THE FERMENT IN WISCONSIN IS NO WORKERS' UPRISING AGAINST THE RICH AND POWERFUL. It is instead political muscle-flexing by a well-funded special interest group, which is limbering up for President Obama's re-election bid. Obama's campaign, operating as Organizing for America, is bussing protesters to the state capitol and manning phone banks to apply pressure to state legislatures. Obama himself has called Gov. Scott Walker's bill curbing government-sector collective bargaining "an attack on unions."
While liberal writers wax romantic about a workers' uprising (former Labor Secretary Robert Reich wrote on Twitter "Wisconsin is spreading to Ohio -- America's microversion of Tunisia and Egypt. People are taking to the streets to get their rights"), WHAT WE'RE REALLY SEEING IS THE LABOR MOVEMENT ACTING AS A WHOLLY OWNED SUBSIDIARY OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY.
Liberals and the White House try to blur the issue by lumping together government unions and labor unions in general. OBAMA WRONGLY CALLS WALKER'S BILL "AN ATTACK ON UNIONS." It is, at its heart, a measure changing the way the state government procures labor -- WALKER WOULD END SINGLE-SOURCE CONTRACTS WITH A POLITICALLY CONNECTED SPECIAL INTERESTS.
Wisconsin has been a huge story in the media the last three days. From disappearing Democratic Senators, to huge protests, to fake doctor notes, we are getting a preview of what an America that is like Europe would be like. The spoiled and pampered “civil servants” demanding that we continue to fund outrageous contracts.
….CALLING TO MIND A MANEUVER THAT DEMOCRATS IN THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE PULLED A FEW YEARS BACK, WISCONSIN’S DEMOCRATS HAVE FLED THE CAPITOL, and in some instances have fled the state, in order to subvert the very democratic process from which their irony-immune party derives its name. And the exquisitely temperate ladies and gentlemen who were just the day before yesterday lecturing us about the allegedly corrosive tone of conservative political discourse are parading through the mean streets of Madison WAVING PLACARDS BEARING THE NAME AND LIKENESS OF ADOLF HITLER, AND DENOUNCING GOVERNOR WALKER AS A NAZI.
ADOLF HITLER AND HIS NATIONAL SOCIALIST GOVERNMENT MURDERED SOME 6 MILLION JEWS and waged a bloodthirsty war for world domination under a “Thousand-Year Reich.” GOVERNOR WALKER HAS PROPOSED THAT GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES IN WISCONSIN PAY 12.6 PERCENT OF THE COST OF THEIR INSURANCE PREMIUMS, WHICH IN THE MINDS OF WISCONSIN DEMOCRATS APPARENTLY AMOUNTS TO MORE OR LESS THE SAME THING. President Obama, himself fresh off lecturing the nation about its tone, chimed in with a predictably tin-eared characterization of this modest initiative as an “assault.”….
This is another lose/lose situation for the Democrats. After rhetorically moving to the middle, President Obama’s popularity moved up. After weighing in on Wisconsin, his popularity is tumbling. The Democrats seem to be the party of the people but only if you are the “special” people they rely on.
The NY TIMES take on Wisconsin
….But the legislative push by Wisconsin’s new governor, Scott Walker, a Republican, to slash the collective bargaining rights of his state’s public employees could prove a watershed for public-sector unions, perhaps signaling the beginning of a decline in their power — both at the bargaining table and in politics…..
….“These kinds of high-profile public-employee battles have enormous stakes,” said Benjamin Sachs, a professor of labor law at Harvard. “We’re still feeling the consequences of President Reagan confronting the union in the air controllers’ strike. For anyone interested in union rights, the fight in Wisconsin couldn’t be more important.” ….
…. To end that cycle, he wants to restrict the unions to bargaining over just one topic, base wages, while eliminating their ability to deal over health care, working hours and vacations…..
Why would the Governor Walker want to keep unions from bargaining about fringe benefits? It makes sense. Unions go after more and more fringe benefits which aren’t paid for right away and the politicians who give in to them will be long out of office when the bill comes due. If you want to bargain rationally with a politician, it must be about things the public can see right away.
How to bring the Democrats back to Madison
I found this in the comment section of a story on the Wisconsin Democrat senators being AWOL.
The Republicans do have recourse--THIS 20 SENATOR QUORUM RULE ONLY APPLIES TO BILLS INVOLVING STATE FINANCIAL CONCERNS, if I'm not mistaken. There are a whole slew of other non-finance issues too on the Republican agenda, LIKE VOTER ID AND CONCEALED CARRY. I THINK IF THE REPUBLICANS THREATENED TO START PASSING PET AGENDA ITEMS, THE SENATORS OF THE TRUANT PARTY MIGHT BE INCLINED TO HIGHTAIL THEIR LITTLE FANNIES BACK TO MADISON and what the taxpayers of this state are paying them to do.
I’m not sure this is correct, but if it is, the Republicans should start legislating right away.
Americans Say Reagan Is the Greatest U.S. President
Ahead of Presidents Day 2011, Americans are most likely to say Ronald Reagan was the nation's greatest president -- slightly ahead of Abraham Lincoln and Bill Clinton. Reagan, Lincoln, or John F. Kennedy has been at the top of this "greatest president" list each time this question has been asked in eight surveys over the last 12 years.
In the eight times Gallup has asked this same "greatest president" question over the last 12 years, one of three presidents -- Lincoln, Reagan, and Kennedy -- has topped the list each time. Reagan was the top vote getter in 2001, 2005, and now 2011. Lincoln won in 1999, in two 2003 surveys, and in 2007. Kennedy was on top in 2000, and tied with Lincoln in November 2003.
This is just a bit of trivia. In the story they give the top 5 Presidents by party affiliation. Republicans foolishly list W as number 5 with 5% of the vote, but Democrats are even more foolish putting Obama 3rd with 11% of their vote. Doesn’t anyone study history any more?