Having listened to the tapes in detail several times I did not come to the conclusion that Walker is, in any way, a corporate puppet.
Did you bother noting up the fact that Democratic senators have not been able to so much as get a call with him, yet 'Koch' calls and gets fasttracked to the Governor's office?
Again, as he made it clear, he is not in the slightest bit interested in negotiating.
Quite the opposite actually, he seems to actually believe in what they're doing. Especially towards the end of the conversation, he references the bill as (paraphrased by I guarantee these quotes to be faithful to what he was intending to communicate) an attempt at "forcing public employees to make the kind of sacrifices that private sector employees have had to" and "about freedom." His heart seems to be in the right place, as far as I can tell he really believes that what they're doing is what's best for America.
I think that's a reference to Koch's discussion of 'freedom', personally. It's not freedom as you think of it.
Furthermore, the liberal blogger's attempts at backing him into a corner to expose dirty tactics only paid off once (something I'll get to a bit later in my post). Typically he made a nervous comment or attempted to change the subject with charming misdirection whenever the Koch impersonator tried to get him to confess or agree with a really nasty and/or illegal tactic.
I count four such
1) He openly admitted to considering plants.
2) He dodged the 'our vested interest' bit
3) He agreed to let 'Koch' show him a good time.
4) He actively solicits and discusses coordination with "Koch's" own efforts, such as shoring up potentially vulnerable Republicans. This may actually be a violation of the law.
At the end of the call "Koch" goes as far as implying that they're doing what they're doing for their own interests, not the state's, then leaves him a chance to agree or disagree. It's then that the governor disagrees, or at least dodges the subject, with evident trepidation. His comments also make it clear that he truly believes that the protesters don't represent a majority and that the electorate is largely with him. He believes in the Democratic process... sorta.
Rather blatantly ignorant of polls, on his part, to say that.
I didn't write the above because I'm concerned for Walker's image. That's really not it. I disagree with what he's trying to do and many of his tactics (which I will delve into in the latter half of my post). What bothers me about the way this is being reported is that if you listen to the call yourself and pay attention to what was said and the inflections in speech, this does not at all sound like a call between a politician and his corporate master. This sounds like a call between a politician and an influential lobbyist where the elected official tries desperately not to offend one of the most powerful men in America by humoring him. I really hope this doesn't become evidence, in the public consciousness, that the old adage about corporations having stolen our democracy is true. I just don't see it that way and don't understand how anyone can having reviewed it myself.
Most damningly, of all, is the implicit discussion of coordinating tactics, and that is probably what will be used as legal and public evidence, and is far more relevant.
On the other hand, Walker is clearly a piece of shit. He and his cohorts have apparently considered planting fake protesters to discredit the movement, a tactic which conservatives are always paranoid about when it comes to liberals ("Saul Alinskyism" as Glenn Beck puts it). Walker basically said that the only reason they didn't move ahead with that tactic (which he claims isn't "unethical" by the way) is that it wasn't necessary because things were already well under control. He also admits that the discussion which Wisconsin Democrats were to be offered as an olive branch to get them to return to congress was actually a Trojan Horse: the plan was to use legislative rules to trick them into unknowingly surrendering their positions by returning.
I've been watching this unfolding with a degree of understanding for both sides, but leaning liberal. If private employees are having their wages and benefits slashed, it makes sense to have some degree of parity with governmental employees. Groups like the teacher's union do have a negative effect on our country in some ways. I believe we have to balance the legitimate interests of both conservative and liberal ideologies in whatever we decide to do, but I seem to be vastly outnumbered in my opinion.
Look up conservative feats over the past few centuries, then compare them to progressive feats, and elucidate what you think the balance should be. Because in my analysis of history, conservatives have a long, proud tendency to be morally and logically wrong.
- Conservatives were pro-slavery, anti-civil rights.
- Conservatives were against the labor movement.
- Conservatives are against LGBT rights
- Conservatives were against World War II
- Economic conservatives want deflationary currency standards
- Economic conservatives oppose universal health care
People have tolerated and praised the anti-Democratic tactics of liberal legislators (hiding out in order to disrupt the vote)
The democrats are using the quorum rule for its actual purpose. It can certainly be abused, but it is not anti-democratic to oppose a bill that the majority of the population genuinely opposes.
As opposed to filibustering every single bill that comes up just because they want to stall the process in general, which is the Republican initiative.
despite the fact that their exploitation of the system is in opposition to our most basic premises of representative Democracy merely because they agree with the cause that these tactics are being used to fight for.
This is blatantly false. The purpose of representative democracy is to have a hedge against pure majority rule. The majority does not always make the correct decision.
Conservatives will justify Walker's bad behavior on similar grounds. Democrats seem beholden to one interest group (Unions) while they criticize Republicans for theoretically being beholden to another (Corporations). Emotions are running high, public displays of anger are more common than any reasonable measure of discourse, and both sides are praising any unrestrained passion they observe as long as it agrees with what they believe in.
Both parties are beholden to corporate interests. If the democrats were serious about reigning in corporate power we would be seeing 70% top tier tax rates again, as is proper.
The reason this is a fight is because the Koch family and Rupert Murdoch are nobodies compared to Rockefeller and Hearst. Democrats versus Republicans is, for the most part, a false divide. Democrats are moving back towards unions now because a movement got triggered and they can't afford to ignore it. Before this they were happy to throw unions under the rug.
I wish we lived in a country where respect for the processes which give us stability and fair governance was held higher than respect for personal political ideology, but I'm seeing more and more that that's not the case. This is why there's so much corruption in our country: we tolerate it as long as it's in our favor, which is tacit approval (whether we intend it to be or not) for the other side to do the same.
We have an entire media apparatus devoted to spreading partisan lies and propaganda - Fox. An entire political party devoted to enhancing its own power - even openly admitting to harming the country in order to do so - Limbaugh wanting Obama (and thus the nation) to fail, Republicans filibustering judicial appointments, Ronald Reagan's 'trickle down' economics that we still, as a country, suffer from, and will for decades even if everyone woke up and realized that supply side economics is bullshit tomorrow. Media personalities openly discussing getting major political figures killed (Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly).
And then to highlight the slightest evil on 'the other side' and claim that they are the same. Part of the time no such evil exists - it is merely imagined. Part of the time it is actually a plant by the opposition. Part of the time it is genuine and does deserve to be called out - it will be and should be. What are conservatives going to do, when their only method of attacking their opponent is through deception and force? It's already looking like that.