The ruse is over
As I’m sure you all know, the Republican excuse for the attack on unions in Wisconsin is that this is about “fiscal conservatism”, i.e. they are just trying to put through cuts on teacher compensation in order to save money, and this has nothing to do with an ideological assault on the rights of workers to collective bargaining. Then this:
After claiming for weeks that it was essential to strip government workers of collective bargaining rights in order to help balance the budget, Wisconsin Republicans pulled a neat legislative trick on Wednesday night: by defining the collective bargaining rules as non-budgetary in nature they were able to go ahead and pass their stripped down bill.
Let’s repeat that: Wisconsin Republicans stripped the “fiscal” elements of a “budget repair” bill in order to pass it. If that sounds like a contradiction-in-terms to you, you’re not wrong.
This is and has always been about the belief that anyone that isn’t a millionaire doesn’t count as a full citizen, but is instead a prole who should be grateful to be permitted to have bread to eat and water to drink in exchange for working your fingers to the bone while the rich get richer.
Consider that the top 400 wealthiest Americans have a combined wealth that’s almost equal to what the bottom 153 million Americans have. Consider that Republicans are saying that’s not enough, and they will do whatever it takes to break working people and turn this country into a banana republic. The ideal system, it appears, would be one where the rich live in heavily guarded mansions while the rest of the country is notable for its widespread poverty and deprivation.
Still, I think that the Repubicans have made so naked their desire to destroy the middle class that people have really started to pay attention. Most Republican voters really haven’t yet figured out that the people they keep electing want them to make less money and live in more debt and deprivation. But in Wisconsin, people are starting to wake up to this. And the realization is spreading.