Recalling Wisconsin

Oh,not so long ago
Music in the air
Scents of bakery,melons
And flowers here and there
All of a circling Saturday
Around the State House Square

Not so long ago, I would go to my face book page and read posts about new babies, a friend’s favorite music but only an occasional mention of the politics of the Wisconsin. That was before Walker, Fitzgerald, and the GOP control of the legislature. Yes. That was before. Why was I so unaware of the first rumblings of the massive quake about to devastate a pattern of fair play, compromise, and respect that I had grown up with in my home State of Wisconsin? The media and the polls began to suggest that Feingold and Barrett were in trouble and this news was reinforced by an inordinate number of green “Johnson for Senate” signs along the highways and by ways of my travels. Somehow, I could not or would not believe it. Would Wisconsin really give up a leader like Russ Feingold? Would this pale, uneducated, candidate for Governor ever get more votes than Barrett? No. I would not believe it.

Election day the numbers left us pale
Swallowing hard against the news
Did I somehow fail?
Pray wisdom so not to lose
Acceptance or hope of silver linings

So, the people went over the loses, as after a poor round of golf, checking the score card of their district and State. We all had lost Russ Feingold to a barrage of attacks that, we thought surely, no one would believe. Some districts did fair better than others: Ron Kind over Kapanke was the saving grace of my little world. We all had to face the loss of Barrett to Walker and met the facts with attitude; we would grin and bear it. We had survived Thompson and other Governors. This would pass. We would be more watchful, and surely this would pass.

Between Valentine’s Day and The Truth
A line was crossed
Like an arrow through the heart
Cupid’s aim was lost
Amid cold threats falling as snow

Then it got scary. The refusal to accept the federal funding for rapid rail, and stoppage of the clean burning incineration project could almost be expected. Then came the unimaginable. The slap in the face of all that was Wisconsin; Walker’s budget repair bill that would hinge on the curtailing the collective bargaining rights for most public employees; a threat which came with a icy authoritarian stab of calling out the National Guard to curtail any public protest. At first, it was like a punch in the gut taking the wind right out of the air itself. A shock was followed by a moment of quiet disbelief. After the quiet, came the storm of unity, solidarity and protest that rocked the State.

Total Recall
When no words remain
A spirit is loosened
To tend to our pain
With Arc bending to justice

And no words can capture a manifestation of human truth, although we may come close from time to time, yet the scientific expression of eternity is not a digit but a looped, bow-tie symbol. Some called it “The Awakening of a Sleeping Giant” or defined the unity of spirit with slogans; “We Are Wisconsin”, “This is What Democracy Looks Like”. New worlds were created, “Fitzwalkerstan” and “Walkerville” where palm trees flourished as fire fighter’s bag pipes, and a contentious circle of drums declared the new boundaries for a longing for freedom that stretched all the way to Egypt. All I know is that times such as these, these moments, open a portal of light and hope when it is a gift to be alive.

Fool me once…
Ripped and ill marked and torn
Human error to a missed moment
All lost in an approaching morn
Within our grasp another day

I was so anxious get behind Joanne Kloppenburg in the first election since Walker, that I miss spelled her name in my first post. The goal was set high; to defeat a long time incumbent Supreme Court Justice. Finally, the solidarity and new activism could be put to a unified purpose to win an election against all odds… and the election was won, but only for hours, before an off hand prediction of Walker, “Votes found out of the blue”, came to pass. An apologetic County Clerk from Waukesha, found 1400 votes…somehow. The “somehow” raised the eye brows of the national press and sparked a state-wide recount. The discovery of ripped and torn vote bags, gaping breaks in the chain of custody, and impossible comparative voter turn out numbers left questions, suspicions, and anomalies that remain unanswered to this day. The air of fraud and incompetence surrounding the Waukesha vote count seemed to trip into another dark dimension of a hidden cloak room of the Government Accountability Board, and hand to hand violence in the chambers of the highest court. Now an Attorney for Kathy Nickolaus and a Special Prosecutor for Prosser have been appointed. And it remains to be reckoned with on another day.

Faces of Recall
Looking out for you
You looking out for…
Nothing is left to do
But save precious grace

By some secret stroke of irony the “open meetings – collective bargaining ruling” of July came after a violent encounter behind closed doors in the Supreme Court Chambers, that we would only hear of days later. Even as Walker signed his bill into law, any celebration of victory was hushed. It was a hollow fantasy of words on paper, having won the battle but lost the war, and the trumpet sounded to carry the theme of fantasy forward, before the ink had dried on paper. Dr. Seuss might have written the script. Let’s have a fake election! We will get fake GOP’s to run as fake Dems or fake candidates in a fake election. The whole fake idea failed when each Dem Candidate beat each fake in each district in every case to the tune of a wasted a non-fake $400,000. Now the real history is upon us. The real 1st in the long story of Democracy. There is no precedent for the decision of August 9. The greatest number of state legislators ever to face recall on a single ballot was two, we look at six Statewide!

Oh, so near at hand
Music in the air
Scents of bakery,melons
And flowers here and there
All of a circling Saturday
Around the State House Square
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