15 June 2011Dear Scott Walker,
Sorry to fall out of touch this last week, but it has been CRAZY around here! Super busy with work. Summer now so I have to work more jobs, and there was car trouble and the buying of a new car ("show me the cheapest car on your lot, sir!"), plus the kids had their last week of school and I had a lot of volunteer work to do for that, and I was trying to keep up with all the madness at the Capitol (so busy!) and then the kids and I were visiting my family in Michigan. You know, Michigan, the state one of your bosses owns? You are going to be so jealous when I tell you that I was close enough to one of the DeVos mansions in Holland that I could actually smell the money of the thousands of plebes at the bottom of the pyramid who trickled their money up, up, up the ladder so that Betsy could one day reign supreme over them and demand a "return on her investment." Seriously. I was that close. You would have loved it. There was poverty everywhere, and then their "house" in all its opulent excess. The only thing missing was a life-sized statue of a camel entering the eye of needle, which is a metaphor for how hard it is to get into a good charter school, and why Jesus wants us to have vouchers because it's not fair that all the godless liberals and poor people get a "free" education while the good children of the Lord have to pay top dollar. Jesus just loves trickle-down education. I think that's what he meant by "suffer the children unto me." It takes visionaries and prophets like you and your friends to know that he meant that suffering part literally.
Anyway, I digress. I have a few items of business that we'd better get to, since it's been a while, and I know how you love business. First, you can stop looking forward to it right now because I am NOT taking the bait on your mean-spirited "statement" yesterday about how the Supreme Court's partisan overturning of the illegal vote ruling is a step toward jobs etc. Whatever. We all knew your bill would pass, and we all knew you got what you paid for in David Prosser, so we'll see you in the higher courts or the recall elections, whatever comes first. I'm ready for that fight.
I'd like to share, instead, my thoughts on your disgusting display of hubris at the Housing Conference last week, and take the time to identify three specific ways in which you've proved, yet again, that you are a selfish egomaniac with no regard whatsoever for the welfare of this state.
- In your infinite arrogance, you actually suggest that you can make "a case" for eliminating collective bargaining. Here's what the Wisconsin State Journal says: "Walker took two questions from the conference audience. Asked if there was anything he wished he had done differently, Walker said he should have "spent more time building a case" for his view that collective bargaining should be seen as "not a right, but an expensive entitlement" for public employees." Spend more time? What? You've had months. And your constant pingponging between two equally moronic lies ("Denying people their right to collective bargaining will save the economy" and "Denying people their right to collective bargaining has no fiscal component") has proven, without a doubt, that you have no reasonable case to make. But, even if you did, I'm sorry to inform you that you don't get to "make a case" for what our rights are. These rights, it turns out, are inalienable. And they are protected by state, federal and international law. And among them is the right to organize our labor and engage in collective bargaining with our employers. So you can leave your delusions of grandeur at the Governor's mansion next to your picture of yourself in a monocle and come back to earth.
- You continue to spread the absurd lie that your policies will not lead to increased taxes. Who do you think is going to have to foot the bill to keep our schools running now that you've gutted education? Our kids will pay that price, and local communities are already scrambling to figure out how to clean up this mess. By shifting the burden of fiscal responsibility to the local level and the working poor, you give the duplicitous illusion that you're doing something responsible when in fact you're just screwing the working class two ways: not only will I have to pay more, I'll be taking home less pay, too. And I live in a district that can afford it! What of the rural areas where schools literally don't have a dime to spare and people are stretched too thin already to foot any more of the bill? What of these people? What magic voucher does Jesus want them to receive to lift their kids out of that nightmare?
- I save the worst for last, and I think you know what it is. Just when I think you've outdone yourself in insulting us, just when I thought it was not possible for you to be any more disrespectful or demeaning, you manage to remind us once again how little regard you really have for the needs and concerns of your constituents. There you are, standing before a throng of adoring money-lenders and exploiters of the poor, waxing sanctimonious about all the good you're doing for this state, when you - quite out of character, actually, since you usually prefer to pretend we don't exist - acknowledge the banging of the crowd of protesters outside your event, who have gathered to defend the rights of the needy to secure housing. BANG! BANG! go the protesters. And you have the nerve to say, "That's opportunity knocking for all of us now." Your acolytes hoot and howl with glee at your hilarious joke, and it doesn't go unnoticed by the press. It doesn't go unnoticed by me, either. Which "opportunity," exactly, are you referring to here? The opportunity to strip us of our rights? The opportunity to mock us? The opportunity to force through your agenda despite the dissent of the people because you have no regard whatsoever for democracy or decorum? The opportunity to prove, once again, and publicly, how much you hate the people of Wisconsin? Well, congratulations. You have proven all of these things. And then some.
Heather DuBois Bourenane
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