O Wisconsin! O America!

August 10, 2011 · Posted in These Our Parlous Times · 6 Comments 

Not long ago, I humorously posted some of the ads against the Republicans in the Recall Elections. But I wasn’t being completely honest. The ads were funny in a way, but the political race was not.
I have been holding my tongue, keeping my place in the peaceable kingdom. But the difficulties we face as a nation now seem insurmountable since yesterday’s recall elections have proven beyond a doubt that voters in America (not just in Wisconsin though Wisconsin provides the handy example) are as blind as doorknobs.

Blind as voters can be, the blinder crowd is the Democratic party, which seems incapable of creating a coherent vision. President Obama and John Boehner played automobile chicken with the economic security of our nation. Obama turned the wheel away a split second before the crash, but he should have kept straight at Boehner and the Republicans. So now we have a president who promised us a progressive administration, but who now acts like a Tea Party member who agrees to cuts in social programs and agrees not to tax the wealthiest citizens and corporations in America.

As for Wisconsin, well, the Dems had a lock on the recall election. And they played almost entirely to the unions and the teachers. What about the seniors who are getting robbed by the Walker administration? What about the poor people whose earned tax credits are being swiped away little by little?

What about honest, good citizens who have relatives and friends in jail who now cannot get out on early release programs? I’m not talking about hardened criminals. Does it make sense to incarcerate a man for failing to make child support payments? Are his chances of making them improved by sitting in jail?

Take a look at this following issue.

The Republicans in Wisconsin have touted the 40, 000 jobs created here since January 2011 as their success story. Here’s a quote from a Tea Party site:

For the short time Gov Walker has been in office, he’s created 40, 000 jobs (private sector), putting Wisconsin up as one of the best in job creation. And Walker’s plan is still working as Wisconsin is creating new jobs each day–9,000 in June alone!

If one does a little fact checking, Doyle claimed to have created 40, 000 jobs in May 2010. Here are the figures as reported by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development:

Wisconsin added 40,200 jobs in May, including 6,500 construction jobs and 3,300 manufacturing jobs,
without seasonal adjustment.  Approximately 29,900 jobs were gained in service sectors including trade,
transportation, leisure and hospitality, and professional and business services

Consider these figures posted by the same Department of Workforce Development on July 27, 2010:

All 12 metro experienced increases in their unemployment rate from May to June. Madison had the lowest rate at
6.0 percent, followed by 6.7 percent in La Crosse and 7.3 percent in Oshkosh-Neenah. Janesville had the highest
rate at 10.1 percent, but posted the largest one-year drop (-1.1 percent) from 11.2 percent in June 2010.
All 31 municipalities with at least 25,000 residents experienced increases in their unemployment rates, including
23 with increases of less than 1.0 percent. Compared to a year ago, 23 had lower rates with Beloit showing the
biggest decrease, a drop of 2.8 percent from a year ago. Caledonia had the lowest rate at 4.7 percent.  

Many of the 2011 Republican-created jobs are the same as  many of the 2010 Democratic-created jobs. It’s called tourism, but Wisconsin voters bought the Republican mis-information program hook, line and sinker. How can unemployment figures go up and employment figures go up at the same time? Answer: compare apples and oranges.

Why didn’t the Dems talk about these figures?

What about the repeal of the Homestead Tax, which was put in place to aid seniors? The Republicans cut it entirely. Was that an issue on the Dems’ platform? Maybe, but where was it verbalized? Where’s the outrage that, along with  disarming BadgerCare, the Republicans are consistently attacking the old and poor? Yes, the public  unions are suffering, but they were not the only issue.

We have a Supreme Court justice who “allegedly” assaulted (read choked) another Supreme Court justice. Why haven’t the Dems linked this thug to Walker and the Senators in recall?

The Republicans even stole the education narrative, by presenting “success” stories of towns that, now without teacher unions, have been able to get an alternative insurance for their employees and are now saving monies in their budgets. Why haven’t the Dems tallied every teacher job that has been lost since January?

The $800 million that has been cut from education is going to have very specific effects; why haven’t the Dems shown those effects in graphic detail instead of merely mentioning the cuts. Most voters are going to be duped into thinking these cuts are being managed carefully and judiciously. Not bloody likely.

Why haven’t the Dems shown photos and videos of the physical state of many schools? According to one state representative on the floor of the Assembly, there are Parent Choice shools that have missing floor boards. Students have to literally practice tight-rope-walking manoeuvres. Do we really want to encourage this form of private enterprise? There are Parent Choice schools that have 0% of students who can read or cipher at their grades level. The Republicans say these Parent Choice schools (read Voucher) are a happy alternative to our public education. 0% profiency! Really? Read the facts!

What about the Republicans raisng the cut-off income for parents who want to get vouchers for Choice schools and other private schools? Now, Wisconsin is giving money to pay the tuition of people who can easily afford tuition. Is this a good thing? Unlike our public schools, these Parent Choice schools are unregulated, with no accountability whatsoever. If you live in a wealthy community, the Parent Choice school does well; if you live elsewhere, the school makes a tidy profit. (One cheer for education!)

Where are the Democrats on this issue? I never once heard it mentioned during the campaigns.

The Dems, I regret, almost deserved to lose here, in Wisconsin, and there, everywhere else. They have no leadership and no vision. Unfortunately, most of us do not deserve to be ruled and abused by the Republicans who would sell their own children into slavery if some corporation wanted them to.

I am disgusted.

On the night Bush won his second term, I hit rock bottom. How could America do such a thing to itself? That administration would later  dupe us into an unjust, immoral war that is partly responsible for our  huge economic woes. The loss of lives caused by Cheney and Bush (and don’t forget Colin Powell in front of the U.N. lending his name to fraud) is absolutely fiendish. That the Dems were duped into allowing the Iraq War to go forward is to their everlasting lasting shame.

When David The Choker Prosser was re-elected, I felt the same sense of our hitting rock bottom. Now that our state Senate shall remain Republican controlled, I realize that I and my fellow citizens will be at rock bottom for a long time. What’s more worrisome, however, is that, at the dark nadir of this abyss, we can no longer see a light above us.

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