It’s Time to Capture the Moment

While Governor Walker is digging in deeper, even after the embarrassment of the Koch prank call, other Tea Party and Republican governors appear to understand that they have lost this fight.  Florida is not even considering a similar bill, but Governor Scott let it be known that he thinks stripping collective bargaining rights is a bad idea.  Governor Daniels of Indiana, who may want to run for President in two years, told his party to drop their union-busting bill.  Still, Gov. Walker won’t back down.  The only thing he has left is to win.  The Democrats in Indiana may have won by preventing a quorum, but I don’t think that’s the case in Wisconsin.  Eventually the Democrats in the State Senate will have to come back and they won’t win.  They may as well fight now, when they have the support of the nation.

Every time it seems like the Republicans or the Tea Party have reached the nadir, they find a way to get even lower.  While our eyes have been on Wisconsin, Republicans have been having a ball introducing bills to make the practice of Islam a crime, criminalizing miscarriages, forcing women to get their doctor’s consent before an abortion, and restricting people’s access to the vote.  Providence, Rhode Island may lay-off every teacher at the end of the year.  Some of these bills don’t have a chance, but there are more than a few that will make it through the process and become law.  And Rick Santorum accused the left of hating western civilization and defended the Crusades.

It’s important to keep in mind that Republicans still control far too many state legislatures, governor’s mansions, and seats in Congress.  They won these majorities by energizing their base and capturing the moment.  Republicans and the Tea Party are going to push their majorities to create the government that they want.  They know that they have been exposed as ideologues and will use these next two and four years to shape things.  Liberals and Democrats can not let this moment pass.  There is momentum in Wisconsin, it’s time to make sure that it carries on everywhere else.

The Republicans are doing a great job of framing 2012 as a battle of opposite visions for their states and the countries.  It’s a task Democrats and liberals were not up for in 2010.  The Tea Party movement looked like it would flame out – it didn’t.  Democrats didn’t understand the power of the movement and didn’t mobilize.  Tea Party anger and energy swept Republicans into power.

There is a window right now.  Liberals and Democrats have to keep the fire in their bellies and push forward  The window is small, but it’s there and it comes with a soapbox.  Can the left use the soapbox that has been provided by Governor Walker and his colleagues in Congress to define our priorities for the nation?  That’s the question and the power in this fight.  The Democrats may eventually lose when the final votes are talliend in the Senate chamber, but if the left can stay energized and fight the assaults on reproductive rights across the country and in Congress, then they’ve won.  As has the country.

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lauren McGowan, Michael Kelly. Michael Kelly said: Can we capture the moment like the Tea Party did – http://bit.ly/hY5lDv ? […]



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