The PJ Tatler

Like cats covering up on a linoleum floor

Every cat owner is familiar with the behavior: paw spread wide, the cat scrapes toward itself, trying to cover something it wants to hide.  Unlike a lot of cat behaviors, it’s not “cultural”, it’s instinctive.  A mama cat doesn’t have to teach kittens to do it, a bottle reared kitten will do it just as readily.  And being instinctive, cats will scrape and scratch to cover up even when it’s not really particularly appropriate or helpful — like when there’s been an accident on a hard linoleum floor.

The last two days have seen a lot of that happening in — and about — the Madison, Wisconsin demonstrations.  Last Thursday, the Democratic National Committee and Organizing for America were bragging about how they’d brought in demonstrators to protest Governor Scott Walker’s planned changes to the Wisconsin rules for public-worker unions.

By Tuesday, yesterday, they were saying that they hadn’t really had much to do with it.  Unfortunately, there is too much evidence to cover up.

Note that it will stop them from trying: today, people looking for the profile web pages of some of the doctors involved in the doctor’s note scam found pages like this:

Now, this wasn’t a “not found” page — I don’t think it indicates that the doctor had left the building.  instead, examining the HTML shows that it had been censored in the simplest possible fashion — someone had apparently hand-edited the page, removing the doctors’ information, but leaving the headings and navigation intact.  In this case — Lou Sanner, MD, MSPH — the Google cache has been cleaned.

Dr Kathy Oriel’s page wasn’t cleaned up quite so thoroughly.  The page is empty, but the Google cache is still there:

Just like a cat on linoleum, they’re trying to cover up — but it’s futile.

Of course, it gets better. Ann Althouse caught some city trucks doing “unauthorized” demonstrating — and got a death threat for her trouble. They don’t want this seen — it must be covered up.

Just today, Tabitha Hale got smacked around for trying to film a CWA demonstrator.   He didn’t want to be seen either.

All the comparisons with the “Facebook revolutions” in Egypt, in Libya, in Tunis, can be taken too far — these aren’t mobs of millions, they’re not responding to military dictatorships, and the worst that’s happened to any of the fleeing Democrats is they’ve been caught going to boobie bars.  But there is one similarity.  The authoritarian governments of Egypt, Iran, and Libya have always depended on their ability to control publicity: a few arrests, so mysterious unsolved crimes, and people quickly learned when to speak, what to say, who could be heard, and when it was better to just stay quiet.

Up to now, the unions, their wholly-owned subsidiaries in state houses and Congress, have had a very similar control.  Oh, not so many mysterious killings (although those aren’t unknown, even in the US).  But a clear understanding that they  could depend that the story would be handled by a press that was essentially on their side. The “right thinking” would be instructed when to speak, what to say, when to keep quiet, and who was not to be heard.  They developed the instinct that if there was anything that went wrong, they could cover up, and it would stay covered.

Now, like cats on linoleum, as much as they scratch and as diligently as they try, they can’t cover up.