So it’s now apparently illegal to watch people sing in Wisconsin.
I haven’t been paying much attention to Governor Teabagger (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Industries) or his cronies, minions, and lackeys for a while, for many of the same reasons that I don’t pay much attention to the nation’s fiscal collapse on a daily basis – they’re both man-made catastrophes, wildly popular with a certain segment of the population that I would just as soon not hear from, and nothing I say will have any real impact on their continued destruction of the republic. But every now and then something comes up that makes you wonder if the entire world has lost its damned mind.
For months now, a dedicated group of protesters has gone up to the Wisconsin State Capitol – a building constructed for the use of Wisconsin citizens and to which the Wisconsin Constitution explicitly forbids the legislature from barring public access – and has spent the noon hour singing protest songs in the Rotunda. And then they go home.
As peaceful protests go, it’s pretty much what they were designed to look like. And to be absolutely blunt, it is exactly the kind of political speech that the First Amendment to the Federal Constitution was designed to protect.
But the Teabaggers don’t really care about the Constitution. Any Constitution. Oh, they natter on about Constitutions like they’re some kind of sacred relics, but when you listen to what they say – or, worse, when you watch what they do – it’s painfully clear that their only sacred idol is power in its most abusive form. It’s funny watching them bloviate about “freedom” while instituting government controls that would have made Mussolini jealous.
Or it would be funny if it weren’t so grotesque.
This week apparently the powers that be here in FitzWalkerstan decided that they were going to get rid of the scourge of music in the Capitol once and for all. So they arrested all the singers.
And then they arrested some of the people watching the singers, on the grounds that – well, I don’t know on what grounds. Perhaps because they have working larynxes and therefore might conceivably start singing too? Or just to remove witnesses to this bizarre and petty display of arrogant power? Who knows.
Of course removing witnesses to public events in the digital age is pretty pointless, as most minor tyrants eventually figure out. It’s all over YouTube now, and the stories are pinging about the web.
And they don’t care.
That’s the amazing thing about Governor Teabagger (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Industries) and his cronies, minions, and lackeys – they sincerely do not care if people know what they are doing. They have the power, therefore they don’t need to care.
And the republic slides further away.