You do not have the right to go bowling

27 March 2011
Dear Scott Walker,

Is it true that you went bowling today?

I'm not sure if that's true or not, but I read it online earlier tonight, and ever since I cannot get the image out of my mind:  all over the state, people are getting ready to go to work, getting the kids to bed, tidying up after the weekend. People are coming home from work, getting up to go to work, thinking about how they wish they could take an extra day off. People are looking at the calendar: almost the end of the month. Bills. Sigh. How am I going to make this work? Can we stretch this out another month? What date, exactly, is each bill due on? Do we really need bread and milk this week? Forget the brown bag; we don't even eat lunch! How did the end of the month get here so quickly? 

That's what I'm thinking. And I'm thinking, how long can we go on like this? Especially if my pay gets cut even more if this budget goes through? What are we going to do? Where else could we move? Where will we work? Where will we live? Can we take our leftist cats with us? And what if we move to another blue state and THAT state turns blood red on us like this one did? Then what? Should we embrace the urge to join the brain drain and get the hell out of here or should we stick it out and fight with and for the other decent people of Wisconsin? Should we just write "Walker is giving us the tools to cover this soon" on our bills this month and see what happens?

Meanwhile, you're out bowling. I imagine you're a decent bowler, given your background, and your whiteness. Maybe in another life you were on a league. I imagine you're having a couple of beers, joking around, not thinking much about what's going on elsewhere. Enjoying yourself. I don't see you bowling with your family, though. You're out with some other guys, also white. You call them "friends" but really they're just people with whom you share common hatreds and little else. You have a few beers, disparage a few minorities, talk about how much your wives suck, how much you hate Madison, liberals, Obama. You all get a few strikes, have a few laughs, feel pretty good about yourselves. You look up at the scoreboard, where they typed in your name as "GUV" and feel really, really happy. You, or one of your friends, says "Boys, it doesn't get any better than this" and you all laugh and laugh and order another round.

That's how I imagine it. People are suffering, and you are bowling. People are worrying, and you are laughing. People are agonizing, and you are giving some asshole a high-five for making a joke that would make Rush Limbaugh blush.  People are wondering what is going to happen now that we officially live in a place where the law is irrelevant to the political whims of those in power, and you are bowling.

I don't want to dwell on the comparison, because you'll probably like it, but you are so like George Bush the son. And not just because you share the unfortunate appearance of always looking like you don't quite understand what's going on around you, or because you both have a hard time remembering not to breath through your mouths when you're listening to someone else speak, giving you a perpetually idiotic expression. But because you share a certain arrogance, and an entitlement that is offensive to even those who don't have to live from hand to mouth and month to month.  I'm still angry at how he got away with not doing his job - taking unprecedented, mocking, shameless amounts of vacation while he was president. Always off playing golf, hiding out, having fun. While the rest of us worried, worked and fumed. And he laughed.

You, too, were hired to do a job that you're not doing. You began before you were even sworn in to put your own political agenda before the law, before the will of the people, and before the good of the state. You have abused the power of your office at every turn and have turned this state into something unrecognizably uncivil.

Last weekend when I took my kids to the Capitol, I had to wait and watch as my 4-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son were "wanded" after walking through a security scanner which did not beep. I watched a video today that showed police officers in the Capitol reprimanding a pair of adolescent boys, and issuing a citation to their parents (one of whom is an elected official), for holding up a sign of protest. For holding up a sign! Is this really what you want Wisconsin to look like?

Going bowling, Scott Walker, is a privilege, not a right.  You do not have the right to go bowling. You do not have the right to enjoy yourself. You do not have the right to live your life as if the pain and anguish of the people of this state is not your own burden to acknowledge, and deal with responsibly. The pursuit of your happiness has come at the expense of this state and you can rest assured that I am not alone in hoping that you really, truly do not enjoy a single moment of your life until your term of office is - mercifully, rightfully - over.


Heather DuBois Bourenane
Concerned citizen of Wisconsin who cannot wait until you are recalled

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