Hello and thank you all for being here today.
What we have seen in Wisconsin these past few weeks has been nothing short of incredible. In response to a piece of legislation, poorly crafted and filled with debatable items, state Senate Democrats, as the loyal opposition, took the only measure left to them. By crossing state lines, these 14 senators hoped to delay the bill long enough for people to see it for what it truly was, a naked attempt to strip away the rights of the workers of the state of Wisconsin and centralize power in the hands of the governor. Across the state, ordinary citizens flocked to the capitol by the tens of thousands to voice their support for these 14 Democratic lawmakers and to oppose provisions in the bill stripping away the hard won rights of collective bargaining, rights that Wisconsin, in its true progressive tradition, was the first to sign into law over 50 years ago.
Last night we as a nation saw once again what happens when a group of people, any group, puts an ideology ahead of the welfare of its citizens. In what can only be described as an underhanded legislative procedure, Wisconsin Senate Republicans stripped collective bargaining language from the main bill and passed it in the dead of night, without notifying their colleagues of their intent, in a move timed to take advantage of a brief lull in the protests that have gone on non-stop for the past 3 weeks.
Let there be no mistake: this act is an affront to the people of Wisconsin, to our democracy, and to the nation. Democracy is messy. It is a slow, grinding process where no one, ever, gets 100% of what they want. When you are impacting people’s lives, it should take time. It should be a careful, deliberative process. It should take into account not just the wants of the majority, but the needs and protected rights of the minority. That this bill was crafted, proposed, and meant to be passed in less than a week’s time speaks volumes about its true intent. And when the Republicans stripped the collective bargaining language from the bill, they sent a clear signal to the rest of Wisconsin. This bill was not about balancing the budget; it was about silencing the voice of the workers, the middle class; nurses, teachers.
While saying all the right things, such as “shared sacrifice” and “we’re all in this together,” Republicans have proven by their actions, by including tax breaks for corporations, subsidies for the wealthy, and refusing to even consider asking those who gain the most from the blessings of our liberty, to pay just a little bit more, they believe “shared sacrifice” is only for those who can not buy their way into the halls of power.
Democracy does not end at an election, and though, as I have said myself, elections have consequences, no elected representative is given a mandate to ignore the voices of those that disagree. Compromise is not a four letter word. By their words, and now, certainly, by their deeds, the Governor and his Republican allies have shown their true colors.
The people of Wisconsin continue to lead the way. By exercising their right to peaceably assemble, they have shown the world that the people of this country will not stand idly by while corporate interests bend politicians to their will; while our resources are sold to the highest bidder; while our children, our future, languish in overcrowded classrooms designed not to educate, but rather to provide more profit, more money to those firms that even now are lining up at the gates for their handout.
Stand fast, Wisconsin. Your President is with you. There is no greater power than a people united for a cause they believe in. And you have made believers out of us.
That Ain't Right copyright Kurt Griesemer, 2011 BMI
Went down to the capitol today cause I heard some people say
It was filling up with dangerous Union thugs
Radicals and greedy bastards
Lazy teachers holding placards
Trying to get all the money they could grub.
So I got myself to Madison; it was quite a sight I'll tell you son
People in the streets all wearing red
Shouting slogans and singing songs
Holding hands and walking along
Protesting what the governor had said
See he claims we're in crisis and we can't afford to wait
It's time for you workers to sacrifice
In the meantime don't you worry
The government's in a hurry
To sell itself to Koch at any price.
Well it's not fair
And it ain't right
How can you go to sleep at night
Doin' what your doin
Just to stick it to the unions
My brothers and my sisters; stand and fight
I keep hearing about the out of towners comin' here and beatin down on
The people on your side to keep um quiet
But it's the people on your side sayin' the ammo should be live!
Why the heck are you tryin' to start a riot
There's mom's and dad's and sons and daughters
Sisters, brothers mothers and fathers
And the best of them are staying overnight
But not one of them has broke the law
But I heard you get pwned on that phone call
Beating on your people just ain't right.
And now your on the phone tryin' to lure the 14 home
You would teach those democrats a little lesson
While you pretend to listen all your buddies (Mostly Fitz's)
Would pass the bill in a barely legal session
Well there's no easy way out of this cause people here are mighty pissed
But it's not like your leaving us any choice
We're not here for you to walk all over
Recall hell we want a do over
We the people singing with one voice!
Oh, you can't scare me, I'm sticking to the union,
I'm sticking to the union, I'm sticking to the union.
Oh, you can't scare me, I'm sticking to the union,
I'm sticking to the union 'til the day I die.
But not yet!
This just in from Gabby Parsons on Triple M:
I’m going to play Upside Down tomorrow morning about 8:35ish when I visit with Jonathan and Kitty in the Morning.
Hope you will be listening.
I think we can safely say that I will be listening…will you? And then call and say how great we are! Wait that might be cheating…nah…
Not in the Madison area? Listen live online: