unions — May 17, 2012 at 10:08 am

UPDATED: Why I must (at least try) to defeat Scott Walker


Or what I learned by thinking like a conservative news clown

This post is all about getting you to donate to Barrett for Wisconsin to defeat Scott Walker. You can do that now.

When North Carolina’s discriminatory and hateful Amendment One won by twenty points earlier in May, I thought, “I didn’t do enough. I should have done more.” (I think the President felt the same, BTW.)

This was a strange revelation to me. As a Democrat, my thought after a loss is usually: “XXXXXXX didn’t do enough.”

This time I thought, “Goddamit, I’ve gotta do something.”

I was like Michele Bachmann if she’d found out that her twenty-four year old son watches Glee. I was morally outraged, shaken like a bottle of pills.

Then I thought: “WTF is wrong with me?” and donated $25 to Barrett for Wisconsin.

I play a news clown on Twitter and Facebook. Using clownish conservative rhetoric, I try to make progressive points. When someone says “gay marriage is like 9/11,” I tweet that gay marriage is like 9/11 in that the GOP can’t stop it.

Being this kind of asshole on a regular basis gets me thinking like a movement conservative sometimes. Movement conservatives don’t ask the party to enact their wishes. They make the RNC enact their wishes. They can do this because they focus their outrage into money, time and effort.

Movement progressives do that, too. But, being of sound conscience and mind, they often focus on policy. When that doesn’t work, they occasionally form a perfectly circular firing squad.

In the GOP, only the next fight matters. And the next fight for them is Wisconsin.

Scott Walker needlessly attacked the rights of public workers, cutting education while giving tax breaks to the people who didn’t need more tax breaks.

Thousands of Wisconsinites rose up to reject Walkers agenda. They could only slow it down but they inspired the nation.

A year later, what were the results of Walker’s reforms? The worst job creation in the nation.

You know Scott Walker’s agenda had nothing to do with Wisconsin, the heartland of progressivism. It was all about imposing the right-wing version of a plutocratic utopia. It’s not the American Dream, it’s a fantasy of billionaires like the Koch brothers: Throw out the things that made the middle class—good education, unions, health care—and watch the rich get richer.

Scott Walker’s agenda would only make sense if America’s middle class were getting too large, if women were earning too much, if workers had lost billions gambling on derivatives.

The Republicans know Wisconsin is a key battle. Millions in support for Scott Walker is coming from outside of Wisconsin. This is the GOP’s chance to punish workers for picking a fight.

As of now, it looks like Walker will survive. He’s had to pretend to moderate his views as he’s already lost the Senate thanks to last year’s recalls.

What he also needs to survive is the energy and hope Wisconsin gave to progressives everywhere. Any bit we can do is our way of saying, “Thank you for fighting for all of us.”

Because if Walker wins big, it will be Wisconsin and progressive values that lose. So give what you can.

Now, there’s no doubt Michigan’s GOP has gone off the rails. But, the strength of the recovery spurred by President’s auto rescue combined with machinations of power have kept Michiganders unable to organize against an extreme governor who has doing everything the far right AEI, Kochs, Mackinac Center-types want—except on right-to-work and the bridge. Everything else.

More needs to be done everywhere but, if we can focus on Wisconsin a bit, we’re preparing for a key swing state battle and letting the GOP know their outrage will be matched.

PS: I’m thinking about visiting Madison on June 2 to do some mean-spirited tweeting there. Let me know if there’s something I should check out.

UPDATE: If you would like to help out with more than just a donations, visit WorkersVoice.org and find out how.

[CC image by Sue Peacock | Flickr]