More Tales of Union Thuggery …

… which is to say, rightie bloggers are striving mightily to turn the Wisconsin protest story into a story of Union Goonism, but they’re having a hard time of it, because the protesters are not following the script.

For example, David Weigel links to a hysterically hatemongering post of Michelle Malkin’s (titled “Hate-a-rama: The vulgar, racist, sexist, homophobic rage of the Left,’ but if you want to see it you’ll have to follow Weigel’s link) and asks, “Where are the thugs?” Because the worst examples Malkin could find of this alleged rage are lame.

One of Malkin’s examples is a video of people yelling “shame! shame!” after the Wisconsin Assembly passed Gov. Walker’s bill. Um, free speech, dear? Malkin is defining “thuggery” as “people I don’t like stating opinions I disagree with.”

Weigel continues,

I just spent four days in Madison and the state Capitol, reporting, and saw absolutely no violence. There were no arrests on Saturday, when 80,000 liberals rallied and a smaller number of Tea Partiers counter-protested. There were no arrests last night when hundreds of angry protesters watched the GOP-led Assembly pass the budget repair act. There are no arrests, so far, in Madison. And Malkin cites actual violence in only two cities where protests have taken place.

But, as has been said elsewhere, the union goons are refusing to conform to the Right’s stereotypes. How diabolical of them.

Today a Wisconsin blogger is reporting that Gov. Scott Walker was asked to leave a Madison restaurant when the patrons began to boo him. The original post was taken down because, the blogger says, the restaurant was being swamped with phone calls about it. Swopa at Firedoglake has details.

A rightie blogger claims to have proof that the restaurant story is a hoax. Maybe it is; maybe it isn’t. The “proof” is a lot more dubious than the original story, however. You can listen to the audio of a phone call and judge for yourself; the denial sounds to me like a restaurant employee trying to say anything the caller wanted to hear to get him off the phone, because it was dinner hour and the restaurant was busy.

Update: I’m surprised Malkin isn’t blasting the restaurant for serving arugula. Arugula is one of those effete liberal things that right-thinking Muricans view with suspicion. But why would a Republican governor eat there?

Update: FYI, I am especially fond of fresh arugula with sliced tomatoes and goat cheese.

Update: Via Susie Madrak, The Wisconsin Professional Police Association is calling on the governor to keep the Wisconsin capital building open to the protesters. The WPPA also is calling on its members across the state to come to Madison and camp out with the protesters.

“Law enforcement officers know the difference between right and wrong, and Governor Walker’s attempt to eliminate the collective voice of Wisconsin’s devoted public employees is wrong,” continued Palmer. “That is why we have stood with our fellow employees each day and why we will be sleeping among them tonight.”

The WPPA statement also reinforces what other people are saying — the protesters are behaving very responsibly and even are cleaning up after themselves. I guess the next thing we’ll hear is that the police are a bunch of union goons.

Update: Even though they are picking up after themselves, Ann Althouse complains the protesters are littering up the Capitol Building. They have taped protest signs to a Veterans Memorial, which Althouse apparently thinks is some kind of desecration. Let’s see — what was it veterans did that causes us to memorialize them? Give their lives for our freedoms, maybe?

It also seems to bother her that there are pro-union signs decorating a bust of Robert La Follette If you know anything about LaFollette, you know Fighting Bob would be standing with the protesters himself if he were still alive. He was one of the leaders of the early 20th century progressive movement.

However, there was another famous Wisconsin politician who hated unions. He really, really, hated unions. I’ve got a whole book around here somewhere about how this guy’s number one issue in his early career was how unions ought to be busted. You may have heard of him — Senator Joe McCarthy.

Update: A rightie Wisconsin blogger is outraged that people were disrespectful to the governor, because America is all about showing proper deference to government officials, or something.

Update: See Greg Sargent, “Public employees not such an easy scapegoat after all

20 thoughts on “More Tales of Union Thuggery …

  1. I believe the appropriate term is “projection.”
    God, they so want us to be like them:
    Stomping on womens heads, like they did in KY; having attorney’s come down to FL to have ‘protest demonstrations’ and scream about the 2000 election; and a plethora of other thug and goon-like behavior over the last few decades. (Read “Nixonland” to find out the latest genesis of this behavior. Nothing new here.).

    Apparently workers are thugs and goons when they give concessions, but demand the right to retain collective bargaining, and yell “Shame, shame, shame!” when Republicans do a quick count when Democrats weren’t ready. But that quick count is apparently ‘democracy in action.’
    And it’s not thug or goon-lie behavior when the Governor admits on the phone his intention to trick Democrats into coming back to meet with him, only to claim that now there’s a quorum, and have ‘the majority ram this law down the minorities throats.’ That too, I guess, is ‘democracy in action.’

    And these are the same people who gave themselves wedgies with their own Depends over health care, whining about “Death Panels,” disrupting Democratic Town Hall meetings, and coming armed and loaded to public gatherings, and screaming that all of this was an abuse of government and a government takeover, but don’t think anything of it when government has a “Death Panel” on workers rights to bargain, essentially giving government control of wages and benefits over those workers – something thousands of people died fighting for in this country over the last century plus. But I guess that’s ‘democracy in action,’ as well.

    Some ideological consistency would be nice, but that’s more self awareness than any astroturfed lemming could possibly have.

  2. Malkin is defining “thuggery” as “people I don’t like stating opinions I disagree with.”

    Yes, this exactly. This is the right-wing’s perspective in a nutshell. After all, wallowing in a bath of imagined victimization is hard if you don’t imagine your adversaries as thugs and goons.

    On the other hand, actually doing physical violence and harassing people with whom Malkin and her ilk disagree is completely normal. After all, only members of the tribe deserve to be treated as fully human, and “others” deserve any righteous treatment they get at the hands (or foot) of the tribe.

  3. biggerbox,
    I’m sure when this is all over, Malkin will send her flying monkey’s out to check all of the countertops in union member’s homes.
    And woe unto any of those priviledged, rich bloodsuckers if any of them are granite!

  4. Can anybody help me with this…I always understood that it was against federal law to record a “phone” conversation without the knowledge and approval of the person being recorded. When I heard the tape of Gov. Walker being punked by a radio host and then this one above to the restaurant employee I’m wondering whether laws are being broken. Am I correct in my understanding?

  5. Swami,
    You know, I wondered the same thing.
    Is that a federal, or state-by-state thing? Maybe it’s that it’s not illegal, but can’t be used in a court of law?


  6. What’s happening in Wisconsin beggars belief. It’s very worrying although maybe, just maybe, it might wake some of the sheeple up.

    On a more serious note, try an arugula pizza, it’s very liberal: whole wheat crust, pizza sauce (there are brands with no additives and little salt), arugula, goat cheese, a bit of mozzarella, tomato slices and whatever other veg you like.

    • Mmmm, arugula pizza. The carry-out place in my neighborhood sells a pizza almost like that, although I don’t believe it has goat cheese. Pity.

  7. I’m not sure but I think you can record your own conversations. So the guy who punked Walker could record the conversation since he was the one making the call.

  8. PurpleGirl,
    I think you’re right.
    I hate practical jokes, but there was this group of “comedians” back in the late ’80’s to late ’90’s and I think early ’00’s, I think, who lived off of taping people they pranked in embarrassing situations – kind of like Alan Funt on meth, acid, and steroids. I can’t remember their names, but I know I hated their crap.
    I’m no lawyer, but my thinking is that as long as you’re not going to use it in a case to prosecute someone, maybe it’s ok. I really don’t know, though.

  9. Laws about taping phone calls differ with every state. The most infamous that most of us have knowledge of is the Lewinsky tapes, which were recorded in Maryland. I lived in Maryland then; and, the rule is that the taping was illegal because Monica was not informed that she was being taped. I have not heard or read anything on Wisconsin’s law about taping conversations. And, I think the guy who taped Walker earlier was in Boston; but, I could be remembering that incorrectly. My memory these days is just a memory. I think the arugula pizza sounds interesting. The best unusual pizza I ever had was a cashew pizza. Really good!

  10. One last thought before I go to read a book and go to bed in a few hours.
    Back in the day, there really WAS an angry left! And sometimes it really was violent – usually in answer to right wing violence, though. Against the Pinkerton’s, government agent’s, don’t you know…
    In the early part of the 20th Century, it was because of Labor. Then, it was against involvement in WWI – it was small, but they didn’t want to interfere with the workers in Europe, and also wanted to support the fledgling Communist government in the USSR.
    Angry Liberals kept things going between the world wars by working on building union strength here at home – made easier by the election of FDR.
    Post WWII, (where it was the RIGHT that was isolationist and didn’t want to get involved in WWII), there were some remaining elements of the angry left (mostly working for Labor, ala “On the Waterfront”), but they didn’t really take the forefront until Civil Rights era and the Vietnam War.
    There was counter violence against the right wing establishment in the South during the Civil Right’s fight – but that was kept at a minimum because of MLK.
    In the late ’60’s and into the ’70’s is what the Conservatives remember, and what they refer to whenever anyone left of Adolf and Attila decide to make their voices heard. That was mostly against the Vietnam War and growing corporatism, and also, a lot of times, provoked by right wingers from what was called “The Silent Majority.”
    What’s happened though, is that it is the RIGHT that now has taken on that mantle of anger and violence. But they have no outward cause like workers, civil, womens, human, or sexual rights. Their cause is the perpetuation of the system as is. A system where the fools that do the dirty work, are also the ones aiding in their own corporate enslavement.
    And, as I stated in my first comment on this post, ‘God, they so want us to be like them.’ Because they wanted to be like us way back when – when we were fighting for noble causes. They want to see themselves as doing the same thing. Like abortion as Civil Rights for blacks. Except that they have twisted things that are anti-civil rights, anti-liberty, anti-freedom, and anti-human rights, and project the bad things onto us, while carrying the mantle of martyrs for their cause.
    It’s Alice through the looking glass. Wanting to see what they want to see. Except they think what’s reflected is their virtue, not what was once ours.
    They see minimizing rights the way we see maximizing them. But in their minds, they are looking out for the fetus, the wealthy producer, and, as much as they bitch about it, an intrusive government.
    OK, that’s more than enough BS from me. Off to read!
    Talk to everyone tomorrow.

  11. I can see arugula from my house……..
    Seriously, I’m growing arugula, water cress, and mustard greens in my hydroponic unit, very simple.
    3 ten foot lengths of 2in. PVC, a rain barrel, an aquarium water pump and an aquarium air pump is (about) all it takes.

  12. What is arugula erinyes? You caught my attention when you mentioned mustArd green, I love mustard greens.

  13. Funny, they have no problem faking interviews with private organizations with whom they disagree, and releasing only politically-edited versions, but scream bloody murder when they are the ones being taped and the entire tape is released, context and all…

    I’m just saying…

  14. …Funny, they have no problem faking interviews with private organizations with whom they disagree, and releasing only politically-edited versions, but scream bloody murder when they are the ones being taped and the entire tape is released, context and all…

    They can dish it out, but they can’t take it. And I’m convinced that they’re unaware that they’re even dishing it out. And so when someone fights back, it completely takes them by surprise and seems unfair to them. I was a bit of a bully in my childhood toward my younger brother, and it was completely stunning to me when I somehow became aware, years later, of what I was doing. I suspect the same kind of thing goes on with the right.

  15. From what I’ve seen (possibly at Balloon Juice), both New York (where the caller was) and Wisconsin (where the governor was) are one-person consent states, meaning that in both jurisdictions, only one of the parties on the call needed to consent to the recording. Since the pranksters had obviously done so, there is apparently no legal issue in this case.

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