Wisconsin’s Government Cheese Revolution
In the spirit of the decade-long procession of Eastern European and Middle Eastern upheavals in which oppressed peoples have gathered en masse to protest the brutality of their tyrannical leaders, I hereby suggest we christen the current Wisconsin uprising the Government Cheese Revolution.
We gave poetic names to recent revolts based on the colors of their countries’ flags or their native specialties, such as the Rose Revolution, the Cedar Revolution, the Tulip Revolution, the Green Revolution, the Jasmine Revolution, and the Lotus Revolution. Wisconsin markets its cheddar as being orange, and protestors have filled the state capitol wearing ugly orange Working Families T-shirts, but unfortunately the Ukraine has already snagged the title “Orange Revolution.”
Newly elected Governor Scott Walker and the freshly majority Republican Wisconsin state legislature recently proposed a bill that would eliminate the ability of most public sector union members to collectively bargain. It would prevent unions from forcing members to pay dues, require annual secret ballots on whether to remain unionized, and ask members to contribute a pittance toward their lavish pensions and health care plans. The bill would help obviate Wisconsin’s projected $3.6 billion 2013 budget deficit.
Wisconsin public employees have demonstrated their rock-solid work ethic and indispensable contribution to the community by calling in sick to gather at the capitol and dub the governor Hosni Mubarak and Adolf Hitler. Due to thousands of teachers’ absence from work, the largest Wisconsin public school districts have been closed for almost a week.
Last Thursday, the day of the scheduled union bill vote, all 14 Democratic Senators rode a shuttle bus out of state to hide in a secret location in Illinois.
The legislators included Julie Lassa—mother of two small children, six months pregnant with a third—who thought it was a better idea to be on the lam during her third trimester and leave her toddlers at home than to show up at work.
Meanwhile, classy public employee demonstrators have been putting those trashy Tea Partiers to shame by savagely beating drums, sitting Indian-style throughout the capitol corridors, and deliberately blocking people from passing. Pro-union rabble rousers have left the capitol grounds littered with flyers and trash and have massed outside Republican Senators’ homes to scream threats at them.
Some of the more civil and respectful signs at the capitol rally have read: “Walker Terrorizes Families,” “Wisconsin Dictator Must Go,” “Scott Walker = Adolf Hitler,” “Midwest Mussolini,” “Why Do Republicans Hate People,” “Raping Public Employees Is Not The Way To Balance The Budget,” and “Don’t Retreat: Reload,” the latter including the same crosshair symbol over Walker’s face that had liberals up in arms when it was found on Sarah Palin’s website after last month’s Tucson shooting.
Other signs included the delightful encomiums “Al-Qaeda Scott,” “Walker Blows Koch,” “Scott Walker: The Reason We Need Planned Parenthood,” and “Heil Walker!”
Regarding the ubiquitous Hitler references, one protestor explained to a reporter, “First you take away the unions, and then you take away the Jews… That’s where it starts.”
If some African Americans object when gays talk about their struggle as a civil rights movement, I wonder: how do Wisconsin’s Jews feel about protestors comparing minor pension plan adjustments to the Holocaust?
State Republican legislators have bravely refused to water down the bill and have demanded that Democrats return to the state for an up-or-down vote.
Naturally, liberals from coast to coast are reflexively defending the Wisconsin protestors. Apologists for the Cheddar Deadbeats include New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, who extols the glories of unions and the protestors’ cause without bothering to mention that Wisconsin public employees are treated to extravagant pensions and health care plans few private sector workers would dream of.
President Obama and the Democratic National Committee have been sending their 2008 campaign supporters and union cronies to Madison to help with the AstroTurf uprising.
Obama’s support may make this the first revolution in history in which a nation’s Commander-in-Chief has provided material reinforcements to the protestors to help quash the opposition party.
The Government Cheese Revolution is also probably the first revolt in which medical doctors have glided through the crowds offering fraudulent sick notes to protestors, encouraging them to claim “mental anguish and distress” over the bill and the need to congregate with similarly situated victims to alleviate their symptoms. One doctor dispensed with any pretense of medical jargon and simply told a reporter, “Everybody is sick—of Scott Walker!”
Since Wisconsin public employees’ actions are indistinguishable from a strike, which government unions are legally barred from carrying out, I have a solution for putting a peaceful end to the Government Cheese Revolution.
Namely, fire every Wisconsin public sector employee discovered to have obtained a false sick note to skip work and attend the protests. That ought to rid the state payroll of the worst of the riffraff.
Then make them find employment in the private sector, where they can learn just how the rest of the country lives.