Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Why WI Democrats Should Get Out Of The Way On Vouchers

Racine protester gets dragged out of JFC in 2011
Two years ago when Robin Vos helped Scott Walker inflict a school voucher program (that no one asked for) on Racine, no one fought back harder than Racine teachers and parents.

Area representatives, the school board - everyone - spoke out truthfully, sincerely and intellectually about why it was wretched idea.

It didn't do a bit of good. Not at all.

State Assembly Democrats didn't have the votes to stop it and neither did the Senate - by a lesser degree than today's Senate - we should mention. State Democrats still don't have the votes to stop a new voucher proposal.

Naturally, outrage and press conferences have ensued once again as school vouchers are set to go statewide and Democrats have lined up to filibuster away until the vote is called and the result - virtually the same as before.

The Siren suggests a different tack - get out of the way.

Now, we're not saying Democrats should vote FOR the voucher expansion, we're saying instead of blustering and gnashing away as Republicans fully expect them to do, they should get up and say:

"Ladies and gentlemen, you break it - you buy it. We don't have the votes to stop this and everyone knows the Republicans aren't going to accept any of our amendments. This is the government the people voted for and this is what you get. We think it's a shitty idea, but we're just passengers on this cruise ship. Good luck."

The Siren knows many of you are thinking - NO! We must fight, fight, fight! Please, be our guests - they still don't have the votes.

We say make it worse and let them have everything they want.

Why? Because there are more than a few Republicans who don't like vouchers much and they are counting on Democrats to put on a good show - so they can go back to their communities and say the process hashed out compromises and it just didn't go their way - that's democracy.

The people of Racine don't like vouchers, their skepticism took time and a few skeezy schools to surface and crap out to dawn on them that it was a bullshit deal.

When Muffy and Chip in suburban Green Bay realize that little Blaine's class size is going to increase because of vouchers, they might also realize it had something to do with their vote for Scott Walker.

The sooner the Muffy and Chip's of Wisconsin pull the golf cart over to get huffy about how this effects them the better.

There were perhaps no bigger policy protests in modern politics than what happened in Wisconsin in 2011 and with a few exceptions - Republicans got everything they wanted. It just isn't possible that anger over the 2013 budget will possibly rival the recent past and even if it did - it won't matter. Let Republicans own what they propose - if it is as truly bad as we think it is - it will fail.

Perhaps voters will finally hold Scott Walker accountable next fall.