Whether Obama realizes it or not, his political legacy will be at stake in Wisconsin next week because if a rookie Republican governor can cripple the union movement in his state, that will encourage other Republicans to make a similar effort to dismantle one of the last vestiges of the New Deal but if he manages to stop the Wisconsin facet of the continuing attack on his own political agenda that could provide him with a rallying cry for urging the Democrats to regain the political initiative in a way that might be compared to a key pass interception in a football game.
Sports announcers like to talk about the momentum in a football game and how one particular play in football can be (in retrospect) called pivotal. Since the President’s State of the Union Speech, the Republicans have continued their criticism of Obama’s health care bill, called attention in a negative fashion to the President’s response to the Crises in Egypt and will use any Republican success in Wisconsin as an indication that their dreams of completely dismantling the New Deal are attainable.
The fact that the Democratic strategy of hiding, which was also used by the Democrats in Texas some time ago, brings to mind the Schwarzenegger term “girly-men” isn’t very reassuring.
If a sports announcer were as continually biased as is the lineup of standup comedians at the entity called Faux News, the audience would feel duped. They would use the traditional lament: “Are you blind?” Conversely if things are not playing out as the Obama advisors had planned, then any harsh assessment would not be welcome in a group that craves enthusiastic liberal journalism. If the majority of Democrats prefer to avoid harsh analysis, perhaps future historians will see it as an attempt to avoid confronting reality and say that marked the point where the Party started to slip into dementia.
If Obama makes a speech and encourages the people of Wisconsin (and union member guests from other states?) to stand together and block the effort (a goal line defense for four consecutive downs?) future historians might well pick that as the moment when Obama “turned the game around” for the 2012 local, state, and national elections.
If the Republicans eventually “put points on the scoreboard” via the Wisconsin confrontation that will make Obama seem like a Democratic Party version of Vidkun Quisling or Marshal Philippe Pétain, which will delight the Republicans immensely.
Obama likes to portray himself as someone who goes the extra mile to extend the hand of bipartisan friendship to the Republicans. In war, executing civilians in retribution for the killing of troops is verboten. Lately Obama’s efforts to reach out to the Republicans has seemed like appeasement or perhaps a metaphorical attempt to negotiate the number of civilians who must be killed in retribution.
Political strategists think that in dire times, a strong candidate has the most voter appeal.
It makes things interesting if both candidates try to out-do each other on the macho appeal scale. (Did that bit of psychology work against Meg Witman?) How would a woman who shoots wolves from an airplane match up against a guy with (hypothetically) a PETA endorsement?
There is folk wisdom that advises the fastest and strongest don’t always win a competition but some smart-alecky guy added the codicil saying: “but that’s the way the smart betting usually goes.”
What would the next election be like if (hypothetically) next week Obama urges voters in Wisconsin to hold a “general strike” and additionally says that independent truckers should come to Madison and cause gridlock as a show of support?
What does it mean when a pro-union guy holding a baseball bat asks: “Which hand do you use when you urinate?” If they are really mean don’t they leave you with both hands in casts so that someone else would have to help you?
Pro-union people risked life and limb to get to their goal. Watching Obama piss away their efforts is a bit disappointing.
Back in the day, when a family member was killed in a mining accident, the company representatives who would leave the dead body on the front porch would often leave a note saying that their was a job opening and that the next oldest unemployed son should come to work the morning. It’s doubtful that Obama heard stories about that kind of exploitation when he was growing up. They just don’t mention things like that at Yale.
There is a story told by the people speaking at Horror Writers events about one of them, lady, who was traveling on a rural side road in Wisconsin (perhaps one of the major bridges had been washed out in a sever storm?) and got lost. She walked into a small general store and asked the man, who was busy stocking the shelves, for directions. A rather scary looking man turned around and advised her: “Run far, run fast.”
News from Wisconsin tends to have a difficult time getting onto the National News pages in newspapers published elsewhere, so we haven’t heard about what happened to Ed Gein’s farm after it was put on the real-estate market. Perhaps a New York Times reporter covering the union busing in Wisconsin next week, will try to impress his assignment editor by turning in an update on the fate of the Gein farm?
Didn’t one of the Boston based major league baseball teams move to Wisconsin about a half century ago?
On Thursday night, February 17, 2011, the ABC network evening news program used the plight of Wisconsin labor unions for its lead story.
If the events in Madison become the dominant story of the day (with the concomitant media circus presence), that will only increase the stakes for the workers and the President. Gee, if there’s a new chance to make the President seem weak and incompetent, won’t Rupert Murdock send his anchor man there for some “on the scene” broadcasts? They don’t do that do they? They just sit in New York City and do their impression of Jubba the Hut and send lesser personalities to do the remote reports.
Jimmy Hoffa has been quoted as saying: “I may have many faults, but being wrong ain’t one of them.”
Now the disk jockey will play Jerry Lee Lewis’s song “What made Milwaukee famous,” the Rolling (will their new tour ever get off the ground?) Stones’ “Rip this joint,” and Woodrow Guthrie’s “I’m stickin’ to the union.” We have to go check and see if Uncle Rushbo has to pay AFTRA dues. Have a “winner takes all” type week.