Funny what you pick up around the Courthouse on a Friday.
Word all around the Courthouse today was that 50 to 60 Milwaukee County Sheriff’s deputies are getting on a bus at 3:30 a.m. Saturday morning. It is the understanding of the deputies who volunteered that they are going to Madison to clear the State Capitol of protesters that have camped out in the building since Scott Walker’s radical power-grab created the Wisconsin Crisis two weeks ago.
This seems to conflict with an announcement by the Capitol Police this afternoon, that would have the building vacated (supposedly for cleaning and maintenance) at 4 p.m. Sunday and reopened at 8 a.m. Monday; an arrangement the protesters have agreed to follow voluntarily. No show of force will be necessary.
Perhaps Walker’s ideological and power-mad soul mate, Sheriff David Clarke, didn’t get the memo – the bus was still scheduled by the time I left the Courthouse late this afternoon. Knowing his megalomaniacal disposition and his penchant for publicity, he may have been too busy polishing the buttons on his coat and grooming his horse for the Glorious Ride To The Rescue he imagines in his own head to check his e-mail today.
Or, perhaps, he’s planning to go anyway. If so, Clarke might face an interesting situation once he gets there. Members of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association announced during the day that they wanted the People’s House to remain open and that their members will camping out with the protesters, beginning tonight. “Er, Officer, we’re here to clear the place in the middle of the night, could you please…never mind.” While his deputies are generally great men and women always do their jobs admirably (while rolling their eyes at their boss and his hilarious lieutenant the whole time), Clarke himself would pussy-out in a minute if faced with real resistance.
Or it could be that the announcement by the Capitol Police of the Sunday closing has put the kibosh on Clarke’s dream of a Darkness at Dawn raid on sleeping protesters. He’ll have to find another way to try to get his Boy Governor out of the political, moral and ethical hole he has dug for himself. That’s fine – as long as he makes sure his deputies get the overtime they earn by following their grandstanding leader on the Road to Nowhere.