As protests spread to Ohio and Indiana from Wisconsin, Republicans are taking a harder and meaner stand against them. Look at that video above. Those citizens exercising their First Amendment rights are being called "a danger", which is the excuse given for limiting the number of people allowed to enter the statehouse today. Do they look dangerous to you?
Maybe it's dangerous to sing "God Bless America" with bagpipe accompaniment?
It seems the public doesn't think so. Today's USAToday/Gallup poll shows a majority oppose the effort by Governor Walker to take rights away from public employees.
The poll found that 61% would oppose a law in their state similar to one being considered in Wisconsin, compared with 33% who would favor such a law.
Of all the results reported in that poll, consensus formed around opposition to a Walker-like proposal to balance state budgets, increasing sales taxes to cover budget shortfalls, and reducing pay or benefits for government workers. Respondents were evenly divided on cuts to state programs.
Of course, we know this is not about balancing the budget at all. Just like Wisconsin, it's intended to break unions in this country.
Ohio.com has more about the lockout of Ohioans to their own statehouse:
COLUMBUS: Democratic legislative leaders in Ohio said Tuesday that they were prepared to ask a judge to force officials to unlock the doors to the Statehouse as thousands of union protesters gathered for a hearing on a bill that would strip public employees of collective bargaining rights.
Ohio Public Safety spokesman Joe Andrews says about 1,000 people have been allowed into the Rotunda and Atrium for a committee hearing on the bill and additional visitors without appointments were turned away in the interest of safety. The heightened security came after a long President's Day weekend during which unions across the state sought to mobilize their supporters against the bill and bring out big crowds.
Visitors wanting to attend the hearing after doors were closed were directed to an off-site theater, where the meeting was to be simulcast.
The Statehouse halls and meeting rooms near the committee room remained mostly empty, prompting Democrats to call a news conference and call the access issue an outrage. House Minority Leader Armond Budish held up a stack of papers that he said contained names of people who were not permitted into "the people's house."
Have you noticed how the Republicans are dividing people and putting them in silos? If you're a union member, you're dangerous. If you're not, you're a citizen. As if union members are not citizens. If they succeed with unions, what's next? What group of citizens will be considered "dangerous" after unions are broken?
This is why it's so important, and why the coordinated actions of Republican governors set the tone for what we can all expect from Republicans in the future. As the Birchers continue to pull (purse) strings, their bought-and-paid-for governors and legislators will continue to crack down on anyone not in lockstep with conservative values. Don't believe me? Read this.
Update: Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has decided to drop the effort to pass a right-to-work bill this year.