Those who view labor issues as their pet cause have flocked to Wisconsin to support the labor movement against Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s budget plan. First, there was liberal documentary filmmaker Michael Moore. Now, Rainbow PUSH Coalition President Jesse Jackson has found his way to Madison.
In an appearance on Thursday’s “America Live with Megyn Kelly” on the Fox News Channel, Jackson explained why he believes the parliamentary maneuvers Walker and state Republicans used late Wednesday to push through Walker’s budget plan somehow circumvented democracy.
“More health care for more Americans is not as hurtful as less education and less health care and fewer jobs,” Jackson said. “Maybe what you see here is the rise of hurt and people are acting out their democratic rights and sharing their pain. And they want to be heard and I feel that when they’re steamrolled as they were in the Assembly and as they are in the Senate, people are going to fight back against the governor hears them and engages in democracy and not ramrod democracy. It simply will not work whether Cairo or Madison, it will not work.”
Jackson said pro-union legislators were denied the ability to vote on the issue and forecasted a “rebellion” to come within the next month.
“There was assemblymen who couldn’t even vote,” Jackson said. “They were denied the right to vote and their mics were turned off. They ramrodded the vote through the House and of course he promised to negotiate with the Senators and of course yesterday, he did the maneuver. These maneuvers [are] inciting more anger and more pain and more fear. I hope he will govern by deliberation and he will govern by reconciliation and not ramrodding politics. It’s going to create a rebellion. So now it’s revolt and recall. Let me tell you, April 5 is a big election. April 5 is a magic day. People can vote against April 5 and I think they will and be heard through that democratic process. They remain nonviolent and they ultimately will prevail.”
Kelly asked why Walker’s “ramrodding” this legislation through in Wisconsin was uncalled for, but President Obama’s pushing through health care legislation last year using similar tactics was legitimate?
“Well because 59 million Americans don’t have health insurance,” Jackson said. “People are dying because of that. Fifty million Americans are in poverty, 44 million on food stamps. So there’s a sense in which the wealthy have been subsidized, and they’re getting wealthier with our connection to manufacturing and poor people are dying. So there’s a sense of debt by the poorest people and surplus for the wealthiest. Something about that is unhealthy for our democracy. As Roosevelt fought for a New Deal, we need a better deal for our American worker. You can’t close plants here … and leave people no place to stay and can’t educate their children and think they will take it lying down. Workers are righteously nonviolently fighting back.”