I watched the recent WI state legislative action with a mixture of astonishment and disgust. Here were a bunch of Republican Senators, shoving through an anti-union agenda without so much as a by-your-leave from the voting public.
Let me be clear, I have no issues with the procedural track of the bill, rather I have problems with the ethics behind it. Consider this: Wisconsin changed greatly in the last elections, moving from a democratic to republican majority in one cycle. Unfortunately, not a single republican candidate campaigned on busting unions. Not a single republican party plank showed this. Worse, the Union busting legislature itself was disguised in a “budget repair bill” that was brought before the legislation with a fast-track passage rider. When democratic representatives read the language, they had little time to do anything but flee the State in an effort to expose the bill to the public.
Republican rhetoric pushed the “we’re broke” issue even as the Unions gave the monetary concessions requested in the bill itself.
Nothing worked. Finally, republican senators passed the union busting portion of the bill without the monetary provisions. That was astonishing to me because the bill itself was supposedly written to head off a looming Wisconsin deficit. Next, the republican senatorial leader crowed to Fox News that busting the unions would deny Barack Obama funding for his presidential campaign and help keep Wisconsin red during the next election cycle. Add this to the systematic breakdown of all political campaign funding limitations by his federal counterparts and you have the first real truth uttered by a public representative here. Apparently, this was the true reason for the bill and the real agenda hidden from the voting public.
As voters, we were duped, lied to, and deceived. My parents are republicans and they taught me honor, and respect. This party is not their party. They must feel wretched indeed as they watch the younger generation of republicans renounce everything they stood for.
Sigh. Once again, as a good friend of mine oft says: If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.