This image -- borrowed from the iconic 1973 National Lampoon -- came to mind Thursday night during Gov. Scott Walker's press conference.
As CNN later reported:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Thursday warned 14 absent lawmakers trying to stall his controversial budget bill to return to the state Capitol immediately to vote on the measure, or layoff notices will be sent to 1,500 public employees before the weekend.
"Unfortunately, if we don't have action by tomorrow we have a legal and moral obligation to start forewarning people," Walker said.I know, it's just the governor and Republican senators' latest "negotiating" tactic -- following a virtual lockdown of the State Capitol, a takeover of Democratic senators' staffers, threatened fines of $100 a day, border guards threatening incarceration, the end of direct deposit and a declaration that the senators are in contempt, or something.
But it definitely makes you wish you had a union to protect you, eh? Even union-haters are coming around, as every nationwide poll in the last few weeks has shown. The latest Rasmussen poll in Wisconsin gave Walker a 52% to 44% drubbing.
Walker's layoff threat is hardly idle, since his budget cuts state aid to municipalities and school districts by more than $1 billion, while at the same time prohibiting them from raising taxes to cover the shortfall. Without new revenue, it's clear that many governing bodies -- just as the private sector has done for the past few years -- will have to shrink their workforce. But Walker's attempt to lay the blame on the 14 Democrats is unnecessarily heavy-handed.
What's next: take their wives and children hostage? (Damn! I didn't mean to give him any ideas...)
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