Just who is to blame for Wisconsin’s woes right now?
Scott Walker says it’s Senate Democratic Leader Mark Miller, who is acting like “Lucy from peanuts who time and time again pulls away the football.” Walker finished this up with the projection that Miller was simply trying to redirect attention from himself by sending out a press release asking to meet with the Governor. Yes, Walker said this as he gave a press conference.
And if that isn’t enough deflection for you on a Tuesday, we then have the town hall meeting late yesterday of Republican State reps Jim Sensenbrenner and Leah Vukmir, of the 5th Senate District who ended their meeting with constituents when no one would buy their lie that collective bargaining wasn’t being killed. They literally fled the town hall as the protestors chanted, “Shame, shame, shame!”
The Wisconsin Republicans fled their town hall after a large crowd, opposed to Walker’s plan, shouted objections to Vukmir’s comments on the budget. Constituents cries of, “This state is so (angry) at Republicans right now because their trying to shut down debate,” were met with rousing cheers until the Republicans fled while their constituents chanted, “Shame, shame, shame!”
Earlier in the day, Scott Walker put on quite a performance at his press conference, ignoring the reality that Democratic Senate Leader Mark Miller had written him a letter asking to meet with Walker in order to find their way out of the stalemate. Walker called the letter “ridiculous”, laying all of the blame for not moving forward at the feet of twelve of the fourteen Wisconsin Democrats who are boycotting his union-busting bill.
See, Walker’s outraged because Senate Democrat Mark Miller sent a hand delivered letter to Walker and Senate Republican Leader Scott Fitzgerald, requesting a bipartisan solution to the stalemate:
Over the past several weeks we have witnessed an unprecedented public debate in Wisconsin over the value of public workers and the importance of collective bargaining rights.
The working people of Wisconsin are deeply concerned about what the future holds for their families, and for the great state they call home. Now more than ever they are counting on us as leaders to work together to resolve our differences to move our state forward.
Within hours of receiving this, Scott Walker took to the microphones to pull a fast one. Let’s see, Walker’s poll numbers are dropping faster than Sarah Palin’s and the bussed in pro-Walker people numbered around 600 while the protesters continue to turn out tens of thousands on slow days, but just what do you suppose Walker finds as the real source of trouble in Wisconsin? If you guessed his attempt to kill collective bargaining, you’d be sane but wrong. Now imagine he is attempting to avoid all personal responsibility for the union busting debacle and try again. Yes, that’s right, he would blame someone else. And whose fault is it? Why, it’s that nasty Mark Miller who wrote him the letter asking him to come to the table! And with this attempt at spinning the narrative into the Evil Mark Miller, Walker proceeded to demonize Miller while also trying dividing the Democrats with sly references to “two reasonable” Democrats. Naturally, Walker had to toss in references to a cartoon character, because that’s how Republicans roll.
Bill Lueders at Isthmus’ The Daily Page reports:
Walker said there have been meetings with “reasonable and responsible” Senate Dems who want to end the stalemate, but “time and again the person standing in the way has been Sen. Miller.” He said his staff was so encouraged by the progress made in some of these talks that they woke him up past 11 one night last week to share the good news.
But then Miller put the kibosh on all of this good work. Miller, said the governor, was like Lucy in the “Peanuts” cartoon, who plays the same cruel joke in holding the football for Charlie Brown to kick: “Time and again, Lucy would pull the football away.” Oh, good grief!
….Scott Fitzgerald said the Republicans have “been willing to sit down and talk about these things,” and in fact have had productive meetings with Sens. Tim Cullen and Bob Jauch on the budget bill. (Fitzgerald also mentioned, as an aside, that with regard to the budget repair bill – with its sweeping provisions to do away with most collective bargaining and probably destroy public employee unions altogether – “we’re not flexible on that.”)
The Wisconsin AFL-CIO was having none of Walker’s desperate deflections, and today put out a statement calling Walker out on his so-called budget woes, demanding that Walker be honest with the people about the tax breaks his “budget repair bill” gives to corporations that funded his campaign.
In a statement, the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO said Walker’s declaration that he will not compromise with unions “demonstrates clearly he has no interest in compromising, just creating the illusion of compromise as his polling numbers sink to record-low levels.”
The statement pointed out that working people already have accepted every sacrifice on wages and benefits Walker insisted on. The statement goes on to ask:
When are corporations going to make their shared sacrifice to fix Wisconsin’s budget? In fact, Scott Walker’s plan calls for huge give backs to the corporate special interests that bankrolled his campaign. Walker’s power grab has nothing to do with the budget and everything to do with stripping workers of our bargaining rights.
It’s time for Scott Walker stop the lies, end the showboating, and come to the table to negotiate a deal that gets Wisconsin moving forward again.
Walker might be nothing but a tool for the Koch brothers, but did anyone think he and the Senate Republicans could be so tone deaf as to triple down on their union busting bill in spite of the national outcry while attempting to blame Senate Democrats and Lucy from Peanuts for their woes? Perhaps Walker’s end goal isn’t to be a politician, but to work on Fox News after being driven out of office in Wisconsin. Nothing says Fox News contributor like a tool of the corporatacracy who wields and shields the power of the almighty dollar over people.
Walker and the Wisconsin Senate Republicans are obviously not in office to serve the will of the people, but rather to serve the will of corporations. Since the protests have given all of America time to digest exactly how egregious Walker’s bill is and the polls show that Americans strongly support collective bargaining rights, reasonable politicians would take note and adjust their strategy. But as Wisconsin shows us, Republicans are not in office to be reasonable and when called out on their thuggery in a town hall or by Senate Democrats, Wisconsin Republicans flee responsibility like the cowards they are.
The Wisconsin Republicans have painted themselves into an ideological corner from which there is no dignified escape, based as it was upon a lie about a budget crisis that Walker created with his gift of further tax breaks to the corporations who bank rolled his campaign. The fact that Walker had to resort to using a cartoon character in order to deflect responsibility for his own refusal to negotiate illustrates that Walker is running on empty. Shame, shame, shame indeed.
Psst…..Walker! YOU are the Lucy!