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William Cronon writes: "McCarthy helped create the modern Democratic Party in Wisconsin by infuriating progressive Republicans, imagining that he could build a national platform by cultivating an image as a sternly uncompromising leader willing to attack anyone who stood in his way. Mr. Walker appears to be provoking some of the same ire from adversaries and from advocates of good government by acting with a similar contempt for those who disagree with him."

Rallies have been held across the country to support the protesters holding steady at the Wisconsin Capitol in their fight against Republican-backed legislation aimed at weakening collective bargaining for unions, 02/28/11. (photo: Matt Eich/LUCEO/Newsweek)
Rallies have been held across the country to support the protesters holding steady at the Wisconsin Capitol in their fight against Republican-backed legislation aimed at weakening collective bargaining for unions, 02/28/11. (photo: Matt Eich/LUCEO/Newsweek)


Wisconsin's Radical Break

By William Cronon, The New York Times

22 March 11

RSN Special Coverage: GOP's War on American Labor

Now that a Wisconsin judge has temporarily blocked a state law that would strip public employee unions of most collective bargaining rights, it's worth stepping back to place these events in larger historical context.

Republicans in Wisconsin are seeking to reverse civic traditions that for more than a century have been among the most celebrated achievements not just of their state, but of their own party as well.

Wisconsin was at the forefront of the progressive reform movement in the early 20th century, when the policies of Gov. Robert M. La Follette prompted a fellow Republican, Theodore Roosevelt, to call the state a "laboratory of democracy." The state pioneered many social reforms: It was the first to introduce workers' compensation, in 1911; unemployment insurance, in 1932; and public employee bargaining, in 1959.

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+11 # liberalman 2011-03-23 09:19
A true "Ripleys Believe it Or Not":
from the the forefront of progressive reform to the forefront of anti-worker fascism in one single swipe. One would imagine this affront to workers rights would wake up some independents straddling the Republican/Demo crat fence to clearly see who the pawns of the corporate giants really are.
 
 
+2 # restore2america 2011-03-23 20:50
Wisconsin is just the next test bed for mass crime by the corporate and rich elite. The mortgage fraud/meltdown succeeded. Monsanto succeeded. Koch succeeded. Enron succeeded. Each test pushes the envelope further. Just like our government stamping out civil rights.
 
 
+2 # giraffee2012 2011-03-23 21:25
Vote those governors out in 2012 - or recall them (depending on State law)

If you do not make big $$ I have no clue how you can vote for a Republican. They are bought and paid for by the Kock brothers --

VOTE 2012 Dems -- you are not too busy to VOTE and down we go if the R's take over.

We may NEVER recover from the Cheney/Bush/Rov e/Rumsfield rule.
 
 
+3 # jlohman 2011-03-24 08:39
Our nation's problem is that we have a corrupt political system, on both sides of the isle. R's and D's alike! To vote in progressives that then become the targets of the David Koch's of the world is wasteful and delays the real fix.

Only public funding of campaigns will get our politicians voting for the right thing rather than the favorites of their Fat Cat funders. We need a concerted effort by all progressive groups to back the Fair Elections Now bill at http://fairelectionsnow.org/about-bill

Nothing -- absolutely NOTHING! -- will get fixed until we get money and payola out of politics.

Jack Lohman
http://MoneyedPoliticians.net
 

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