by David Safier
We already knew Arizona Republicans hate teachers and the unions representing them. We also knew they hate the unionized government workers who keep the wheels of state turning and provide services to Arizonans.
Now we know they hate the police and firefighters as well. They want to crush them, decimate their unions, lower their pay, lower their benefits, shrink their pensions and fire them at will. The Republicans are equal opportunity haters when it comes to workers represented by unions.
We'll find out if they've gone too far. They have enough Republicans to pass their anti-union legislation, which people say is worse than anything Scott Walker has done in Wisconsin, easily. But will the the police and firefighters make their voices heard? Will they be loud enough to make some of those Republicans sit up and take notice? Will enough Arizonans recoil from this wholesale decimation of worker protections that a sizable minority of Republicans will decide to vote against the bills, enough to block passage? Will Jan Brewer's advisors tell her to veto the bills if they make it to her desk, tell her even she can't go this far?
Arizona, like so many other states which have been taken over by the extreme right wing, is at a crossroads. If Republicans do what they want to do, it will take decades to undo their butchery -- if it can ever be undone.