: I protested Gov. Scott Walker's budget bill at least once a week after he made his assault on public employees, public education, etc. I'm a lifelong liberal who's outraged by what the Republicans are doing, but...can I bitch for a minute? Even though I'm in awe of the determined, eloquent, resourceful protesters, I can't help feeling annoyed with some of the people on my own side.
Some of the folks around my neighborhood have become so riled up that I can barely stand talking to them about this subject anymore. If I bring up anything that ever so slightly diverges from the party line - maybe it's a bad idea for teachers to walk off the job for four days, maybe it's a bad idea for the Democratic senators to stay in Illinois indefinitely, etc. - I get the evil eye, as if these matters aren't even open for honest discussion.
Things got ugly on our normally friendly neighborhood listserv, which exploded with emails about Walker and the protests. People started attacking each other - and again, they're people who are on the same side of the issue, all anti-Walker! God help you if you're a Republican who happens to live in the neighborhood.
Before February, I was getting along fine with my friends and neighbors, and now I'm stewing in bad feelings. Why must this be so?
Dear Badger: Whether you're a Democrat or a Republican, there's no arguing that Walker's approach to the budget has touched off a civil war in Wisconsin. It's sad to hear that even people on the same side have been at each other's throats - a civil war within a civil war.
During an earlier conflict pitting American vs. American, a guy named Abraham Lincoln tried to think of ways to bring everybody together - to "bind up the nation's wounds," in his words. "We are not enemies, but friends," he said of North and South. "We must not be enemies."
Now there's a Republican approach I can get behind.
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