Progressives should not be disheartened or daunted tonight.
Tonight, 18 Repugnican Tea Party members of the Wisconsin state Senate voted to strip the state’s public servants of their collective bargaining rights. One of the Repugnican Tea Party senators, probably sensing the inevitable political backlash, voted against the Repugnican Tea Party’s union-busting legislation, and the state’s 14 Democratic senators (to my knowledge as of this moment) remain outside of the state.
The Repugnican Tea Party owns this. It’s all theirs.
Separating the union-busting provisions from the state’s budget legislation, thus requiring only a simple majority and not a quorum (which the Democratic 14 have been preventing), is a short-term win and a long-term loss for the Repugnican Tea Party in Wisconsin — and probably elsewhere throughout the nation.
In 2012, there will be repercussions in Wisconsin– if not before then, because recall efforts already have been under way in the state. There will be some national repercussions as well; the Repugnican Tea Party promised to bring back jobs, but instead is attacking those of us whose jobs just aren’t miserable enough for the Repugnican Tea Party’s sadistic and plutocratic tastes.
In a statement, Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott Walker said, “In order to move the state forward, I applaud the Legislature’s action today to stand up to the status quo and take a step in the right direction to balance the budget and reform government. The action today will help ensure Wisconsin has a business climate that allows the private sector to create 250,000 new jobs.”
The last sentence is what it’s really about: Walker has delivered a better “business climate” for his corporate pimps.
The union-busting legislation won’t create 250,000 jobs, though, and nor has this battle ever been about balancing Wisconsin’s budget. As Rachel Maddow points out, Walker gave Wisconsin’s rich and super-rich tax cuts before he decided to “drop the bomb” (as Walker put it in his telephone conversation with “David Koch”) on the public-sector labor unions. If you truly want to balance a budget, you don’t hand out tax cuts to the wealthy like candy.
Nor is Walker — whose truthfulness was revealed in what he thought was a telephone conversation with one of his super-rich sugar daddies — out to “reform government.” He’s out to destroy his state’s government so that the corporate pimps that fund the Repugnican Tea Party have even fewer obstacles to their obscene profiteering. The corporate pimps have bought Wisconsin’s governorship and Legislature.
Walker, politically speaking, is a dead man walking, and he has taken many other Repugnican Tea Party politicians with him.
Walker & Co. won the battle, but they will lose the war.
Update: Democratic Wisconsin state Sen. Jon Erpenbach tells Rachel Maddow tonight that all 14 state Democratic senators remain in solidarity and that all of them plan to remain outside of Wisconsin because, he said, “we don’t trust the Senate Republicans” and “we don’t trust Gov. Walker,” adding that “the entire state of Wisconsin is ashamed” of what the state Senate Repugnicans did tonight.
Maddow also shows must-see video from the shoved-through, probably-illegal vote of the 18 Repugnican Tea Party state senators to strip public servants of their collective bargaining rights — even though it never was about union-busting, remember?