So long-ago scheduled business finds me last night and today at Ground Zero–Madison, Wisconsin. Wandering around and taking in the street scene at the capitol building last night brought back all of my favorite Reagan stories from California about the protestors back in that golden age, and Reagan’s mocking dismissals, such as saying of the folks who held up the “Make love, not war” signs that he didn’t think they looked capable of doing much of either. Or, when confronted with the sign reading, “We are the future,” Reagan scribbled a reply and held it out his car window: “I’ll sell my bonds.”
In that spirit I shot some videotape with my Flip camera. Here’s my six minute, hastily edited highlight reel. Here and there you can hear my impertinent queries of concern about Michael Moore’s weight loss, and seeing whether these folks can really tell the Koch brothers apart from Bartles and Jaymes, the wine cooler guys. It culminates in the open-mic part of the program, and you’ll hear one of the Democratic state senators on the phone from Illinois saying this is all about the “Koch brothers agenda.” If they didn’t have that cliché they wouldn’t have anything new to say at all. (Yes, there’s also the obligatory reference to how this is “Selma.”)
I’ll try to shoot some daylight video today, but I do actually need to show up for work.
JOHN adds: Good report! It is inconceivable that the public’s reaction to these demonstrators has been positive. These scenes remind me, unfortunately, of some of the more forgettable incidents of my youth. In those days we, at least, had the excuse of youth and immaturity; I am not sure what excuse these union members can offer. If someone had told me back in 1969 that more than 40 years later, public school teachers who average more than $100,000 a year in salary and benefits for less than full-time work would be emulating our protests and calling on our precedent for inspiration, I would have been astonished. Actually, I am astonished today.