What This Is…
Issue #43b- January 22, 2012
In this issue: Walker's Budget, Education News, Claiming MLK, Scott Walker, Two Views of America.
I know that I've tended to cover a lot of ground in each week's edition so I broke them up into two installments. This part deals with the social and economic issues of the week.Walker's Budget…
One of the interesting things about the prospect of a delay in holding the recalls is the potential changes in our state's economy. Of course we all hope that things improve, too many people are currently suffering the effects of an economy that is stagnant at best in most areas.
at there is $11 million also being turned back to set up new computer networks to more quickly and accurately identify Medicare eligibility, which would have saved the taxpayers significant money. Here is a quote from the article, "Supporters of the federal health law say the Walker administration let ideology and distaste for the federal law trump common sense by turning down millions of dollars that could have saved the state money in areas beyond the health care law." Now my question of the day - which is more troubling that once again we did not get the full story - ie. Family Care - or that the taxpayers once again lose out because of Walker's ideological agenda taking precedence over common sense and good economic judgement?
Public education doesn't seem to be much different than private employment in terms of salary structure. Management in America continues to be paid at a higher rate than the general working population. Why do we insist on paying bonuses to keep management in place while we are willing to let good educators leave the profession. Even worse, we let our support staff employees work for subsistence wages while the top of the ladder gets bonuses.
When New Obama Chief of Staff Was NYU Exec, School Ceased Recognizing Union - Working In These Times
It's not just public sector unions that are being attacked. Private sector unions have been decimated by the policies applied at all levels of government for all of recent history. The union movement was strongest in the private sector for many years, but was gradually undermined as companies gained power and corporations went multi-national. As a result we saw the balance shift and now most union members are public workers.
We celebrated Dr. King's birthday last Monday with ceremonies and other events. Here in Madison tensions were high as Scott Walker participated in the activities honoring Dr. King.
Of course it would be political suicide to criticize Dr. King and our GOP leaders in Wisconsin are way too savvy to do anything of that magnitude. Instead, Vicki McKenna floated the idea that Dr. King was a Republican. Co-opting a movement, phrase or historical figure is a common Republican strategy and it makes sense that they would try and claim Dr. King as one of their own. After all the conservatives have tried to make it appear that their efforts to reform our nation are done with the interests of the majority of Americans at their base. Education reform is a great example of this effort as conservatives claim that offering choice in education gives everyone equal opportunity (despite much evidence to the contrary).
Thus we get this posting that was shared on Facebook.
If this thinking wasn't taken seriously by some it would be laughable. There are many holes in this argument. First, the Democratic party in the southern part of the United States was the home to the most conservative politicians and a breeding ground for racist policies at the time King was alive. While the Republican party was no model of tolerance it would have been a more palatable choice. However, we have a great deal of evidence that points to the fact that King was willing to work with any politician who would help further his goals of advancing the Civil Rights Movement. He carefully weighed his options and went back and forth between support for politicians as varied as Richard Nixon and JFK. Political party mattered less to King than political action.
In addition to this fact is the rather obvious fact that much of the GOP agenda under Walker has directly undermined things that King held of high value.
So, conservatives can put any title they want behind Dr. King's name, it doesn't change the fact that he would be vehemently opposed to the policies currently being advanced by the GOP in Wisconsin. To argue otherwise shows incredible ignorance and disrespect to King's legacy.
Walker, Leader or???…
A fact that can't be disputed is that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. That one of the greatest presidents of all time was from the Republican party does not do anything to support current Republican actions any more than claiming Dr. King's allegiance does. Thinking about Lincoln and his role in American history highlights the differences in leadership that we see between a true statesman and Scott Walker.
It is the leadership style that Walker brings that really divides our state. We have had many periods of crises over the course of history. Scott Walker would have us believe that he is attempting to lead us through a period where the future of Wisconsin is threatened. As a result of this impending doom he justifies his actions as ones that are necessary to save our state for future generations.
However, facts don't necessarily support Walker's claims of destruction looming on the horizon. In fact, it can be argued that the crisis which lead to the radical attacks on worker's rights and organized labor was largely manufactured by actions supported by GOP leaders. The response that was generated by Republicans was one that went far beyond what was required to address the problem.
There is no doubt that our state faced many challenges as Governor Walker took office. However, in times of trouble we need leadership that unites people, not leadership designed to divide groups. Once again looking at Lincoln, he took office at a time when our nation truly faced a crisis. Slavery and other hotly contested issues threatened to (and quickly did) tear our nation apart. Lincoln faced this challenge with strength and dignity. Even going so far as to assemble a "Team of Rivals" (for a great read check out the book of the same name by Doris Kearns Goodwin) made up of some of his staunchest opponents.
Walker clearly beats to the rhythm of a different drummer. He has taken every opportunity to create dissention and discord here. He appears to be carrying out the agenda of a national movement with great enjoyment and bears personal grudges against public unions. I admit that I don't know much about Governor Walker as a person. He may firmly believe in everything that he is doing. However, as a person who has decided to take on the role of a public official in high office he is not behaving in a responsible manner.
Those who have worked with him before paint the picture of a single minded and uncompromising individual who will not veer from a path once he has selected it. This makes him a powerful leader to some, but it would appear someone who isn't well suited to lead a democratic system.
A Different Vision For America…
Virginia lawmaker: Children with disabilities are God’s punishment to women who previously had abort
Citizen Dave: Mitt Romney, Elizabeth Warren, and the politics of envy and equality - Isthmus | The D
"Compassionate Conservatism" at its finest.