If I were a good blogger, I’d be standing in the cold tonight with those folks singing Christmas carols outside of the Governor’s Superior Township residence, but, instead, I’m here at home, where I’ve been all day, tending to the needs of my sick family… making chicken soup, fluffing pillows, and doing all of the other stuff that people with sick kids are expected to do, regardless of whether revolutions are brewing outside.
I know it’s unlikely that the carolers, who are, at this very moment, singing Joy to the World outside the locked gates of Rick Snyder’s exclusive private community, will have much luck in convincing him to veto the right-to-work legislation which will likely be put on his desk tomorrow, but I feel as though I should be there, if for no other reason than to record the fact that some folks took the evening away from their families and tried to remind the Governor what this season is all about. Like I said, I’m doubtful that they’ll make much headway, but, if animated Christmas specials have taught me anything, it’s that miracles can happen at this time of year, and that even the most cold and miserly of hearts have the capacity to swell with love and compassion. Who can forget, for instance, when the old Grinch, looking down on Whoville, after having done his best to ruin Christmas for them, heard the voices of the people rise up together, not in anger, but in joyous song? Remember how his heart, when he heard their beautiful voices, swelled to an alarming size? I know that it’s unlikely, but isn’t there a chance that the same thing could be playing out at this very moment, just five miles outside of Ypsilanti, at the intersection of Geddes and Valleyview? Might not Rick Snyder’s heart, right this minute, be swelling three sizes? Isn’t it possible that he could be calling the Koch brothers and Dick DeVos at this very moment, telling them he can’t be bought?
Assuming that doesn’t happen, and Snyder doesn’t call a a press conference first thing tomorrow morning, announcing his change of heart, people will be massing in Lansing, to demonstrate just how incredibly unpopular this legislation is.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like I’ll make it to Lansing tomorrow, either. As much as I’d like to participate in what promises to be a historic protest at the Capitol, I just can’t find a way to make it happen. Between work obligations, other commitments, and the possibility that the kids could be sick again tomorrow, I just don’t see how it’s possible. For what it’s worth, though, my thoughts will be with you… Here’s hoping the weather is good, the cops show restraint, and that Snyder, assuming the Christmas carols didn’t work, caves in the face of overwhelming public outrage.
Speaking of this growing sense of outrage, I’m sure you’ve seen it by now, but the Detroit Free Press – a paper that endorsed Snyder for Governor – came out with a scathing editorial this weekend, blasting Snyder for having “betrayed” the people of Michigan, who had taken him at his word when he said that right-to-work legislation was “not on (his) agenda.” As the editorial board at the Free Press rightly points out, this is nothing more than “an attempt to institutionalize Republicans’ current political advantage.” Furthermore, as they poitn out, the talking points which Snyder has offered to explain why, in his opinion, this needs to be done now, are both “diversionary” and “demonstrably false.” This, as they conclude, has nothing to do with creating good paying jobs in Michigan, and everything to do with the Republican compulsion, “to emasculate, once and for all, the Democratic Party’s most reliable source of financial and organizational support.”
This is something that President Obama reiterated earlier today, when speaking at the Daimler Detroit Diesel Plant in Redford, Michigan. (The company was announcing a significant expansion to the plant.) “These so-called right-to-work laws don’t have anything to do with economics,” the President said. “They have to do with politics. What they are really doing is giving you the right to work for less money.” Here’s a clip.
[The entire speech can be seen here.]
Those of you who are planning to go to Lansing tomorrow, I’m told that you should aim to be Lansing Center (333 East Michigan Ave) at 8:00 AM. From there, folks will be marching to the Capitol at 9:00, in hopes of pressuring Snyder to either veto the bill, postpone it until the next legislative session, when it can be debated further, or put it to a referendum, so that the voters of Michigan can vote on it… Before you go, please do me a favor and read over this document prepared by the Michigan ACLU, which explains your rights as a protester, and tells you who to call if things, god forbid, take an ugly turn. (The police, it would seem are preparing for the worst, and judging by what’s already happened, arrests will be made.)
Be safe, friends, and keep your cellphones handy. When it comes down to your word, against that of a cop, having good documentary evidence is critical.
[note: For those of you who aren't up to speed on what's going on in Lansing, and why right-to-work is wrong for Michigan, you'll find my somewhat comprehensive post on the subject here.]