The bosses are coming to Madison, Wisconsin on Monday, November 5th, the day before the election. Details are still forthcoming as I write this, but so far we know it will be a "downtown" rally on Monday morning.
There is a lot of speculation on why Madison that day. Good optics going into Tuesday? (Springsteen joined John Kerry in 2004 at a Madison rally and attracted 80,000 people.)
GOTV? Madison and Dane County are home to many liberal voters and tens of thousands of college students.
A last-minute boost for Tammy Baldwin, the awesome Democrat running for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by the retiring Herb Kohl? That makes some sense, but I have my own theory.
President Obama and Bruce Springsteen must be planning to join a few dozen activists at the state Capitol at noon for the 499th Solidarity Sing Along! We began on March 11th, 2011, and have sung an hour's worth of peace, labor, and social justice songs every weekday since. Tuesday (election day) will be Sing Along #500. That can't be a coincidence, can it?
photo courtesy of Lisa Wells
I'd like to welcome our newest singers. I'm told they both can sing well. I have to warn them about the new Capitol Police Chief. He was recently promoted from his job as Gov. Scott Walker's bodyguard -- no, I'm not making that up -- and he has had his officers deliver over 75 questionable citations for administrative code violations to peaceful singers since September. The result of this crackdown is more singers than we've had in months.
To the new singers: If you get a citation, call the Madison Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. They'll try to find you some low cost legal assistance if you can't afford a lawyer. I would then suggest doing what the rest of us have done, which is plead not guilty and request a jury trial. It should be very entertaining watching government lawyers argue that holding a banner that says "Sing Along" while singing "When We Make Peace" is disorderly conduct. I'm looking forward to it.
So, welcome, welcome, welcome to Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen. Look for me in the rotunda and I'll make sure you get a songbook and a Solidarity Sing Along button. And if you could bring 80,000 of your friends, that would be awesome!