Epic rant to follow. This might leave a mark.
In Wisconsin. In Ohio. In Michigan. In Florida.
All across the country, the True Liberals' efforts to teach Barack Obama a lesson are paying off in spades. Their plan could not have worked out more perfectly. After a year of shouting to the highest heavens about how much they were disappointed in President Obama and the Democrats, after a year promising to withhold their support during the 2010 Midterm campaign and, more importantly, at the ballot box, they got their wish: Democrats stayed home in droves. Huge numbers of Democrats across the country, many of whom had voted for the very first time in 2008, got up and went to the fridge instead of the polls that late Fall Tuesday.
Yesterday, in Wisconsin, the tea party Governor and his cadre of Republican Senators figured out a way to bypass Senate Democrats' exploitation of a loophole that allowed them to put the brakes on a GOP effort to drive a stake into the heart of unions in their state. Most collective bargaining rights for teachers and public employees are now gone as if they were trash taken to the curb. Sure, Scott Walker's favorables took a beating there for awhile. If it weren't for that pesky quorum loophole, this would have all been taken care of weeks ago and his numbers wouldn't have tanked so far. But that's water under the bridge and now they are back on track. The unions have been squashed like bugs and they can go back to laughing at the protesters as they are frisked and searched and scanned just to enter a public building.
Barack Obama has really got to be smarting over that, eh? He's really paid the price now, by golly.
In Michigan yesterday, the GOP-controlled Senate passed a bill that enhances the Republican Governor's ability to declare financial emergencies in municipalities and appoint an Emergency Financial Manager (EFM). This EFM will have authority to do pretty much whatever they wish including suspending contracts with unions and other groups and even firing the existing elected officials. Rachel Maddow explained it very well the other night. There was a protest at the Capitol before the vote, of course. Over 700 people showed up, mostly union employees. Know what the Republican who introduced the bill said about the protest? "I don't think it had an effect outside of the fact we had to talk a little bit louder today." Ouch. They had to talk a little louder.
But that's not all that is coming down the pipeline in Michigan. The Republican Governor's budget taxes public and private pensions that helps the elderly. It eliminates the Earned Income Tax Credit that helps the poor. It eliminates a huge tax credit for filmmakers in Michigan, killing that job-creating baby in its crib. It eliminates tax credits for vehicle battery manufacturers, strangling a nascent industry before it even gets off the ground. It eliminates tax credits for redeveloping brownfield sites, ensuring that new industrial development will take place on undeveloped, pristine lands rather than on already-despoiled soil. Here's one: there's a union-busting bill in Congress to make Michigan a "Right to Work" state or, as the unions call it, a "Right to Work for LESS" state. All of this and businesses are getting billions of dollars in tax breaks, paid for by the elderly, the poor and whichever other down-trodden groups you can name.
"Eclectablog, what shall we do???!" I'm asked. "We can't let this stand. We must protest. Where is OFA???"
What can we do? We can't do ANYTHING! In Michigan, the Republicans control the House. The Republicans control the Senate. The Republicans control the Supreme Court. The Governor is a Republican. When we protest, they just talk a little louder. And after they get done redistricting our formerly solid-Democratic state this year, we'll be lucky if our dog catchers are Democrats.
Protest at the Capitol? Sorry, I won't waste my time.
But, I'll tell you this: President Obama has surely learned his lesson. These union-busting, pro-business moves by the Michigan GOP have got to be chapping his britches something fierce.
It's happening in Florida, too. Tea Party Governor Rick Scott is unstoppable. He's solving his state's multi-billion dollar deficit by cutting taxes on businesses by several billion dollars and he's cutting teachers' pay to do it. He's rejecting federal funds to develop high-speed rail.
Take that, Obama!
How about Ohio? The Republican Governor there is assaulting the unions, too. And the only difference between Wisconsin and these other three states is that Wisconsin Democratic Senators had a quorum loophole they could use to stop a vote. Well, they could stop it for three weeks. Then the unions got their asses handed to them anyway.
Last night Rachel Maddow said her staff's analysis shows there are Republican-sponsored union-busting bills in the Congresses of no less than SEVENTEEN states.
Ed Schultz has been on fire on MSNBC these past three weeks, hasn't he? Nothing like pure, unadulterated union-busting by Republicans to get old Ed fired up and ready to go. A let's not pretend Ed didn't have a plan for this all along, right? Remember this from him last fall?
And I’m announcing today, I’m not going to vote in the midterms. I’m not going to do it. You can say it’s un-American. No, it’s rather revolutionary is what it is. I’m at that point. I’m checking out. I’m checking out of the Democrats because they are proving to me that they don’t know how to handle these big babies over on the right that say no. You know what you do? You get in the driver’s seat, you hit the throttle, and you run over them.
Un-American? Hell no, Ed! That's as American as it gets. Hell, it's practically Republican, it's so American! Create a problem that you yourself can benefit from. Help make sure the GOP takes control by helping suppress the Democratic vote then watch your rating positively SOAR when you get to be on television almost non-stop when they start crushing unions like cockroaches.
Man, you sure showed them, Ed. Obama has really got to be feeling this now, what with all those union people getting crushed and taxes being cut on the backs of the poor and the elderly.
And, let's make no mistake, it's not just Ed who is teaching a lesson to Obama. Here's part of an email I got recently from a friend, a liberal who is disappointed in the President. I had reached out to him to help us start organizing in our area so that we're ready to really hit the ground hard for the 2012 elections. He was very active in 2008 so I had hoped that he and others in our area would be eager to help get Dems elected again in 2012 considering that they control everything in our state right now. Hah. Boy was I ever wrong:
Thank you and everyone for all the hard work you guys do and will be doing. I really enjoyed working with all of you a couple of years ago.
Unless there are some drastic changes in his policies over the next few months which I doubt I simply cannot bring myself to put forth my time and money to help this President. I thought we were electing someone who would fight for our ideals and yet he has managed to compromise on just about every campaign issue he was for. From health care which no public option was even fought for, to tax cuts for the top 2% that he instantly gave, Gitmo, etc. And the major issue is the fact we are bombing even more than the Bush administration in Pakistan killing innocent people. The economic and other issue I may be able to get past but this I can’t. Along with Rendition still going on.
President Obama will probably still get my vote as from what I see the other side will probably have someone even worse but that will be to the extent of my support for him.
It's not just him. I'm hearing this from lots of Democrats. Hell, I see it on the progressive blogs like Daily Kos on a daily, even hourly, basis. They are going to teach Obama a lesson for not delivering everything they want by handing the keys to the kingdom back to the people who are most likely to screw them over.
So, I hope you like watching the unions getting squashed. I hope you enjoy watching business taxes being cut while taxes are raised on the poor and the elderly. I hope you enjoy watching environmental regulations done away with and health insurance reform rolled back. I hope you will enjoy it when even the modest regulatory reforms on Wall Street are sent to the dustbin of history and the improvements in our food regulatory system are done away with. I hope you will enjoy it when the reproductive rights of women are taken away and the rights of minorities are degraded; when same sex couples see their dream of marriage sent down the garbage disposal and members of the LGBT community are put back in the military closet. We all need to start getting used to these things.
Why? Because all that stands between us and all of these things and more happening is four Senators and one President.
We have a choice to make and we better start getting on that because the first debates of the 2012 election are next month.
If Democrats stay home in droves next year, we'll lose the Senate and the Oval Office, too, and what you're seeing in Michigan will just be a microcosm of what will happen nationally.
But, hey, at least Obama will have learned a lesson.
I'm just sayin'...