This is a very interesting time to be living in Wisconsin.
Governor Teabagger, having broken the bank with a reckless spending bill in January – one that did a masterful job of both rewarding his political supporters and converting a projected budget surplus into a massive deficit (gee, where have we heard that tune being sung by right-wingers before?) – has declared that in this fiscal crisis he must take drastic action.
Isn’t that convenient? You create a crisis and then declare that in times of crisis drastic action is necessary. Next thing you know he’ll be declaring war on Minnesota, looking for weapons of mass destruction, and arguing that criticism of elected leaders in wartime is treason.
So far this drastic action has not encompassed anything that will actually reduce costs or generate income, though.
I am not surprised by this.
This is the same guy who spent a large portion of his campaign crowing about his “68-page” job creation report. He called it all sorts of things, but the fact that it was 68 pages long was always prominently mentioned, always with the implication that this was a policy document so massive and thorough that no argument could possibly be made against its validity.
I downloaded it from his campaign website – straight from the source. It was indeed 68 pages long.
It was also printed in the kind of banner-headline-sized font that newspapers tend to reserve for major wars ending or astronauts landing on the moon. Seriously – there were single words that had to be broken into two lines because the font was that big.
And it had pictures.
Do you know how many words were in this “68-page” report? Even with the generous inclusion of one iteration of the “paid for by” disclaimer that all campaign literature is required to have these days, the report weighed in at a grand total of 1,027 words. In a normal font, that’s roughly four double-spaced pages, or slightly less than the amount of writing that I expect from my college freshmen students in History 101 for a single essay.
So I should not be surprised at the sheer ignorance, thoughtlessness, stupidity and arrogance with which this guy has conducted himself since being inaugurated.
Drastic action, he says.
This includes destroying the unions that protect state workers, without even bothering to talk to them about possibly working together to make the state function. Because this destruction will create jobs and balance the budget somehow. Because having people make less money and have less job security will make them somehow more likely to spend what money they have to drive the economy - an economy based mostly on consumer spending since the 1920s - forward and get us out of the recession. Because a shrinking economy is just what we need to boost revenue. Because a downward spiral of misery is Just. So. Patriotic.
Not really. The truth is more straightforward.
It’s because his political pals don’t like the fact that real people need real wages and benefits to survive. It’s because they regard me and the people I know as expenses to be cut rather than citizens to be served. It’s that whole “political units as profitable businesses” mentality thing. This is what happens when that misconception gets applied in real life.
Governor Teabagger’s idea of drastic action also includes threatening American citizens with military force if they should happen to disagree with this boneheaded policy.
I can’t respond to that any better than Dave Cieslewicz, the mayor of Madison, did on Monday: “Here’s one reliable test of good public policy: You don’t have to call out the National Guard when you propose it.”
Drastic action also includes the governor refusing to present his budget to the Legislature in person, the coward. Instead he will give what is billed as a “speech” to a local business and present his budget there. I’m not sure about the legality of presenting substantive legislation in such a setting, but I don’t think that matters to Governor Teabagger.
Rules are for other people.
That is the Teabagger motto.
That’s why the Republican majority tried so hard to limit the public access to the hearing for it – attempting to cut off debate long before most people had gotten a chance to speak. Democratic legislators managed to beat back that idea, but it almost worked so you have to give them credit for trying.
That’s also why the Republican legislators are meeting in a “secret site” off of the Capitol grounds to plan their next moves, open meeting laws being prominent among the rules that are for other people.
That’s also why they want this bill voted on by Thursday, before people have read it all. Because while they know what else is contained in this abomination of a bill, the rest of us are still trying to wrap our heads around the fact that this was seriously proposed as something Americans would do to other Americans and that it has a better than even chance of being enacted. Best to let the details come out afterward, really.
Interesting times indeed.