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Marion On February - 24 - 2011

 Being five hours ahead and one day behind, by the time I’d heard about Governor Scott Walker’s monumental punking yesterday afternoon, the event was already viral on the Internet.

Across the Pond, I’ve been watching with interest the events in Wisconsin. At last, the Democratic Party seems to have remembered that it once spoke out vociferously for the unions and the people who belonged to them – basically the working class and, notwithstanding, the working poor. Prior to 1970, unions, their members, the proletariat and the Democratic Party existed in pretty happy, if somewhat discordant, harmony. The Democratic Party was a big tent, after all.

But for the past forty years, that part of the Democratic Party which featured the ueber-educated, ueber-cultured, ueber-intellectual found inhabiting the geographical extremes of the Lower 48, seemed to be the dominant guiding force in Democratic politics and policy. They were not poor people. They were stretched even to be working class. They accepted whatever working class and working poor people who happened to still be hanging around the netherlands of the party, they paid lip service to their plight, but they viewed them with disdain. Many still do, but then, as recent events have shown, these people are neither real Democrats nor real Progressives.

As for the unions, both public and private sector, they were useful for financial contributions ever four years when it became expedient to get a Democrat in the big chair of the Oval Office.

In 2010, according to our new House Speaker, John Boehner, “the American people” had spoken via the ballot box and roundly rejected the agenda put forward by the President and the majority Democratic Party. Depending on what they read and to whom they listened, “the American people” had determined to reject these policies which were at once and variously socialist, communist, Muslim and unAmerican. “The American people” had suddenly become synomymous (or so it seemed) with the Tea Party, and even that was suspect.

I suspected it from its inception and found it incongruous that a CNBC financial analyst/reporter could launch a sustained and rehearsed rant at an early hour one morning, calling for “a little tea party” action, and within a fortnight, tea parties – actual organised Saul Alinsky-styled demonstrations – emerged, literally, across the land. Almost immediately, Fox News and their various personalities – in particular, Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck – had picked up the mantra, as various Republican politicians fell into the tea party sheeple fold.

That the so-called liberal media added credence to this movement was only a boon to their credentials as well. We endured a long, hot summer of disrupted Congressional town hall meetings where Tea Party members showed up with guns, three-cornered hats and out-of-context Jeffersonian quotations, in order to make their presence known in opposition to the proposed healthcare bill.

We’ve known birthers, Tenthers and Ayn Rand fanatics, and now a lot of them are sitting in Congress determining what they hope will be legislation under which we all will have to live. These people pushed their effective PR big lie so well that they’ve ridden a wave which virtually turned much of the US Republican red in November.

Now, they’ve masked their true intentions behind deficit fear and frenzy. (Gotta keep the hoi polloi frightened in the extreme; after all, nothing’s so easily controlled as scared children). This has led to the Republicans in the House cutting Federal aid to Planned Parenthood, an organisation which was vitally instrumental in providing health cover for lower income women. Of course the ultimate aim in that respect was eventually to make abortion a criminal act again. Make no mistake: Abortion is the guiding star along the Republicans’ route to dominance.  If you can link abortion to anything, you’ve got the working class and working poor of the rural Midwest and the South by the short and curlies.

With all the kerfuffle about the de-funding of Planned Parenthood and the 24/7 coverage of the peoples’ revolutions against dictatorships in the Middle East, a freshman governor of a Midwestern state attempted a coup of his own.  This was how Scott Walker wanted to bury the news of his real efforts to strip public sector union members of their right to collective bargaining, as a means of ensuring that there would be no comeback from that quarter, both now and in the future, when the State of Wisconsin decides to cut their pensions  or health benefits or even their salaries.

All in the interest of the State’s deficit, you understand – brought about by the Governor’s desperate need to effect tax cuts for the wealthier element and for business interests in the state.

Scott Walker is the son of a preacher man, but the only way he has of moving people is to effect a mass movement of labour forces against him.  That’s good, in that it forces the Democratic Party to remember its origins and its real base, but it might be too late, considering the extent to which the unions, themselves, have been weakened in the past thirty years.

Scott Walker is also the only one of a plethora of Republican governors elected in November 201o, who actually doesn’t possess a university degree. He’s a college drop-out, not for financial reasons, but in order for him to devote more time to his pro-Life perambulations. He’s intransigent, he’s inflexible, he’s stubborn and he lacks total compassion.

Let’s add to all of that: He’s puerile.

This week Walker took a phonecall from someone he thought was David Koch. Interesting, because there had been complaints abounding from various and sundry Wisconsin Democrats that Walker was refusing to speak to them. He simply wouldn’t accept calls.

But he leapt at the opportunity when an aide told him that “David Koch” wanted to speak with him – ne’mind the fact that said aide should have smelled a rat, when “David Koch” revealed that it was impossible for the Governor to call him back, owing to the fact that his maid had thrown his cellphone in the washing machine, a deed for which “Koch” threatened to “send her back.”

“Koch”, in fact, was Ian Murphy, the editor of the online newspaper, The Buffalo Beast, originally founded by Matt Taibbi.  The twenty-minute conversation that followed showed Walker as an abject sycophant, hanging on “Koch’s” praises, intimating to “Koch” that he’d actually thought about planting Republican troublemakers amongst the strikers (blatant ratfucking in the truest Rovian sense of the word) and actually detailing a plan he’d devised to trick the recalcitrant Democratic state politicians back to Madison during the recess period, only to declare a quorum whilst they were on recess and force the bill de-legitimising collective bargaining through the state senate via Republican votes alone.

When “Koch” suggested Walker use a baseball bat on the strikers, Walker eagerly revealed he kept one in his office, a personalised baseball bat, in fact.  And in a chillingly repugnant segment of the conversation, Walker talked about one Democratic colleague, with whom he’d worked in the state legislature in the past on various projects, but he cautioned “Koch” not to contact this man … “because he isn’t one of us.”

If ever there were any evidence needed that the Right were wantonly demonising the Left, it lay like a portent in those five words: He isn’t one of us.

 

Precisely the message Walker’s ilk, financed by David Koch and his brother, have been pushing since January 21, 2009.  The President isn’t one of us. He’s not like us. He’s different. His name is stranger than the strangest immigrant name. He doesn’t look like us. He may not even believe in the same God we’re all supposed to worship, according to the Republicans. (Which begs the question: If in the small-minded, little Republican universe, we’re all supposed to be Christian – the way they perceive our nation to have been founded – how do they justify that their House Majority Leader in Congress simply isn’t a Christian? Perhaps they’ve made Eric Cantor an honorary one.)

At the end of a marathon twenty-minute conversation, “Koch” suggested that Walker “come out to Cali” when this ordeal was resolved and he’d show him a good time. Walker could barely contain his delight.

He’d arrived. He’d joined the club as a freshman. And yet, he’d done something more.

He’d shown the world, when that taped conversation went viral, that the Koch Brothers and their involvement in mainstream Republican party politics, wasn’t the stuff of grisly-minded Leftwing imaginings. There was no conspiracy theory there; even Andrew Breitbart’s involvement and financing on the part of the Kochs was acknowledged.

Scott Walker’s naive posturing in a conversation to “Big Daddy Koch” placed the Koch machine front and centre of all the ugly, detrimental and ruthless connivings of the past two years. It put a seal on the fact that most every freshman Congressman, Senator and Governor who rose from the Republican ranks last November, did so riding the magic carpet of Koch money.  Goodness knows how many incumbents are on the payroll, but I’d say Jim DeMint was a dead cert.

Scott Walker managed to bring the Kochroaches out of the woodwork. Now it’s time for everyone in protest to stand strong, and insure that Scott Walker, himself, retreats to the nether regions of that selfsame woodwork … with his friends. Where he belongs.

Categories: News & Politics

182 Responses so far.

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  1. Chernynkaya says:

    CROSSPOST from Daily Planet 5:

    Liberals to stage Tea Party-like revolts against GOP spending cuts
    http://planetpov.com/2011/02/24/the-daily-planet-vol-5/

    We are going to give the Kochroaches a taste of their own medicine.
    “We are targeting various House Republicans in town hall meetings during the recess to let them know these budget cuts are beyond the pale,” said the labor source, who added that it has been difficult to mobilize supporters to public question-and-answer sessions with lawmakers because “they’ve been pretty circumspect in giving out information about the meetings.”

    As Common Cause notes--and this is key:

    If there is going to be change, real change,it will have to work its way from the bottom up, from the people themselves. That’s how change happens.

    The Kochs have the money, but we have the numbers. we just need to get the message out! People are so ready to push back.

  2. Abbyrose86 says:

    That phone conversation, that Walker is pooh poohing…was really very VERY insightful. It provided quite a bit of information, aside from the obvious conservation that took place.

    The fact that his staff, was eager to put through a call from Mr. Koch…SPEAKS volumes!

    The fact that Walker took the call from someone he believed to be MR. KOCH…SPEAKS VOLUMES!

    The fact that he really didn’t allow the caller to say much…he did most of the talking…SPEAKS VOLUMES!

    The fact that he seemed so eager to please the caller…SPEAKS VOLUMES!

    I found it especially interesting that when ever the caller said, ‘he’s one of us’ Walker didn’t question that comment or seek to clarify what was meant by that statement. He basically just agreed.

    I want to know what ‘he’s one of us’ actually means!

    What wasn’t said was just as important as what WAS said.

    Very intriguing.

    I would suggest the Koch brothers are not to thrilled with Mr. Walker right about now.

  3. PocketWatch says:

    It should be mentioned that there is a lot more under the covers in the bill being disputed than the elimination of collective bargaining and union busting, or that Walker himself caused the budget problems through tax breaks to his masters, the Kochs.

    Contained within that bill is the authority to sell off Wisconsin’s public assets with no bids required, and at a price undetermined.

    Why? Wisconsin has apparently built several publicly owned geothermal electrical plants, paid for by taxpayers, and they are assets of the state. In addition, as I have stated elsewhere here, the northern half of the state is public land, easily a third of that being state land. All will be on sale to…. the Koch Brothers.

    As much as the news is all about the unions and the demonstrators, this part is just as bad, if not worse. It is a blatant grab at taxpayer-based assets and rewarding one’s financial backers.

    • Thefoxislaur says:

      Hi PW……I’ve sent emails to Morning Joe and MSNBC daytime news asking why all the silence on the koch brothers connection. Heck, the emails are civil, no cussing and name calling. Alas, no responses, I don’t exist in their servers I’m sure. I’m sure when prime pops up it’s on auto delete. I’m in communication with some dense folks up north who have no clue about this. The media is very successful at keeping them ignorant. I guess when they see the massacre surrounding the national forests, only then will they wake up. It will be too late.

    • boomer1949 says:

      PW-which is exactly why they tried to push it through so quickly. All of of those things are buried in the bowels of the bill.

  4. jkkFL says:

    People keep blaming FL for electing Scott- a known felon; yet he won by the slimmest margin in FL history, voting irregularities were noted in SoFL, and no recount was even suggested, by anyone.
    When I try to say that we were swindled, people just pooh-pooh and say you get what you vote for.
    I can truly say that Any person I talked to did Not vote for Scott..now my social circle isn’t that wide, but I have a problem that not one person in my circle of friends even considered it.
    They Did hijack FL- and a bunch of other states.

    • Sabreen60 says:

      Diebold? Here in Maryland we have elected Democrats in recent years. However, I don’t trust the Diebold machines. There is NO paper trail. I am not computer savvy, but my husband is. He’s very wary at the relative ease that these machines can be hacked. As for FL, it’s possible. I don’t put anything past the Repubs.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      That’s a REALLY important point, jkk!

  5. everything the rightwinghates says:

    We need a Workers Party of America! A party of, by, and for the working class of America! We outnumber the rich by the hundreds of millions! The working people of this country need to quit looking to the corporate owned political parties to stand for us. They are dividing our votes when we should be standing united.

    UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL!

    • Chernynkaya says:

      As you say-- United We Stand. Therefore, a Third Party would only divide the Dem vote and ensure a win for the Reptilians. It is a losing proposition. If you are discontented with the Dems, fine. But allowing the Repubs to win is fatal.

      • SueInCa says:

        Don’t you think “independents” are that big party in the middle? The so-called third party? Perhaps the real issue is that no one has been able to figure out how to get those voters and keep them? Sometimes I just want to say to them, pick a side, but perhaps neither side has been able to give them a good reason to pick a side?

        • Chernynkaya says:

          Sue-- I think there are very few actual “Independents.” Most are actually partisans on both sides. Politicians, pundits and reporters often talk about the need to appeal to independent voters as if people who have the inability to articulate a clear position are capable of forming an organized group.

          Voters who don’t identify with either party don’t have a unified platform or common point of view. So-called “independents” are registered that way for myriad reasons that have nothing to do with political philosophy.

          I copied this breakdown of Independents (but lost the link--sorry!) I think it is correct:

          IDEOLOGICAL BREAKDOWN OF “INDEPENDENT” VOTERS
          Campaigns are misguided to think they can reach these disparate types by adopting some middle of the road, wishy-washy, one-size-fits-all position. Instead, the groups need to be marketed to in different ways:

          GROUP 1 — BANDWAGON VOTERS (32%): Don’t understand politics but like voting for the
          winner.

          GROUP 2 — BUM THROWERS (27%): Contrarians who vote against whoever’s
          in power.

          GROUP 3 — LESSER EVIL LOVERS (17%): Believe that everyone on the ballot is fatally
          flawed, so they vote for the least qualified.
          Similar to group 2 but caring less about incumbency, these are those magical gnomes known as “swing voters” who decide close elections based solely on the viciousness of a candidate’s attack ads.

          GROUP 4 — DUMMIES (13%): Confused by the voter registration form and
          intended to pick Democrat or Republican.

          GROUP 5 — SYSTEM BEATERS (6%): Think that not picking a party makes them less
          likely to be called for jury duty.

          GROUP 6 — COLLECTORS (3%): Don’t care who gets elected, just in it for the
          “I voted” sticker.

          GROUP 7 — TRULY INDEPENDENT (2%): Actually oppose the two party system and are working to change it.

          The percentages are probably made-up, but I think this guy has it about right.

          • SueInCa says:

            Cher, I guess that is what I am getting at. We do have so many different thinking people that have the capability of voting. I especially like the ones who were “bush” voters then became independents, then republican again this past year. The thing is Republicans have been better able to hold on than Dems. Your comment below with the years for each party is testament to that. And it is surely not because they are particularly nice people. Perhaps it is that elusive “we can all be rich” attitude that keeps them going back?

            • Chernynkaya says:

              Sue, IMO, I agree with George Lakoff on the way the Right and Left frame each issue, and the Right knows how to frame things based on the morality that speaks to their voters.

              One example from today’s news: “right-to-work” states. What those really are, of course, are union busting states. But who would vote against the “Right to work?”

          • Abbyrose86 says:

            I think whoever right that IS on to something!

            Seriously, I know different people who are ‘independents’ and I’ve heard all those different reasons, myself!

      • Abbyrose86 says:

        I tend to agree Cher. In stead of looking to replace the dems with a 3rd party, I think we should be looking at fixing the dems and working towards voting in REAL progressives in various levels of government. I think we need to start trying to FIX the party…especially at the legislative level…not just federal either, but everywhere.

        We progressives need to start pushing for better candidates in the democratic party.

        • Chernynkaya says:

          Abby and BDM-- It takes more than one term to move the Party left.

          I looked into the claims from some on the Left that the best way to do this is to stay home in November—a­nd maybe 2012 too—or vote Third Party, so that we send the Dems the message that we Progressiv­es cannot be taken for granted.

          Looking at elections from the 20th century forward, I don’t think that claim holds water:

          Theodore Roosevelt = Republican
          Taft = Republican
          Woodrow Wilson = Democratic
          Harding = Republican
          Coolidge = Republican
          Hoover = Republican
          FDR= Democratic
          Truman = Democratic
          Eisenhower = Republican
          Kennedy = Democratic
          LBJ = Democratic
          Nixon = Republican
          Ford = Republican
          Carter = Democratic
          Reagan = Republican
          Bush = Republican
          Clinton = Democratic
          Bush = Republican
          Obama = Democratic

          That’s 11 Repubs and 8 Dems. It seems to me that allowing the Repubs to govern moves the country FARTHER to the Right.

          After Democrats Kennedy and LBJ, Nixon would be considered a moderate Dem now-- he was moved to the middle/left. After Reagan and Bush, Clinton could be considered a moderate Republican­-- he was moved to the Right. When does electing Repubs ever move the country farther Left??

          Some on the Left are also floating the idea that we should provide a Primary challenge to Obama in 2012. That has worked sooo well in the past, and why the progressiv­e movement continues to shoot itself in the foot:

          LBJ was primary challenged by Eugene McCarthy. The Democrats lost.
          Ford was primaried by Reagan. Ford lost the election.
          Carter was primaried by Ted Kennedy. Cater lost the election.
          GHW Bush was primaried by Pat Buchanan. Bush lost the election.

          It takes more than one--or even TWO--terms of Democratic continuity to move this country forward and to really change things.

          People have a really hard time believing that the majority of Americans don’t think just like they do--on both sides. It’s too painful, I guess. The great unwashed middle of the voters are impatient brats who barely know what’s going on, and always swing the elections out of stupidity. That’s just the electorate we have. And why nothing much gets done that is truly progressiv­e, even thought when asked, the vast majority of voters SAY they like progressiv­e legislatio­n-- like SS and Medicare. But if reading posts here about Obama are any indication­, we will continue to lose to Repubs, because they don’t give up they way we do.

          • KQuark says:

            Cher some on the left are the most illogical people I’ve ever met. They really think the more Republicans we get in office to show how bad they are that magically some day we will wake up in Progressive heaven. When the reality is the more the right holds power, the more this country will move right.

            In the past thirty years Dems have had control of government for a total of 4 years and for no longer than 2 years at a time.

            It has not always been this way. FDR had increasing majorities three elections in a row and guess what we got more progressive legislation passed than any time in our history.

            I am totally done with the “progressive movement”. It’s a self fulfilling nightmare because it’s expectations are always based on the delusion that we have a progressive electorate. I’m a blue collar Democrat and know the only way to get what I want in the two party system is to move the party most sympathetic to my causes towards progress.

            • Chernynkaya says:

              Just so well articulated, KQ!

              I remember before the Nov. Midterms so many at HP were claiming it would be good to “teach those Dems a lesson” by letting the Repubs win. Look what the Dems learned: that the voters LIKE Repubs. They are more nervous than ever about passing Progressive legislation and Obama learned he’d better move to the so-called Center.

              And the Repubs? They learned that they can do whatever outrageous shit they want--they have a MANDATE! How’s that all working out??

            • chasethis says:

              Dang, KQuark. You’re totally going to hate my Progressives United post. :roll:

          • Abbyrose86 says:

            OH my GAWD, CHER…my thoughts EXACTLY!!!!

            I couldn’t agree more, it’s going to take MANY election cycles to move us to the left. AND not voting or 3rd party will just continue the trend further to the right!

            THANK YOU!

            • BigDogMom says:

              Cher/Abby-What it’s going to take to move this along is for the American people to wake up, get informed and take action.

              I am hoping that Wisconsin is a turning point in our nation, that people look more closely at what is happening in DC and in every State…that the GOP is lying to everyone. That they have an agenda, and that agenda does not include the common citizen to benefit.

              Look at today, the GOP voted down stopping the oil industry wavers, that could have brought in $53 billion in revenue. If they were really concerned they would have voted for it.

              We need every news station to tell the people the facts, not spoon feed them with News-a-tainment!

            • Chernynkaya says:

              See? “Great minds…”

        • BigDogMom says:

          Abby & Cher, agree, we need to make the Dems a party “For the People” once again.

          This division and bickering in our party is what led to the GOP landslide, now we are paying for it.

          • Abbyrose86 says:

            I so hope you are correct…with what is going on in WI…I truly hope, this IS the wake up call many needed!

            And the Media…well I don’t know what we can do about them…sadly. They seem so vested in continuing the status quo…but fortunately we HAVE THE INTERNET!.

            I constantly post on Facebook and other sites, information about the GOP’s malfeasance AND have a big mouth, when out in the ‘real world’ when I hear people spewing Faux news or Rush Limbaugh talking points…I engage. Not always meanly…but I call them out.

          • Abbyrose86 says:

            Exactly BDM!

    • PlatoSunTsu says:

      No doubt, what I would give to have a viable third party.

  6. Marion says:

    K I S S … Keep It Simple, Stupid … that’s the mantra of Frank Luntz and the one adopted by the Republican Party.

    Regrettably, many “Progressives” tend to look down upon and deride people with 6th grade comprehension abilities … and that’s neither “progressive” nor tolerant.

  7. Abbyrose86 says:

    Actually I think you have a valid point, the dems do need to dumb it down a bit. When I was studying journalism….(many moons ago) we were taught to write for a 6th grade reading level, as that was the reading comprehension level of most audiences. Sadly, we on the left often forget the bell curves and assume people understand more complex concept than they actually do…as a result, I think we lose people’s attention and lose the debates.

    I is actually very difficult to do, more so than many think, especially if one possesses a rather large vocabulary, or a deep understanding of a subject.

    However, I do think it is why the dems have a hard time…the messaging just doesn’t resonate with the masses. The GOP is very good at framing the messages in such a way, that even a ‘caveman’ could get it’.


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