Saturday, when working people in the private sector have the day off, conservatives will assemble. Monday, however, is a state furlough day, potentially dwarfing the record crowds of 30,000 on the Capitol Square.
I predicted that Gov. Walker's budget adjustment bill would be the biggest story in Madison since the April 2009 murder of Brittany Zimmerman. Anyone still want to challenge that journalistic judgment?
Comrade John Nichols appeared on Mr. Ed's MSNBC show Thursday night; Brian Schimming on Hannity's Fox News program. The governor in Greta Van Susteren. Sen. Jon Erpenbach, in an undisclosed location, on Rachel Maddow. Mark Miller and Fred Risser on Ed Schultz.
I can hear Bob Dylan now: State Troopers are knock, knock, knocking on Miller's door. Calling Z! Haukeness and your homeless squatters, I know of a home in Monona that is empty.
You gotta know wherever goeth the TV cameras, there will be Jesse Jackson in their midst. Who's next, Sean Penn? Hugo Chavez?
Is it any surprise Madison teachers have closed down school for three days? School watchdog Don Severson reports that Monday night at the school board, member Marj Passman signed up to speak during the citizen comment period.
"She was allowed to make her statement from her seat at the Board table instead of at the public podium--totally inappropriate. Her statement explicitly gave support to the teachers who she believed were under attack from the Walker proposed budget repair bill; that she was totally in support of the teachers; and encouraged teachers to take their protests to the Capital."
Will the Leftists tolerate free speech?
On Saturday there will be an "I Support Scott Walker" Rally at the State Capitol Building, beginning from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at the south entrance to the State Capitol, facing King Street.
Speakers are Andrew Breitbart, Jim Hoff, Ned Ryun, Herman Cain, Vicki McKenna, and others. We need Rush Limbaugh to do a remote from the Square. Speaking of El Rushbo, don't usually listen but today he said, "You want mob rule? Our mob is bigger."
When the unionistas lose, will the protest remain non-violent? I got this from Kirsten Lombard, the Wisconsin 9/12 Project:
I have been in the Capitol for a good portion of the day. It is an even bigger zoo up there today than it has been for the previous three days. The Capitol is on lockdown, meaning that the offices are locked because of the mob circulating in and around the building.
Staffers are feeling personally threatened. I was personally accosted by three union members as I waited to get into Senator Grothman's office. They were extremely confrontational, definitely not very nice. They want us to be afraid. We need NOT to be. We need to peacefully gather on Saturday and express our support for the governor and the Republican legislators who are attempting to do the right thing for Wisconsin.
There's no need to adopt the same mindset as the union mob, but we cannot sit back.
'Athens in Mad Town'
That is The Wall Street Journal's take this morning.
For Americans who don't think the welfare state riots of France or Greece can happen here, we recommend a look at the union and Democratic Party spectacle now unfolding in Wisconsin. … Other states, including Indiana and Missouri, have taken away collective bargaining rights for public employees in recent years, and some 24 states have either limited it or banned it outright.
And for good reason. Public unions have a monopoly position that gives them undue bargaining power. Their campaign cash-collected via mandatory dues-also helps to elect the politicians who are then supposed to represent taxpayers in negotiations with those same unions. The unions sit, in effect, on both sides of the bargaining table. This is why such famous political friends of the working man as Franklin Roosevelt and Fiorello La Guardia opposed collective bargaining for government workers, even as they championed private unions.
Maybe Sen. Erpenbach will pick up a copy of the Chicago Tribune when he stops into the hotel coffee shop.
America's labor movement can claim historic victories that have served the common good. Safer workplaces. Laws to protect children from workplace exploitation. The eight-hour workday. Those who are in unions can justifiably be proud of those and other accomplishments.
But how proud are they that the children of Madison, Wis., have missed school the last two days because so many of their teachers abandoned their classrooms and joined a mass demonstration? Joined a mass demonstration to intimidate the members of the Wisconsin Legislature, who are trying to close a $3 billion deficit they face over the next two years? [Lost: The common good]
Free speech at the UW?
Hey kids! Stop on over to the UW-Madison on Monday, Feb. 21, from 6:30 to 8 pm at Memorial Union. Join the Squire of the Stately Manor, Scott Milfred of the WSJ, Prof. David Canon, and Sen. Jon Erpenbach (assuming he can be found). Our subject: campaign finance, Citizens United v. FEC, and free speech. The forum is sponsored by both UW-Madison Republicans and Democrats and a number of other organizations.