February 21, 2011

Live stream of the protest in the Wisconsin Capital rotunda.

There's drumming and singing at 9:45 p.m.

102 comments:

Jason said...

What are they going to do when the bill actually gets passed?

Phil 3:14 said...

I know its been asked before but isn't there something illegal about commandeering the state capitol?

Fen said...

We're all Pandorians now....

Tribalism. Mmmmm mmmm mmmm.

Jason said...

All I can think of is Kevin Costner dancing around the fire stabbing with a stick during Dances With Wolves...

Boy, if that doesnt change the GOP mind, I dont know what will.

Dose of Sanity said...

I'll be there tomorrow. I'm in the middle of drafting a letter to the senators asking them to return.

Not sure how to explain that dichotomy.

Phil 3:14 said...

This is their hope

but instead they're watching this

Lem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
I'm a Shaaaaark said...

I'm still pissed off at the lack of giant paper-mâché puppets.

Jason said...

All of this to get state employees and teachers to pay 6 cents more on the dollar into their health care premium.

vnjagvet said...

The crowd seems to have thinned.

Fen said...

At 3am they will strip down and paint themselves blue.

I'm a Shaaaaark said...

The crowd seems to have thinned.

That's what happens when Republicans take office - they take food out of the mouths of the working class. :p

Michael Mirer said...

The unions are on board with paying into their pensions and for their health care. It's the stripping of almost all bargaining rights they object to.

Dose of Sanity said...

The unions are on board with paying into their pensions and for their health care. It's the stripping of almost all bargaining rights they object to.

Whoa. Someone paying attention. I like it.

Curtiss said...

Does this place ever close? I guess these people could just take up residence in the Rotunda, no?

Jason said...

"The crowd seems to have thinned."
--------------------------

Weather is pretty crappy outside. And perhaps its finally sunk in that they simply arent going to win.

Walker and the GOP have played this brilliantly. Walker has stayed firm but has stated his position well...and hasnt said anything inflammatory or stupid. And the Democrats fleeing has only given the public more time to actually do research and see just how much money most state employees and teachers actually bring in.

garage mahal said...

Madison teachers lead a pitchfork rebellion of the peasants.

"They're starting to act up Mr Governor. What do we do!"

Oh noes!

The People's Republic of Madison Teachers. L O Fucking L!

I'm a Shaaaaark said...

The unions are on board with paying into their pensions and for their health care. It's the stripping of almost all bargaining rights they object to.

WHAT?!?!? OMG!!!! They wont' be able to collectively bargain for their salary and benefits anymore? Why, THAT'S AN OUTRAGEOUS OUTRAGE!!!! IT'S UNION-BUSTING!!!!!!!!

Oh... wait... you mean, they won't be able to dictate class sizes and other school policy anymore, and will just have to stick with negotiating pay rates and stuff. They'll also be allowed to vote each year on whether to keep the union or not. THAT'S what you mean by "stripping of almost all bargaining rights". Ok. Much less outrageously outrageous. Phew. I was worried for a second.

Jason said...

"And the Democrats fleeing has only given the public more time to actually do research and see just how much money most state employees and teachers actually bring in."

--------------------

Just to clarify, I mean its given the public time to actually see that Walker isnt asking for much, in comparison to the private sector.

Fen said...

It's the stripping of almost all bargaining rights they object to.

They also object too:

1) "require that public-employee unions be recertified annually by a majority vote of all their members, not merely by a majority of those that choose to cast ballots."

2) "ending the government's practice of automatically deducting union dues from employee paychecks."

3) a vote to allow Wisconsin to become Right-to-Work state.

They prefer to force people to join their union, then force them to donate to corrupt Dems and their pet causes. So I'm not sympathetic to their claims that their "rights" are being violated, when they clearly don't practice what they preach.

Palladian said...

It's the drum circles that drove me away from leftism.

Julius said...

It's all over for the protesters now that the teachers are going back to work tomorrow. They're just getting their feel-goods in now. They've lost.

Tomorrow the Dems-in-hiding will conclude that they have no other option, and will plan to return. They'll hem, and they'll haw, but they'll be coming back.

The Lefties had been hoping that this would turn into a new Kent State, but it didn't.

Pogo said...

If only they had thought of drum polygons, then victory would have been theirs.

Such is the defeat of the quadrilateral-averse.

garage mahal said...

You couldn't be more wrong Julius. Still laughing too. Walker will cave tomorrow night.

I'm a Shaaaaark said...

Walker will cave tomorrow night.

What else did your Magic 8 Ball tell you?

Jason said...

"You couldn't be more wrong Julius. Still laughing too. Walker will cave tomorrow night."
-----------------------------

Why would Walker cave? The GOP holds all the cards, here.

All the Dems are doing is setting themselves up for another PR nightmare if they arent back by Friday and pass the budget bill, as if they dont it costs the state another $150 million in debt refinancing costs. Good luck explaining that to the state workers that get laid off if that happens.

Ive said it a million times...all Walker has to do is start firing people. Then they will come back.

paminwi said...

From the signs I saw at the Capitol on Saturday these are not just collective bargaining rights that will be taken away it will be unions "Human Rights". So now instead of what are called bargaining right, which are really privileges granted by law we are stripping the unions of Human Rights. Oh dear, call Amnesty International - we have a situation here that needs to be remedied immediately!

Synova said...

"Oh... wait... you mean, they won't be able to dictate class sizes and other school policy anymore, and will just have to stick with negotiating pay rates and stuff. They'll also be allowed to vote each year on whether to keep the union or not. THAT'S what you mean by "stripping of almost all bargaining rights". Ok. Much less outrageously outrageous. Phew. I was worried for a second."

Yeah, that's pretty much it.

It sounds better to complain about bargaining rights, though. There is just no way to make it sound good to complain about making contributions that are still less than most people have to do.

garage mahal said...

But Sire! It's seems to be spreading to other states!

garage mahal said...

And they also seem to be getting reinforcements from this Ian's Pizza! Sire? What do we do Sire!?

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

But Sire! It's seems to be spreading to other states!

Yes, a quick google search shows several other States are drafting bills to end public sector collective bargaining rights.

shoutingthomas said...

But Sire! It's seems to be spreading to other states!

This is some theme you've embraced, garbage. The voters are outraged because of public employee unrest and protest.

Not, the voters are outraged over the luxurious salaries and benefits of public employees, and they understand that public employees will throw a tantrum when those luxurious salaries and benefits are threatened.

Really, garbage, nobody's crying because the public peace has been upset.

So, you can drop that nonsense.

I'm perfectly content to wait out the tantrum.

Snow said...

I'm perfectly content to wait out the tantrum.

So are all of the other adults. Let the children hold their breath until they turn blue.

Chip Ahoy said...

I saw a really old cartoon that was totally racist, and I'm all, "They got away with this stuff?"

Two guys are walking through the jungle, one is wearing a pith helmet and the other is a native guide. The scene changes to a group of natives banging on a drum and the sound coming out of the drum is,

BOOM titty BOOM titty BOOMBOOMbuhBOOM.

Back to the two guys walking. The white guy in the pith helmet asks the native guide, "What are those drums saying?"
The native guide answers, "Aw, dem drums say'n ...

BOOM titty BOOM titty BOOMBOOMbuhBOOM."

Julius said...

It's all over now, isn't it? Time for da teachers to go home and get a good night's sleep 'cuz they gotta get up early in the morning.

Walker demonstrated patience and smarts in not disrupting the protests; now he gets what he wants. His opponents made lots of noise and lots of fuss. While the protests made for an exciting news story for the first few days, they accomplished diddly squat, absolute diddly squat. Nobody really sympathized with the teachers that much, especially when so many observers have so much else to worry about.

For some strange reason, the teachers seemed to think that they could get what they want if they just made more of a fuss, protested a little louder, made their point a little more creatively. That don't work these days; it fails to capture national attention like it did in the 60s and 70s. The era of the American political protest having any impact whatsoever is no more.

If anything, these protests backfired-- now public opinion will be significantly more anti-union that it was before.

garage mahal said...

Firefighters camping out at the Rotunda tonight. How's that for optics, Julius. What are you going to do? Get some rest.

Paddy O said...

So, who has the conch now?

Dose of Sanity said...

As someone who is far to the left, it's time for the Senators to come back. I agree that tomorrow will be the day they reach that conclusion as well.

They did the best they could in the situation. From the beginning, they never could have stopped this bill. Instead they drew attention to it ( a lot of attention to it). It will definitely be a salient issue come election time. And, rightly so, the people of Wisconsin will vote on the issue.

I just hope that we don't see a series of disenfranchising moves before then. (Rightly or wrongly, Unions certainly motivate their members to vote - this bill stops the unions in WI).

That said, I'd like to see the olive branch extended to the democrats upon their return by Walker. I may actually give him credit to be magnanimous in "victory".

-Dose

Julius said...

Firefighters camping out?

Will the fat lady be regaling them with song as they roast marshmallows and make s'mores?

It's over, garage. Over. Over. Over.

Leftists-- all the way up to Obama-- would do well to realize that this was a really bad way of going about expressing their dissatisfaction.

Methadras said...

Where are all the 'I can haz bargaining?' signs at?

holdfast said...

Really, the unions brought this on themselves. First, unions in general, and public sector unions in particular, have made themselves a linchpin of Democrat politics. Is there any other major economic/social group that is so one-sided in their politics? I mean, for all the Dem posing, Wall Street gives pretty evenly to both parties (and titled in favor of the Dems in '08 - they know how to hedge), and even the hated oil and coal companies give to the Dems. So for the GOP there really is no downside to trying to smash the public sector unions, and to paraphrase Rahm Emmanuel, this economic and employment crisis is the perfect time to do it.

Second, unions like the Teachers Unions bring state and even national-level resources to bear on local negotiations - anyone with eyes can see who is David and who is Goliath when they negotiate. Add to that the fact that they don't just negotiate (or dictate if you prefer) their own pay and benefits, but almost every facet of education policy.

n said...

This will just be the start of benefit cuts IMHO. One problem with the pensions is the COLA. It is just like SS...unsustainable.

And, many of the plans are underfunded and based on 8% annual growth projections. I bet COLAs are next (or at least above a certain level)

bagoh20 said...

"Firefighters camping out at the Rotunda tonight. How's that for optics,"

For the taxpaying public, informative.

For the firefighters, a stupid mistake.

Almost Ali said...

What are they going to do when the bill actually gets passed?

Get even.

TheGiantPeach said...

There is a fascinating diary on the Daily Kos which alleges that the real point of the budget bill has nothing to do with unions or collective bargaining. The provisions to get rid of the public employee unions were inserted in the bill deliberately to foster the loud controversy that has resulted, in order to deflect attention from the real goody in the bill.

There is a provision that allows the governor to authorize the sale or lease of any state=owned power plants without competitive bidding or legislative review. The Daily Kos diarist speculates that once the bill is passed, Walker will sell off power plants at bargain basement prices to the Koch Bros., who were instrumental in his election.

As conspiracy theories go, I find it quite appealing. Of course, there will be an uproar if this happens, and Walker is likely to be recalled, or certainly defeated for re-election. But if the theory is true, he probably has a guarantee of a nice post-politics job with the Bros.

Anyway, just passing the thought along. You can read it for yourself (it's not my diary... this isn't a self-promotion) :
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/02/21/947947/-The-Koch-Brothers-End-Game-in-Wisconsin

TheGiantPeach said...

It occurs to me that stripping unions of collective bargaining powers would create precisely the sort of situation that supporters of the measure say they are opposed to.

Even without collective bargaining, there will still be public employee unions (the state can't repeal the first amendment guarantee of free association). So what will the unions do if they can't negotiate wages (if they are legislatively pegged to the CPI), benefits, or working conditions. Simple. They engage in political action. If the legislature has sole authority to determine wages and benefits, the unions are going to have their lobbyists in Madison applying pressures. They will be reporting back to their members who's naughty and nice. They will be funneling funds to their favorite candidates.

With no bargaining power, the unions will entirely be focused on controlling the political process. And this is something the Republicans think is a good outcome?

dp said...

Comments about overpaid public workers on a blog run by a UW law professor (public employee and a lawyer) on State time given when she posts is priceless!

Chip S. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hugh Dudgeon said...

The era of the American commie political protest having any impact whatsoever is no more.

fify

Rose said...

Roger L Simon lays it out. ...why has our left become so reactionary, so unwilling or unable to adapt to a changed world that they “act out” with all the juvenility of adolescents deprived of the family car keys? Some say it is because they have replaced religious faith with politics and I, an agnostic, see some truth in that. But there is more. Liberalism has become a mask for greed in our culture – a way of hiding excessive selfishness from others and, importantly, from the self. It’s a deflection, really....

Huge numbers are unemployed. But when asked to pull together for the good of the mean, the liberals, the ones who pay the greatest lip service to equality, say NO.

They hide behind “Union! Union! Union!” and “No pasaran!,” but it’s all a fake. When the chips are down, our modern liberals are overcome by their own sense of entitlement. Christopher Lasch’s Culture of Narcissism has infected them to such a degree reality cannot intrude.


http://pajamasmedia.com/rogerlsimon/2011/02/21/wisconsin-liberals-as-reactionaries/ ...desperately clinging to past views when they are no longer functional or even relevant...

Rose said...

That characteristic eagerness to grandstand on extraneous issues, while ignoring federal crises, is characteristic of this administration. It will not make meaningful progress in addressing its own massive trillion-dollar debts, reexamine the looming disaster of ObamaCare, gear up to produce more gas and oil in the face of skyrocketing energy costs, or seriously explore ways to get unemployment down below 9%...

Why, why, why all this? In a word, because that is what community organizers are supposed to do, even — or rather, especially — when they become the establishment. Cannot we answer Giuliani’s question? As a general rule, the “organizer” is not indigenous to the community, but as a sort of roaming utopian he travels widely to detect supposed foci of injustice (think an Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson), even to the point of worrying about professors being locked out of their homes or the tranquility of ice cream parlors in Arizona.

Almost immediately there is an artificial divide constructed between an oppressive “them” and a victimized “us,” usually on rigid class, gender, and racial lines. Some such university study is cited to “prove” injustice based on the absence of parity in income, health care, or education. Then the community organizer rallies the “community” to “get in their face” and agitate, which can encompass anything from suing in court, holding mass rallies, conducting voter registration drives with accordant intimidation, visiting the private homes of supposedly culpable officials, bankers, and the wealthy, and threatening strikes, slow-downs and disruptions.


http://pajamasmedia.com/victordavishanson/but-thats-why-community-organizers-do/ But That’s What Community Organizers Do...

President Obama need not worry about budget deficits in the manner of Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin. Unlike state officials, he can print money, and raise fees and taxes. The nation’s more affluent, unlike blue-state refugees seeking red-state low tax sanctuaries, cannot flee anywhere. That makes it easy for President Obama to weigh in on the Wisconsin unrest by suggesting an insolvent state government was more interested in destroying the public unions than meeting a $3 billion budget shortfall.

Alex said...

Another note - the MSM would be crucifying the Republicans if they had fled en-mass from a debate. They are shockingly MUM on the Democrats cowardice.

Bobby Dupea said...

The Left, during the last domestic crisis, Vietnam, successfully beat their drums to victory. Most people forget that the Vietnam War always enjoyed majority American support; there's a reason Nixon won in a landslide in 1972.

The intelligentsia, the establishment media, and the entertainment community first discovered their power then, and to this day, control the discussion on what really happened in Nam.

I see the public fiscal crisis and the drum-beating favored subculture (of profoundly average people peddling nostrums of personal virtue) through the same lens.

However, people are no longer dependent on three networks. And they've been Charlie Sheen'd and Barbwa Streisand'd off Hollywood.

The Left does not have a terribly striking position to take -- "We deserve a better life than the people who pay our salaries, and the people united blah blah blah" -- but it is striking that they don't realize it's not 1972.

Obama had better be careful because if he continues to comment on this situation he will simply be revealed to the casual observer voters for what he is: an unregenerate Leftist agitator, dismissive of the common weal.

Alex said...

I question the idea that the left "lost" Vietnam. Vietnam was bungled by Johnson and Nixon. Nixon won in 1968/1972. Nixon's paranoia led to Watergate which led to the big 1974 Democratic sweep. I honestly think the big demonstrations had nothing to do with it. The "silent majority" detested them.

that-xmas said...

I'm a shaaark,

The paper mache puppet guys are the "Bread and Puppet" people from Vermont.

I don't think they're able to make it all the way out to Wisconsin.

jfm said...

Where is Wisconsin going to find teachers this coming September to replace all the teachers who have quit for better jobs in the private sector?

edutcher said...

Hmmm...

If Julie is telling garage it's over, even the fat lady has gone home.

PS Dubya on Iraq, Walker and Christie on unions, this is what happens when a Republican actually stands his ground and fights.

PPS Dose of Salts is starting to sound like America's Politico.

Jay said...

It's the stripping of almost all bargaining rights they object to.

Uh, there is not a stripping of "almost all bargaining rights"

So, why are they objecting again?

mrs whatsit said...

Let's keep the facts straight. The bill does not strip public employees of "almost all" bargaining rights. They can still unionize and they can still bargain about wages -- the biggest ticket item by far and for most, the biggest subject of concern. Responsibility does get shifted to the union (horrors!) for collecting its own dues and for recertifying every year, but that will be no problem at all. As we know from the union officials and all these impassioned protestors, the union is the most important thing in the lives of all public employees and they will certainly vote joyously to recertify and happily write their dues checks.

Cornroaster said...

In Boots and Sabers on Feb 9, Owen Robinson quoted a West Bend Daily News story that said the West Bend Schools receive about 1000 applications for every open teaching position. Sounds like there may be no shortage of applicants.

JP said...

The Showdown Over Public Union Power

"At last, politicians and voters are fighting back against the most potent lobby for government spending and ever-higher taxes."

Marshal said...

"Michael Mirer said...

The unions are on board with paying into their pensions and for their health care. It's the stripping of almost all bargaining rights they object to."

Bullshit. They chose to highlight the feature they thought would be most marketable to the public. But if the bargaining rights weren't being changed a bit they'd still be there protesting.

Mary said...

Through my entire working life, we have funded teachers retirement plans 100%. Provided them with the best health insurance available. Through it all, the teachers have done nothing but whine, whine, whine how tough they have it. I quit volunteering at my kids schools after spending an evening at parent teacher conferences listening to the teachers go on and on about the unfairness of having to work an evening. If they had shown the public some gratitude and respect over the years, they may have had more support in this fight.

LarsPorsena said...

"The unions are on board with paying into their pensions and for their health care. It's the stripping of almost all bargaining rights they object to."

but the union bosses are not on board with losing their ability to collect/coerce money from their members and then kick it back to Dem pols who lard the union's pay/benefits at public expense. That's the underlying issue that now one talks about.

Fen said...

And lets not forget, until last week, the union response to Walker's request for reform (over the last 8 years if you include his work as a County Exec) has been: "go pound sand up your ass"

Reminds me of Saddam flipping the UN the bird for 12 years but then begging for extended negotiations once M1A1s were at his doortstep.

Fen said...

[momentary pause while Youngblood clutches his pearls because I "compared" Unions to Saddam...]

Ok, we're back.

*waves smelling salts under Youngblood's nose*

Lincolntf said...

Death threats, children as human shields, Jesse Jackson and swastikas.
Just another day in Teachers Union land.

MadisonMan said...

Comments about overpaid public workers on a blog run by a UW law professor (public employee and a lawyer) on State time given when she posts is priceless!

In other words, You, a Law Professor.

All UW Professors are supposed to do some kind of Community Service. It's not really called that I don't think -- Community Service brings to mind a crime penalty. I think althouse could easily argue that blogging constituted that service.

Henry said...

If you're going to have a drum circle, you might as well have it in a rotunda.

How about a sweat lodge?

Triangle Man said...

@MadisonMan

I think the terms are "extension" and "outreach". All part of The Wisconsin Idea

Henry said...

@Lincolntf -- While I'm in agreement with you on the issue, the "children as human shield" talking point is idiotic. People bring their children to peaceful assemblies all the time. When my wife went to the state house to show support for a new state funding formula she brought our kids. If you believe in something important, you want your kids to be understand it and be part of it.

Even if what you believe is wrong-headed nonsense, it's still your call. Tea party folks bring their kids to protests too, as well they should.

"Human shield" is rhetorical overkill. Like the "Nazi" tag, the lack of actual political violence makes it inane and, frankly, reprehensible.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

The unions are on board with paying into their pensions and for their health care.

Are they? Does this include every union representing workers in each county? Do you have a cite that lays out the concessions that these unions have agreed to?

Fen said...

While I'm in agreement with you on the issue, the "children as human shield" talking point is idiotic. People bring their children

But they don't bring *other* people's children under the false pretenses of "education" to pad their numbers on the street corner.

Teachers should not be allowed to coerce students into attending political functions that the teachers have a direct interest in.

I have no prob with *parents* bring their kids.

Lincolntf said...

Zip it, Henry. I know what I meant and I meant it. The only reason these harridans and hooligans trot out their children (or the children whoo are supposed to be in their classrooms) is to protect themselves from criticism. Shields.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Saw Walker on Morning Joe today. Enjoyed it immensely. It amazes me how lefties continue to underestimate this guy.

GMay said...

It's 9am CST and I'm waiting for my WI fix from one of the only outlets that's doing any work on this issue.

Step it up Prof!

pst314 said...

Indoor drumming? That's got to be pretty loud, painful even. How about taking a decibel reading and shutting them down as an environmental menace?

Henry said...

@Fen -- Clearly encouraging students to attend is a categorical difference in terms of ethics from bringing your own kids. Human shields is still the wrong word.

@Lincolntf -- "Human shields" has a clear context in which it is meaningful and important. Like "Nazi" once you use it outside of that context you undermine your own credibility.

Fen said...

@Fen -- Clearly encouraging students to attend is a categorical difference in terms of ethics from bringing your own kids. Human shields is still the wrong word.

Then pick another that describes using the presence of children to deflect criticism of your actions.

......?

pst314 said...

"It's the stripping of almost all bargaining rights they object to."

When union pukes whine about "bargaining rights" they don't mean their right to bargain, they mean your obligation to agree to their terms. Fuck em all.

GMay said...

Henry,

Since you're into splitting hairs about terminology describing children being used as shields against criticism, would the term "child shields" soothe your inner pedant's hackles?

Lincolntf said...

Wrong again, Henry. You can't even get the whining about semantics routine down right. Back to Lib School for you.

Ann Althouse said...

"Comments about overpaid public workers on a blog run by a UW law professor..."

When did I ever comment on "overpaid public workers"?

Henry said...

@Fen -- Guinea pigs, distractions, cover, etc. It's marketing, not war.

@GMay -- I think you're projecting. For the most part the union members going to the protest were reveling in solidarity and encountering no criticism (at least until Saturday). The criticism was external to the event.

Those who use the term "human shields" seek to manipulate the presence of children at the event just as plainly as the people who brought them.

Like the fascist accusation, it's a rhetorical play that is singularly unconvincing.

I'm not splitting hairs. It's the wrong word.

Henry said...

The wrong term.

Henry said...

@Lincolntf -- It's not semantics. It's rhetoric.

Trooper York said...

It is time for some American Idol blogging. Toot sweet.

GMay said...

Henry said: "I think you're projecting."

I think you don't know what that means. Either that, or you have a wonderful sense of irony.

"For the most part the union members going to the protest were reveling in solidarity and encountering no criticism (at least until Saturday). The criticism was external to the event."

I also think you're not entitled to make up your own facts, despite your righteous crusade to use the right word. I suppose you backed up Palin's use of "surveyor's marks" then eh?

It seems you're also unfamiliar with the concept of metaphor.

Henry said...

@GMay -- It's odd that both you and Lincolntf think that my criticism is about usage (semantics / metaphor). The issue is whether or not the usage is persuasive.

Oligonicella said...

Ann Althouse --

When did I ever comment on "overpaid public workers"?

This entire series is commentary on overpaid public workers. You haven't called them that though.

@MM - Althouse does this for herself. This is no community service.

GMay said...

Do I have this right - you can clearly see what it is we think, but we're just not getting you? Is that it? Sincere question.

Obviously you think it's unpersuasive. Obviously, others disagree. Personally, I don't think the side whose democratically elected representatives fled the state to purposely undermine the democratic process, who behave in a highly unethical manner on the taxpayer dime and encourage other people's children to do the same, or who casually toss out Hitler references themselves are really open to persuasion, let alone reason.

So no, you're incorrect in assuming my thoughts are about your understanding of semantics and metaphor. I just think you're being a silly pedant. Calling them human shields is an effective rhetorical device. Rhetoric and invective have had a place in public discourse since the birth of Western society.

Sloanasaurus said...

I wonder what precedential effect the anti-democratic actions of the 14 state senators will have on our political institutions in general if the democrats were to prevail on this issue (say that some republicans change their vote or that they have to acquiesce to avoid shutting down the state govenrment). The demos are calling it just good political tactics... but where does it end. Maybe in the future preventing people to vote (using legal means) will be just good political tactics.

It reminds me of the Roman Consul Biblios, who while serving as co-consul with Caesar sought an anti-democratic solution to Caesar's proposed reforms. Biblios simply used his power to declare a religious holiday and that every day for the rest of Caesar's term was a religious holiday thus making it illegal for the people's assembly to meet (it could not meet on religious holidays).

In the end Caesar took the additional anti-democratic step of ignoring Biblios and his right to veto legislation, and Biblios was forced to stay locked in his house while Caesar ruled by decree for the remainder of his term.

Anyway, as history proves, one anti-democratic step leads to another.....and another...

Henry said...

@GMay -- By the way, sorry about the "projecting" point. I actually had Lincolntf's 8:57 in my mind as I responded to you.

But I'll explain what I meant because it derives from the "human shields" phrase itself.

The idea being projected is that union parents brought children to the march as a way to response to criticism. That assumes knowledge of motivation that we don't have. In my opinion, it reflects the critics point-of-view -- that the protest was indefensible -- more than the union's. My guess is that most of the marchers sallied forth with the naive idea that no one but a few plutocrats and administrative toadies would object. I could be wrong, but that's my impression I got from the initial news and video reports.

Certainly some union defenders have pointed to the "independent" actions of high school students as support for the union position. That is a laughable proposition.

But from what I've read, most union defenders are arguing in age-old class-warfare terms and the presence of children at the march is about as significant to them as the presence of dachshunds.

Henry said...

Calling them human shields is an effective rhetorical device.

For what purpose? Who are you trying to persuade?

You don't need to persuade me. On the bigger issue I already agree with you.

dp said...

Friday you had the anti-democratic step in the assembly. Lying to the Dems about when the vote was scheduled and then having votes without them present. Not that it matters since there is a solid majority, but they could of had the decency to let the Dems vote NO.

dp said...

You have already had additional anti-democratic steps. The assembly session from Friday was about as undemocratic as it gets.

dp said...

Ann, you didn't call them that but you obviously don't read your own blog. This has been a commentary on the overpaid privledged public workers. I was only pointing out the irony of people complaining about public workers on a blog run by a UW professor (a public worker). Once again an ironically challenged Republican.

Robert Cook said...

"That said, I'd like to see the olive branch extended to the democrats upon their return by Walker. I may actually give him credit to be magnanimous in 'victory'."

I'd like to see peace and harmony among all people, but it ain't never gonna happen. Walker is a douche and douches are as douches do.

Fen said...

The idea being projected is that union parents brought children to the march as a way to avoid response to criticism.

No. The idea being projected is that union teachers brought students to the march as a way to avoid response to criticism.

I could care less if parents brought their own kids.

Fen said...

Henry: @Fen -- Guinea pigs, distractions, cover, etc. It's marketing, not war.

I see your point. 2 years ago I would have been arguing the same.

But again, what word would you prefer be used to describe using children as props to deflect criticism?

I mean, I'm with you, if you have a more accurate term for it.

abeer ahmed said...

For the latest news visit us on cnn.com
http://whois.domaintasks.com/cnn.com