“What did you learn in school today, dear?” a mother asks her fourth grader.
“Oh, mom, it was so exciting! We learned to chant slogans and clap and sing protest songs,” says her nine-year old after a school field trip to the Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin.
The field trip got mixed up somehow in the on-going political protest of Governor Scott Walker’s budget reform law. You know, that hotly-contested-by-unions law curbing certain collective bargaining privileges of entitlement-minded Wisconsin public employees? Yeah, that one. It created quite a a stir in February, causing Senate Democrats to flee to Illinois on behalf of their generous gift-giving friends in, yes, those same public employee unions igniting the protests and the recall elections.
Who knew kids from Portage, Wisconsin, 40 miles north of Madison, would be thrust into the hornets’ nest of political protesters, mostly teachers, doing battle with a duly-elected governor and those mean and nasty budget-minded Republicans? Who knew? Not parents, certainly.
Instead of a lesson in state government, the kids got an impromptu lesson in raucous, union-driven, leftist power politics at the State Capitol, still strewn with placards of the February protests against budget reforms to erase a $3.5 billion shortfall. Most of the physical damage to the Capitol done by February protesters occupying it had been repaired, at a cost to taxpayers in the low millions. Despoiling public property is apparently what they do?