Thanks to Dirk Felleman for flagging this one for me; an excerpt:
The erosion of support for public higher education is a part of a larger strategy designed to deprive public employees of a voice and ensure the triumph of conservative/neoliberal policies. Republican legislators in New Hampshire propose taking the vote away from college students and say straight out that they want to do it because students are known to be liberal. Governor Walker of Wisconsin cites budgetary woes as the reason for taking away the bargaining rights of public sector unions, but everyone knows his real reason is to reduce union membership (why join and pay dues if there is no longer any strength in numbers?) and thus dry up support that would have gone largely to Democratic candidates. Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (shouldn’t there be a patent on names?) makes it official: “If we win this battle and the money is not there under the auspices of the unions . . . President Obama is going to have a . . . much more difficult time getting elected.”
Fitzgerald, Walker and Riley remind me of something I had forgotten, cocooned as I have been in the small world of the academy. With apologies to John Donne, “no university is an Island” and “ask not at whom the union-bashing is aimed; it is aimed at you,” even if you (like me) are relatively insulated from its immediate effects. Should Governor Walker have his way (as it seems he has), should New Hampshire Republicans succeed in disqualifying citizens likely to vote against them, should Riley’s admonition that “students, parents and taxpayers . . . think twice about how unionization affects the quality of higher education” be heeded, the result will be a further entrenchment of the interests that labor to monopolize wealth and power and to create a world in which any of us can be dismissed in the name of achieving a “more flexible workforce,” that is, a workforce that has no choice but to accept whatever its masters deign to offer.
We are all badgers now.