In the spirit of the decade-long procession of Eastern European and Middle Eastern upheavals in which oppressed peoples have gathered en masse to protest the brutality of their tyrannical leaders, I hereby suggest we christen the current Wisconsin uprising the Government Cheese Revolution.
We gave poetic names to recent revolts based on the colors of their countries’ flags or their native specialties, such as the Rose Revolution, the Cedar Revolution, the Tulip Revolution, the Green Revolution, the Jasmine Revolution, and the Lotus Revolution. Wisconsin markets its cheddar as being orange, and protestors have filled the state capitol wearing ugly orange Working Families T-shirts, but unfortunately the Ukraine has already snagged the title “Orange Revolution.”
Newly elected Governor Scott Walker and the freshly majority Republican Wisconsin state legislature recently proposed a bill that would eliminate the ability of most public sector union members to collectively bargain. It would prevent unions from forcing members to pay dues, require annual secret ballots on whether to remain unionized, and ask members to contribute a pittance toward their lavish pensions and health care plans. The bill would help obviate Wisconsin’s projected $3.6 billion 2013 budget deficit.
Wisconsin public employees have demonstrated their rock-solid work ethic and indispensable contribution to the community by calling in sick to gather at the capitol and dub the governor Hosni Mubarak and Adolf Hitler. Due to thousands of teachers’ absence from work, the largest Wisconsin public school districts have been closed for almost a week.
Last Thursday, the day of the scheduled union bill vote, all 14 Democratic Senators rode a shuttle bus out of state to hide in a secret location in Illinois.
The legislators included Julie Lassa—mother of two small children, six months pregnant with a third—who thought it was a better idea to be on the lam during her third trimester and leave her toddlers at home than to stay in town.
Meanwhile, classy public employee demonstrators have been putting those trashy Tea Partiers to shame by savagely beating drums, sitting Indian-style throughout the capitol corridors, and deliberately blocking people from passing. Pro-union rabble rousers have left the capitol grounds littered with flyers and trash and have massed outside Republican Senators’ homes to scream threats at them.
Some of the more civil and respectful signs at the capitol rally have read: “Walker Terrorizes Families,” “Wisconsin Dictator Must Go,” “Scott Walker = Adolf Hitler,” “Midwest Mussolini,” “Why Do Republicans Hate People,” “Raping Public Employees Is Not The Way To Balance The Budget,” and “Don’t Retreat: Reload,” the latter including the same crosshair symbol over Walker’s face that had leftists up in arms when it was found on Sarah Palin’s website after last month’s Tucson shooting.