There was a credible bomb threat at the Capitol yesterday; just a few days before there was a credible threat to democracy. Both of them have been declared “all clear.”
The budget, passed yesterday by the state assembly, waits for Governor Walker’s signature. The document contains innumerable horrors, and although I am deeply invested in the entire process, this blog series focuses on the UW element of the puzzle—I just make my small contribution and move along.
When this budget is finally signed, the UW will become the Great Pretendure—any meaningful definition of tenure has been destroyed, thousands of hardworking and brilliant people have been properly vilified, and the state government has seized the property of people who earned it on the state’s requests and conditions. I will write more on pretendure later, but for now…
Ah, the Fourth of July weekend. Honestly, I don’t care for the holiday much, as it contains many bad memories and the maintenance of generation upon generation of terrified, quaking pets. This past Fourth was different, as actual democracy stepped to the front and people fought against and successfully upended significant authoritarian overreach in the Capitol. I was amazed, on edge really, to follow in the press and social media, reporters from different outlets pushing hard against elected officials and forsaking the insipid “both sides do it” narrative for the adversarial stance that produces good journalism. A small sample:
@repschraa Why did you vote for it in the first place?
— Patrick Marley (@patrickdmarley) July 4, 2015
— Jason Stein (@jasonmdstein) July 3, 2015
10 of the 12 Republican lawmakers who voted to gut WI Open Records Law last night are up for reelection in 2016. — Greg Neumann (@gneumann_wkow) July 3, 2015
— Jessie Opoien (@jessieopie) July 3, 2015
For anyone following the open records story, the state backed off, on a holiday(!), after being so badly exposed and embarrassed. Clearly, upon witnessing this attempted information coup, the press is in super watchdog mode, ready to pounce on other areas of overreach with equal persistence and ferocity. I mean, when you’ve identified specific legislators who wanted to dismantle, among other things, your capacity to do your job, you watch that person like a hawk. You watch with suspicion. You’ve learned your lesson. You do not relax because, as you’ve seen, nothing is ever enough for these people who control nearly everything.
Here are all the tweets yesterday I could find about UW faculty being stripped of all meaningful job protections…in a budget bill…with no public hearings:
— Patrick Marley (@patrickdmarley) July 8, 2015
— Jessie Opoien (@jessieopie) July 8, 2015
— Shawn Johnson (@SJohnsonWPR) July 8, 2015
I peeked at Christian Schneider’s column to see if, of all people, he was still mad about people’s rights being trampled—his last two columns are about the UW making people stupid and why we should thank rich people for everything.
I checked for statements from anyone, maybe President Cross—he has a 66 word thank-you note.
Like I said, all clear.