On Calling Out the Guard

Don’t get me wrong, because I think the Governor of Wisconsin is an ass, and has demonstrated that to him, removing collective bargaining and union-busting is more important that budget-balancing. I don’t, however, think this is quite the call to arms that a lot of you think it is- a lot of the places, like TPM, are phrasing it to make it sound like he is preparing the National Guard to go out into the streets and to stop rioting. I don’t think that is what he said:

Walker said Friday that he updated emergency plans and alerted the National Guard just in case they are needed to ensure state services aren’t interrupted. His plan would remove collective bargaining rights for prison guards, but it would exempt local police and firefighters and the state patrol.

I can understand how that might seem like some are framing it, but as someone who was in the National Guard, and stationed a block away from a State Pen, we frequently trained for prison riots and prison breaks. I need to see the exact interview, and if someone has access to the emergency plans, that would be helpful, but what I get out of that is that he is saying the Guard is ready to step in and control the prison if the prison guards strike or have their version of a “blue flu.” I have no idea if the Prison guards in Wisconsin are as strong a union as they are in California (catastrophically, so, there), but that may be what he is getting at. “The Guard is ready to do your job if you quit.”

144 replies
  1. 1
    stuckinred says:

    Federalize them and send them to Arizona!

  2. 2
    West of the Cascades says:

    You killed a perfectly good screaming outrage fit with a dose of common sense, damn you.

  3. 3
    Yutsano says:

    Thought experiment: how many of the state employees are also in the National Guard? I’m guessing there’s at least a few there. And can a National Guard platoon run a DMV? That could be hilarious to watch.

  4. 4
    Donut says:

    Look, man – both of my parents worked in the Illinois prison system for 25+ and 30 years, respectively.

    Putting people in there (Guardsmen) who have training only for catastrophic events such as riot would be an instant tragedy. I have no doubt people would die and a lot of places would go on lock-down, and that is also a recipe for bad things. Maybe you could get away with it in min security, possibly…but in a max or super-max facility, with the real hardcore socio-paths…no way. It’s a dumb dumb dumb ignorant stupid stupid stupid thing to even float. Not at all a smart thing.

    REALLY FUCKING DUMB idea. You’re talking about having people who are regular janes and joes deal with people who kill and rob and maim…that’s just a recipe for death and mayhem

    Walker is an asshole. WI, much as I love it, is getting what it paid for with this guy.

  5. 5
    folkbum says:

    As a Wisconsinite, union member, and one who loathes Walker with a fury, I will say that you are right.

    Still, the way he phrased it–specifically as a threat, the whole “If you won’t conform I will send in armed men to replace you–was really weaselshitty. I fear for my state, and not in the Glenn Beckstrionic way.

  6. 6
    stuckinred says:

    @Donut: Worked ok at Abu Ghraib.
    Ok, it was a reserve outfit but still. . .

  7. 7
    ploeg says:

    It should go without saying that you’re not going to let prisoners go unguarded. If somebody asks, you can say that you are taking the necessary precautions. Mentioning the Guard specifically, and calling a “Capitol news conference under the watch of a heavier than usual police presence” is unnecessary, chest-pounding chickenshit.

  8. 8
    jwb says:

    I’m pretty sure he is planning to use the National Guard to replace striking workers—that is, forced scabs. And the point is very much to break the unions, just as Reagan did with the air traffic controllers. I don’t know what more you could ask for in terms of a declaration of war.

  9. 9
    Donut says:

    @stuckinred

    Exactly. Good point.

    To elaborate further, prison guards receive very specific training and go through very well established protocols and procedures in order to keep prisons running smoothly. This is not something to take lightly, and not something a Guardsman with a few weekends of training a year should be messing with.

    My dad was a clinical psychologist working with the craziest of the crazies in Menard, a max facility in downstate IL. My mom retired as a superintendent (basically asst. warden) from a min security facility.

    The people who work in these places, other than guards, in all kinds of capacities are your neighbors, moms, dads, brother, sisters, etc., and they deserve to be safe and have confidence that the guards charged with protecting them know what they are doing. There were times growing up where my parents, but for something going right due to training and quick-thinking based in experience, might have died.

    Respectfully, fuck off if you think this a good idea. I’m sorry. Makes me really angry.

  10. 10
    ploeg says:

    @Donut:

    Exactly. If it comes down to it, you have alternatives available who are better suited to prison guard duty than the Guard. This is not about reassuring the public that things are under control. It’s all about whipping out your piece and showing everybody how big it is.

  11. 11
    aimai says:

    @folkbum:

    Yes, I think the phrase “state services” is a little broad to be limited just to the Prison guard situation. I think that its a veiled threat against everyone in a government union and simply will be heard that way by the public. Its not so much aimed at the union members as at the general public who are being conditioned (and have been for years) for associating the words “thuggish” and “violent” against unions composed of, for example, school teachers, janitors, and DMV reps. The argument that is being made is both that unions are filled with fat, lazy, useless, featherbedding, wastrels *and that* they could, at a moment’s notice, abandon their sacred duty towards the people and turn violent. It doesn’t matter that the argument is self contradictory. What matters is that it ultimately breaks the unions.

    aimai

  12. 12
    eemom says:

    omg, John Cole actually QUESTIONING the latest “sky is falling” meme in left blogtopia??

    Lemme get to a window…..I’ve always wanted to see what flying pigs look like.

  13. 13
    stuckinred says:

    @Donut: We used to go to Ma Hales in Grand Tower.

  14. 14
    calipygian says:

    Am I 75% certain that a republican douchebag wouldn’t order the National Guard to massacre school teachers striking for better wages and exercising their rights to associate and speech?

    Yeah.

    Am I sad that people think that maybe, just maybe, a republican douchebag would?

    No. It would be very irresponsible of me NOT to speculate publicly on that possibility.

  15. 15

    […] John Cole notes that Governor Walker is probably just putting the National Guard on standby to fill in for striking public safety workers. This makes sense to me. John also calls the prison guard union in California catastrophically strong. This raises another point: there are some public sector unions that have too much power. Any organized group can gain too much power and then choose to use it poorly. But demonizing all public sector workers because of the abuses of one or two overly powerful unions is to miss the point entirely. […]

  16. 16
    Donut says:

    @stuckinred – oh, wow, you just brought up some memories.

    We lived in Carbondale, and my parents both went to school at SIU and graduated from the Rehab Institute there.

  17. 17
    Rick says:

    As a Wisconsinte, and an enemy of the Governor, and a resident of the same suburb he is from…

    If he’s not threatening the workers, you could have fooled me and everybody who thinks about it.

    He’s worse than you think, and he’ll turn Wisconsin into Milwaukee County… Which was a fine place until he got there.

  18. 18
    stuckinred says:

    @Donut: Yea, I lived in Urbana but had lot’s of friends in C-Dale. Used to party like there was no tomorrow down there in the 70’s. My mom is from Christopher and her dad and grandfather worked in the mines.

    Wasn’t there a highway up on a levee between C-Dale and Grand Tower?

  19. 19
    Linnaeus says:

    I think John’s interpretation, while reasonable, is overly generous. In the context of Walker’s hard line against the public employees’ unions, it’s difficult for me to see him invoking possible National Guard action as anything other than a veiled threat.

  20. 20
    Kryptik says:

    I agree with the others here that going out of his way to use the specter of the National Guard is point enough. There’s saying you’ll use scabs, and then there’s the National Guard. Considering the usual historical instances people attach with the Guard being deployed domestically, it’s obvious he’s painting the unions as an outsized threat, and using the Guard to escalate it as well as further turn the public against them. So what if the Guard isn’t going to be used as riot police? It’s the escalation and the further ‘other’-izing of the unions to paint them not as simply malicious, but a possible national enemy.

  21. 21
    BGinCHI says:

    @Linnaeus: Yes. It’s a veiled threat.

    If this doesn’t wake people up in WI, the state is gonna be the Mississippi of the north pretty soon.

  22. 22
    Corner Stone says:

    @Donut:

    You’re talking about having people who are regular janes and joes deal with people who kill and rob and maim…that’s just a recipe for death and mayhem

    Not that it’s particularly relevant, because it was fiction, but I’m reminded of the personal prison guard who dealt with Hannibal Lecter. And how when they went to move Hannibal he asked them if he could work that shift and join them to make sure everything went ok. Because he knew who he was dealing with.
    Of course they arrogantly told him no and died for their stupidity.

  23. 23
    Corner Stone says:

    @Linnaeus: There is absolutely nothing other to this than a threat. It’s not even particularly veiled, no matter what Cole seems to read/not read into it.

  24. 24
    Linkmeister says:

    Maybe he’s trying to evoke the memory of Kent State? ‘Cause that National Guard deployment worked out so well.

  25. 25
    JWL says:

    I read somewhere that a healthy percentage of those stone National Guard armories were designed and built as a consequence of the Haymarket riot, and fear of insurrection fomented by the labor movement.

    Does that ring a bell with anyone else?

  26. 26
    Corner Stone says:

    @stuckinred: Have you ever considered writing a memoir/semi-fictional biography?
    You have the most amazing memory for someone of your advanced years.

  27. 27
    martha says:

    @BGinCHI: Wississippi. God I’m depressed.

    John, your post is probably correct, but what I think you’re missing is that Walker is basically a tea party republican. So he may be dumb enough, when faced with unexpected actions, to actually use the Guard that way.

    Wonder what the state power plant electricians (unionized, of course) could do if they were unhappy? hmmm. There are tons of things like this if he escalates to 1000 (which he’s stupid enough to do)

  28. 28
    cmorenc says:

    @jwb :

    I’m pretty sure he is planning to use the National Guard to replace striking workers—that is, forced scabs. And the point is very much to break the unions, just as Reagan did with the air traffic controllers. I don’t know what more you could ask for in terms of a declaration of war.

    The example of Reagan and the Air Traffic Controllers (Union) is the model example GOOPer politicians have in mind with respect to contemporary government-service employee unions. Because Reagan successfully got away with firing a group of highly skilled professionals critical to public safety and replacing them with um…replacement controllers and airplanes didn’t start crashing and falling from the sky all across the land…GOOPer politicians assume that whatever they need to do in order to cripple or dissolve public service employee unions, they can do without any dire consequences or creating a huge public backlash that will get them tossed out at the next election.

    IMHO Reagan got somewhat plain dumb lucky with the Air Traffic Controllers, just like he did with so many other things (e.g. the timing of the fall of the Soviet Union). To me, that’s one of the most infuriating parts of Reagan’s destructive legacy, that he had that Gladstone Gender quality (Gladstone Gander is a classic character from the old Walt Disney/Donald Duck comic books, whose characteristic trait is that he was so frequently the beneficiary of undeserved pure good luck).

  29. 29
    BGinCHI says:

    @Corner Stone: He’d have to go into hiding after it’s published, but I think it’s a good idea.

  30. 30
    BGinCHI says:

    @martha: Nailed it. Can’t decide now between Wississippi and Walabama.

  31. 31
    Donut says:

    @stuckinred – yep, I think you are thinking of the Big Muddy Levee Rd. I know exactly where Christopher is, we would sometimes head that way if we were going over to the Rend Lake area.

  32. 32
    Linnaeus says:

    @BGinCHI:

    If this doesn’t wake people up in WI, the state is gonna be the Mississippi of the north pretty soon.

    I’ll be honest, I’m not very confident about the prospects of people waking up in Wisconsin or any other state where conservative political leaders are going all-out like this. The combination of economic hardship and 40 years or so of right-wing messaging and politics (just to name a couple of factors) makes persuading people that Walker’s politics are the wrong answer, let alone organizing them for action, that much harder. Which is not a recommendation to throw up one’s hands and give up, but that a lot of basic work needs to get done (or in some cases, re-done) to advance progressive politics in the long term. Things are likely to get much worse in the meantime. It really sucks.

    ETA: I grew up in the Midwest, and I’ve thought about moving back there, but when I see stuff like this, it makes me want to dig in my heels more firmly here in Washington. And that’s not to downplay the economic and political difficulties in this state, but at least we don’t have political leaders this openly hostile controlling the state.

  33. 33
    Kryptik says:

    @Linnaeus:

    The more I see things like this bullshit, and then look forward to the ’12 landscape, the more I simply think it’s just too fucking late.

  34. 34
    kdaug says:

    @cmorenc:

    IMHO Reagan got somewhat plain dumb lucky with the Air Traffic Controllers, just like he did with so many other things (e.g. the timing of the fall of the Soviet Union).

    What, you’re saying glasnost and perestroika weren’t Ronnie’s idea?

  35. 35
    martha says:

    @BGinCHI: Ugh. The only thing that makes me feel better is that his sledgehammer isn’t just affecting the evil Madison/Milwaukee liberals, but all the county workers too out in the hinterlands. That’ll hurt.

  36. 36
    NobodySpecial says:

    Regardless of whatever you think of his alerting the National Guard, this is still a stupid stupid idea. The National Guard isn’t going to be able to do everything from garbage hauling to DMV services to teaching to residential water etcetera et cetera ad infinitum ad nauseum. That doesn’t even BEGIN to cover the mess that will happen when the plow drivers ain’t around next blizzard and the Teamsters in a show of solidarity start doing slowdowns or even stop delivering to the state.

    All of which will happen the first time a National Guarder is ordered to replace a state worker. And the residents will go apeshit. Sure, they’ll get mad at the unions…they ALWAYS get mad at the unions. But eventually they give in simply because they like having the lights on at night and the garbage off the curb and the kids in school. Just like virtually every single time in the last century it happened. He can’t even prevent them from walking in essential services because the Supreme Court already took out that argument 60 years ago.

    Stupid, stupid wingnut.

  37. 37
    MarkJ says:

    We really need a new worker solidarity movement in this country. It is the only thing that will stop these assholes from taking every last penny above subsistence from anyone who isn’t in the Galtian Overlord class.

    The guy is abusing his power as governor over the national guard to threaten to break a strike. Maybe it only applies to prison guards, but why shouldn’t they be able to bargain collectively for better health and retirement benefits? The Galtians sure never fail to bargain for higher salaries or bonuses.

  38. 38
    Kryptik says:

    @MarkJ:

    But Worker Solidarity is soshulism, and don’t you know that all that does is make everyone poorer? And what about the poor producers, they don’t have enough power or money to beat back against those godless prole hordes and if they go, the whole country is destroyed, since they’re REal America, don’t you know?! DON’T YOU KNOW?!?!?!?!

    Ugh…I wish my coping mechanism of bitter, cynical snark was designed to handle this kind of fucking crap.

  39. 39
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    I was curious, so I just Wikied the 1981 ATC strike. According to Wiki, the ATC union at the time actually endorsed Reagan in the 1980 election. Talk about bad moves.

  40. 40
    BGinCHI says:

    @martha: The hope is that such extreme actions, taken by folks who aren’t smart, is potentially a good consciousness-raising opportunity.

    I’d be more scared if this were incremental and done by smart corporate types who were playing a long game.

    Striking so clearly at the middle class is an opening for Dems. State Dem parties need to get MUCH better. Even here where we’re in power, the state party is TERRIBLE. The only thing keeping it going is that the GOP is so bad and, well, corruption.

  41. 41
    Kyle says:

    @Donut:

    It’s a dumb dumb dumb ignorant stupid stupid stupid thing to even float.

    We are, of course, talking about a Republican politician. The standards aren’t that high.
    And we have the arrogant widespread Repuke ideology that the front-line workers are all lazy, overpaid, interchangeable dolts who could be replaced on a whim.

  42. 42
    Jennifer says:

    So the way the governor sees it, state budget problems are the fault of people who put their lives on the line daily to keep the rest of us safe from violent criminals being paid too much?

    Here’s a novel idea: why don’t we look for ways to stop locking up so many people who really AREN’T violent criminals, who are just addicts and so on. This will allow us to close a lot of prisons, which will not only cut the number of people we employ as prison guards, but also a lot more in terms of operations, and then no one will feel the need to resort to these types of stunts to protest the “overpayment” of people who deal with the most violent and dangerous elements of society every day. Hell, we can even give them a RAISE in recognition of the risks they take on our behalf every day.

  43. 43
    MarkJ says:

    I will hand conservatives one thing: they sure are good at advertising. I mean, they live in a public policy fantasy world completely detached from reality, but they are capable of selling that fantasy to a large number of people whose economic interests they are working against. The execution is impressive, though the motives and outcomes are vile.

  44. 44
    martha says:

    @BGinCHI: Agreed. The good thing is, the Repugs have been coopted by the tea partiers and talk radio types and the corporatists who support the UW and R&D and venture capital-driven firms are increasingly uneasy. The young blood they need to work at all of those places will not come here or stay here.

  45. 45

    Can the National Guard fill every job done by a state employee in a union? For instance, I’m a union member in Florida, and if there was, say, a statewide general strike, I imagine that the Florida National Guard would have a hard time coming in a teaching composition to my freshmen. Hell, I have a hard time doing it and I’ve been at it nearly ten years. And the same thing goes for lots of other areas too. Want to get your drivers license renewed? Better hope the DMV workers aren’t part of a union, or you’ll be waiting on the National Guard to fill that role. And so on.

  46. 46
    Glen Tomkins says:

    Calling out the NG is only part of the whole public service union busting scheme. The biggest element is ending the right to collective bargaining. That would make strikes by the public service unions illegal, as in union members could be tossed in jail if they strike in defiance of such a ban. But a union that can’t strike is analogous to a supposed independent country that isn’t allowed to have an army (e.g., Bantustan, the PA) — what’s the point?

    It’s great to point out that the gov may “only” be talking about using the NG as scabs with guns. Nothing of concern with that, so move along.

    But turn the supposed overreaction by some progressives around. If the gov really only wanted to end the ability of public service workers in WI to unionize, if that’s all his proposals are about, why mention the NG, why bring guns into the discussion? Even if the proposal is that public service employees who refuse to comply, who insist on having a union to represent them in collective bargaining, are to be fired and their places taken by scabs, why do we have to bring in scabs with guns? Why is he talking about a need for scabs with guns except as an accusation that the public service unions would surely otherwise offer violent resistance, and the scabs will need to have guns, or be protected by people with guns?

    But that’s alright, nothing to see here either, so just move along. A revived red scare is nothing to be at all concerned about. We just have the WI gov wanting to go back the Haymarket Riot era, and we have the bagger House reviving the HUAC. Look, as long as you people watch what you say, and don’t do something stupid like saying something mean about Issa, none of this will affect you at all. Well, unless you belong to a union. Well, unless you work in some field where union wages keep your own pay where it is. But the rest of us — nothing to see here, move along.

  47. 47
    Richard S says:

    I think that a large amount of your readership is too young to remember how Eisenhower handled Faubus in Arkansas in 57 and I know that Obama doesn’t have the cajones of DDE (never will) but there are remedies for these petty tyrants.

  48. 48
    Elvis Elvisberg says:

    Thanks for the post, John.

    I agree with others that this still constitutes a threat. But I hadn’t done anything other than glance at the headlines, and in my brain, there was this vague idea that he was going to tell the National Guard to go to schools to prevent unionized workers from meeting, then teach in the classrooms, or something.

    This post doesn’t mean that the world is awesome, but it does mean that it’s not quite as insane as I thought it might be.

  49. 49

    It isn’t the decision to activate the Guard, John.

    It’s the staging with which is was done that makes this a threat.

  50. 50
    Linnaeus says:

    @Glen Tomkins:

    But a union that can’t strike is analogous to a supposed independent country that isn’t allowed to have an army (e.g., Bantustan, the PA)—what’s the point?

    As an aside, I know that some public unions that aren’t allowed to strike because of the services they provide (like firefighters) have mandatory neutral arbitration written into their contracts so that there is at least some kind of mechanism available to prevent the state or locality from taking unfair advantage of the prohibition on strikes.

  51. 51
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Elvis Elvisberg: Police are exempted from this stripping of collective bargaining, m’man.

    You know why?

    They endorsed Walker, that’s why.

    He’s not talking about using the Guard to staff prisons. Those will be staffed by all the normal people.

    No, the stupid wingnut thinks he can do Kent State one better.

  52. 52
    BGinCHI says:

    @martha: Did UW faculty get a union? They hadn’t had one up till recently but I know there was a move to unionize.

  53. 53

    @Linnaeus: That’s the deal the Postal Service has with letter carriers, and they love it–the letter carriers do, that is–because they win virtually all their arbitration fights. And why shouldn’t they? They’re not asking for anything outrageous.

  54. 54
    BGinCHI says:

    @Brian S (formerly Incertus): Don’t teach comp now, but if I did I might welcome the occasional NG presence.

  55. 55
    srv says:

    Can we have a thread on this INSANITY?

    40%+ of SS, UI, VA and Medicare recipients do not believe they are using a Gov’t Social Program.

    We are a nation of morans.

  56. 56
    Cain says:

    @Glen Tomkins:

    But turn the supposed overreaction by some progressives around. If the gov really only wanted to end the ability of public service workers in WI to unionize, if that’s all his proposals are about, why mention the NG, why bring guns into the discussion? Even if

    Cuz we’re talking about replacing prison guards and not your usual government worker. Who else would you replace them with? Who else would remotely have the training to deal with the residents of the prisons?

    cain

  57. 57
    BGinCHI says:

    @srv: To tie this whole thread together into one really sad thought: I wonder if this country doesn’t just need an entire re-set. Shut down everything, cut everything, stop everything, so that the lazy people of the USofA can wake up and see what they get for the collective efforts of the nation and our government.

    They’d end up fucking begging for social programs and socially progressive government.

  58. 58
    Cain says:

    @srv:

    40%+ of SS, UI, VA and Medicare recipients do not believe they are using a Gov’t Social Program.

    Wow, that’s like 40% of people who are going to be in for a rude awakening. Since a lot of these people have some serious blinders on, sometimes giving them waht they want and have them live with the consequences is probably a good thing.

    cain

  59. 59
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cain: Soldiers are not good cops. Soldiers are not good prison guards. It is not what they are trained to do.

  60. 60
    srv says:

    @BGinCHI: I blame America for turning me into a nihilist.

  61. 61
    auntie beak says:

    also, too, who is going to do the jobs of the national guard personnel while they’re being deployed scabbing the jobs of their neighbors? leave it to a wingnut to make a bad situation even worser.

  62. 62
    srv says:

    @auntie beak: Fighting the terrorists over there and the unionists over here is the same thing.

  63. 63
    Gravenstone says:

    Someone should ask Scotty why he feels the need to turn to the “hated” Federal government to resolve what he’s pitching as a purely state level problem? Typical wingnut, the Federal government is bad evil terrible never to be trusted, right up until you need them for something.

  64. 64
    IM says:

    Is using the National Guard to use to break a strike legal?

  65. 65
    gbear says:

    @Donut: I agree with you. I used to have to go into state prisons (including max security) for construction projects. You don’t make a step without knowing exactly what you are doing. If you’re new to the situation you do exactly as the experienced staff tells you to do. The idea of going in there with a brand new staff that’s not familiar with the facility is insane, no matter how disciplined the guard units are on the outside.

  66. 66
    stuckinred says:

    @Corner Stone: 61????

  67. 67

    @BGinCHI: Did UW faculty get a union? They hadn’t had one up till recently but I know there was a move to unionize.

    I don’t know if the faculty does for certain, but the Teaching Assistants do. http://www.facebook.com/pages/.....567?v=wall

  68. 68
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Jennifer: Prisons = jobs. In a lot of ruralish areas, the presence of a prison means jobs for the locals. It’s inconsistent with budget cutting, but people will complain about the cost of prisons until you tell them closing one means they lose their job.

  69. 69
    JPL says:

    OT..The NYTimes has an interesting article about the administrations mixed messages during the Egyptian crisis. The entire thing is worth a read but I’ll leave you with the last sentence…In an interview on Friday, Mr. Kerry played down the administration’s mixed messages.

    “A little confusion came out of Munich,” he said. “Apart from that, they calibrated it appropriately, to try to give the process room without making it an American process.”

    I wonder who was in Munich..hmmm link

  70. 70
    cleek says:

    my doctor told me that if i don’t get outraged at least three times a day, i could live to be 60. and who wants that?

  71. 71
    LindaH says:

    I’m a 57 year old woman from Akron Ohio. I work with a man who had a bullet go through his hand at Kent State on May 4. His roommate had a bullet go through his leg and partially crippled him. I do not get warm and fuzzy feelings when a governor of a state suddenly announces that he is preparing the National Guard to make certain things run smoothly if certain civilians decide to exercise their rights. In my experience, things can go VERY wrong, very fast.

  72. 72
    Cacti says:

    Did Kent State not happen in your world Cole?

  73. 73
    Cacti says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Soldiers are not good cops. Soldiers are not good prison guards. It is not what they are trained to do.

    Watching them fill the role of school teachers, librarians, and sanitation workers could make for some high comedy though.

  74. 74
    BGinCHI says:

    @Cacti: Maybe Walker will change the Wississippi state song to “Ohio.”

  75. 75
    The Ratfucker Assigned to Balloon Juice says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    Police are exempted from this stripping of collective bargaining… He’s not talking about using the Guard to staff prisons. Those will be staffed by all the normal people.

    In all fairness, prison guards aren’t members of the WPPA, and are not covered by the exemption. They are also one of the groups specifically mentioned mentioned as targets of the legislation.

    From here:

    Walker said Friday that he updated emergency plans and alerted the National Guard just in case they are needed to ensure state services aren’t interrupted. His plan would remove collective bargaining rights for prison guards, but it would exempt local police and firefighters and the state patrol.

  76. 76
    RAM says:

    From the AP story: “Walker spoke about his plan at a Capitol news conference under the watch of a heavier than usual police presence.”

    If he didn’t mean it as a threat to all state and local unionized workers, he wouldn’t have had all the firepower displayed so ostentatiously. Besides being creeps, wingnuts like Walker are also cowards who are convinced unionized teachers and librarians are going to murder them in their beds.

  77. 77
    Yutsano says:

    @Linnaeus:

    As an aside, I know that some public unions that aren’t allowed to strike because of the services they provide

    This is not necessarily true in my case (that we’re so vital that we can’t strike, though since we’re the primary money collecting source I guess we are) but the NTEU (the union that covers the IRS) also has a no-strike arbitration clause. We also have a big lobbying operation too, so that helps when Congresscritters get too nasty about cutting stuff.

  78. 78
    The Ratfucker Assigned to Balloon Juice says:

    @The Ratfucker Assigned to Balloon Juice: And I should point out that the fact that they were “mentioned mentioned” rather than just “mentioned” is pretty significant. (Stupid editing time-limit….)

  79. 79
    Glen Tomkins says:

    @Cain: I used to be in the infantry some years ago, and I don’t recall that we had any sort of training that would be relevant to handling prisoners in any way shy of an Attica scenario. That is to say, that we knew how to use the sort of weapons you use on an enemy army, and we knew the squad level tactics for dealing with such enemies as well. Yes, we also had some very notional training in riot control, in not using the nth degree of force where that would be appropriate. But even that training is designed for how to deal with riots, by prisoners or others, not how to run a prison day–to-day, a prison whose inmates don’t need to be clubbed or gassed, much less shot. You need the NG when you need clubbing, gassing or shooting, not when you need a prison run.

    That’s the point, isn’t it? There are some people for whom the Attica scenario is the ideal way to deal with our overcrowded prisons. Use squad tactics on ’em. Fewer useless mouths to feed after the smoke clears. Hell, throw in SEIU with the prisoners, and you’ve got the total package solution to WI’s budget problems. This is the sort of thinking that’s being appealed to here.

    If the gov were just interested in finding scabs for prison work, it’s not as if there’s a shortage of people with the right training. We’ve let prisons become a huge industry in this country. There are many, many people out there with the training, and surely enough who are currently underemployed, if not unemployed, in the field. Even if you had to pay these scabs some sort of premium to get enough of them, at least as a one-time relocation bonus, to get them to WI to do this work — that would be cheaper, just in money terms, than using NG units, which aren’t organized or trained for this sort of work, which it is unwieldy to mobilize except as integral units in which you would have many people not at all suited for this work. In terms of the human costs of dislocating these NG folks from their jobs and lives, the costs of this scheme really make it clear that the whole idea has one point only — red scare.

    Calling out the NG doesn’t even begin to approach making sense as a practical solution to any problem except the imminent takeover of the WI by some notional combo of Red Brigades and sharia law. Anyone who doesn’t believe in the reality of that threat should not accept this idea as anything but just more bit of eliminationist propaganda from the Right. No one in the public service sector in WI right now needs clubbing, gassing, or shooting, so there’s no place for the NG in the current discussion of how to deal with WI’s fiscal problems.

  80. 80
    LT says:

    If you’re highlighting budget plans to take collective bargaining away from workers – why would you mention the National Guard at all? And add to that that he said, “some union leaders will try to incite their members.”

    Sure seems like intimidation to me.

    Here.

  81. 81
    Linnaeus says:

    @Yutsano:

    Didn’t know that. Thanks for the information.

  82. 82
    MattR says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Soldiers are not good cops. Soldiers are not good prison guards. It is not what they are trained to do.

    This is largely irrelevant.

    I work in IT for a warehousing company and about 10 years ago there was a strong possibility of the union workers at the warehouse near our corporate HQ going on strike. One of the contingency plans was to have people from HQ go to the warehouse as replacements. Obviously, secretaries, HR folks, etc are not good at being warehouse workers. It is not what they are trained to do. But they are also a better alternative than having nobody.

    Same thing here. Nobody is suggesting that the National Guard can seamlessly replace prison guards in the event of a strike. But they are a much better continegency plan than having the wardens try to run the prisons all by themselves.

    @Glen Tomkins: I don’t feel like going into a detailed breakdown, but I completely disagree about the practicality of using other scabs instead of the National Guard. (EDIT: Especially if you want/expect that the strike will be resolved and the striking workers will return to their jobs)

  83. 83
    Glen Tomkins says:

    @Linnaeus: Absolutely right. Many of the public service workers in WI undoubtedly are already denied the right to strike, and probably all of the ones whose jobs would even remotely justify any sort of need for using the NG as scabs.

    Talk of taking away these workers’ collective bargaining rights means taking away even the rather toothless right to such arbitration. But such talk creates the false impression that these workers have achieved their current exorbitant compensation levels (I mean, there’s people working as bond traders on Wall Street who are rioting to claw their way to the huge compensation packages available to WI school teachers. That’s where we need the NG, to hold those bond traders back from breaking into Oshkosh!) by way of their supposed ability to hold the public safety hostage by threatening to shut down literally life-and-death public services.

  84. 84
    minachica says:

    @LT: Thanks – I was just about to link this. I’d also note that the link was written by a local conservative, not a hysterical lefty.

    This other blog post by the same author gives all the nauseating details of Gov. Mubarak’s “Death to Unions” plan. Word on the street is that he has the votes in the legislature to pass this, and they are trying to ram it through by next Wednesday (before the average rube catches on, I guess).

  85. 85
    BGinCHI says:

    @LT: From the text of Walker’s letter to state employees yesterday:

    “Collective Bargaining – Given the above changes, the bill also makes various changes to limit
    collective bargaining to the base pay rate. Total increases cannot exceed the Consumer Price Index (CPI)
    unless approved by a referendum. Contracts will be limited to one year and wages will be frozen until
    the new contract is settled. Collective bargaining units will have to take annual votes to maintain
    certification as a union. Employers will be prohibited from collecting union dues and members of
    collective bargaining units will not be required to pay dues. These changes take effect upon the
    expiration of existing contracts. Local police and fire employees and State Patrol Troopers and
    Inspectors are exempted from these changes.”

    This CAN’T be legal under EEOC and other federal law. You can’t unilaterally imposed collective bargaining rules that violate existing law.

    Employees don’t have a huge amount of rights, but they do have some, and collective bargaining is not at the whim of state government.

  86. 86
    MattR says:

    @LT: I think it is clearly intimidation in the sense that Walker is sayng “Reject my deal. Go ahead and strike. I don’t care. We have replacements all lined up.” But I just don’t see it as any sort of physical intimidation against workers who decide to strike.

    Additionally, I am not impressed by the “incite their members” comment. Without seeing the entire context of the statement there is nothing to indicate that the governor is talking about violence and not actions of solidarity.

  87. 87
    buckyblue says:

    The Fitzgerald brothers, one is Senate head and the other is the Assembly speaker, are from Juneau which has three prisons. There was no doubt that the Walker NG comment was meant as a threat. I don’t think he can do it, but it was a threat.

  88. 88
    morzer says:

    Sometimes, Cole, you really sound like a wingnut rationalizing lunacy. This is union-busting by proxy, and the National Guard are going to be used as the lever – which is not and should not be their job. I know you have strong Republican DNA, and it sometimes clouds your judgment, but even by your standards, this is an amazingly stupid, see-no-evil post.

  89. 89
    Glen Tomkins says:

    @MattR: But that seems to be exactly the point, breaking the public service unions.

    The mildest interpretation of what this gov’s plans are, is that this is like the Reagan/air traffic controller confrontation. The plan is to take away their right to collective bargaining. Any prison guards who would go ahead and strike anyway after this right was taken away by hte WI legioslature, would be engaged in an illegal strike, and would, at the least, be fired, and at the worst, be thrown in jail, as the ATC union leadership was.

    Any scabs who would be needed would indeed be needed on a permanent basis.

  90. 90
    minachica says:

    @BGinCHI: According to this, it is perfectly legal since the plan is to have the Republican majority pass the law (and supposedly the votes are there):

    Unlike private unions, which are governed by federal labor laws, public employee unions derive their authority from state law, which the Legislature can change at any time.
    “He can do that, technically speaking,” Paul Secunda, an associate professor of law at Marquette University Law School, said of Walker’s plan to strip the unions of most of their collective bargaining power. “Is it a popular move? No. Is it in step with labor rights around the world? No.”

  91. 91
    LT says:

    @MattR:

    Additionally, I am not impressed by the “incite their members” comment. Without seeing the entire context of the statement there is nothing to indicate that the governor is talking about violence and not actions of solidarity.

    Without the entire context of the history of violence against unions, that almost makes sense.

  92. 92
    MattR says:

    @Glen Tomkins:

    But that seems to be exactly the point, breaking the public service unions.

    I agree with this part, but I don’t think the intent is to completely replace all public service workers.

    @morzer:

    This is union-busting by proxy, and the National Guard are going to be used as the lever – which is not and should not be their job.

    I completely agree with this, but I also think Cole was completely right. Articles, blog posts, etc should have been limiting their focus to that part of the story instead of sensationalizing the idea that the National Guard is going to be set on the public workers ala Kent State.

  93. 93
    gbear says:

    @MattR:

    Nobody is suggesting that the National Guard can seamlessly replace prison guards in the event of a strike. But they are a much better continegency plan than having the wardens try to run the prisons all by themselves.

    Yes, I feel the same way about surgery. It’s at least good to know that there’s a dentist around in case the doctor is detained. Much better than having the hospital administrators step in.

  94. 94
    MattR says:

    @LT: That is irrelevant since that quote is discussing violence by union members not against them. If you want to replace it with “Without the entire context of the history of violence by disgruntled unions, that almost makes sense.” that would be fine, but I don’t think that is an admission you are looking to make.

    @gbear: Except that guarding a prison is not remotely like surgery. It is not exactly like working in a warehouse either, but the skill level required is a whole lot closer. (EDIT: But to answer your example, if I was dying and required emergency surgery and my two options were a dentist or a hospital administrator, I would take the dentist every time)

  95. 95
    BGinCHI says:

    @minachica: Thanks for that. Honestly, that’s news to me. When we talk about “unfair labor practices” here, I thought we were talking federal law. When we use a mediator it’s a federal one.

    Interesting. And scary.

  96. 96
    LT says:

    @MattR:

    I completely agree with this, but I also think Cole was completely right. Articles, blog posts, etc should have been limiting their focus to that part of the story instead of sensationalizing the idea that the National Guard is going to be set on the public workers ala Kent State.

    Hey, you know the last time someone said something like that? Right before the shootings at Kent State. That could never happen!

    Interpreting this as intimidation of the sort that has gone on against unions in this country since they first sprung up (along with a really lot of actual violence) is entirely reasonable. It doesn’t mean that people think violence is going to happen, it means they interpret this as intimidation.

  97. 97
    LT says:

    @MattR:

    @LT: That is irrelevant since that quote is discussing violence by union members not against them. If you want to replace it with “Without the entire context of the history of violence by disgruntled unions, that almost makes sense.” that would be fine, but I don’t think that is an admission you are looking to make.

    Of fuck you with dead things. The violence of union members. Just fuck you. There is no reason at this point to not think that you’re in the “the bitch had it coming!” contingent, after saying something so phenomenally stupid.

  98. 98
    BGinCHI says:

    @MattR: Even if you and Cole are right, and technically you are, it’s for the wrong reason.

    Do you think this makes what Walker is doing less chilling? Is he “simply” trying to balance the budget with no intention of going after public employees and their collective bargaining rights?

    Here’s a hint: does he use any language that says if the state does well or even runs a surplus then state workers will get raises that replace these “hard times”?

    Or, does he say WHY the state is “broke”?

  99. 99
    MattR says:

    @LT:

    Hey, you know the last time someone said something like that? Right before the shootings at Kent State.

    What complete BS. If I continue to make the same statments while Wisconsin National Guard members are called in to deal with protests/strikes by public workers, then there is an actual comparison.

    @LT: It is not my fault you have no reading comprehension.

    @BGinCHI: I agree with all of that which I think is why Cole included the preface that Walker is being an asshole. He deserves a ton of criticism for his actions. But lets focus on those actions and not engage in hyperbolic fearmongering about the National Guard

  100. 100
    minachica says:

    @BGinCHI: Yep, it was news to me too. And I think it’s scary.

  101. 101
    gbear says:

    @MattR: Prison workers are put into potentially life threatening situations daily. If you think that the skill level required is closer to warehouse work, you have no clue and you are talking out your ass.

  102. 102
    morzer says:

    @MattR:

    But Cole isn’t right. This isn’t just a little “emergency” policing measure, it’s the lever by which Walker intends to break the union. Cole is so busily refuting a non-story that he’s making Walker sound reasonable, rather than someone who is abusing the political and legal system to attack workers and making the Guard his patsies in the process. What Walker is doing is an amazingly dangerous development for this country, if he’s allowed to get away with it.

  103. 103

    This is old time 1900-1930s union-busting using the state budget mess as an excuse. No more, no less.

    Every public sector worker who voted for a Republican has now been proven to have been an idiot.

  104. 104
    morzer says:

    @Comrade Misfit:

    Absolutely. We simply can’t go chasing non-stories like Cole and MattR, and miss the real story – which is the use of the Guard as a union-busting force by an extremist governor. That’s the key to this whole thing, not the exaggerations and wild stories which Walker most likely set in motion to make his other actions seem reasonable by comparison.

  105. 105
    Gustopher says:

    Calling up the national guard to staff the government offices in a fake emergency… Mandatory scabbing under threat of Court Marshall is not what the guardsmen signed up for.

    How is this not a softer form of slavery for the guardsmen?

  106. 106
    minachica says:

    Here’s a summary of the proposed changes (from here):

    Only wages may be negotiated — not work rules, not pensions, not health insurance or other benefits.
    __
    The governor is proposing that unions be required to submit to a majority recertification vote of their members each and every year.
    __
    No longer will the union dues be automatically deducted from members’ paychecks; members will have to write their own check.
    __
    No more fair share — that portion, often around 80 percent — of union dues that a member of a bargaining unit still pays even though s/he refuses to join the union.
    __
    Employees will pay 5.8% of their salaries toward pensions and 12.6% toward health insurance.
    __
    These rules will apply to local units of government, including schools.
    __
    Local governments can deduct higher health insurance contributions than the 12.6% state employee contribution.
    __
    No wages negotiated there can exceed the CPI cost of living unless approved in a voter referendum.
    __
    Only local police and fire fighters and the state patrol will be exempt.
    __
    Repeals authority of UW faculty and academic staff, University Hospitals, and family child care workers to collectively bargain.

    (Edited for clarity)

  107. 107
    MattR says:

    @gbear: There is a difference between being put in a dangerous situation and requiring a tremendous amount of skill to escape it. How long would it take you to attain the skill to become a prison guard? A warehouse worker? A surgeon? The time frame for the first two are a hole lot closer together than the last one.

    @morzer: Again I agree with you. It is incredibly dangerous. Which is why the focus should be on the real danger and not some imagined one (which also gets to be used by the right to protray the entire thing as a non-issue)

  108. 108
    LT says:

    @morzer:

    Cole is so busily refuting a non-story that he’s making Walker sound reasonable, rather than someone who is abusing the political and legal system to attack workers and making the Guard his patsies in the process.

    I know Cole didn’t mean it in that way, but you make sense. Ignoring what he’s doing is just nuts. Using my Hyperbole Cannon: You may as well say, “Now now. Just because he rapes black girls doesn’t make him a racist.” Union-busting is evil. Wicked, wicked evil.

  109. 109
    BGinCHI says:

    @morzer: Agreed, and we aren’t blaming the Guard, which is what Matt fears, I think.

    Walker is using them as the cat’s paw, and it’s a move he understands perfectly: it’s meant to chill dissent before it starts.

    Again, part of me hopes they pull out all the stops and really expose themselves as robber baron politicians. But that part of me types this in IL.

    This is fucking depressing and I never thought I’d see it.

  110. 110
    BGinCHI says:

    @minachica: Again, I don’t see how ending Fair Share, for example, can be legal. If it is then this country is more anti-labor than I thought.

    I can’t believe federal law doesn’t apply to some of this.

    This is a big win for the Confederacy in the war between the Classes.

  111. 111
    MattR says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Agreed, and we aren’t blaming the Guard, which is what Matt fears, I think.

    This is not my fear at all. I fear inaccuracy and fearmongering hyperbole. I have no problem comparing Walker to Reagan (ala ATC), but I object to the comparisons to Nixon (ala Kent State)

  112. 112
    minachica says:

    @BGinCHI: These details have been slow to come out, so I don’t think there has been much legal analysis on the whole deal. I hope you’re right and at least some of these ideas are not legal.

    At this point I’m starting to forget what I thought was so bad about Tommy Thompson.

  113. 113
    LT says:

    Oh my God. There is no plutonium found in nature…because it’s extinct. It used to be here, but it radioactivated itself away.

    Sorry, just read that. Had to share it.

  114. 114
    RAM says:

    I’m wondering whether it’s legal to treat different classes of public employees’ rights to bargain and organize differently. It’s okay for the cops and firefighters to do some stuff collectively, but not other state and local employees. Why? What’s the legal–as opposed to the political–justification for that?

  115. 115
    BGinCHI says:

    @MattR: OK, thanks. So you just want to make sure everyone’s clear that Walker is only union-busting and not literally calling out the Guard on state employees. Got it.

  116. 116
    MattR says:

    @minachica:

    At this point I’m starting to forget what I thought was so bad about Tommy Thompson.

    This is the most depressing trend over the past 10 or so years. To paraphrase Bill Maher “Just when you think you’ve reached the bottom of the barrel, you lift up the barrel and find something worse” I just pray that we never reach the day when we have these thoughts about GWB.

    @BGinCHI: Just in case it needs to be said, I’d add that I would like to stop him from union busting.

  117. 117
    BGinCHI says:

    @RAM: It can’t be. No way the courts are going to say it’s ok to treat one population one way and another a different way. That’s too open to abuse (keep the cops on your side but fuck the sissy kindergarten teachers).

  118. 118
    uptown says:

    Maybe it’s time for them to change this…

    Welcome to Wisc.Jobs, the Official State of Wisconsin Government job site! Find out what over 40,000 dedicated employees have already discovered – interesting jobs, excellent benefits, and many advancement opportunities that allow you to touch the lives of Wisconsin’s citizens and Improve the State of your Career.

  119. 119
    BGinCHI says:

    @uptown: Show me on the Wisconsin map where Governor Walker touched you.

  120. 120
    Rommie says:

    @Gustopher: Indeed, I have to wonder if the Wisconsin National Guard is 100 percent on-board with this. What does Gov. Brawndo do if the Stars in Charge of the WNG tell him to pound sand, or if the rank-and-file soldiers side with the unions and not do any of the actual enforcing? Johnny Weekend-A-Month, Two-Weeks-A-Year may not like the idea of playing Prison Guard in a maximum-security facility full of people with zero to lose if they shank a scab?

    Gov. Brawndo opened a can of worms when he mentioned the NG, and he deserves the scorn for the consequences.

  121. 121
    morzer says:

    @uptown:

    They missed out the “don’t count for sh*t when the right wing crazy gets its hate on”. Just tack it on the end, and reality will be restored.

  122. 122
    MattR says:

    @Rommie: I wonder how many members of the WNG are part of a union in their civilian life.

  123. 123

    Everyone does remember who “rioted” at the Haymarket riot? Right?

    It wasn’t the workers. They were assembled peacefully and giving talks. Well, some of them may have been emotional talks.

    But the violence was all at the hands of the goons trying to protect the status quo.

    [God, I hate capitalism!]

  124. 124
    Malron says:

    So, what you’re saying is the governor is prepared to mobilize his state’s weekend warriors to take time off from their own jobs to work as scabs in the prison system.

  125. 125
    gbear says:

    @Rommie:

    Two-Weeks-A-Year may not like the idea of playing Prison Guard in a maximum-security facility full of people with zero to lose if they shank a scab?

    MattR says it’s not that hard a job to get trained in on so it’s all OK.

  126. 126
    morzer says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Why, Mizz Featheringill, you are becoming positively soc.ialistic in your discourse this evening. I may have to rearrange the aspidistra to calm my perturbated nerves.

  127. 127
    MattR says:

    @gbear: Are you stupid or dishonest? Because those are the only ways that you could read “There is a difference between being put in a dangerous situation and requiring a tremendous amount of skill to escape it. How long would it take you to attain the skill to become a prison guard? A warehouse worker? A surgeon? The time frame for the first two are a hole lot closer together than the last one.” and think that it indicated “it’s not that hard a job to get trained in on so it’s all OK.”

  128. 128
    SlothropRedux says:

    To answer some of the questions above: @Brian S (formerly Incertus): – Yes, UW-Madison faculty just last year won the right to bargain – as did many of the other professionals at that flagship campus.

    Walker’s election was helped along by LOTS of outside money (including a bunch from the Republican Governor’s Association – thanks Fox News!), but there are lots of Wisconsinites who deserve blame for electing this turd. Of course, this is really just an example of disaster capitalism. His proposal explicitly allows unions to continue to bargain for wages, but makes maintaining or funding a union at the state level almost impossible, AND exempts all work conditions and benefits from any collective bargaining. Time to organize, me buckos…

  129. 129
    BGinCHI says:

    @SlothropRedux: I hope the fight is brought to him strong and loud.

    It’s time for folks in WI and elsewhere to make it clear that destroying the middle class and the fabric of the country (education, healthcare, jobs) is not going to happen.

  130. 130
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    I’m not entirely comfortable with the mocking of the NG here, and I’m not just speaking as a former Army Reservist either. Whose been bearing a large brunt of the fighting overseas during the past nine years? Oh, that’s right, the reserve component. Gotcha. If it’s such an easy job, you join up, get sent overseas to Afghanistan, and you get shot at. Have people forgotten the past decade? This sure as f*ck ain’t the damn 60s.

  131. 131
    toujoursdan says:

    Help a confused Canadian understand this.

    Isn’t the National Guard a force of mostly civilian volunteers who train, on their off time, for special duties, like civil unrest or emergencies?

    So, if push comes to shove, wouldn’t these civilians leave their 9-5 jobs for these jobs? Wouldn’t that impact business (the governor’s backers) in negative ways? The economic consequences would be pretty dire to use the Wisconsin NG for more than a few days.

  132. 132
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    @toujoursdan-
    Not really, they are functionally more like a reserve force for the active duty Army and Air Force-not quite a civilian posse. They fall under the Department of Defense and have to obey the UCMJ just like active duty troops, and receive the same initial training(basic, AIT, etc).

    I dunno as to the economic impact of calling a bunch of them up-just how many have been deployed to Iraq and Astan over the past decade? We aren’t talking a massive proportion of the population of Wisc here.

  133. 133
    morzer says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay:

    I think most people on here don’t have any beef with the Guard. They just object (rightly) to the Guard being used to further an extremist political agenda, contrary to justice and to the law of the land.

  134. 134
    Jeanne ringland says:

    @martha: If he pisses off enough of the right people, the sewage treatment plants will not be manned and THAT is a very real disaster if the guard members sent to run them don’t know how.

  135. 135
    Wile E. Quixote says:

    As a former weekend warrior I have to say that I would have been seriously pissed off if my unit had been activated for this sort of thing. I made more in my civilian job than I did in the Guard. Plus it’s not as if the average Guardsman is rich, and they’ve been getting screwed with extended deployments since 2003. This kind thing could really piss off a lot of Guardsmen.

  136. 136
    Allan says:

    The Madison State Capitol grounds would make a lovely setting for Tahrir Square II. Several nearby hotels from which the media can get the crowd shots, plus most of the residents speak a form of English that Americans can understand without translation.

  137. 137
    Fuzz says:

    I know this is basically a dead thread but fwiw I know in my home state (NJ) a lot of guardsmen actually are corrections officers in their civilian jobs, either in state prisons or county jails. Plus in NJ’s case they’ve deployed as guards to Guantanamo and the detainment centers in Iraq, Bucca and Cropper, so as weird as it sounds there are guard units that could do this for a short period of time. A unit from Wisconsin was actually in Cropper after the one from NJ left a year or so ago.

  138. 138
    AlphaLiberal says:

    I think you’re giving him the benefit of the doubt that he does not deserve.

    He’s threatening to bring in the National Guard. If you think Scott Walker will be restrained, you don’t know Scott Walker.

  139. 139
    AlphaLiberal says:

    How do people read this and then think it’s just about staffing prisons?

    Scott Walker says the Wisconsin National Guard is prepared to respond wherever is necessary

    And it’s just fucked up to threaten to call out the National Guard at the same time you reject negotiations. You can’t see that, Mr Cole?

  140. 140
    bob h says:

    What is especially jarring about this is that Wisconsin was one of the centers of the Progressive movement, LaFollette and all that. And now they lead the descent into Teabag assholery.

  141. 141
    agrippa says:

    There are not all that many people who will even notice.
    People do not care.

  142. 142
    Yankee Buzzard says:

    Walker is channeling Wisconsin Governor Jeremiah Rusk who called out the National Guard on strikers in 1886. Results not good for the workers: Seven dead in what’s known as the Bay View Massacre. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bay_View_Massacre.

  143. 143

    […] a comment » John Cole at Balloon Juice cautions not to read too much into Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s threat to call out the National Guard should […]

  144. 144

    […] and rubber hoses. Walker most likely means that he’ll resort to using the National Guard as scabs, should, say, prison guards go on strike. But using the National Guard as your personal temp agency […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] and rubber hoses. Walker most likely means that he’ll resort to using the National Guard as scabs, should, say, prison guards go on strike. But using the National Guard as your personal temp agency […]

  2. […] a comment » John Cole at Balloon Juice cautions not to read too much into Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s threat to call out the National Guard should […]

  3. […] John Cole notes that Governor Walker is probably just putting the National Guard on standby to fill in for striking public safety workers. This makes sense to me. John also calls the prison guard union in California catastrophically strong. This raises another point: there are some public sector unions that have too much power. Any organized group can gain too much power and then choose to use it poorly. But demonizing all public sector workers because of the abuses of one or two overly powerful unions is to miss the point entirely. […]

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