We are seeing madness in a mad town

Published 9:47 am Thursday, March 17, 2011

Best be vigilant for an inadvertent head butt as the eyes of the world recoil from that crazed leader, besieged in his own capital, defying reality while obstinately holding onto a tenuous power and attacking his citizenry through a conflicted security force.

Of course, I’m talking about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Think a slightly less swarthy Midwestern version of Col. Gadhafi.

The locals call Madison “Mad Town,” and hardly has it ever lived up to that reputation as heartily as in the past month.

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Following the November sweep of both houses of the legislature, Walker, the Lexus Ranger, declared the Badger State’s deficit was due to those dastardly public unions, and his so-called “Budget Repair Bill” sought money from their pockets, an end to collective bargaining, placed obstacles in the way of continued accreditation, and advocated public spanking as a punishment.

This proposal came the very week after he ushered in $137 million in corporate tax cuts for the state, which is a lot like paying for your quarterly investors’ luncheon by garnishing the wages of the waiters. Money for the rich, from the middle class, again. Robin Hood’s evil twin must be exhausted.

Dashing rumors of an imminent compromise, Walker ran an end-around his state’s Democratic Senate exiles, ramming the bill through a tricky parliamentary procedure in a closed-door session, isolating the issues into non-fiscal elements.

So, first it was all about the money, but then, about the money — not so much. Unless you count the big national bucks that lie in union busting.

Like a spreading alien virus, this Republican war on workers is waging and raging across the nation.

Eleven states have pending legislation to strip unions of various rights. Indiana Democratic politicians joined their Wisconsin colleagues seeking political asylum in Illinois. Poor Illinois. Like they don’t have enough politicians sitting around doing nothing.

Wisconsin is the birthplace of the Progressive movement, with a long, proud history of activism.

So, this naked power grab runs the risk of offending ordinary Wisconsinites like a New York cheddar winning the blue medal at the State Fair. And whose legality is more suspect than heroin in a holding cell.

More paranoid people might smell a conspiracy. Wealthy Wall Street bankers cause an economic meltdown, make obscene profits in the ensuing recession, then convince the populace that everything can simply be fixed through more tax cuts. So they can create jobs.

Of course with $5-a-gallon gasoline, that two-way commute to China is going to be a pain.

But if you think The Walker Coup means this issue is dead, you’ve ob viously been spending too much time toasting the sunset while eating watercress sandwiches on the bridge of your yacht. As is their way, the GOP might once again have overreached and awakened a sleeping giant. Today, we are all Cheeseheads. Or as JFK might have said, “Ich bin ein kaasekopf.”

All heck is about to break loose. While sanctions and a no-fly zone may not be on the table, recalls, retribution and recriminations definitely are.

As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear the Pooh-Bahs in the upper echelon of the AFL- CIO decide to bestow Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker with its Organizer of the Year Award. Richy-Richly deserved.

Will Durst is a political comedian who has performed around the world. He is a familiar pundit on television and radio. E-mail Will at durst@caglecartoons.com.