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Conservatives Must Rise Up and Shout “I’m Wisconsin!”

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Posted on March 17 2011 9:11 am
Walter Hudson is a political commentator and co-founder of Minnesota's North Star Tea Party Patriots, a statewide educational organization. He runs a blog entitled Fightin Words. He also contributes to True North, a hub of Minnesotan conservative commentary. Follow his work via Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
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It’s been many years since I watched the 1960 Academy Award winning epic Spartacus, spiritual predecessor to Ridley Scott’s rousing Gladiator. I don’t recall every detail. However, I do remember that much referenced scene toward the end.

Roman soldiers have finally routed a ragtag army of rebel slaves led by Kirk Douglas’ title character. The Romans offer to spare the defeated mob, and return them to their lives of slavery, if they will only give up their leader. As Spartacus rises to offer himself up for his men, one of them leaps to his feet.

I’m Spartacus!

Then another arises. And another. Soon the entire mob is risen, all contending to be the leader their enemy seeks.

A similar moment is called for in aid of besieged Republicans in Wisconsin. As The Huffington Post reports, conservatives are ill-prepared to fight back against the enraged union-fed beast they successfully stung earlier this week.

Both national and Wisconsin-based Republican operatives tell the Huffington Post the party is being dramatically outworked and out-organized by Democrats in the recall campaigns being launched against state Senators.

The operatives, who raised their concerns out of hope it would jar the GOP into assertiveness, argue complacency has taken over after Governor Scott Walker successfully shepherded his anti-collective bargaining bill into law. While the Wisconsin Democratic Party, with major assists from progressive groups and unions, has harnessed resentment towards the governor into a full-throttled effort to recall eight GOP Senators, neither the enthusiasm nor organizational acumen exists on the Republican side of the aisle(…)

Democracy for America, the group started by Howard Dean following his failed 2004 election, said it has raised nearly $800,000 to run ads and help with the recall campaign, which communications director Levana Layendecker described as “unprecedented for a non-election year issue.” In addition, 2,500 volunteers have signed up with DFA to help gather signatures. The group, with 25,000 members in Wisconsin alone, expects that number to only grow.

Combine this with the tepid political theater taking place in Washington D.C. over pitifully insubstantial budget cuts, and you have a picture of a Republican party repeating its own miserable history. Bold action is required. Republicans must demand serious and lasting reforms which will make a real difference to our long-term fiscal health. The victory won by Scott Walker and Wisconsin Republicans will be short-lived if the rest of the country does not man up and join the fight.

Consider, while the Wisconsin Democrats are coordinating the recall effort in their state, they are empowered by forces outside it. Democracy for America and MoveOn.org are only two of the many organizations among the Shadow Party.

What conservatives need to do is stand up nationwide now and follow Walker’s lead in every state where they hold power. We need to see monopolistic public employee collective bargaining targeted everywhere, all at the same time. For once, we need to take a page out of the leftist playbook and overwhelm their system. Recall efforts in Wisconsin won’t have as much chance to succeed if the national groups supporting them are suddenly called to fires in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio. The time has come to rise and shout, “I’m Wisconsin!”

Yes, I know how Spartacus ended. After the credits, so too did the Empire.

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