The Corner

In Madison, a Long Sleepover

The occupation of the Wisconsin state capitol continues, as does the two-week impasse over Gov. Scott Walker’s budget-repair bill. Police were scheduled to remove protesters at 4 p.m. Sunday, but Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs decided to let the folks stay. No one was arrested and cleaning crews were forced to work around the lingering activists.

“I think this is the best way of dealing with this issue,” Tubbs explained to reporters. “There is no plan to become confrontational,” added Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “We haven’t seen that in over 40 years.”

Walker, for his part, continues to not blink. He is pushing for the 14 Democratic state senators who remain on the lam in Illinois to return to Madison and vote by Tuesday in order to restructure the state’s bonds this fiscal year.

“I do believe that this is our moment in Wisconsin’s history,” Walker said Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press. “It’s one of those where, for year after year after year, not just the last governor, but governors before, legislatures before, have kicked the can. They’ve taken one-time fixes to push the budget problems off into the future. We can’t do that. We’re broke. Like nearly every other state across the country, we’re broke. And it’s about time somebody stood up and told the truth in this state and said, ‘Here’s our problem. Here’s the solution,’ and acted on it.”

Walker plans to deliver his two-year budget tomorrow. If his budget-repair bill does not pass by the time he unveils it, he says that he will have to lay off 1,500 state workers. And if it never passes, he warns that 5,000 state workers could lose their jobs.

Still, Walker hinted on local television Sunday that he would avoid issuing “pink slips” for as long as possible, so the timetable remains relatively fluid. Democrats, however, show no sign of relenting. State Sen. Jon Erpenbach, the vocal leader of the escaped Democrats, reiterated Sunday that he and his colleagues will roost in northern Illinois until Walker gives in.

Meanwhile, celebrities such as Bradley Whitford of West Wing fame and Sixties icon Peter Yarrow from Peter, Paul & Mary came to Madison over the weekend to cheer on the protesters.

Robert Costa — Robert Costa is National Review's Washington editor and a CNBC political analyst. He manages NR's Capitol Hill bureau and covers the White House, Congress, and national campaigns. ...

Most Popular


The Democrats’ Disastrous CNN LGBT Town Hall

A few days after Donald Trump committed the worst foreign-policy blunder of his presidency by betraying America’s Kurdish allies in northern Syria, former vice president Joe Biden, the elder statesman and co-frontrunner in the Democratic presidential primary, was on a national stage talking to CNN’s primetime ... Read More
Film & TV

Joker: An Honest Treatment of Madness

When I saw that the New York Times and The New Yorker had run columns berating the new Joker movie, criticizing it not simply on cinematic grounds but instead insisting that the film amounted to a clandestine defense of “whiteness” in an attempt to buttress the electoral aim of “Republicans” — this is a ... Read More
White House

What Is Impeachment For?

W hat is impeachment for? Seems like a simple question. Constitutionally speaking, it also appears to have a simple answer: to cite and remove from power a president guilty of wrongdoing. Aye, there’s the rub. What sort of wrongdoing warrants removal from power? I’d wager that the flames of ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Fox News Anchor Shepard Smith Resigns

Fox News Channel's chief anchor, Shepard Smith, announced on air Friday that he would be resigning from his post after 23 years with the network. “This is my last newscast here,” said Smith. “Recently, I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News. After requesting that I stay, they obliged.” He ... Read More

Beto Proposes to Oppress Church with State

Beto O’Rourke’s presidential campaign is within the margin of error of non-existence, but in his failure he has found a purpose: expressing the Democratic id. His latest bid for left-wing love came at a CNN forum on gay rights, where he said that churches that oppose same-sex marriage should have to pay ... Read More
Film & TV

The Breaking Bad Movie

I considered staying up until midnight last night to watch Netflix's two-hour Breaking Bad movie El Camino as soon as it went up, but I'm glad I didn't. It's fine, it's worth watching if you're a fan of the series (otherwise it'll mean nothing to you). But it doesn't answer any particularly compelling questions. ... Read More