In a press conference, Rick Snyder just urged the MI legislature to pass a right to work bill (after having said it was not appropriate for MI in the past).
There were a number of funny aspects about the press conference, particularly the way Snyder and House Speaker Jase Bolger and Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville dodged repeated questions about whether Dick DeVos’ funding had some influence on this decision (they answered by pointing to all the conversations they had with UAW President Bob King, avoiding the funding question entirely). Given all that dodging, I think it safe to assume that Dick DeVos just bought the right to force down wages $1,500 for every worker in this state (as right to work legislation has been shown to do in other states).
But the funniest part of the press conference, IMO, was the way Snyder said he’s doing this because IN passed right to work last February. Over and over, he said we’re doing this because … Indiana! The governor of the beautiful, more diverse, and better educated MI now aspires for his state to be the less beautiful, more racist, and less well educated IN.
All that said, there’s nothing funny about this move generally. Republicans are adding an appropriation to the bill to make it impossible to overturn via referendum (all while preaching choice and freedom!). They mean to take that money out of MI workers’ pockets and they’re going to do it undemocratically to ensure the do so.
I gotta say, getting our asses handed to us has inspired progressives to put the party back in political party. And the performance of Vagina Monologues just yards from where State Rep Lisa Brown, 3 days ago, was silenced for saying vagina one day earlier was just such an event.
There were great signs, great T-Shirts, and more great signs. Lots of canine vaginas joined us in sisterhood. As the sun began to set and we settled in to listen to the actresses recite the monologues, it began to feel like any outdoor evening performance–only every tenth person was in pink and lots of great energy.
And over and over, the entire crowd yelled out the word that, Friday, got State Rep Lisa Brown silenced: vagina.
Best of all was the spontaneity of it. Eve Ensler explained that the idea to stage the Monologues was offered up to her by an activist (I think her name was Rachel) in a tweet at 5AM. The next day, Ensler called State Senator Rebekah Warren to see if she could put it together by today, Ensler’s day off. Warren, who was at an out-of-state conference all weekend, nevertheless pulled it together. And Eve and Lisa and Rebekah and Barb Byrum (silenced for saying vasectomy) and State Rep Rashida Tlaib (who advocated we use the Lysistrata option) and Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer and a bunch of very talented actresses (h/t Anne Savage) joined together to bring thousands of women and men together to embrace that word so frightening to those trying to legislate women’s autonomy away.