I don’t know how long Wisconsin state senate Democrats can continue to hide out. I don’t know if the protests in Madison, the state capitol, will slow down the assault on working people in Wisconsin and across the country.
But I do know this.
It feels good. Right now it feels very very good.
Scott Walker won the Wisconsin governorship with 1,128,941 votes in an election that drew 2,160,832 out of a total of 3,469,443 registered voters. That works out to about 32% of the registered voters of Wisconsin. Or 25% of the voting age population of Wisconsin (total population about 4,354,175).
What he found out this past week is that while he won that election, he is missing one very important thing:
From Thomas Jefferson: “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
These people do not consent to be governed by Scott Walker’s plans.
(Protesters in Capitol building)
Nor do these people:
(Democrats in the state assembly – orange shirts supporting unions)
The 25,000 who came out to protest Thursday and to be part of a ‘civics lesson in the flesh’ (including my 11 year old daughter who carried a hand-made sign that said “I support my teachers” — with an apple!) do not consent.
The Archbishop of Milwaukee has a problem with it: “… hard times do not nullify the moral obligation each of us has to respect the legitimate rights of workers.”
Green Bay Packers union members do not consent, calling the right to negotiate wages and benefits a “fundamental underpinning of our middle class.”
Fourteen Democratic state senators left the state to deny a quorum, signalling that they do not consent.
I think this guy does not consent.
Josh Marshall put it well in his opinion piece earlier in the week:”Republicans came out of the 2010 election pumped up and feeling that they had a huge mandate to fundamentally change government in this country. I don’t think the elections really told us that at all. But these things are decided by results post-election not by analysis of the election returns. And that’s what’s being determined right now.”
Mandates are funny things and they probably should start with more than 32% of the registered voters of your state and 25% of voting age residents voting for you.
Because this is bigger than you, Gov. Walker (R-WI) and Gov. Kasich (R-OH) and Gov. Scott (R-FL) and Gov. Christie (R-NJ) and Gov. Branstad (R-IA). It is this:
Have a great day, everyone! I intend to.
(A version of this was originally posted on 02/18/2011 at BPI Campus)