Here’s a hot one for fans of Boston-based punk bands and organized labor: The Dropkick Murphys have declared that they “literally hate” Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, and they want him to stop using their music at his political events. As reported by Inquisitr, the Murphys’ announcement came as a response to Walker using “I’m Shipping Up To Boston” as his entrance music during a speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit—without approval from the band, presumably. In case you’re wondering why Walker gives a damn about Iowa and its freedom, he has been not-so-secretly considering a presidential campaign and needs to start winning over more voters than the half of Wisconsin that likes him.
Really, though, the Dropkick Murphys’ beef goes all the way back to 2011, when Walker introduced a bill that was designed to straighten-out Wisconsin’s budget—and yes, it’s just as exciting as that makes it sound. In order to fix the budget, one of Walker’s ideas—among many others—was to drastically limit the collective bargaining capabilities of most public employees. Basically, he made their unions powerless. Some people were, in a word, pissed.
This is where The Dropkick Murphys—who are staunchly pro-workers’ rights—came in. To show their support, the band sold an exclusive t-shirt on its website to raise money for pro-union organizations—and, to be fair, to promote their new album. Then, in 2012, Wisconsin State Representative Jeff Fitzgerald reportedly used “Shipping Up To Boston” as his entrance music at a Republican conference. The Murphys posted an angry Facebook message decrying Fitzgerald, who they referred to as a “crony of anti-union Governor Scott Walker,” and saying that the “stupidity and irony” of him using the song was “laughable.” They even compared it to “a white supremacist coming out to gangsta rap,” which sounds like a bit much, but whatever.
We don’t know why Wisconsin Republicans love this Dropkick Murphys song so much, but it seems like a safe bet that neither side in this feud is going to give in any time soon—especially since said Wisconsin Republicans will probably never acknowledge the band’s disgust. Either way, it would probably just be easier if politicians stuck to music from bands that wouldn’t be horrified to be associated with them in any way. People who support unions can get The Dropkick Murphys, The Mountain Goats, and Tom Morello, while people like Scott Walker can get someone like Meat Loaf or Gene Simmons. That’s fair, right?