"If you break the public unions in Wisconsin you can break them everywhere." — Rachel Maddow
Ok, maybe Julian Assange didn't exactly parachute into Wisconsin. But he might have! And the pathetic fact is, that link-baiting baloney is what got you here. And that was my mission.
Why? Because with Gov. Scott Walker's outrageous effort to crush collective bargaining for state workers, the right wing has effectively declared war against unions, progressivism, and the American middle class, while most of the left is still sitting on the side of the road, like a brooding Rent-A-Wreck, with its ass stuck in neutral.
My good friend @karoli can bring you quickly up to speed.
With her usual knack for cutting through all the clutter, via Crooks and Liars:
Conservatives Declare War on Unions While National Media Snores
But my mission here….
Is to point out that while this issue has been building for well over a week, the American left has been mostly asleep until yesterday. Naturally, the mainstream media did its best to help it snooze for as long as possible. Only yesterday did CNN even show up in Wisconsin. And until last night, Twitter and Facebook were mostly abuzz with the usual updates about Wikileaks, Bradley Manning, Glenn Beck, a dwindling bit of Egypt, the Chris Christie Minstrels, and the usual celebrity cacophony of moronic blither-blather.
No one was expecting this Battle of the Bulge for the Democratic party and our fading unions to come up in this way, or this suddenly. But here it is. And now, the big question is, will progressives finally fight hard, or just die quickly? If you can't see what the GOP is doing with this issue, you simply don't get anything that's happened to this nation over the past 30 years in general, and certainly in the past five years since Fox News became the steering gear for the Republican Party's ship to nowhere. So just shut the fuck up and get out of the way.
But if you do get it, then you realize that this can and should be a magic moment in our history. A moment where we can rise up and show this fetid teaparty army and their plutocratic puppet masters like David Koch and Sheldon Adelson that there is still a strong majority of sensible people in this country who know that a fair society is the only one that will ever survive long term. And this generation of wrecking crew Republicans won't just delay that fair and just society. They will crush out any possibility of there ever being one. At least in this country.
And that would be a sad fail of unparalleled dimension. An easy win will have passed us right by due to our own apathetic lethargy and a mass delusion that all the horrible things happening to us were never quite as bad as they seemed. Our collective will to resist an obvious insurrection of selfishness will have failed to come alive at the very moment that it must, and the American experiment will probably die right here in the lab.
So maybe we needed a Julian Assange to land in Wisconsin. We shouldn't have needed anything that dramatic to smack us out of our cynical slumber. But now something even better is on the ground our there in cheesehead country. Something very big and very beautiful. We only have to get behind this moment and push it with all our might… and we can win.
We really can win.
Yes we can.
Rachel Maddow: Wisconsin Is About The Survival of The Democratic Party
Labor's Last Stand, By John Nichols (The Nation)
Angry Wisconsin workers occupy Capitol (Peoplesworld.org)
DNC Expands Role In Labor Protests To Ohio, Indiana, by Amanda Terkel (Huffington Post)
George Carlin on the American Dream (with transcript)
Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle