There’s very little civility left in politics in Wisconsin, and we’re likely to see more strife and heated disagreement in the future, and very little common courtesy.
Why? Start with the image at the top of this post – the clenched fist. The labor version, seen here, has been copied and modified many times by various Democratic Party organizations. There’s the version that has the number “14” superimposed on the fist, over the star, representing the 14 Democratic state senators who decamped to Illinois this winter. The latest version has “16” replacing the 14, to indicate the two seats the Democrats picked up in the summer recall elections.
Clenched fist. Sends a pretty clear message, doesn’t it?
What I’m saying is it might be wise for the Democrats to tone things down a bit, and used something other than a clenched fist as their symbol.
There’s the relatively recent factor of hate-talk shout radio, exemplified in Madison by Vicki McKenna on the right (her show is also aired in Milwaukee), who yesterday told her listeners that Barack Obama hates Americans (really, Vicki? The President HATES Americans?); and there’s Sly on the left, the veteran rabble-rouser who never met a labor organization leader or member he didn’t like, and who delights in encouraging the “Walker-Stalkers” to go to every public appearance the governor makes, with the expressed purpose of heckling and disrupting.
There was the recent incident at Messmer Prep School in Milwaukee where somebody….and you have to presume it’s someone sympathetic with the left….super-glued shut the doors of the school so Governor Walker would have to use a different entrance to get into the school to give a speech.
And now we have the labor folks in Wausau telling the Republican elected officials from the area that they’re not welcome to march in the Labor Day Parade, saying it’s hypocritical for them to support labor one day a year and spend every other day doing things to the detriment of organized labor. This is very much a “developing story” right now, and the mayor of Wausau may have something to say about who can and cannot use city streets, city police and fire protection, and municipal employees at a public event, and who can and cannot be excluded from same.
We have politicians on the right calling the demonstrators in Madison “union thugs” and defying court orders about keeping the State Capital open and making public remarks denigrating the personal hygiene of the demonstrators.
And both sides seem intent on shouting down anyone from the other side who speaks at a rally or makes a public appearance, such as the demonstrators who tried to shout down Sarah Palin when the Tea Party brought her here a few months ago. (And then complained that “the right can afford better sound systems than we can”.)
We are a state divided, and both sides seem to be doing what they can to make the division deeper and wider.