Earlier today we reported on Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's belief (similar to that of Michele Bachmann R-MN and Sarah Palin, et. Al.) that Jesus has spoken to him regarding major life issues such as who to marry and when to run for governor of Wisconsin. Tie what is known about the religious fundamentalism of the Republican Party to The Fellowship, a group of powerful politicians and businessmen who act as the most influential behind-the-scenes religious organization in Washington and are behind the scenes at every National Prayer Breakfast since 1953 described at length in Jeff Sharlet's book The Family, and the Republican Party's push to get rid of organized labor, and what you have are the makings of a controlled takeover by Christian dominionists. Sharlet states in The Family:
Conventional wisdom holds that it was Ronald Reagan who began the real dismantling of the New Deal, but a closer examination of the legislative record reveals that the process began as early as 1943, in the midst of the war, when conservative southern Democrats teamed up with Republicans to pass the anti-union Smith-Connally Act, the first step in what would eventually become the repeal of most of labor's New Deal gains. In 1948, Representative Paul B. Dague, then one of Abram's disciples [Abram Vereide, founder of Goodwill Industries and founder of The Family], wrote in a Fellowship newsletter that Abram's weekly meetings for congressmen had produced in them the "conviction that more of God's mandates and the teachings of the Nazarene must be written into current legislation." He did not offer examples. It is easy to guess, however, that he had in mind the previous year's Taft-Hartley Act, known by even conservative unions as the "slave labor law" for the ends to which it went to roll back the New Deal and replace strikes with employer-controlled "conciliation," a hallmark of Abram's vision for "industrial peace." (Sharlet 142)
The Republican movement to bust the unions in the name of God and country, then, has been going on since 1935. Reagan's firing of the air traffic controllers was just another step in the process. Today, yet another unbelievable step was taken to rip the guts out of Wisconsin public employees' unions, and labor itself. Just 3 hours ago, 18 Republican senators in Wisconsin called a Special Session and passed the anti-union legislation that has been the focus of national news the last three weeks without Wisconsin Democrats, who have been holed up in Illinois for the past few weeks trying to block the bill. Just hours before, Governor Scott Walker claimed they were trying to organize a compromise. Apparently not.
TPMDC had this to say about the tactic the Republicans used to pass the bill:
Capping a dramatic turn of events, the Wisconsin state Senate on Wednesday night passed a new, stripped-down "budget repair bill" — which now excludes all the fiscal elements of the original budget repair bill, and simply includes the original's provisions to roll back the collective bargaining and organizational rights of Wisconsin's public employee unions.
With all 14 Democrats absent, having fled the state weeks ago in order to block the three-fifths budget quorum, the bill passed by an 18-1 margin, with only moderate Republican Dale Schultz voting no.
Gov. Scott Walker (R) has released this statement:
"The Senate Democrats have had three weeks to debate this bill and were offered repeated opportunities to come home, which they refused. In order to move the state forward, I applaud the Legislature's action today to stand up to the status quo and take a step in the right direction to balance the budget and reform government. The action today will help ensure Wisconsin has a business climate that allows the private sector to create 250,000 new jobs."State Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller (D) who has been in Illinois, released this statement:
"In thirty minutes, 18 State Senators undid fifty years of civil rights in Wisconsin.
"Their disrespect for the people of Wisconsin and their rights is an outrage that will never be forgotten.
"Tonight, 18 Senate Republicans conspired to take government away from the people.
"Tomorrow we will join the people of Wisconsin in taking back their government."
The move is likely to have an enormous political impact in the state, as unions remain an important base of the Democratic Party organization in Wisconsin. Meanwhile, the unions and Democrats have been actively organizing recalls of Republican state legislators — leveraging the power of the tens of thousands of people who have protested the bill, and numerous opinion polls showing that Wisconsin voters oppose breaking the unions.
What does this mean? In Wisconsin, the Democrat party is tied to the labor unions. To bypass Democrat representatives and hastily call a special session to change a bill so that it becomes a new bill and pass it without Democrat representation (and the people of Wisconsin's representation) becomes a move to eliminate the Democrat Party itself in Wisconsin. Already other Republican governors in other states have been looking at the situation in Wisconsin and taking action. The Democrat National Committee states:
The extremist measures being undertaken against the middle class in Wisconsin are spreading around the country. In Ohio, Republican Gov. John Kasich is ramming through a bill taking away the rights of police, firefighters and teachers to organize. In Indiana, Republicans are actually going to fine House Democrats $250 a day for stopping a vote to slash workers’ rights!
Lest people think that conservative Christian dominionism has nothing to do with this issue, we feature a video of Michele Bachmann (R-MN), well known dominionist, on the situation in Wisconsin just a few weeks ago, recalling Reagan's firing of the air traffic controllers:
The people of Wisconsin aren't dumb. Thousands of the people of Wisconsin have been demonstrating the last three weeks against this very bill that has now been passed without their permission or representation. The implications of this kind of daring on the Republicans' part is clear: They don't care what the people have to say, nor do they represent the people as they preach while they are running for office. 74% of the people of Wisconsin did not want Walker's anti-union bill passed. As Eric Wattree of Black Star News reports in his article "GOP to Unions: Let Them Eat Cake:"
But now the GOP has come upon interesting times. Now, in order to finalize their ultimate objective – to transfer what’s left of the nation’s wealth to the rich, and lower the standard of living of the American middle class – they’re going to have to show their true colors like they’re currently doing in Wisconsin.
Injustice and hunger has a way of opening the people’s eyes. So it won’t be long before the people begin to see that the GOP, in collusion with the corporatists, purposely drove America into a ditch by using the Iraq war to ravage the treasury. They then sent our jobs overseas to purposely create high unemployment to restore the GOP to power, and to depress incoming tax revenue to give themselves an excuse to attack the poor and middle-class safety net.
The people are also going to ask themselves a couple of other questions: If the GOP is truly concerned about the national debt, why did they give a tax cut to the top 2% of the population that will add an additional $3.7 trillion to the debt over the next 10 years? And finally, why didn’t we hear a peep about the debt, while we were losing our homes and jobs, and congress was voting themselves a $93,000 raise, over and above their salaries, in ‘petty cash?’