“They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead.”
– Henry A. Wallace
The actions by the Republican Party in Wisconsin since January have been playing out across the country at the same time. In Wisconsin, the attack was led by stripping public unions, the strongest remaining unions, of their right to collectively bargain. Hidden in the budget bill are provisions to sell state assets so that they can be purchased by large companies and their services can be sold back to the state at a higher price. In Michigan, the Republicans are passing unconstitutional laws that can be used to eliminate elected local governments, fire all union staff and give control of the municipality over to large corporations under the guise of a fiscal crisis. Arizona sold their statehouse so that they can rent it for a higher price in perpetuity! The current political instability in the US is due to a coordinated attack on American public institutions and infrastructure by billionaires and the companies that they run. What is playing out is an attempt to replace representative democracy with corporate control of the like we have not seen since the time of the Robber Barrons during the Gilded Age. During the past few evenings, Rachel Maddow has aired a number of pieces that make an excellent primer to what is taking place, who is funding it, and what the outcomes are. These pieces are a must see for anyone in the middle class that cares about their own standard of living, the future for their children, access to education, and the rights of human beings.
Part I: The Koch Brothers – the billionaires who are funding the Tea Party and directing Republican policy.
Part II: One of the things that the Right does when they receive hundreds of million dollars from billionaires is to hire people to misinform people on internet discussion sites and to place attack ads on air against popular causes and liberal politicians.
Part III: Despite the fact that all of the Republican Governors and Congressmen claim that the problem is one of fiscal insolvency, the actions that are taking place right now have very little to do with the budget and everything to due with taking political control from the people. All of the fiscal problems in the country are easily fixed by raising taxes on the wealthy (the people who created the problem) and state and national budgets are being used as a ruse.
Part IV: Naomi Klein discusses how the Right uses the threat of disaster to gain control all…the…time. She describes how the current state and federal budget crises are no different.
Part V: Rachel Maddow announces the Wisconsin State Senate’s illegal vote on collective bargaining rights.
Part VI: How did this mess all begin? Remember when a group of billionaires collapsed the economy through their own financial irresponsibility and criminal behavior? Well, neither the irresponsibility nor the criminal behavior have stopped, but now the billionaires want control.
Part VII: Rachel Maddow announces the new Michigan law that allows the Governor to choose which local governments are in financial crisis… and to pick which corporation can run the town once he invalidates the local elected governments.
Part VIII: Michael Moore discusses the pro-labor and pro-democracy movements in Wisconsin and how people can rise up against the class war and the loss of democracy in their own state.
Part IX: What is at stake and the need to act to stop the corporate takeover of the country.