Friday, March 11, 2011

The Enthusiasm Pendulum Swings Back

There have been numerous reports that the latest rallies in Lansing to protest the emergency manager bills are the "largest ever". Not sure where that meme started, but Rachel Maddow has repeated it a few times now. It may have been the largest ever to come inside the building, but other rallies have drawn far more people - including one last year by the MEA to protest school funding cuts. That one drew an estimated 5,000 to 7,000 people on the lawn...

MEA Rally Lansing

... and I also can find reports of other rallies, such as the one in 2003 staged by Detroit teachers to protest the expansion of charters that drew over 3,000, as having greater attendance. So no, the recent rallies aren't the largest in size - yet.

Next week, the AARP will stage a protest on Tuesday from 9AM - 6PM for seniors and retirees to voice their displeasure at the idea of taxing pensions. And on Wednesday, a new group called Working Michigan will hold a rally from Noon until 6 - this time frame is also being promoted by Michael Moore in tweets and on his web site. The movie folks were set to hold a protest on the 22nd, but when they found out that the Republicans would be on a retreat that day, they postponed it.

Would be nice to see tens of thousands of people show up in Lansing. Will the Republicans listen? Looking at the example in Wisconsin, the answer is no. They are going to do what they are going to do, voice of the people be damned - but that doesn't mean we should give up. The fabled "enthusiasm gap" has disappeared in Wisconsin according to one poll, and you can see this starting to grow as these Republican governors implement draconian plans all over the country.

Go protest. Every little bit that makes the news will help fight back against the GOP's war on the poor and working folks of America. At this point, it's all we really can do, because these guys are not open to any sort of bipartisanship whatsoever. That should be very obvious by now. So make your voice heard, and most of all, remember this next time you go to the ballot box.