It was a tough night in downtown Madison on Tuesday. The scene around the square was wonderfully familiar: the firefighters with their bagpipes, the horns honking “this is what democracy looks like,” the homemade recall signs, the teachers on the march.
All of what was great about the grassroots uprising in Wisconsin was on display.
Early on, the mood was jubilant, as reports of record turnout in Dane County and Milwaukee came in, with poll workers running out of ballots as people waited in long lines to vote. It seemed, for a brief, shining moment that we had pulled it off.
Then the networks started calling the race for Walker early, as people were still waiting in line to vote. There was disbelief, anger, and the deflation of a movement that has built up so much steam over the last year and a half.
But the movement is not over.
The truth is the deflation began with the transition from that great, spontaneous, grassroots rebellion against the rightwing takeover of our state to a conventional political campaign. This was never about Tom Barrett. It was not about the campaign professionals or the Democratic Party or Barack Obama–who literally phoned in his support.
It was about us, in Wisconsin: our community, our workers, our public schools, our environment, our middle class.
And we have no choice but to continue the fight, and to take solace in the incredible community of solidarity we’ve built.
With John Lehman’s win in Racine, the Democrats now control the state senate, and will be able to push back against Walker’s radical agenda.
Most of all we have to make the case for solidarity to our increasingly insecure, angry, non-union workers. The right has no real solutions to offer, just divisiveness and resentment toward teachers and public servants.
Walker won by lying about fixing Wisconsin’s budget deficit, by spinning the worst job-creation numbers in the country, and, most of all, with a massive, unprecedented influx of out-of-state corporate cash.
It inspired the nation that ordinary Wisconsinites took on this battle against such overwhelming odds. Elections come and go. But the movement is for the long haul.”
Comment: How incapable Progressives are at remembering what is Truth. Does Ruth remember the occupying force of violence and intimidation her neighborly, fresh air smelling people performed before the American people a year ago this past March?’
Rioting is a fundamental tool in the Leftwing political repetoire.
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