The moonbats are starting to come out to play on the religious left as the drama in Wisconsin continues. Today it’s Anthony Stevens-Arroyo, the Washington Post alleged expert on all things Catholic. It seems there’s a conspiracy afoot:

The Wisconsin governor’s proposal to repair the state budget has acquired the characteristics of a conspiracy. Catholic teaching (Caritas in veritate, #25) unequivocally opposes the plan to strip union workers of their right to collective bargaining, but with evidence that this proposal is part of a secret and well-financed plot to coordinate the same effort in key states, the opposition of the Church assumes a new moral dimension. It may have been a prank phone call made to Gov. Scott Walker by someone pretending to be the billionaire, David Koch, but the Republican governor spilled out the outlines of a conspiracy.

I have no doubt that my use of the word “conspiracy” will be challenged. After all, a conspiracy implies secrecy and many pundits had already discerned the connection between a state budget bill and a nationally coordinated political attack on labor unions.

What do you say to something like this? “Yeah, there’s a conspiracy, all right. Bilderbergers and the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission and the Knights Templar are all getting into their black helicopters and preparing to breakup the lovefest on the streets of Madison.” Does it really need to be said that there is no “nationally coordinated political attack on labor unions” nearly so much as an effort in a handful of states with budget problems to bring standards for public employee unions in those states into line with the rest of America? Would it matter if it were? One gets the distinct impression from the likes of Stevens-Arroyo and Susan Thistlethwaite that facts and reality no longer matter, that they are caught up in some political fantasy in which its 1968 all over again.

Speaking of detachment from reality, a couple of University of Wisconsin grad students chime in over at Sojourners:

It’s been inspiring to see the camaraderie among the protesters at the capitol and people throughout the city. While protesters wave signs and shout, “Kill the bill!,” no one is violent.

While Governor Walker’s unwillingness to compromise is disheartening, the attitude of the city and the spirit of the protesters are truly inspiring. It is neat to see a city and many parts of the state rally around the rights of their fellow citizens.  It has been a moving experience to take part in.

There’s good reason to doubt that claim, but there’s no question that there’s been violence aplenty in the language used on the streets, featuring signs too obscene to put on this blog, signs comparing the governor to Hitler, Mussolini and Osama bin-Laden, signs calling for him to be shot, with his face imposed on crosshairs, etc. Of course, when conservatives put up maps that use crosshairs to indicate congressional districts that will be targeted for special attention during an election campaign, that’s “provocative” and “incendiary,” and bound to push the “unstable” over the edge into murderous rampages. When the public employees unions and their allies on the left take violent languages and images to their demonstrations, that’s “camaraderie” worthy of a high-five at Sojourners, which has had not one word to say about the, shall we say, incivility of so many of those in Madison.


The State of the Union could be a good time to call us to move beyond the exaggeration, caricature, misinformation, and demonization that occur too often in our public discourse today. Instead, President Obama could call us to clarify honest disagreements and identify potential points of unity.

Jim Wallis, who has been silent about the hate flowing in the streets of Madison, advising President Obama on how to incorporate the call for civility into his State of the Union address