Wisconsin’s Cultural Revolution

James Fallows writes from Beijing that the activities of Republicans in Wisconsin remind him of … Beijing.

A University of Wisconsin history professor, William Cronon wrote an op-ed for the New York Times critical of Gov. Scott Walker, and now Wisconsin Republicans are in all-out McCarthyite witch hunt mode, trying to find some way to shut him up or discredit him. More details from Josh Marshall and from Professor Cronon.

The state Republican Party wants access to the professor’s university email account so that they can see who he’s been talking to about Gov. Walker and his union-busting activities. Writes James Fallows,

The reason this strikes me particularly hard at the moment: I am staying in a country where a lot of recent news concerns how far the government is going in electronic monitoring of email and other messages to prevent any group, notably including academics or students, from organizing in order to protest. I don’t like that any better in Madison than I do in Beijing.

Since Cronon is a state employee his university emails legally are public property, but if there’s any reason for the Wisconsin Republicans to go after the professor’s emails other than intimidation, I can’t think of it. See also John Nichols.

No rightie blogger that I’ve seen has commented on this yet, but when they do, I predict they will defend the Wisconsin Republicans and then go back to screaming about how they’re the defenders of liberty from Big Government.

Speaking of emails — an Indiana deputy prosecutor has resigned because of an email he sent to Gov. Walker suggesting some staged union “thuggism.”

“If you could employ an associate who pretends to be sympathetic to the unions’ cause to physically attack you (or even use a firearm against you), you could discredit the unions,” the email said.

“Currently, the media is painting the union protest as a democratic uprising and failing to mention the role of the DNC and umbrella union organizations in the protest. Employing a false flag operation would assist in undercutting any support that the media may be creating in favor of the unions. God bless, Carlos F. Lam.”

The prosecutor, Carlos Lam, also said the pro-union protests presented “a good opportunity for what’s called a ‘false flag’ operation.” The email was obtained by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, which obtained Gov. Walker’s emails concerning the union-busting bill.

What strikes me about the email is the implied assumption that Republican thuggishness is justified, even sanctioned by God, because the DNC and unions are inherently bad, somehow. It was no secret that the DSCC and the AFL-CIO supported the pro-union protests, but I guess the union thugs weren’t being thuggish enough.

And yeah, another blogger already made the comparison with Donald Segretti and CREEP.

In other developments from the Cheese State — yesterday a state appeals court punted the legal challenge to the Wisconsin’s union-busting bill to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

17 thoughts on “Wisconsin’s Cultural Revolution

  1. Yeah, it’s all about intimidation.
    Nixon was a piker compared to the Republicans who followed him into government.
    But boy, he sure was a good guide into evil.

    And this Lam guy is obviously an attorney. An attorney advocating a failed assassination plot, to make the unions and the people protesting look bad?

    Shouldn’t that be a good reason for disbarment?
    At the least, I mean.

    Oh, and my favorite – Lam at first denied it, claiming that someone else must have hacked into his computer.
    “Wasn’t ME!”
    Except it was. Ooopsy!

    Dudes, you want to see thugs and criminals?
    Look in the mirror!
    Oh, and Alice wants her mirror back. You’re not using it right. She says you’re supposed to visit “Wonderland,” not create a “Blunderland.”

  2. Scott Walker, the gift that keeps on giving. Boy, makes you wish for the good old days of George W. I read Marshall and Cronon and agree with them that what is most surprising is the just blatant thugishness of it all. I had mentioned yesterday to Swami’s comment that it’s just a fact that republicans can’t help themselves. It’s as if the immature frat boys are running the show, which they are. Cronon’s articles are interesting though as they attempt to connect the dots between the coordinated attacks from republican governors across the country. Well worth a read, and has obviously struck a very large nerve. If I didn’t live here I’d be eating popcorn and watching the show.

  3. And I’m sure that if they do try to disbar Lam for suggesting a fake assassination plot, he’ll scream and whine that it’s ‘character assassination!’
    And he’ll win.

  4. One of the other district attorneys in Indiana also was also removed from office for suggesting that he had the answer to the “demonstration problem”. Seems to be a problem in Indiana holding their tongue concerning something that is out of state. Imagine that.

  5. The activities going on in Wisconsin seem to fall under the heading of Tyranny, Scott Walker and other Republicans display many instances of being Tyrants with no desire for democracy. Democracy is a little gnat flying around in their faces that they hope to kill to get it out of their faces. Whodathunk we would have such blatant examples of tyranny in the United States of America in 2011 . . . ? Whodathunk?

  6. Whodathunk?
    Well, not so little old me did!

    But, remember Bonnie, it ain’t tyranny if a Conservative does it. It’s ‘disciplined liberty!’

  7. Barbara – you made the same error as Fallows thinking that the GOP went after Roman because of the NY Times op-ed. The request for all e-mails preceded the Times op-ed. It’s important to know what got under the elephants hide. It’s a blog that Gallows wrote about the SOURCE of the Wisconsin union-busting legislation which is the SAME source as a host of other legislation we are seeing in republican dominated states.

    The blog is here. Read it. http://scholarcitizen.williamcronon.net/2011/03/15/alec/

  8. My apologies. I’m using an android device with an impertinent spellchecker. It changes words it can’t find in the dictionary. The name ‘Roman’ was ‘Cronan’ when I typed it. The name ‘Gallows’ should be ‘Fallows’. Damn technology.

  9. Hopefully, William Cronon did not use his university email account for political advocacy (which is what the Republicans are looking for with their open records request). It is illegal to use government resources for political screeds. They cannot search his private email accounts, so there is an important difference between Fitzwalkerstan and Beijing.

  10. Pingback: The Mahablog » Wisconsin GOP: Above the Law?

  11. Speaking of being sanctioned by God, apparently, according to the keynoter at the recent conservative convention in Iowa anyway, the Framers did not write the Constitution, rather they were merely men on a chess board ‘moved’ around by
    God (Christian, I assume.) So God wrote the Constitution? Who knew.

    I had intended to view that convention, but to preserve what I have left of my sanity I had to give it up after that proclamation. (It should be noted that there was nary a perceptible flinch from the attending delegates.)

  12. Felicity,
    Be careful. Watching the Repbulican Presidential candidates may result in being turned to stone – like after glancing at Medusa.
    But maybe, if you ARE stoned already, you may be able to convince yourself that you’re watching a bad SNL skit.
    Me? ‘No, no, no, I don’t (inhale) not more, I’m tired of waking up on the floor…’
    So, I’ll avoid watching until I have to. It’s too early for that death wish. Besides, baseball season’s starting this week, so I’ll have a bit of a distraction for awhile.

  13. (Christian, I assume.)

    Well, when the God who wrote the Constitution is referred to as the “Rock of a solid foundation” I would assume we’re talking about the Rock of Ages, none other than old J.C himself.

    Sound assumption, Felicity!

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