Politics & Law

Governor Walker’s coup d’état

Robert Reich

Governor Scott Walker and his Wisconsin senate Republicans have laid bare the motives for their coup d’état. By severing the financial part of the bill (which couldn’t be passed without absent Democrats) from the part eliminating the collective bargaining rights of public employees (which could be), and then doing the latter, Wisconsin Republicans have made it crystal clear that their goal has had nothing whatever to do with the state budget. It’s been to bust the unions.

That’s no surprise to most people who have watched this conflict from the start, but like any coup its ultimate outcome will depend on the public. If most citizens of Wisconsin are now convinced that Walker and his cohorts are extremists willing to go to any lengths for their big-business patrons (including the billionaire Koch brothers), those citizens will recall enough Republican senators to right this wrong.

But it’s critically important at this stage that Walker’s opponents maintain the self-discipline they have shown until this critical point. Walker would like nothing better than disorder to break out in Madison. Like the leader of any coup d’état, he wants to show the public his strong-arm methods are made necessary by adversaries whose behavior can be characterized on the media as even more extreme.

Be measured. Stay cool. Know that we are a nation of laws, and those laws will prevail. The People’s Party is growing across America — and the actions of Scott Walker and his Republican colleagues are giving it even greater momentum. So are the actions of congressional Republicans who are using the threat of a government shutdown to strong-arm their way in Washington.

The American public may be divided over many things but we stand united behind our democratic process and the rule of law. And we reject coups in whatever form they occur.

Cross-posted from Robert Reich’s blog.

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Comments to "Governor Walker’s coup d’état":
    • Achraf

      Union Smashing, Pure and Simple

      Like the gun thugs hired by the auto companies in the 30s, or the military and gun thugs shooting miners in the 19-teens, Walker has killed union organizing without firing a shot – just with paper. Recall these criminals.

      Once you piss off the working-class, you won’t be dealing with liberals anymore. You will be dealing with the majority of people in the United States. And if they organize together – you are finished.

      As to the growth of an alleged ‘People’s Party’ – which one would that be? The one running against both Republicans and Democrats?

      As to being a nation of ‘laws’ – the laws are written by the ruling class and their legal friends. We are actually a nation of ‘certain men,’ not laws.

      [Report abuse]

    • Ella

      Walker’s vicious attack and power grab has taken, the struggle between Wisconsin’s working middle class and the corporate elite with deep pockets to a whole new level, it truly is about class warfare.

      The protesters are keeping it peaceful and civil because they are in it for the long haul, they are circling their wagons. gathering financial support, and are in serious recall mode.

      Please keep them on your radar, the hard work has just begun.

      [Report abuse]

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