March 2, 2011

When you're drafted into the "Army of Davids" — and the conflict has become a quagmire.

Thanks to Instapundit for all the links to my — and Meade's — coverage of the Wisconsin protests. Like this one this morning:
WISCONSIN: “After a short interchange, a bunch of anti-Walkerites converge on Meade. One man grabs his camera. Another blows a whistle close to his face.” The New Civility in action: Shut the f*ck up if you don’t support the unions!

Plus, from the comments: “I don’t want to hear one more word about Tea Parties that create an atmosphere of violence.”
I know Meade and I exemplify Glenn's concept of "An Army of Davids," but we kind of got drafted. Here we are in Madison, Wisconsin and something big happens. We have to cover it. Or we'd have to justify dodging the draft into the army of Davids. And now that we're in, people are looking to us to be the rough men who stand ready to do journalism on their behalf so they can read peaceably on their laptops at night.

And now we're into the third week of it. It's become a quagmire. I believe myself that... this protest is lost and it is not accomplishing anything as indicated by the extreme aggression in Madison yesterday....

89 comments:

Scott M said...

To protest being drafted into this particular Army Of Davids, I suppose you could burn a flash drive.

AJ Lynch said...

I suspect the college students believe they are participating in an historic protest ala 1960's civil rights marches. They are mistaken. Gov. Walker is the one making history by locking the state's cash register so govt employee unions can no longer get their hands in the cash drawer. I figure this trend will last ten years or so then unions will rebound.

Fen said...

And since the Union Leaders have called for "war", does this mean they can be tried for war crimes? ;)

aronamos said...

Again, my most heartfelt thanks to Ann and Meade for the townie's-eye view of events in Madison. This has helped almost all viewers firm up their opinion of the governor and his opponents. Those that it hasn't informed are beyond help anyway.

Marica said...

Y'all have done a very fine job. Thank you both! I wonder if you'd care to comment on how all of this has affected your day-to-day lives? It must take an inordinate amount of time to tape-- and then to edit. What have set aside? What's not getting done? Just curious.

Henry said...

I don't suppose anyone can convince the union to withdraw and declare victory? I thought not.

p.s. Watch out for giants.

Prosecutorial Indiscretion said...

Thanks so much for answering the call. I'll do enough Amazon shopping through your links to ensure that at least you guys don't go uncompensated for your dedication and outstanding effort.

traditionalguy said...

This quagmire is only governable because we respect the rule of law tradition against innsurrection. But when the government itself becomes lawless, we are in deep dodo. And every chance he has gotten, Obama boldly acts lawless.

AllenS said...

Thank you for standing up for us Wisconsinites who are unable to be there in person.

Hoosier Daddy said...

My Man Mitch got rid of the public employee unions here in Hoosierville awhile ago and few complained. He reformed the BMV to where it now takes a whopping 10 minutes to get your license renewed. I kid you not, back in the day, you needed to take a vacation day. First time I renewed I was in there for 3 1/2 hours as God is my witness. If it wasn't for term limits, Mitch would sail for a third term.

Next time you two are in Indy, let me know and I'll buy you and Meade a beer or six.

AJ Lynch said...

"Walker plant" was a great one btw. Meade, are you double-dipping? Getting paid by Gov. Walker & by Althouse Blog? Heh.


wv = astro

Charlie Martin said...

"... and some have greatness thrust upon them."

raf said...

...people are looking to us to be the rough men who stand ready to do journalism on your behalf so they can read peaceably on their laptops at night.

This might just be the best tagline for this blog I have seen yet. Much better than "cruel neutrality."

TMink said...

You guys rock.

But it is OK to take a day off once in awhile!

Trey

Chase said...

When the New York Times is outright lying - no longer just spinning - in it's coverage and using fake polls to prop up the unions and Democrats, it's because they know the unions and Democrats are losing.

How great this is for the United States!

The Drill SGT said...

Love that Orwell, non-Orwell quote:

"Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."

- a former rough man

garage mahal said...

Yes I'm sure future law professors and journalists will be riveted to this blog trying to uncover what was really going on in Madison. It was all about a War Memorial and a few Hitler signs!

shoutingthomas said...

Yes I'm sure future law professors and journalists will be riveted to this blog trying to uncover what was really going on in Madison. It was all about a War Memorial and a few Hitler signs!

Well, you're riveted to this blog, garbage, and you feel the need to answer to it constantly.

So, it's at least that important.

Bob_R said...

So I'm confused here. Are you the guys in the black pajamas? Maybe Jonathan Klein was right.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

""The way I see it," he said
"You just can't win it...
Everybody's in it for their own gain
You can't please 'em all
There's always somebody calling you down...."

AllenS said...

I've also been buying a lot of Jeep parts through the Amazon link. Small money purchases so far, but eventually they'll add up. I've got a long ways to go before this project is finished. It's the least I can do.

Quayle said...

Out with the rent-seeking thugs!

Quayle said...

(Did anyone else notice that the "union-busting" epithet didn't seem to stick - didn't seem to carry the same force it used to?)

I'm a Shaaaaark said...

It was all about a War Memorial and a few Hitler signs!

Yeah, cuz that is all it was. Put down the bong, son.

sane_voter said...

My name for these union protesters: Socialist Cheeseheads Ululating Maniacally.

Scott M said...

(Did anyone else notice that the "union-busting" epithet didn't seem to stick - didn't seem to carry the same force it used to?)

In all fairness, neither do union protesters.

gloogle said...

Ann & Meade - thank you for taking so much time out of your lives to cover this. It is sad to me when those being paid to be journalists abrogate their responsibility to tell the truth. Thank God you are willing to wade into the maelstrom and shine the light of truth.

Please be careful; it is obvious that reality is starting to set in for these folks, and their lashing out will get nastier.

wv: sumshe - what Althouse is...

Henry said...

Out with the rent-seeking thugs!

Now that would be a sign! An obscure sign to some, but precise as a laser to others.

Fen said...

AJ: I suspect the college students believe they are participating in an historic protest ala 1960's civil rights marches.

Spot on. I recall hearing a bunch of civil engineers lamenting that all the big projects had already been done. There was no "Hoover Dam" in their future.

This is much the same for the protestors. And explains their abuse of hyperbole so they can claim they are "saving the world!".

Its merely an Indulgence for them, to justify years of selfish behavior - "Sure I was a asshat today, but 10 years ago I was on the ground at Wisconsin, fighting the Evil Empire"

Meade said...

Marica said...
"Y'all have done a very fine job. Thank you both! I wonder if you'd care to comment on how all of this has affected your day-to-day lives? It must take an inordinate amount of time to tape-- and then to edit. What have set aside? What's not getting done?"

You're all welcome, Marica. To first question: the daily pace of quiet college town professor and spouse life has been dialed up to 11. Questions 2 and 3 are too personal. Suffice to say Spring Break will soon be here and there there will be much happy catching up to do.

Thanks to all of you readers and commenters for following the blog and to everyone who has made donations and purchases through Amazon. You are the fresh air that allows our sails to generate lift.

We are truly grateful.

Fen said...

Bravo Zulu, Meade. This Marine salutes the both of you. Despite our disagreements, you are truly Champions of Free Speech.

Henry said...

Spot on. I recall hearing a bunch of civil engineers lamenting that all the big projects had already been done. There was no "Hoover Dam" in their future.

The coolest civil engineering project in Providence, RI right now is the dismantling of the few miles of the I-195 highway spur that has cut through the heart of the city for the last half-century.

Taking things apart is also glorious work.

shiloh said...

AA you're reaching celebrity status, congrats! and soon they'll be interviewing you like they are w/Charlie Sheen lol.

"All right Mr. De Mille, I'm ready for my close-up"

ok, let's not get carried away.

apologies to Gloria Swanson ...

Henry said...

Meade & Althouse: I hope my appreciation comes through in my jokes and anecdotes, but I haven't actually written the words yet. Thank you.

garage mahal said...

Now that would be a sign! An obscure sign to some, but precise as a laser to others

Especially to those who watch Fox news and think there are palm trees in Madison. Hah.

Henry said...

Especially to those who watch Fox news and think there are palm trees in Madison. Hah.

Ah, Garage, so you're on the obscure side.

Look up "rent-seeking".

Fen said...

Poor Garage. Its was a clip of your Union Brat brothers protesting in Cali. The solidarity crap. Nowhere on the vid did it say "wisconsin".

Scott M said...

I recall hearing a bunch of civil engineers lamenting that all the big projects had already been done. There was no "Hoover Dam" in their future.

If we can ever get our "collective" fat out of the frier, the space elevator is just begging to be built. No doubt unions will want it to be union-only built and OSHA-approved which will, no doubt, require low-earth orbit to be wheelchair accessible.

Mick said...

OK professor and Meade. Excellent commentary. Even though I am disappointed w/ your ignoring of Obama's ineligibility, you have shamed me into hitting the tip jar.
Dynamite stuff! Where is the MSM?

The Crack Emcee said...

Three cheers for New Media Meade:

Hip Hip Hooray!
Hip Hip Hooray!
Hip Hip Hooray!

The man provided excellent coverage!

garage mahal said...

Poor Garage. Its was a clip of your Union Brat brothers protesting in Cali. The solidarity crap. Nowhere on the vid did it say "wisconsin".

They were talking about the Madison protests, with their live man on the scene.

I'm sure this could just be yet another mistake by the Fox production crew. Hilarious.

jayniejaynie said...

So thank you Althouse. Especially thank you since you spelled out for us the cost to you of the legislation.

Also, just want to say this to the protestors ... um, so corporations and CEOs are the greedy ones? Yea.

MikeR said...

"I don’t want to hear one more word..." I have made it into Instapundit! I can't believe it... I really never imagined... Oh, I'd like to thank all the little people who helped me reach this point.

And Ann, what about Fair Use? You quoted my entire comment except for the italics. I would have thought a law professor would have more respect for the rule of law.:)

Fen said...

Garage, check the vid again - O'Reilly (who we both hate) is talking about Union Thugs being bused in from Sacramento, hence the vid of Union Thugs in Sacramento. You're really reaching here.

Fen said...

Mike, you have to do the Snoopy Happy Dance whenever Insty frontpages your comment.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

You're really reaching here.

It's what he does....

Fprawl said...

I believe myself that... this protest is lost and it is not accomplishing anything
OK, got the italics thing.
Also, it may be lost. Click Google news, 2 stories on Charlie Sheen on the main scroll, nada on Walker.

Scott M said...

Also, it may be lost. Click Google news, 2 stories on Charlie Sheen on the main scroll, nada on Walker.

So...you're suggesting that Charlie Sheen is a Walker plant?

garage mahal said...

Fen
Fox thinks you're stupid and gullible. During the fake Koch call Walker confidently told fake Koch that the polls were behind him - the same day Fox inverted the 60-40 poll numbers from approval to disapproval. That's the scary part - you guys believe it.

Scott M said...

Don't change the palm tree subject, Garage. Is the video as Fen claims or not? Were you right or wrong for bringing it up?

RC3 said...

Ann and Meade,

Thank you for standing up for decency.

Fen said...

/blogger ate my comment

Scott, here's the vid so you can see for yourself

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RClJ6vK9x_4

Note that the tag is "Union Protests", not "Wisconsin".

Fen said...

Garage: the same day Fox inverted the 60-40 poll numbers from approval to disapproval. That's the scary part - you guys believe it.

No, the scary part is that, after all your lies here, you think you still have any credibility.

dreams said...

Yeah, take a break and regroup or whatever.

garage mahal said...

LOL.

Scott M said...

LOL.

Answer the question.

Fen said...

Garage forfeits. Again.

Fen said...

Garage, did you even *watch* the vid before you grabbed your talking points off HuffPo?

Amartel said...

Dear Professor and Meade,

Thank you both!

The videos and analysis have been and continue to be invaluable.

(Amazon link will be utilized in the future.)

DaveW said...

I find the role of police in this to be deeply troubling.

Phil 3:14 said...

I find the parallels between this "protest movement" and the Tea Party interesting.
-both claim to speak for the "middle class" (teachers are middle class, too!)
-both want the politicians to keep their hands "off my government program" (i.e. Medicare vs collective bargaining and retirement benefits)
-both allude to a dangerous, all-powerful "other" (Big government vs Big business)
-both agree its a money issue (taxes too high and long-term debt vs. taxes cuts to deep, especially for the rich, and long term "investment" in schools, innovation, infrastructure and alternative energy)

My big question is will these protests in Wisc. and Ohio "take off" like the Tea Party. The latest images from Wisconsin and poor showing at the sympathy rallies last week suggest this won't "take off"

edutcher said...

No, you weren't 'drafted'. The challenge arose and you two stepped up to meet it. You could have walked away and tried to ignore it, like the townspeople in "High Noon", but you picked up your trusty cameras and went forth.

And very bravely so, might I add.

PS The increasing nastiness on the part of the hired guns from out of town does indicate even they know they've lost.

PPS Agree on the WV, gloogle

Phil 3:14 said...

Garage;
the polls were behind him - the same day Fox inverted the 60-40 poll numbers from approval to disapproval.

Agree that the polls this week show different results. I'd imagine the exact wording of the survey questions will significantly impact the results. More important, I'd anticipate the polls to vary wildly over the coming weeks.

Like docs, I think the public gives teachers a pretty wide berth. Will concerns for long-term debt and more detail regarding the "rich benefits" wear away at that positive regard?

Scott M said...

Will concerns for long-term debt and more detail regarding the "rich benefits" wear away at that positive regard?

Yes, they will. Picture climbing into a garbage-eating Delorean, whisking away to 30 and 60 years from now, only to hold your kids and grandkids (as adults) at gunpoint for their money, which you then have to bring back to the present to fund this completely unsustainable state of affairs.

What's curious, at least to yours truly, is that the same people that are constantly beating the drum for sustainability when it comes to the environment and energy have zero consistency when it comes to basic economics.

Pogo said...

It's a quagmire!!
The Democrats and unions are in Vietnam, and need an exit strategy.

Lets hope they don't go all My Lai on us.

AJ Lynch said...

Garage:
You must feel like one of the Japanese soldiers hiding in a cave and still fighting WWII ten years after it had ended.

G Joubert said...

I believe myself that... this protest is lost and it is not accomplishing anything...

It may be lost viz. Wisconsin, but people in other states are watching with interest. Other governors may hesitate before going down the road Walker went down just to avoid the ruckus, no matter how much it might be called for for the state to go down Walker's road.

Alex said...

Ridicule, scorn are the primary weapons of the Alinsky-ite left.

MadisonMan said...

Incidentally, my fb feed is now full of suggestions on how to get in -- and having a press pass is one of them.

This will be interesting.

Michael said...

Garage: Palm trees are always used in props. Probably in your tapes proving there was no moon landing or in the background on 9/11 video. Takes really perceptive and keen viewers to catch it, though, and to you our hats are off.

Actually, palm trees are used to irritate the frozen residents of the stubborn north.

kentsiegel said...

George Orwell would be proud !!

Milwaukee said...

You know the old "All that is needed for evil to succeed is for ..." Thanks, and be careful out there. The Republican Senator Glenn Grothman was locked out of the building, and surrounded by an angry mob. Fortunately, a Democrat saved him. Have you ever seen Dr. Zhivago? There is a scene where deserters confront new troops heading for the front. The mob was not at all unruly in dispensing with the officers imploring them to change direction. I would hope it wouldn't happen to you. Since the police are on the side of the demonstrators, they will only intervene should you gain the upper hand in a physical confrontation.

Scott M said...

Doesn't this whole situation with the cops argue against police unions?

Robin said...

Your work and Meade's are greatly appreciated.

Velociman said...

Your coverage has been incredibly important. Thanks to you and Meade for doing what the old school media had reused to do.

Strelnikov said...

Who cares if they've lost? It's all so groovy.

David R. Graham said...

When in a quagmire, one determines first whether opfor has one fully or only partially cut off from solid ground.

If the former, one has to cut one's way out towards the nearest solid ground deemed sufficient to allow reform and reinforce if possible. Then, while holding that solid ground, counterattack vectored to pinch off opfor's communications. Chew.

If the latter, execute strategic retreat to the solid ground, reform for attack, await reinforcement if coming, hold the solidi ground and send flanking forces to pinch off opfor's communications. Chew.

The whistle tactic is brilliant, comparable to precision heavy artillery on a surrounded enemy in this case. Counter-tactic? Counter-battery fire?

Welcome to the Army!

TWM said...

If a main stream media outlet/reporter was covering this like you two have been - and if the group being covered were not leftist goons, err, union members and instead been Tea Partiers gone wild - you two could probably be looking at a Pulitzer nomination at the very least.

bearing said...

Do you have a sense of whether the average pro-union public school teacher in Wisconsin is growing uneasy with the direction these protests are headed?

Scott M said...

Welcome to the Army!

Speaking of, I heard about the new fitness test, where situps and pushups are dropped in favor far more realistic battleground situations like dragging 180 lbs x number of feet, on NPR during an all-woman Women In Combat segment. The active-duty woman calling for female inclusion in the ground forces combat arms was, to her credit, saying there needs to be one standard and, if you meet it, you're in regardless of plumbing. My fear, based on previous attempts at one standard were failures because they lowered the mens' standards. After reading up on what the new fitness test will involved...I'm not so worried anymore. Looks like a ballbuster...

BJM said...

Bravo!!

I have been glued to althouse.com since the protests and your excellent coverage began. Thank you!

Triangle Man said...

The whistle tactic is indeed brilliant. Devious even. Meade is to be credited with remarkable self-restraint in that situation. Check-plus!

knox said...

I've also been buying a lot of Jeep parts through the Amazon link.

And we expect updates, AllenS. Don't forget!

Meade said...

@David R. Graham, sir,

HUA, sir!

Meade said...

@bearing, Great question for my next assignment: Operation Find Non-Madison Wisconsin. Thanks.

Revenant said...

I suspect the college students believe they are participating in an historic protest ala 1960's civil rights marches

Probably. That's what the protesters were up to back when I was in college, during the first Gulf War. They even occupied the undergrad library for months. Mind you, the whole WAR only lasted five days... but they were there for months after.

My favorite was when they would march around chanting "hell, no, we won't go"... a slogan that made a lot of sense during the Vietnam-era draft but made none at all in 1991.

Bramericana said...

I live in Ohio, found your link on American Culture website. This is not the America I knew. I came here from Brazil 36 years ago to go to college and I am shocked at the level of ignorance (resulting in violence) in the college kids of today. They are being used as pons by big union money not realizing that Wisconsin tax-payers are really the ones who will lose if they "win" and more unemployed folks (like probably the other group of protesters) will suffer...We are not a democracy, we are republic! Oops they don't know that!

Will said...

Thank you for the great coverage!!!

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