Will Governor Walker take the high road – or will he take the Hosni Mubarak road?
Democratic state senators in Wisconsin are still AWOL – preventing Republicans lawmakers from passing Governor Walker’s union-busting legislation that will strip state workers of their collective bargaining rights. As one Senator told the Washington Post – “We're going to be staying away until we hear that [the Republicans] are taking the right to organize seriously.” As a sign of solidarity with the 25,000 protestors who showed up outside the state capital building in Wisconsin yesterday for the third day in a row – 14 Democratic senators boarded a bus and headed across state lines to Rockford Illinois to prevent the state legislature from having a necessary quorum to hold a vote. Soon after – state troopers were dispatched to round up the Senators – but were unsuccessful – leaving Republicans to go back to the drawing board to figure out what to do next.
The stand off in Wisconsin is gaining national attention now. Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner applauded Governor Walker’s efforts to bust the unions – and President Obama threw his support behind the protestors pointing out that Walker’s bill amounts to “an assault on unions.” A general labor strike may be what’s next in the state – and as for Governor Walker – his only options are ending his war against organized labor – or calling in the national guard and declaring marital law to put an end to the protests. Will he take the high road – or will he take the Hosni Mubarak road? Similar legislation was introduced in Ohio by Republican Governor John Kasich – and now that state is seeing similar results.
Nearly 25,000 union protestors showed up outside the capital to demonstrate against THEIR governor’s anti-union agenda. What we’re seeing here is the overreach of power by Republicans who want one-party rule. This could be the start of the nationwide labor movement getting back its mojo – a populist similar to some of the smaller independent parts of the Tea Party – that helps Democrats take back power next year. Let’s hope so.