Got an email from 8Andy, “You guys got your asses whipped!” Got a facebook message from BB, “Are you blogging Citizens United?” Got a text message from Vinny Vegas, “Why didn’t Obama go to Wisconsin? Maybe he didn’t want to be tied to a loss.”
“I’m watching Walker’s acceptance speech,” 8Andy went on to say. “He’s thanking the Lord. The crowd is going wild. Unfortunately, Greg, we’re enemies. Sad but true.”
It’s not at all sad. It’s only partly true. But mostly, it’s boring.
When someone has to name you as an enemy, they’re putting all their cards on the table. 8Andy could pretend he’s hiding in plain sight. But he doesn’t have the guts. Besides, when you’re hiding in plain sight, friendship is the tactic, not the disclosure. Sorry, 8Andy, when it comes to Scott Walker and The Koch Brothers, I feel a tugging at my heart to warn you, “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”
When the protests began, I went to Madison. The outrage was fresh, you could feel it reverberate through the rotunda in the capitol. I decided to take it a step further, driving-up to River Falls, Wisconsin, to knock on doors for Shelly Moore, in a local election where she was up against a political establishment figure named Sheila Harsdorf.
Now, I could pretend like I knew a lot about the local issues. But my Light Saber isn’t that sharp. Truth is, I was programmed to repeat a stupid message, like R2D2: “Help us, Obi Wan Kenobi. You’re our only hope.” I wanted to confront the minions of The Dark Lord.
I felt ready. How naïve!
On an unpaved road, somewhere in the backwoods of River Falls, I knocked on a screen door. The woman who stood behind the screen door asked where I was from. I told her I was from a universe far, far away, called Chicago. She asked if that was near the galaxy of Illinois. I told her it was. She laughed. I asked her to support Shelly Moore. She cut me off in the middle of my well-intended spiel to ask what the hell I was doing, meddling in her universe, especially when my galaxy had returned Rod Blagojevich to the Governor’s Death Star. I didn’t have an answer. She told me to go home.
I didn’t listen. How naïve!
Shelly Moore lost. Sheila Harsdorf won. There was another disruption in The Force. I couldn’t do anything about it. This time I knew, so I went home, defeated. But I learned an important lesson: don’t meddle in something that’s none of your damn business, Young Skywalker.
Maybe Scott Walker is an asshole. But it’s not against the law to be an asshole. Maybe Scott Walker didn’t disclose everything he was going to do when he became governor. But it’s not against the law to keep your cards close to your vest. In fact, it’s a winning tactic.
Scott Walker has broken no law. If he has, it’s for the courts to decide, not the media. Even if he’s brought up on charges, given due process and found guilty, it will be up to the people of Wisconsin, in the next election, to vote out their governor, which is something we didn’t do in Illinois. We re-elected Rod Blagojevich. We gave a second term to a crook whose most defining characteristics were his boundless love of attention, chronic potty-mouth and bad hair. Help us Obi Wan…
I remember being outraged about Union Bashing. I remember being outraged about the loss of Collective Bargaining Rights. I remember being outraged about President Obama not showing-up. I remember being outraged about the drumming circles in the rotunda being asked to stop soon after midnight.
I think I was in love with being outraged.
Turns out, I was wrong. Turns out, I was wrong about everything. But mostly, I was wrong about President Obama. He didn’t belong in Madison any more than I belonged in River Falls. This was a local issue. At the time, I convinced myself I was getting involved as an act of solidarity. But who was I kidding? I went for the pictures. Turns out, I’m a low-grade Ed Schultz, in other words, a wannabe media-whore with a blog who went to the protests in Madison looking for a photo-op.
It wasn’t The Force. It was The Farce. Which is the real name for Citizens United, since it was the decision of 5-Screwballs.