So the dastardly Republican Governor of Wisconsin signed his anti-union bill into law today – but it may well be that, in doing so, Scott Walker has won a classic Pyrrhic victory.
Back in 279 BC, King Pyrrhus of Epirus in Northern Greece invaded Italy and beat the Romans in a bloody battle. But while he won the day against the Roman Legions, his army suffered huge losses – and Pyrrhus himself was wounded.
Writing about the battle 354 years later, Plutarch (the Greek historian who became a Roman citizen) reported that…
“…they had fought till sunset, both armies were unwillingly separated by the night, Pyrrhus being wounded by a javelin in the arm, and his baggage plundered by the Samnites, that in all there died of Pyrrhus’s men and the Romans above fifteen thousand. The armies separated; and, it is said, Pyrrhus replied to one that gave him joy of his victory that one other such would utterly undo him. For he had lost a great part of the forces he brought with him, and almost all his particular friends and principal commanders…”
One look at Scott Walkers poll numbers before and after the Madison Uprising should send him fumbling through the pages of Plutarch’s, Pyrrhus.
Now, nobody would confuse our dear friend Casey Fox with Plutarch. But Casey has lived and worked in Madison for many years – where’s the honey-voiced host of “Guilty Pleasures” on WORT. Yesterday (Thursday 3/10/11) Casey gave us this report from the front lines in Wisconsin’s state capitol.
Just thought I’d fill you in on the latest.
The legality of yesterday’s vote may be in question, and the teacher’s union lawyers are pursuing that. I’m told that the attorney general can challenge the meeting’s legality, but he’s a Repugnican. Next to challenge would be a judge in Dane county, but they’re hesitant. The final source would be private citizens, which sounds plausible to me. The challenge, though, would go to the state supreme court, which has a 4-3 Republican majority. So if the vote is challenged, the Republicans want to rush it to the (State) Supreme Court before the early April election for a new Supreme Court justice. A democrat has a great shot at winning that race, and that would change the political balance of the court.
If the vote is ruled legal, the next recourse is to try to recall the 8 Republican state senators, while Republicans are trying to recall 8 Democratic senators. The Republicans are confident that they can buy any recall vote, seeing as how they have an endless supply of cash. If a state senator is recalled, he can run in the recall election, win and keep his seat. (You have to be in office for a year to be recalled.)
Last night I came to WORT to fundraise for my show, and I ended up doing a fair amount of talking (on a music show) about the decision. Even did a remote interview with our news director on the scene. People flooded the capitol in such numbers that the cops stopped their airport screening, and anybody could get in. Cars were circling the capitol honking their horns (to the cadence of ‘This is what democracy looks like!’). Today’s another story, though, and the capitol is on complete lockdown. Not even Jesse Jackson and some state legislators can get in. That’s because the assembly is voting to destroy collective bargaining today.
I think the situation may have helped my fundraising, and I finished with the highest 2 week total for my time slot (M-F, 8-11 p.m.) once again…It was really gratifying…Played Maura’s new EP. Played Steve’s ‘Fight On, Wisconsin’ song twice!! Got some calls about Steve’s song. They wanted to know where to buy it! We’ve got Jim Hightower, Dennis Kucinich, and Tammy Baldwin (our U.S. Rep.) Saturday night at a local theater, and the pre-show music will include Steve’s song. It’s rising up the charts!
If you thought people were pissed before, just wait. Saturday could be the biggest rally yet. There are rumors of Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp showing up. There is also talk of a statewide strike. Stay tuned, and have a democratic day!
Sutton Crawford, the daughter of Suzy Crawford and granddaughter of Ron and Syd Crawford sent me an article she wrote about her experience joining the ranks of organized labor. (See below)