Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Note About Wisconsin

(I was going to add this as a comment to a prior post, but it got too long, so I thought I would just post about this separately.)

As I've been watching all of this play out in Wisconsin along with most of the rest of the country, I'm getting a pretty good understanding of the who, what, when and how of this story. Yes, it's the top 7 conservative organizations that contributed to the 2010 campaign to get all of these horrible Republicans elected so they could wage economic war on labor unions as a result of the catastrophic Citizens United Supreme Court decision. That answers the "who" part of this story. Either capitalizing on existing economic crises or creating new ones as Walker did by rewarding his business pals to create the deficit that he's using as an excuse to eliminate public sector employee bargaining rights...well, that gives us an understanding of the "what" piece, in terms of the strategy. "When" is right now and for the foreseeable future, and the "how" kind of ties into the "what," including the Koch Brothers and their pals pulling the puppet strings of those moronic teabaggers whose brains have been turned to mush by Fix Noise and conservative-friendly media in general including right-wing talk radio.

But what I don't get about this is the "why." Yes, I understand that it's about making money ultimately and about consolidating political and economic power into the more-and-more concentrated hands of the "pay no price, bear no burden" investor class. But for a long time, I never understood the urgency about this.

And then I saw a news story earlier today about how Governor Jerry Brown was more than happy to take any federal funds that Rick Scott of Florida, Walker, Kasich in Ohio or Governor Bully in New Jersey (and probably Corbett in PA, given enough time) were refusing for rail infrastructure projects.

That would be Jerry Brown of California, people.

You remember how Karl Rove and his pals spent millions to get Carly Fiorina elected to the U.S. Senate over Barbara Boxer in that state, as well as Meg Whitman over Brown? And you remember that they both lost?

And do you remember the reason why they both lost?

In a word, Latinos.

Latinos have organized into a powerful voting bloc as we know. And the complexion of this country is getting more brown by the day, to the point where all of those zany teabaggers with their racist signs and funny hats (to say nothing of Karl and his pals) are going to be the minority sooner than they’d like to admit.

And before that happens, they want to make sure they have every possible judicial, legislative, and economic benefit that they can possibly get.

So basically, if we deny the Repugs now, their advantage will eventually diminish over time, since Latinos will overwhelmingly vote Democratic. The shadows, if you will, are longer for them than they are for us.

That doesn’t give the rest of us an excuse to sit on the sidelines, though. The Republicans want now what they have wanted for at least 50 years, and that is the destruction of the middle class, to the point where all of us will have to organize just to survive, whether we like it or not.

However, organizing to achieve basic economic and political rights is something Latinos know about very well. And when you do, it’s a lot easier to understand who opposes you and who supports you.

Those lines have been drawn as clearly as possible in Wisconsin. So when we find those lines drawn in our own state, city or county, we shouldn’t act surprised. Just do in response what Latinos do, and relearn the lesson that too many of us have forgotten, which has a lot to do with how we ended up in this mess to begin with.

Update 2/20/11: Oh, and in response to this utterly lame New York Times account of how Walker's goal is merely "shrinking" collective bargaining rights (of course, no mention of the fact that leaders of the respective unions are willing to negotiate if Walker takes his idiotic demand off the table), I give you this.

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