Monday, June 11, 2012


"no one can dispute the strong message sent to Governor Walker."
-President Obama

Several times here and elsewhere I speculated that the left had to win in Wisconsin, not because it had any real population advantage or power as a state, but because it was a tactical battle, a symbolic one. This was a fight to destroy someone who took on the unions and won, a fight to keep other states from following this pattern.

Unions are a huge money maker and voting organization for the Democratic party. By using union dues to support leftist politicians, Democratic Party efforts, and specifically Democrats gaining office, the unions are a powerful support structure for the party. And since the public employee unions are paid for and negotiate with politicians, that means they help put people in power that benefit them. This incestuous circular pattern is what unions and Democrats both need to survive, and Walker's weakening of this status had to be stopped.

Its difficult overstate how important this was to the left. If that cycle is broken down then the Democrats lose their funding and support, and the unions lose their power and funding. What happens to the law, justice, the voters, and the government is subordinate to these concerns. It isn't that they are careless about these concepts, they simply believe they cannot do anything right and good without the power and money to make it happen. They aren't willfully evil, they're trying to do what they believe is right, they simply believe they need that power to carry it out.

Rachel Maddow put it overtly this way:
The Wisconsin Republicans, under Scott Walker, were using public policy to essentially dismantle public sector unions in Wisconsin. And that — however you feel about union rights in the country — it had one very practical, partisan effect, which is that the unions had been big supporters of Democratic candidates and Democratic causes and had had a lot to do with the Democratic ground game. So if they go away — in terms of whether or not that corporate money that’s disproportionately supporting Republicans can be answered — at least on the Democratic side, before there is some kind of reform, Democrats do not have a way to compete in terms of big outside money in elections. And that is the reality now in Wisconsin. It is the reality in states where they have essentially eliminated unions’ rights.
In other words, the evil Republicans have all the money and power, and so they have to use unions to have a chance to fight back. Now, that's deeply flawed for a variety of reasons (for example, corporate interests donated far more heavily to President Obama's 2008 campaign - and both of Clinton's winning campaigns) than to any Republican, but that's how they see it.

And that had to be stopped. So they did everything they possibly could, to punish Walker and prevent any other state, any other government from daring to attempt it. Because the best way to hurt a politician is hurt their job, to get them fired. Things got so bad supreme court judges were physically attacking each other.

And they failed.

And the result? Courtesy Small Dead Animals here's one, from Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels:
Daniels said that vote should send a message about the problems with public-sector unions.

"I think the message is that, first of all, voters are seeing the fundamental unfairness of government becoming its own special interest group, sitting on both sides of the table," he said.

The pushback on union benefits extends far beyond Wisconsin. In California, voters in San Diego and San Jose just backed ballot measures to curtail retirement benefits for city workers. Speaking on CBS' "Face the Nation," Walker said he thinks his victory is a sign that Americans want "people willing to take on the tough issues" in his state and "across the country."
Like me, Governor Daniels has no real problem with private employee unions. They're not really necessary in the modern workplace, but that's up to the people involved. Its the public employee unions which must go. And perhaps with the win for Governor Walker, perhaps things might be rolling back. Its nice to hope so.

Because President Obama was right; a strong message was sent to Governor Walker: we're with you. We have your back.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

After action report from Wisconsin:

The unions and Democrats got $21 million in outside cash. After a while it became clear to the outside life support system that the Democrat/ public union axis was in serious trouble. Most telling was when Obama flew from a campaign stop in Minnesota to Illinois without acknowledging the fight in Wisconsin. Literally, Wisconsin was flyover country.

Walker got more votes in the recall than he got in the 2010 election, well beyond any possible challenge. To the democrats, this is the end of democracy.

Many people were mightily peeved at being put through the recall ordeal. I believe there was a significant backlash vote against the recall organizers who seemed completely tone deaf.

The recall played out on the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Midway. The Japanese entered the battle supremely confident. They lost so badly that they never recovered and spent the rest of the war fighting defense until their ultimate defeat.

History has a way of rhyming.