National Review’s Robert Costa has the best Wisconsin update I can find: “Walker holds his ground.” Wisconsin Senate Democrats are still on the run. Somehow, Walker is unfazed. Indeed, his creative juices are flowing:
Walker is confident that he can pressure the on-the-run politicians to return and secure passage of his plan, which would drastically reduce the collective-bargaining power of public-sector unions and force state employees to put 5.8 percent of their salaries toward their pensions and pay 12.6 percent of their health-care premiums.
“We are looking at legal options to compel the senators to come back,” Walker says. “They have no endgame. They don’t know what they are doing. They got caught up in the hysteria and decided to run, but that’s not how this works. You have got to be in the arena.”
Bringing up hot-button legislation while the Democrats are gone is another arrow in Walker’s quiver. Though the Wisconsin constitution requires three-fifths of the senate to be present to pass fiscal legislation, a simple majority of 17 members constitutes a quorum for other bills in the 33-seat state senate. So the 19 GOP senators who remain in Madison can pass any number of bills while their Democratic colleagues are on the lam, and Republicans are a majority in the assembly, too. “They can hold off, but there is a whole legislative agenda that Republicans in the senate and assembly can start acting on that only requires simple majorities,” Walker warns.”If they want to do their jobs, and have a say, they better show up.”
Last week Jesse Jackson showed up in Madison to lead the throng in “We Shall Overcome.” Perhaps we shall overcome Jesse Jackson.
Costa reports that guitarist Tom Morello of the rock band Rage Against the Machine is scheduled to show up in Madison today. However, Morello won’t be raging against the machine. He’ll be performing in support of it. The times they are a-changin’.
“Killing in the Name” was Rage Against the Machine’s breakthrough hit nearly twenty years ago. In the inspirational uncensored version, vocalist Zack de la Rocha screams: “F*** you, I won’t do what you tell me, mother******!” At Woodstock 1999 the band burned the flag while performing the song.
The song was put to its highest and best use when it was played to Guantanamo detainees in order to encourage their cooperation with American interrogators. There is no word whether Morello is threatening to crank up the volume and play it today for Governor Walker et al., but they should probably be prepared.