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"This is a date that will live in infamy."
President Franklin D. Roosevelt's oft-quoted assessment of the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 surfaced on Twitter Wednesday night, as reaction to the Wisconsin Senate's vote to pass proposed restrictions on collective bargaining for public employees began to flood the social media site.
Accompanied by the hashtag, #AshWednesdayMassacre, the sentiment captured the anger and disbelief of many around the Wisconsin capitol – and in the Twitterverse – who feel that the Republicans manipulated the vote by stripping the budget bill of all things budget-related to get around the need for a quorum in the absence of 14 Democratic senators. The move, some believe, lays bare their true motive from the start: to gut the unions, pure and simple.
"Either #Wisconsin GOPers just violated the constitution, or Scott Walker lied," the pro-labor publication Mother Jones said in another oft-retweeted sentiment.
Not everyone's upset with the vote, which would bar public workers other than police and firefighters from bargaining collectively for anything other than wages, in what Walker and GOP lawmakers say will help close a $137 million budget shortfall.
"wisconsin gop reminds unions that collective bargaining is a privilege, not a right," brooksbayne tweeted.
Here's some more reaction to Wednesday's vote:
"Nothing says democracy like voting with no notice, preventing the public from observing, and locking the doors of the capitol" – mirerony.
"Still waiting for @BarackObama to stand the picket line as promised. This is class warfare of the worst kind." – ericming5
"Tonight #WI GOP showed their true aim: undermining workers' rights. I continue to stand in solidarity with #wiunion." - NancyPelosi
"Hey, Governor KOCH! Some of your shareholders, err, constituents aren't too happy right now. That's bad business." - mariannesp
"This is EXACTLY why we need collective bargaining. Would you trust these legislators to determine your working conditions?" - shankerblog
"Repubs freaked out abt czars, but claim rt 2 dissolve towns. wht planet did I wake up on? Planet Plutocrat?" – XicanaMama
"Furious beyond belief. What happens now? This can not be abided & will not be forgotten. It has only just begun." – HarryWaisbren
"Has anyone else noticed that the state of #Wisconsin looks like a clenched fist?" – Red_Ben89
"Apparently Gov. Walker is giving up democracy for Lent." – blissfulfun
"Since there don't appear to be any rules/laws in WI government now, let's skip the 1 year rule and recall Walker's ass right now." – AnnieRauh
"Hey, things happen. RT @TeresaKopec: I guess the Kochs got their money's worth. And the middle class just got kicked in the teeth." – umarsattar