme, the Devil.

    There's no backing down for Mr. Walker if political survival, however short term it may turn out to be, is something he hopes to achieve.

  2. Interesting how the Tea Party, which claims to be fighting for the rights of everyday average working people against government infringement, is now advocating for government infringement of the rights of everyday average working people.

    If cognitive dissonance really made people's heads explode, Tea Party heads would have blown up long ago.

  3. Well, then....

    You'll be interested in Zogby's latest poll of likely voters. (Hint: it ain't favorable to public-employee unions.)

    It is really worthwhile to spend a few moments OUTSIDE the boundaries of Dane County.

    No one disputes that 'services are provided' by AFSCME/WEAC/SEIU government employees.

    The question is always 'what do I get for the price.' And the price is no longer right.

  4. Addendum:

    Two-thirds of the eighth graders in Wisconsin public schools cannot read proficiently according to the U.S. Department of Education, despite the fact that Wisconsin spends more per pupil in its public schools than any other state in the Midwest

    Like I said, the price is too high.

  5. >> And every one of them performs a service so vital to our society, so fundamentally necessary that their job is part of our GOVERNMENT. <<

    Now, Colonel, it's time to take a Miltown. Every single one of the jobs you mentioned is performed by non-union workers outside of government. Well, maybe not police, though I wouldn't want to bet that EVERY police officer is a union member.

    Clearly the TEA Party pisses you off...but that's your mandate!

    I learned from a friend today that after the Democratic legislators from Texas fled to Oklahoma to avoid a vote on re-districting back in '03, they were pummeled in the next two election cycles. The voters aren't likely to forget the desertion of the Wisconsin Senate Democrats in '12.

    And, Hieronymous, saying that Walker cannot back down because of promises he made to wealthy campaign supporters is just weird. He advocated similar cost-cutting measures while Milwaukee County Executive and he was re-elected twice. Were the Koch brothers behind that, too?

    The Democrats have made fools of themselves. Witness the head of WEAC calling teachers back to work...no doubt because she'd seen the polling data regarding lack of public support for AWOL teachers.

    And the doctors who handed out reams of fake medical excuses? It may have been exhilarating to do that in the heat of the faux-60s protests at the capitol, but lets see how well it plays to the medical examining boards.

    The Town Crank