So far (cough, cough!)
Is this a political movement, re-energized? (Tea Party Version #2)? Will the energy be maintained until November? Will new COVID-19 cases spike on May 8 (14 days from now)? Will the Packers get help at wide receiver?
Over 1,000 participants (later news accounts said 1,500) attended today’s (04-24-2020) Reopen Wisconsin rally at the state capitol in Madison WI. And the line of cars and pick-up trucks honking Capitol Square stretched way back down E. Washington Avenue.
Saw no (zero) Stars & Bars. No neo-Nazis. No tiki torches. No open weapons.
Signs, signs, and more signs — nine of every 10 homemade. Saw a lot of children, few with face masks. Speaker asked for round of applause for those wearing masks. “Freedom of choice,” he said. One mask was a pink lace panty. Social distancing? Not so much.
A do-it-yourself Trump float
Lots of religious references. Pro-life. Donald Trump. Tony Evers was not too popular. He should be recalled but no one threatened death, from what we could see. No one threatened to dress out his wife like a deer, unlike the protest against Scott Walker nine years ago.
One huge Case IH 220 magnum tractor, the kind with four huge back tires, said it drove 90 miles to save their dairy farm.
There were some dissenting views, but very few. Madison knew it was out-numbered. Some have commented on the size of the crowd, comparing it to the Act 10 protests of 2011. Remember, almost all Friday’s participants came from out of town. Madison in 2011 closed down its schools and, for all practical purposes, the university. Act 10 affected government employee labor unions in a government employee town.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: We did see Americans for Prosperity there. But this had all the look and feel of grass roots.