I have tried to remain calm. I would not call myself an alarmist, and in matters of politics and economics, I prefer to take the long view. The pendulum swings left then right then left then right again, and the genius of our form of government is that things never sway too far in either direction for too long. The nation endures, and in fact, prospers. Things are never as grim as they seem. What is happening in Wisconsin, however, has me alarmed.
Like many of you out there in Internet Land, I have been following the situation in Madison, WI closely, and I have been dumbfounded by the new Governor’s reckless actions all in service of a transparently political agenda. I am not sure how else to make sense of the fact that the unions have conceded to the budget’s financial demands of reduced pay and benefits, yet the Governor still insists that they give up their rights to collectively bargain in the future.
I was even more dumbfounded after the Governor was taped on a prank phone call admitting that he considered planting agitators in amongst the protesters, and that he was preparing to negotiate with the Democratic opposition in bad faith (basically tricking them to return to the state as a trap, with no intention of truly hearing their position). The episode inspired me to make my own call to the Governor, and as luck would have it, I was connected directly to Scott Walker himself. Good thing I had my tape recorder handy.
I think that the pressure of the situation is getting to him. You can judge for yourself, from the transcript below, if he is becoming increasingly unhinged as the protests rage and public sentiment turns against his proposals:
MSRP: The Right wing media has compared your battle with public service unions to Reagan’s battle with the air traffic controllers in 1981. Of course, that comparison is absurd on many levels; the two situations couldn’t be more different, except for the fact that unions are in both stories. They say that Reagan was tough as nails in that moment of crisis. What about you? Are you the new Reagan?
WALKER: As I think it was nails that said, and I’m really really flattered, cos he got it right. I mean he might be nails, but I’m frikin bayonets, you know. I’m battle tested man. I’m tired, I’m so tired of pretending like my life isn’t perfect and bitchin and just winning every second and I’m not perfect and bitchin and just delivering the goods at every frikin turn, because, look what I’m dealing with man, I’m dealing with fools and trolls, dealing with soft targets and its just, you know its just strafing runs in my underwear before my first cup of coffee because I don’t have time for these clowns. I don’t have time for their judgment and their stupidity and you know they lay down with their ugly wives in front of their ugly children and look at their loser lives and then they look at me and they say “I can’t process it” well no you never will stop trying, just sit back and enjoy the show. You know? [Copied from: Transcript of Charlie Sheen Meltdown on Alex Jones Radio Show | The Global Herald http://theglobalherald.com/transcript-of-charlie-sheen-meltdown-on-alex-jones-radio-show/12032/#ixzz1FT54KAak]
MSRP: That’s tough talk about the Democrats in the State Senate, don’t you think, Governor? Your careless rhetoric is not helping solve problems in your state. Face it, you’ve won by getting the unions to agree to your financial conditions. Now it’s all just about politics and pleasing your corporate masters, isn’t it?
WALKER: Boom, that’s the whole movie, that’s life. That’s life, there’s nobility in that, there’s focus, it’s genuine, it’s crystal and it’s pure and it’s available to everybody. So just shut your traps and put down your McDonald’s, your magazines, your TMZ and the rest of it and focus on something that matters. But you can’t focus on things that matter if all you’ve been is asleep for forty years. Funny how sleep rhymes with sheep. You know. Anyway. We’re getting off topic. We don’t care anymore Alex, we don’t care. Let’s get to the work business because there’s been a lot of speculation, a lot of rumors. Imagine that with the media. [Copied from: Transcript of Charlie Sheen Meltdown on Alex Jones Radio Show | The Global Herald http://theglobalherald.com/transcript-of-charlie-sheen-meltdown-on-alex-jones-radio-show/12032/#ixzz1FT5GfhoD ]
MSRP: My name isn’t Alex and I am not a legitimate member of the media, but thanks. I heard that the Democratic leader in the Senate has been trying to contact you directly to see if there is any common ground that will allow for a resolution of this problem. Republican state Sen. Dale Schultz was open to a resolution that would temporarily strip workers of the collective-bargaining rights, but then bring them back after 2 years. This doesn't sound like much of a deal for state employees, but still you announced that this isn’t good enough. You want both the cuts and the union-busting provisions, and will accept nothing less. Will you take his phone call and agree to listen to reasonable compromise options for the benefit of all Wisconsin residents?
WALKER: Yeah I didn’t care about that vanity card. In fact I went right straight home with that one and just dispelled that. And that was actually, you know, one of the few compliments that clown has paid me in freakin almost a decade. But I’m excited to get back to work and not to completely discount what you just talked about, if you bring up these turds, these little [inaudible] losers, there’s no reason to then, you know, bring them back into the fold because I have real fans, they have nothing. They have zero. They have that night and I will forget about them as my last image of them exits my beautiful home. and they will get out there and they will sell me and they will lose. And they will lose the rest of their lives as they think about me and my life the rest of their lives, so, bring me a challenge somebody, because, you know, it just ain’t there. Winning. [Copied from: Transcript of Charlie Sheen Meltdown on Alex Jones Radio Show | The Global Herald http://theglobalherald.com/transcript-of-charlie-sheen-meltdown-on-alex-jones-radio-show/12032/#ixzz1FT5TuRcJ]
MSRP: Those unions who supported your campaign are exempt from the proposed law. This is so embarrassing to the State Trooper’s union that they have rescinded their endorsement from the 2010 election. Gov. Walker, I do not believe that saying “my bad” is good enough, do you?
WALKER: It’s yeah, it’s an understatement, you know it’s, I’m sorry man I got magic and I got poetry at my fingertips most of the time and this includes naps. I’m an F-18 and I will destroy you in the air and I will deploy my ordnance to the ground. [Copied from: Transcript of Charlie Sheen Meltdown on Alex Jones Radio Show | The Global Herald http://theglobalherald.com/transcript-of-charlie-sheen-meltdown-on-alex-jones-radio-show/12032/#ixzz1FT5jfPWY]
MSRP: It appears that you are gambling that your extreme position will make you a darling with conservatives. You are looking for support from within your own party, but that support has been tepid at best. Gov. Daniels in Indiana, possible GOP candidate for President, will not support an elimination of collective bargaining rights in his state. Tea Party darling Rick Scott in Florida will not support elimination of collective bargaining rights in his state. Scott was quoted as saying, “My belief is as long as people know what they’re doing, collective bargaining is fine.” Romney issued a weak statement that did not even mention you by name. You must not be feeling the love. What would you say to them if they were in the room right now?
WALKER: I would say, I am sorry if I offended you. I didn’t know you were so sensitive. I think the mistake I made is that people misinterpret my passion for anger. It’s all about judgment. No real gratitude. They are not welcome to be in the presence of what I am delivering. They need to say wow, look what this guy’s doing for all of us. [Copied from: Transcript of Charlie Sheen 20/20 interview, ABC Television]
MSRP: I hope you get the help you need, and quickly. It could be time for an intervention.
WALKER: (Dial tone)