Article first published as Why Wisconsin Matters and Scott Walker is Wrong on Technorati.
Last week when Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin signed a bill limiting collective bargaining rights of most state workers it ushered in a new era of acrimony. What was particularly troubling, is he (Scott Walker) and his republican colleagues did so in the middle of the night without a quorum and Democratic representatives who were absent.
As they left the state capital they were greeted with chants of Shame, Shame, Shame! The controversy reached fever pitch as Republican Senate Majority Leader, Scott Fitzgerald received death threats, which described in detail how he would be killed. It’s safe to say that things got way out of hand.
There are those who wonder if Wisconsin is trying to follow the “Right to Work” states in the southern United States? Most would agree that the way this was handled was not appropriate or consistent with Democratic principles and ideals. My prediction, is that this will come back and bite the Republicans (and Scott Walker) in a big way.
The Wisconsin Debacle just may play into President Obama getting reelected. Gov. Scott Walker’s talk of bringing in the National Guard was not well received by the masses in Wisconsin and the rest of the country. This played into the “Police State” mentality. This is a reminder of the brutal communist regime Poland that attempted to destroy the union by instituting martial law in 1981; Remember that?
I know memories have a way of fading; Allow me to refresh it. Remember Lech Walesa, the Polish Solidarity Union Leader? He was the Shipyard electrician who founded the first independent labor union in a Soviet-bloc country. As a result of Lech Walesa’s efforts (10 million members strong) it greatly contributed to the fall of communism in Poland.
Not only did Mr. Walesa successfully organize his union, he had an ally in Ronald Reagan! That’s right President Ronald Reagan. At the height of the Solidarity Movement in Poland government forces fired on demonstrators on December 16, 1981. Paramilitary riot police killed nine demonstrators and seriously wounded twenty two.
Not only did Ronald Reagan support the movement; support was wide ranging from The Pope, Margaret Thatcher, Enrico Berlinguer and Tony Benn. The Solidarity movement was finally legalized in April 1989; It’s membership had reached 1.5 million.
Gov.Scott Walker may soon regret his decision to muscle out collective bargaining in Wisconsin. Hopefully, this won’t contaminate other states. The nation is still watching to see how much fall out there will be over his (Scott Walker) impetuous decision. It may have been politically expedient at the time (in the Republicans calculus). However, if there continues to be political fallout over this, it just may leave President Obama and the Democrats in a sweet position for the 2012 elections.