Lillie and Gov. Walker

After the third time Lillie dropped her ball at my feet, I finally looked up: “I’m sorry, girl, I am too upset to play.” “What’s the matter?” she asked (Lilly is our dog, but she sometimes talks to me. Nobody else ever hears her, but I have grown used to it). I told her that I was worried about union workers. In Wisconsin, and in a dozen other states, newly elected lawmakers are attempting to roll back long-held benefits and bargaining rights. “Oh, right,” Lilly laughed, “that’s why the Wisconsin Democrats are hiding out across the state line.” I told her that does sound funny, but the whole issue was not a laughing matter. Other than government workers, we the people have not seen an increase in our real wages (adjusted for inflation) since the 1970s. If our unions get weaker, our wages and benefits will shrink even more rapidly. “Please don’t start ranting about tax cuts for the rich, and all the waste in the prison system again,” Lillie whined, “we dogs are very sensitive to human emotions, and you are hard to be around when you get this way. Why do you think I’ve been asking you to play ball?” You’re right, girl. Let’s go play. I’ve already signed a petition against Gov. Walker calling out the National Guard, at boldprogressives.org. We need some recreation, to keep up our strength for the long struggle for justice. Go fetch!

(Original post at The Yes Church)

3 comments to Lillie and Gov. Walker

  • Thank you for the fact-check, Joel. However, I disagree with PolitiFact’s assessment. According to the link you gave, Gov. Walker *did* mention the National Guard, immediately adding “We are fully prepared and equipped to handle whatever may occur.” He added, “They’re not called up at this point. We obviously have a whole series of circumstances that would lead to that. I’m not anticipating that, I’m not expecting that, but I want to make everyone certain in this state that I’m fully prepared for whatever may happen.” At the very least, he is leaving open the option of using the Guard. Because the Guard has been used as strike-busters in the past, we have to take this seriously.

    Walker and his staff obviously saw that his words could be seen as a threat, as they began to backpedal that afternoon (we’ll use the Guard to run prisons) and still later backpedaled further (the Guard would continue core government services).

    “Core government services” are a long way from Walker’s initial statement, about being ready for “whatever may happen.”

    I appreciate the challenge; a functioning democracy requires such public give-and-take. Given the US history of using the National Guard against union strikers, I still regard Walker’s words as a veiled threat.

  • JacktheLeper

    Wisconsin = Greece

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