February 24, 2011- Sometimes it's worth looking at current events through the eyes of a historian chronicling the end of an age, or those of a district attorney in a time of corruption. Come to think of it, the two perspectives aren't all that different.
However you look at it, calling the Wisconsin struggle a "labor dispute" is like calling the Battle of Normandy "a fight over a beach." There's a war going on, one that's best understand by using an Latin expression popular among prosecutors: Cui bono? Who benefits? Gov. Scott Walker's union-busting budget contains buried goodies for somebody, including possibly the Koch Brothers who paid to have it drafted. More importantly, it's another step toward replacing the American dream of prosperity for all with imperial visions of massive wealth for the few.
The heavily-financed army behind Scott Walker has as its ambition the death of the American Republic. If that sounds like rhetorical overkill, then it's worth remembering the words of someone who watched a republic fall. "The enemy is within the gates," said Cicero. "It is with our own opulence, our own folly, our own criminality that we have to contend."
"Money money money money," added the O'Jays, "some people do things, do things, do bad things with it."
If this end-of-the-republic rhetoric sounds extreme, listen to Gov. Walker's phone call with a prankster pretending to be David Koch. He spoke to Koch the way an employee talks to the boss. That's a glimpse into the world of corporate political power. Madison's the epicenter for a battle between the dying American middle class and a plutocracy — no, make that a "Lootocracy" — determined to rob it of everything it's earned over the last 75 years.