The situation in Wisconsin has taken yet another fascinating turn, as (unionized) police officers have joined the ranks of the protesters in the Capitol. It doesn't quite have the same substantive impact as Libyan army units defecting to join the anti-government wave but it's an intriguing development nonetheless. Police are not exactly a profession that one associates with anti-government protests, obviously, and moreover some police organizations actually endorsed Walker just a few short months ago (N.B.: the media's allusion to "the police" endorsing him is incorrect – of over 300 police labor organizations in the state, four of them did). Well, I guess they're un-endorsing him now.

What changed? Even Republican elected officials aren't stupid enough to mess with law enforcement, what with all the War on Drugs, Tough on Crime rhetoric and the constant emotional appeals to our various Heroes in Uniform(s) in place of actual arguments. Indeed, Walker's various Gilded Age union-busting proposals have repeatedly and explicitly excluded police and firefighters (Heroes! 9/11! Bald Eagles shitting red-white-blue chemtrails!) Given the presumption of special treatment and the natural antagonism that exists between cops and dirty hippie protesters, why would they take the unusual step of becoming protesters themselves?

For once and once only I am going to assume that the correct answer is "Cops are not idiots."

I've written at length before on the progression of inter-class victim-blaming in this country since 1980. First they convinced the blue collars to scapegoat the Welfare Queens. Then the suburbanites scapegoated the blue collars and their cushy union factory jobs (hence NAFTA). Then the suburbanites started to cannibalize themselves: first the greedy retirees with their sweet benefits were redefined as Leeches, and now it's the teachers and public sector workforce. While Americans in general have failed to notice how this game of "Find a new scapegoat every 3 years until there's no one left with benefits or a salary over $10/hr " has progressed methodically for several decades, the cops appear to have no illusions about what is happening. They are waking up to reality: "They're going to come for us next."

Yes, they are. Though cops and firemen are left out of the Kochs' Walker's plans for the time being, imagine that he succeeds in crushing the teachers/public sector unions now. In two years they will need a new scapegoat. It is already well established that the right wing media machine and Teabag-o-sphere can demonize anyone, so why not America's Heroes? Can you imagine a lot of salutes to the bravery of our police and fire departments followed by caveats about deficits, austerity, and "tough choices"? By the time 2013 rolls around and the public has acquiesced to the public sector being crushed, there's absolutely no reason that another manufactured budget deficit couldn't serve as an effective burning Reichstag to rally the timid, scared, angry public behind the whitest "Fuck the Police" movement ever seen.

First they came for the minorities, and I did not speak up because…

Be Sociable, Share!


  1. Andrew Says:

    Calling names and making generalizations about any group of people, whether they be neo-cons, tea baggers, or left wing loons does not get us any closer to finding a solution that will make our country the exception, instead of ending up as another bankrupt European quasi -socialized cesspool of assumed rights,


  2. David Says:

    Re: sadness

    "Point me to a society where the people standing up together against the elite class has worked. Any society."

    The united states was founded by a revolution against a monarchical government and since then has produced the highest standard of living in the world, with the most fluid socio-economic population that has ever existed

  3. Patrick Says:

    the old game of divide and conquer in action.

  4. Isabel Says:

    "Instead, somehow 17% of the populace is driving a national agenda, and the rest of us are just getting fucked."

    Yeah, how does that work? I personally don't believe it is true.

    "Solidarity with workers can become a lifeblood issue for the Democratic Party rather than something we abstractly throw around every four years."

    Yes!!!!!! Thank you.

  5. Bernard Says:

    wow, Sadness, really has the Republican line down pat. but i digress.

    the die is cast the spell is spoken. enjoy your totalitarian state. Sadness. i gather you know better.

    ps. unions came about here from the same conditions we are about to go under, from the reign of the Corporate State/Gilded Age. read about the Triangle fire. one of the many "flashpoints" that led to unions. also read F. Scott Fitzgerald and other turn of the century writers about labor conditions in America before the rise of unions.

    this is where the small amount of people/unions/ got us 40 hr work weeks and holidays and no child labor laws.

    i'm not here to show you are wrong, i'm calling you to educate yourself on the purpose of collective bargaining. you seem to think what you do as unquestioned and correct.

    you sound to me like someone who votes Republican, mostly because i gather you don't know the truth/basis of the propaganda/stuff they Right wing has sold to most uneducated Americans. and i mean uneducated about how unions, bargaining rights and labor history and all that "stuff" that has led to the rise of the Middle Class.

    that America has gotten sold/bought off by the media, Republican/Democrat/Wall St. BS is part and parcel of the Big Lie that has been sold to the American Public for the last 40 years.

    actually, i had to learn the hard way. i was an easy mark. i even voted for Sir Ronnie Reagan, destroyer of America, way back in 1980. learning the hard way is sometimes the only way.

    i frankly can't expect you to learn the truth about the whole PR scam the Republicans did on America, you'd have to want to. and i detect a note of holding back on your willingness to accept/see the other side of the story.

    what amazes me most is the Middle Class did this to themselves by voting Republican. totally self stupidly voting against their own self interest. divide and conquer really work!!!

    down here in the South, the lies have been going on so long, the PR game, i mean, that the lies no longer work like they used to. and of course poverty changes people's perceptions.

    i hope you enjoy what the Republicans did to the Middle Class. there is no way around it now.

    like i said. 40 years of selling the Faith based BS propaganda, the lies/propaganda is so completely interwoven into our society now. unless you are willing to face the truth,that is, for lies are so much more comfortable.

    so as you sow, so shall you reap. and god knows the whirlwind has no Republican/Democratic preference.