If you dozed off – and who could blame you – and missed the latest developments in the news, here’s a quick recap. 84% of Americans are “dissatisfied with the job Congress is doing” – or really not doing. The GOP scramble for the Presidential nomination continues – loudly – but without much change. The folks in Wisconsin, still reeling after their beloved Green Bay Packers were booted off their all but certain path to the SuperBowl, have taken a bold step in recalling their not so beloved Governor. And to bring things full circle, many of our favorite websites, i.e. Google and Wikipedia, are going “black” today; protesting legislation proposed by the knuckleheads in Congress, which besides proving a huge pain the butt, should push that 84% number north. Or is it south?
Let’s take that last item first. To be perfectly honest, I’m not exactly sure what the issue is with the internet black-out, although terms like “copyright infringement” and “privacy” are being bantered freely about. What I do know is that with everything that’s going on in the world and the country right now – Iran and nuclear arms, the deficit, pay-roll tax-cut - it seems apparent that Congress has better things to do than blindly wandering into the “no man’s land” of the “world wide web”. That Washington is teaming up with Hollywood makes me even more concerned. Past history has shown us that these two “parties” more often than not, do not have our best interests in mind, but rather their own – which means money. On the other hand, although I don’t always understand them, the “techies” usually know what they’re talking about – so sign me up for the “Geek Squad”.
That Congress has made this issue a priority – possibly even creating it – a “problem” which most of us were not aware of 24 hours ago, is a perfect example of why they have an 84% negative rating. That they’re picking up in 2012 right where we left off in 2011, with yet another legislative song and dance, just compounds the issue.
In the “Race for the White House” GOP-style, we now know where Jon Huntsman is – Waldo has dropped out of the race. Baby Huey Gingrich, besides still being angry that no one is taking him seriously, at least when it comes to casting a vote for him, continues to tout his “Students for School Janitors” job program. And Mitt Romney, still at the top of the Republican heap, has grudgingly said he’ll release his income tax returns. Besides learning that Mr. Romney has a boat-load of money, my guess is we’ll also learn he doesn’t do a whole lot to earn it.
And last but by no means least – Wisconsin. Sixty days ago a formal petition drive began there to recall Governor Scott “The Scarecrow” Walker. The result was over a million signatures – on 3000 lbs of paper - which nets out to be approximately 25% of the registered voters in Wisconsin. This dissatisfaction with the head of the state began almost a year ago and though this has all the appearance of a grassroots movement, somebody is at least coordinating the effort and should be commended for their persistence.
Kudos also for the strategy implemented. Besides the monumental task of collecting the signatures, the effort was tight-lipped as to the actual number they had until yesterday’s deadline. Furthermore no Democratic candidate has been named to run against Walker. The reason, to keep all Wisconsin – and the nation – focused on Walker and his record, preventing any wriggle-room for the 1-year Governor to deflect this catastrophe. So far the strategy appears to be working. Yesterday Walker was in NYC raising money to fight the recall, called Rush Limbaugh to commiserate, and a Walker spokesperson all but conceded that there will be an election sometime this year.
For those of us south of the border – where we simply send our Governors to jail – watching this drama unfold has been both fascinating and heartening. Even with big money – and Scott Walker has piles of it backing him – it’s a huge relief that the process works. (Granted this is only one step, but a big step nonetheless.) Yesterday’s million plus signatures should prove a wake-up call for not only those in office, but for the many more of us who put them there. If we’re not happy with the results all we need to do – as Pat Paulsen recommended – is get off our butts and do something about it.
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