Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wisconsin Recall Fails

Comment to T&G article on recall election:

Labor and the Democratic Party in Wisconsin have been severely damaged, vastly outspent by an alliance of out-of-state billionaires and the Republican National Committee. The Democratic National Committee and Obama abandoned the Wisconsin Democrats - in spite of their nominating a Centrist Democrat who didn't campaign as a populist. Another state has been moved into the "red" column as it loses its public sector unions, the last stronghold of Organized Labor, the mass base of the Democratic Party as we knew it.

Scores of labor organizers and leaders in Wisconsin will lose their jobs. The halls in which movements met and organized will close. Hundreds of thousands of public sector workers are losing jobs or seeing wages and benefits slashed. The wages and conditions of everyone who works for a paycheck in Wisconsin is coming under intense pressure. Fear becomes a daily fact of life, on the job and across the kitchen table.

What should the AFL-CIO leadership have done but mobilize members, friends and allies for the recall campaign? What else really could they have done? What could Occupy have done but join them? They had to try, and by God, try they did, magnificently. Last stands have to be fought. But the way forward now is different from what it was a month ago, and not just in Wisconsin.

We did not start this war. It is being forced on us, whether we resist or not. Everything our grandparents' generations won during the New Deal, the Fair Deal and the New Frontier is being relentlessly stripped away, in Congress and state by state. Our wages, our benefits, our security, our rights and human dignity - and our illusions - are being trashed, our democracy put up for auction to the highest bidder.

Wisconsin may seem far from Massachusetts, but politically it's right next door. The flood of money that swamped democracy there will not stop at Stockbridge. We're on their agenda. 
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