25 thoughts on “Solidarity Sing Along Slide Show from August 19, 2013

  1. These photo’s are an example of what I was worried about. Signs with ” Fascist”, “storm troopers”, “just like Germany in 1934”. How many people across the state are seeing these?

    If I remember correctly Hitler and Mussolini didn’t issue permits for protests. We can’t win in 2014 calling Walker a fascist who is making Wisconsin into Nazi Germany.

  2. Hmmm. As I recall Hitler did use the sondergericht – the special court – to silence or shall we say, eliminate, internal opposition to his chancellorship, and to silence, or shall we say, eliminate German public resistance to Nazism. As I recall, Hitler did subvert the justice system for purposes of public intimidation.

    And as I recall, Hitler’s solution for eliminating the Weimar Republic – a democracy – was to destroy it through democratic means. As I recall, he achieved divide et impera by creating a society of incapacious carpers who then turned on each other rendering democratic resistance impossible. As I recall, Hitler’s rise to power was multi-faceted, as are the connotations in the protest signs.

    I should think when the time comes, those signs you dislike might resonate differently outside of Wisconsin.

    Steve, if we want to win in 2014, but more importantly if we want to keep winning after 2014, we need to be able to do more than one thing at one time. We need to match the machine that bears down upon us which is multi-pronged with a cohesive long term strategy effected by shorter term tactics. You mentioned in one of your earlier comments all the wonderful things you were doing to effect change. Instead of burying them in a comment, maybe you’d consider making an entire post out of those activities so others might be able to learn from your efforts.

    Maybe instead of fussing about that which you do not agree, maybe you could outline the tactical plan you think we should follow in order to win in 2014. Make a post out of it. Maybe you could mention there the distinction between electoral politics and governance in that post. Specify what it is that will turn red to blue.

  3. PJ,

    Didn’t Hitler round up a bunch of people and have them shot shortly after becoming Chancellor? He never won an election, much less a recall election. Are you sure there are similarities between Walker and Hitler?

  4. Yes, Hitler did have a bunch of people shot, and as I recall Hindenburg appointed Hitler as chancellor during a period of weak and ineffective government. As I recall, at the same time, Frick and Goring were appointed ministerial positions thereby allowing Hitler to gain control of Germany’s police and military. As I recall, the Reichstag Fire didn’t occur until after Hitler assumed chancellorship. As I recall, prior to Hitler assuming the chancellorship – it was through the Reichstag – through the electoral system – that the Nazi party started to take control. As I recall, once that occurred the process of Nazification proceeded with the help of the Gleichschaltung. It was the Gleichschaltung (the process of “homogenization”) that facilitated the elimination of Hitler’s enemies – political enemies and, as it happens, trade unions. Oh, and one of the first actions against unions was confiscating their funds. And as I recall, the process of Nazification was technically legal.

    Yes, I think there are plenty of parallels. And if more concern was paid to substance rather than optics, we’d all benefit. The rise of Nazism wasn’t effected simply through violence – it was by dismantling democracy through democratic means.

  5. PJ,

    I haven’t got time to write up a post about how to turn Wisconsin red to blue. If Walker is Hitler my wife and I and our family need to get out of here fast. We’re moving to Duluth. Oh no..wait.. Walker surely has plans to invade both Minnesota and the UP of Michigan!?! Son-of-a-bitch!

    I suppose if I had any courage at all I’d stay and join the resistance. Man, this is a lot to think about.

  6. So you only have time to carp? If you do find time to address that which you say no one is addressing, please consider doing it in a post. Seriously. Maybe it’s just a time management issue: less time carping=more proactive time.

    And you’re right – if Walker is Hitler-esque, moving to Michigan or Minnesota will make little difference. It won’t make any difference at all because Walker’s agenda isn’t his own. It’s one arm of a much larger movement – with arms reaching out to all 50 states. Perhaps you should measure the circumference of that bubble of which you incessantly complain to determine whether it is convex or concave… meaning… to determine which side of that bubble you are on… you might just be on the inside.

  7. PJ,

    I’d say a larger post from you is in order explaining in greater detail what you’re talking about. Vague references to concave and convex bubbles and their respective measured circumference may be understandable to those in the know, such as yourself, but I don’t understand what you’re talking about.

    Also, when trying to communicate broadly with people of less erudition than you clarity and brevity will suit you purpose best.

  8. Steve,

    Have you not suggested that your fellow citizens in Milwaukee and Madison are in a bubble, therefore incapable of apprehending how to defeat Scott Walker? I could be mistaken. If I am I’ll retract.

    Unfortunately brevity isn’t my best suit despite it being the soul of wit. Alas. I might suggest you take the opposite tack – expand rather than contract your communication so as to flesh out your ideas.

  9. Ladies and gentlemen, we have an excellent match up today in the heavyweight division (mind games) of the BB.

    In the left corner wearing blue trunks, weighing 100 and some lbs, and sponsored by the Solidarity Singers is ………PJ THE MAGNIFICENT! (Applause, applause, applause)

    In the right corner wearing purple and blue striped trunks, weighing 100 and some pounds, but not sponsored by the Solidarity Singers is……SC, THE MAULER! (Applause, applause, applause)

    Let the bout begin.

  10. Duane 12,

    You’re funny, but more than slightly off on your description of the trunks. PJ is establishment blue, without a doubt, but I actually lean more toward the Green/Red. There’s a reason I earned the ire of Dave Obey’s devotees. I led efforts up here to push him on impeachment of Bush, co-sponsoring HR 676, Medicare for All, and successfully pushed him to vote for defunding the war in Afghanistan, a war which is still supported by the Feminist Majority Foundation, as far as I know. If it were up to me we’d have both a state owned Badger Bank and state owned Badger Energy company producing wind, solar and biomass fuels which could produce revenue for education, Badgercare for All, and the general revenue fund, not unlike North Dakota’s bank and mill/elevator.

    I have to say that the torrent of smears, both subtle and overt, that I’ve endured over the last several days just because I don’t support the unilateral and poorly thought through actions of the Solidarity Singers, has been a real eye opener for me. It only reinforces my early statements about the Madison bubble and how, apparently, a few hundred people down there fancy themselves the sole arbiters of all things left.

  11. Actually Steve, I’m not establishment blue. I’m quite critical of the Democratic establishment. It is farther to the right than I would care to see. But, that’s neither here nor there. As to the “torrent of smears” you impute – from what I could see, you received a torrent of utterly vexed compatriots trying to sort through your umbrage.

  12. PJ,

    I was called a coward beneath contempt, complicit in Walker’s fascist police state, an arm chair activist, and a republican, among various other shrill and angry remarks. That’s hardly utterly vexed compatriots trying to sort through my umbrage

  13. You have not facilitated divide et impera with your characterization of your southern compatriots as “arbiters of all things left?” Perhaps, you’re not so Left. Or perhaps you could retort with what you do think is Left and add to the arbitration. Just a thought.

    Angry and shrill remarks constitute angry and shrill. Angry and shill doesn’t negate trying to sort through your umbrage. Did you move the goalposts? That often leads to angry and shrill.

    I dunno, Steve. I guess I would say if the Solidarity Singers aren’t your thing, let ’em be to do their own thing. You are quite right in pointing out that we need a strategy to defeat Walker and his machine. You posted some ideas for governance in your above comment that I agree with wholeheartedly. Maybe those are matters on which your compatriots in SE Wisconsin can concur. I should think it highly likely. It’s a place to start.

  14. Open mind?

    And for your information, it’s a snooty toad. I thought it fitting.

    Seriously, though, I’d much rather talk about a state bank like South Dakota’s and a Badger Energy Company. Do you have any sense as to how popular those ideas might be in the North where you are? I mean if these were part of a comprehensive agenda.

  15. PJ,

    Here’s the text of a guest blog I published two and half years ago on FightingBob.com, at the height of the Act 10 uprising. I’ve been hollering about this stuff for a long time, to no avail.

    March 22, 2011
    The socialists among us
    By Steve Carlson

    A few weeks ago, as I was heading into Spooner, Wisconsin for the weekly rally against Walker’s so-called budget repair bill, I stopped at a local convenience store to buy some gas. I stop in there frequently to pick up newspapers and the occasional six pack of New Glarus “Moon Man” beer, and over the years have become chatty with the big, burly northern Wisconsin redneck who runs the place. For the sake of anonymity I’ll call him Bill.

    Gas prices were starting to rise at the time and, as I’m prone to do, I started griping about it. Bill joined in and quickly we were having a good time lambasting the corporations that profit excessively at our expense when, predictably, Bill said that we needed to start drilling for oil again in this country.

    Now, I could have taken the typical “leftie” position on this issue and started lecturing Bill about the perils of global warming and the need to develop clean, green, renewable sources of energy, but I didn’t. Experience has taught me that I wouldn’t get anywhere with him. In fact, the conversation might have come to a screeching halt.

    Instead I paused for a moment and then cautiously said, “Yeah, maybe so, but maybe this time the American people should own the oil instead of Exxon/Mobile.” Bill didn’t blink an eye. “Ya think so?” he said with a decidedly assenting tone. “Yeah,” I said, “I think so.” I left the store with the two of us in full agreement.

    If I had told Bill then and there that he was leaning in a socialist direction he might have chased me out of his store with a stick. I don’t know. I’ve never asked him if he aligns with any political party, or if he pays attention to politics at all, but I’m pretty confident that I could suggest to him that instead of drilling for oil we should start developing home grown biofuels so that we could put American family farmers back to work instead of enriching the Koch brothers, and that he would agree in a minute. And he’s not an anomaly.

    Last summer I was part of a union organizing drive in a small northeastern Wisconsin town where I stayed in a motel for a few days a week over a period of a couple months. I got to know the motel maintenance man while we both smoked outside the building every morning. He was clearly a Tea Party sympathizer and loved to go on endlessly about how Obama was ruining the country. I’d listen to him and try to change the subject when I could, but one morning he started in specifically on the evils of “Obamacare.”

    When he paused for breath I took the opportunity to tell him that I didn’t like the newly passed health care law either, and that I thought we should have expanded Medicare to cover everyone. I explained that we could spread the risk around and use our (get this) “collective bargaining power” to drive down health care prices, as well as kick the greedy health insurance companies out of the equation altogether.

    By then I had his full attention so I lunged forward, talking about how other countries around the world were doing just that. Using Norway as an example, I explained that oil in the North Sea belonged to the Norwegian people and that they used the money to fund everything from health care, to education, to a strong social safety net.

    His response to my tirade? “Why can’t we do that here?” he asked. “Because Wall Street owns Congress,” was my short reply. He shook his head, went about his day, and never brought up “Obamacare” again.

    I don’t think these guys are unusual. In fact, I think a large majority of working class people across the state feel the same way. It’s all a matter of how it’s explained.

    Samuel Wurzlbacher, aka Joe The Plumber, was in Madison recently telling a crowd of Tea Partiers about how card carrying socialists had come into town to hijack the rallies against Walker’s union busting bill. I wonder if Joe has any idea of just how many socialists live right here in Wisconsin? I also wonder how many might have been in the crowd he addressed.”

    Here’s a link to the guest blog. You might have to scroll up after you click on it to read it. Garvey’s archive system isn’t real user friendly.


    1. Steve…instead of putting this in a comment, why didn’t you make a blog of it…PJ has a point. When you have something significant to say…it gets a much bigger audience as a blog post than a comment.

      1. Ed,

        I’ve posted this on BB previously though I believe it was before I became a contributor, so it was put up as a comment. And I did put it up at FightingBob.com which has, no slight to BB, a bigger audience. But it had the word socialist in the title and so it got a tepid response. I only remembered it today when PJ asked me if there was support up north for things like state owned banks and energy companies.

  16. Steve,

    You’re totally spot on there. I’d say there are a lot of Bills down South here too. I’ve had similar conversations myself. I’ve been saying the same thing too – particularly during the recall. If a Progressive agenda is presented without the labels – but with its constituent components public support is high. National polls confirm this too. That’s why I’ve been absolutely flabbergasted by the Democratic establishment and its DLC agenda. The DLC is apparently now defunct so there may be hope on the horizon. But, I’m not holding my breath.

    Despite it evolving into a partisan forum, I’m still a big believer in frequent town halls and forums like them. I think the Democratic party should be hosting them constantly everywhere throughout the state – discussing ideas in the way you’ve described.

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