Wisconsin Experiences Labor Pain, Births Rosemary’s Baby

by Richard Thayer

If you have ever wondered who had the most clout in the electoral process– millionaires or labor–wonder no more. Tuesday’s recall election results are in and the millionaires won. Labor came in a distant second.

Years ago some rich guy famously crowed, “The one with the most toys wins.”

That’s not necessarily true, generally speaking, but when it comes to elections many times those with the most money (and can afford the most toys) do indeed win. This past Tuesday is a case in point.

Reports Talking Points Memo: “Walker raised over $30 million for the election–aided by the fact that he was able to take in unlimited donations during the 60-day window when petitions were collected–compared to just under $4 million for (Tom) Barrett. Combined with interest group spending, the total GOP advantage over the Democrats was $47 million to $19 million.”

(Other sources say there was an even greater disparity between the two.)

The more money one has, the more misleading ads they can run on TV and have placed in your mail box. I know that the Walker camp doesn’t have a monopoly on lying, but they certainly own a big chunk of it and the more money you have the more misinformation you can pour onto the public. As Fox News has proven time and time again, the public’s thirst for misinformation is seemingly unquenchable. Obviously the folks in Wisconsin soaked it up like one enormous Badger-shaped sponge.

Democrat Tom Barrett received a slap from one of his supporters following a concession speech he gave while folks were still voting, but that was nothing compared to the slap in the face the labor movement has received from this.

Here’s an example. Writing in today’s Politico, Robin Bravender gloats, “Big labor went all in on the Wisconsin recall–putting millions of dollars, months of organizing and its reputation as a political superpower on the line to defeat GOP Gov. Scott Walker.

“Then they got trounced on Election Day.

“Walker’s decisive victory over Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett on Tuesday has demonstrated the vulnerability of a long-formidable movement whose ranks are thinning across the country. The failed recall attempt has energized organized labor’s foes and emboldened lawmakers to pick fights with unions in other states. And it has underscored the fact that unions–a potent source of political power and dollars for Democrats–aren’t going to be the left’s counter to conservative groups’ outside cash in November.”

Another noteworthy quote from the column: “I don’t think we can get pushed around anymore by Big Labor,” said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.”

Notice their references to labor as being Big. Well, I’ve got news for ’em, just like the old gray mare, labor ain’t what it used to be.

But it wasn’t just the labor movement that got “trounced” on Tuesday. So did the middle-class. So did every day working Americans. So did everyone who dreams the American dream of making a decent living and having a decent retirement. We got trounced too. Not only did we get trounced yesterday, but as a result of Walker’s victory, there’s a good likelihood we’ll get trounced tomorrow as well. And the day after that, and the day after…

If you have a masochistic itch that needs scratching, read the entire Politico column. If you’re on blood pressure medicine, I would suggest you take a double dose before imbibing.

There are many things I don’t understand about the failure to unseat Walker. I will leave this up to the pundits, political historians and anthropologists to decipher. I have enough headaches of my own. But this is what I really don’t understand. Why did so many union members and their families vote against their own interests? If someone is out to destroy you, why do you vote for them? Isn’t that a little crazy?

I remember first entertaining that thought back when George W. Bush was re-elected. Going into that election I thought, OK, the majority voted for him the first go round because they got fooled, they thought they were getting one thing and wound up getting something else all together. They were deceived. It happens. They’ll know better this time.

Then we re-elected him for a second term.


Evidently that wasn’t a fluke. The people of Wisconsin elected Walker believing he was going to be a good governor. Many of these were union members–firefighters and police officers. Then shortly after gaining office he attacked the unions’ right to collectively bargain with their employers. He stripped away their bargaining rights. So what’s their response? They support him in the recall election.

Reports the Huffington Post: “Walker won 36 percent of the vote among members of union households… Those numbers are nearly identical to 2010, when Walker won among 37 percent of union household members in his race against Tom Barrett for governor.”

Go figure. I believe in turning the other cheek (does Tom Barrett?), but this is ridiculous.

Prior to Tuesday’s elections, Rep. David Obey (D-Wisc.) said that if the number of union households voting for Walker in 2010 didn’t shrink this time around “then congratulations, they will have formed their own suicide squad.”

Well, yesterday’s election would seem to indicate that we’re becoming a nation of suicide squads.

Or a nation of widwives. Tuesday the good people of Wisconsin helped birth Rosemary’s baby.

Congratulations, numerous brothers and sisters will soon follow.


One Response to “Wisconsin Experiences Labor Pain, Births Rosemary’s Baby”

  1. James Mohr Says:

    So someone else sees the same thing I do. When I look at Scott Walker’s eyes I’m taken back to the spooky scene at the end of the film “Rosemary’s Baby” in which Mia Farrow looks lovingly at the infant she has birthed, in spite of the fact that its eyes unmistakeably are those of a devil. Whenever I force myself to look at Scott Walker’s eyes I see that baby again. Incidentaly, Walker was born in the same year “Rosemary’s Baby” was released.

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