Over the weekend, Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker gave a "fiery" speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit in an attempt to get the state hyped up for his blatantly obvious and altogether undesirable presidential bid. To set the tone for his shouting, he swaggered out onstage to the Dropkick Murphys' famous punk anthem "Shipping Up to Boston," best known as the theme song to the movie The Departed.
What Walker missed, though, is that the Dropkick Murphys aren't just an Irish punk band; they're an Irish punk band from Boston, and as such they don't take too kindly to Walker or his politics. The Dropkick Murphys have a longstanding beef with the governor, and when they heard that he'd used their song, they took to Twitter to tell the governor with some brutal Boston honesty how they felt him and his use of their song. It's the 140-character equivalent of a middle finger.
Walker should have known better. The band's hatred for Walker and his politics is no secret. In 2011, Walker signed the Wisconsin Act 10, attempting to balance the state's budget. To do so he essentially stripped "most state employees of any meaningful collective bargaining rights," as Mother Jones reported. They pointed out how ludicrous the choice was because "unions are not to blame for the deficit," citing an article from the Washington Post that argues the fact beautifully.
Either way, protests broke out across the state, and the Dropkick Murphys, who are vehemently pro-workers rights, did their part to fuel the pandemonium. They sold T-shirts on their site, donating the proceeds to the pro-union organization Workers' Rights Emergency Response Fund. And they released a song, the snarling "Take Me Down," to pledge their solidarity to Wisconsin's protesters. "The Dropkick Murphys Stand With Wisconsin !!!!!" the band wrote said in a statement accompanying its release. The song went on to protests around the state.
Scott Walker must not have been listening. Nor was he paying attention when the Dropkick Murphys tore apart Wisconsin State Representative Jeff Fitzgerald when he used "Shipping Up to Boston," as his entrance music at the 2012 Wisconsin GOP Convention. The band had even more venomous words to share with Fitzgerald on his choice back then.
"The stupidity and irony of this is laughable," the band wrote on their Facebook page. "A Wisconsin Republican U.S. Senate candidate — and crony of anti-Union Governor Scott Walker — using a Dropkick Murphys song as an intro is like a white supremacist coming out to gangsta rap! Fitzgerald: if you and your staff can't even figure out your music you might wanna give up on the politics!!!!!"
The Irish rockers did Boston proud. It's a well-known fact that Boston is the one of the most liberal cities in the union. The fact that two Wisconsin politicians have tried to use a song written by a Boston band about Boston pride to push conservative messages is absolutely ludicrous. But that's pretty much par for the course, as far as the Dropkick Murphys are concerned.
Thankfully, the Dropkick Murphys are Boston through and through, and did not allow their ode to the city dragged through the mud to support Walker's conservative agenda. The band been hugely supportive of their hometown since the beginning, donating to various Boston-based charities through their Claddagh Fund, set up in 2009. And they've done Boston proud again.