Concerto for blunt instrument

An irregular heartbeat from d.o. to you. Not like a daily kos, more like a sometime sloth. Fast relief from the symptoms of blogarrhea and predicated on the understanding that the world is not a stage for our actions, rather it is a living organism upon which we depend for our existence.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Republicans throw First Responders under the bus

Remember when Republicans were falling all over each other praising first responders in the wake of 9/11? Fire fighters, cops and EMT's could do no wrong back then. Perhaps you also recall a whole lot of working class people supporting Republicans at the polls during the Bush era as well. More than a few working class folks were climbing aboard the Bush war machine and voting for right-wing candidates. Like they say: times sure have changed!

It only took a few elections for the far-right to show their real priorities and throw those first responders under the bus. Recall the recent effort by the GOP to deny health benefits to the firefighters, police officers, and construction workers who contracted illnesses as a result of exposure to toxins during the 9/11 rescue effort? That's straight out of the right-wing playbook: benefits for the filthy rich elite/nada for the rest of us. That kind of duplicitous disrespect is today front-and-center in an epic labor struggle in Madison, Wisconsin. Fire-fighters and other public employees however, are fighting back.

If ever there was a watershed moment in recent U.S. history where the corporate ruling class and their enablers were pitted against the working class it is now, and it's epicenter is in the very place where much of the labor movement began. The new far-right Republican governor of Wisconsin, financially backed by corporate largess and working from their playbook, is the face of Corporate America in a town named after President James Madison, sometimes referred to as The Father of the U.S. Constitution, a founding father of this nation who knew well the threats corporations present to democracy. Governor Walker and his minions are not only attempting to bust the public employee unions, they are also trying to gut the Democratic Party, the only electoral roadblock between them and absolute power.

It was James Madison who said, "I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." It is such encroachments by those in power that has brought tens of thousands of workers to Madison, Wisconsin and soon to a town near you.