Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

"Outstanding…Moore Triumphs! Publishers Weekly

Mike & Friends Blog

Mary Bottari

Mary Bottari is the Director of the Center for Media and Democracy’s Real Economy Project and editor of the www.BanksterUSA.org site for bank busting activists.

April 18th, 2011 3:01 PM

Sarah Palin: The Koch Brother’s Union Maid

Tax Day was approaching and the righties were out to denigrate government workers and government spending. Sarah Palin, former Governor of Alaska, who quit her job in 2009, headlined a rally in Madison, Wisconsin, bought and paid for by the front-group Americans for Prosperity (AFR), but billed as a “grassroots” Tea Party event.

The Koch Brothers-funded AFP set up the stage and programmed 13 buses into Madison, but only six were labeled “full” on their website on Saturday. AFR also likely paid the airfare and fees of the national speakers. Braving the sleet, snow and raucous counter-protestors Palin earned her money.

The AFP stage was carefully designed so no one could stand behind Palin with embarrassing signs which were prevalent. “Scott: Pull a Palin, Quit!” “Teach Walker How to Resign” and “Go Home and Take Walker with You” would have ruined the view. On both sides of the stage well into the crowd there were 10 foot tarp “walls” so that the large crowd of anti-Walker protestors could not be seen by cameras.

Counter-protestors could not be seen, but they could be heard. Even with all the stage control, experienced Republican apparatchiks were rattled by the huge roar from the opposition which rang cow bells, blew Vuvuleza and endlessly chanted “Re-call Wal-ker,” making it impossible to hear the speakers. Every video of the day is backed by a muffled roar.

Breitbart Screams “Go to Hell!” 

Andrew Breitbart, right wing blogger, famous for smearing black USDA employee Shirley Sherrod as a racist, had the honor of introducing the former Governor of Alaska.

Breitbart yelled to be heard: “You know what you are hearing? You are hearing the death of community organizing!” Chutzpa from a man fronting an event for major corporate interests.  

“Let’s be honest about what happened here,” said Breitbart steamed. “Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO, who has been to the White House about 1,000 times, has cynically tried to divide American people against each other. Has used Wisconsin to try to pit American against American, and the silent majority won.”

With this spin, Breitbart blames Obama and the unions for the divisive fight over collective bargaining rights, while in fact it is Walker and the national GOP who have devised a brilliant straw man strategy to blame public workers -- and not Wall Street barrons -- for the state of the economy.  Walker has attempted to pit public workers against taxpayers, and  even figherfighters against teachers by exempting fire and police from his bill. But people are not buying this bait and switch and overwhelmingly support workers collective bargaining rights.

As the booing got louder Breitbart lost it, screaming at protestors: "To be lectured by you in the periphery, you have lied by getting doctor' notes… you have no right to lecture us on civility. You have no right to lecture us on language with your Koch-suckers business. Go to hell! No seriously - Go to hell! Go hell! You have been so rude trying to divide us. Class warfare is not American! Class warfare is not American!”

The Madison rally was Mama Grizzly’s first speech since her catastrophically self-serving “blood libel” video after the assassination attempt on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.  Prior to the shooting, Giffords had gently chastised Palin  for putting gunsights  over Giffords image on a website. Palin had nowhere to go but up, and she did.

Palin As Union Maid 

Palin took a different approach. She wrapped herself in her union ties: “I am proud to stand with you in solidarity. As a former union member and as the wife of a union member, what I have to say today I say to the our good patriotic brothers an sisters who are in unions… a pensions is a promise that must be kept. States must be solvent to keep their promises and that is what he is trying to do. He’s not trying to hurt union members he’s trying to save your jobs and your pensions.  Some of your union bosses don’t understand this, don’t care when union workers are laid off… But that is not real solidarity. Real solidarity is coming together for the common good. This Tea Party is real solidarity.”

In this clever piece of spin, Palin picks up on Walker’s job saving theme. Walker threatened 1,500 layoffs in advance of the vote on the union busting bill, then stopped the pink slips from rolling the day after the bill passed. But the threats were all theater. Walker was recently forced to admit at a hearing in Congress that the union-busting provisions had no fiscal impact. “We are doing this to save jobs,” is a great talking point until the day the bill is implemented and thousands upon thousands of municipal workers are given the ax.

“I am here today because this is where real courage and real integrity can be found. Courage is your governor and legislature standing strong in the face of death threats and thug tactics,” Palin continued. “You saw these violent ‘rent a mobs’ trash your capitol and vandalize business, Madison you held your ground your governor did the right thing and you won.”

Palin also apparently doesn’t know that the death threats sent by a wingnut child care provider to Republican legislators were not discovered until after the bill was passed by news outlets. They are similar to the death threats sent by other wingnuts to the Democratic senators. ‘Rent-a-mob’ is rich for someone fronting for the Koch’s. As for thug tactics and vandalized businesses, she must be watching too much FOX news. The 300,000 protestors who visited the Capitol over the last few months know that the takeover by UW-students was orderly, clean and respectful. While some may consider regular marches of 150,000 ‘thug tactics’ no businesses were vandalized and the months of protests were terrific for Madison’s downtown restaurants, hotels and small businesses.

Palin got one thing right when she observed “Madison these are the front lines for the battle for the future of our country… The 2012 election begins here!”

Victory Celebration Turns into a Rout 

While the local police put the crowd at 6,500, it was obvious to everyone there that the AFP folks were in the distinct minority. The core group of AFP supporters filled a 20 by 35 foot area paced off by a local a reporter.  Madison’s the NBC affiliate reported: “A solid core of tea partiers were near the stage, but they were flanked on all sides by union protesters who have dominated protests at the Capitol for months. The tea party folks had the microphone, but the crowd had the volume, literally and figuratively.”

What happened to the party? In early February when Breitbart came to Madison, AFP had a good crowd estimated by police and reporters to be 2,500-3,000. This weekend those numbers had shrunk dramatically at a time when they are supposed to be celebrating their victories -- the passage of the collective bargaining bill and the apparent election of Justice David Prosser to the Supreme Court.

At the back of the crowd was a man standing uncomfortably, hands in pockets. On the back of his windbreaker was a taped message which read: “Angry, Ashamed, Former Republican.” He told me he had voted Republican for 30 years, had voted for Palin and Walker, but now was disgusted with what he was seeing. “Fundamentally, it is wrong to take away people’s right to negotiate in good faith. This is overreach by the Republican Party. Abraham Lincoln would not be a Republican today.”

You must log in to comment.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Log in | Register

My father, Francis (Frank) Moore, passed away this morning a few months shy if his 93rd birthday. He was a great dad I am blessed to have had him in my life. I...

Apr 20th
2:58 AM
Read More

Time to put the cuffs on Chris Christie -- not for the bridge scandal, but for this: Chris Christie's $300m pension proposal broke state anti-corruption...

Apr 18th
7:31 PM
Read More

George W. Bush Debuts New Paintings Of Dogs, Friends, Ghost Of Iraqi Child That Follows Him... www.theonion.com President Bush has a new hobby -- painting! --...

Apr 17th
7:28 PM
Read More

Big new story from David Sirota and Pando on top Christie adviser and appearance of corruption at New Jersey's pension fund: REVEALED: Gov....

Apr 17th
12:41 PM
Read More

FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States www.theonion.com WASHINGTON—The FBI announced today that it has uncovered a...

Apr 15th
3:28 PM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel's top donor bought stock in Marriott just before it was awarded huge contract pando.com As schools are closed and pensions cut,...

Apr 9th
2:00 PM
Read More

I'll be at First Time Fest today in New York City at the screening of my first film, Roger & Me. Loews Village 7 at 12:30 pm. Come see it on the big...

Apr 5th
9:48 AM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel cuts public pensions, diverts money to benefit campaign donors pando.com If you've read the financial news out of Chicago the last...

Apr 4th
2:19 PM
Read More

Please take a moment today to think of Casey Austin Sheehan, son of Cindy and Patrick, who was murdered by U.S. foreign policy in Sadr City, Baghdad ten years...

Apr 4th
2:00 PM
Read More

ICYMI - I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence...

Apr 3rd
7:38 PM
Read More

I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention...

Apr 2nd
8:27 PM
Read More

I am opposed to the death penalty, but to every rule there is usually an exception, and in this case I hope the criminals at General Motors will be arrested...

Apr 1st
3:55 PM
Read More

How Long Some in the US Will Survive Under New Health Law ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com Those who must access care to live and can afford it are not...

Mar 31st
10:13 PM
Read More

Last night, The Good Wife on the East Coast started 40 minutes late due to the overrun of the NCAA basketball game. If you had your DVR set for the show, you...

Mar 24th
5:41 PM
Read More

Watching films today, looking for the ones I'm going to pick for my film festival this summer. I (and a whole bunch of others!) have this thing we put on...

Mar 23rd
4:48 PM
Read More

When the U.S. Health Care System Keeps Killing, Who Cares Enough to Fight? ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com We have largely forgotten that people are at...

Mar 21st
5:56 PM
Read More

Tell the White House not to give up on Dr. Vivek Murthy's nomination as Surgeon General despite the ferocious opposition from the NRA: Don't give...

Mar 21st
5:38 PM
Read More

This criminal would never see a jail cell, nor would his cronies. In fact, they'd later be rewarded with re-election: Presidential Address on War with...

Mar 19th
9:40 PM
Read More

The crime of the century -- our invasion & slaughter in Iraq -- started 11 years ago tonite in this 7pm (ET) hour, March 19th, 2003: CNN Coverage of...

Mar 19th
9:08 PM
Read More

Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa ...by Nick Turse www.michaelmoore.com Nick Turse is an award-winning journalist, historian,...

Mar 17th
4:59 PM
Read More

"I think democracy is the most revolutionary thing in the world." -- Tony Benn, 1925-2014 Tony Benn in 'Sicko'

Mar 14th
10:07 AM
Read More

RIP Tony Benn, one of the UK's greatest leaders: Tony Benn, veteran Labour politician, dies aged 88 www.theguardian.com Former cabinet minister died at...

Mar 14th
9:53 AM
Read More

Please read this important story from K. Ford K.: Am I the Face of the New American Middle Class? www.huffingtonpost.com I began to feel I had slipped so low...

Mar 13th
2:24 PM
Read More

Yesterday Dianne Feinstein revealed that the CIA has been spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee. This is all about the report the committee has produced...

Mar 12th
6:48 PM
Read More

Health Care for All Colorado has brought Mercy Killers, a show written and performed by Michael Milligan about our murderous for-profit healthcare system, to...

Mar 10th
1:08 PM
Read More

Health Care Dramas that Sting and Why We Have to Watch ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com The realities Milligan has written into the show cut deep into...

Mar 10th
1:02 PM
Read More

Did you know the Lehrer Newshour on PBS has been produced for 20 years by a company owned by conservative cable billionaire John Malone? Me neither. After...

Mar 7th
8:39 PM
Read More

Mr. Obama, if int’l law is so damn crucial . . . | RootsAction.org act.rootsaction.org The Russian intervention deserves criticism. But let’s be clear. The...

Mar 6th
1:21 PM
Read More

Enron billionaire John Arnold thinks everyone should believe him when he says we've got to cut pensions because he's so incredibly rich: John...

Mar 5th
4:20 PM
Read More

Subscribe to Mike's Blog RSS

Click here to suggest an article

Mike's Blog

See More Blogs

Vew the archives

View older articles