February 19, 2011

Wisconsin Observations

Did you know that the Wisconsin Constitution requires a balanced budget? Did you know that the alternative to public sector unions giving concessions is firing more than 5000 of them? Did you know that it was the refusal of the unions even to discuss potential concessions that lead to the current impasse? The recent hi-spirited hi-jinks in Wisconsin have revealed that there is more to Wisconsin than lunatic liberalism, dairy products, cheese hats and football. A number of interesting lessons are already evident and more are becoming ever more clear. Consider:

DEMOCRACY: Used to tyrannical, one party rule, Wisconsin Democrats suddenly find themselves in the minority. It was Barack Obama who observed that “elections have consequences.” Swept out of the majority in November, local Dems find themselves unable to cope with genuine democracy where their whims no longer rule, where they might actually--gasp!--lose. So they flee to the People’s Republic of Illinois to bask in the glow of a Scottish Hooter’s to avoid votes they know they will lose. No doubt they believe that their cause is so important that it cannot be submitted to the people’s representatives for a vote because they would vote the wrong way! The Dems know better than the people--the bastards--who recently ran them out, and they’re not going to let a little thing like the complete repudiation of their persons and policies get in the way of doing what they know is best for the people--the bastards. Democrats obviously believe in democracy only when they can dictate terms and force their inferiors to do their will. Discussion question: Should legislators who refuse to do their sworn duties be immediately impeached?

UNIONS: Unions exist only so long as they can reasonably claim that they are necessary to prevent abuses in the workplace, and only so long as they can reasonably claim a sort of moral high ground that in some way represents the American way and common American people and values. That said, there is no such thing as a right to form a union. There is no such thing as a right to collectively bargain. Unions exist in every state only as long as the people--through their representatives--extend the privilege of existence, which they have the full power and duty to shape and regulate as suits them.

In Wisconsin, and elsewhere, the public is quickly realizing that public unions are a very, very bad idea, and that if they are not brought under control, they will happily bankrupt not only the states, but the nation. By behaving as witless thugs, union members throw away what little claim to ethical purity they have left. More and more people are beginning to realize that giving public sector unions the power to strike against the public peace, to shut down government, to throw children out of school, to harm and inconvenience the public for their own selfish purposes, is an idiotic idea--it always was--that we cannot afford, morally or financially.

More and more people understand that unions are not, in fact, for the common man, but only for themselves, for the accumulation and wielding of power. When Jesse Jackson shows up to agitate--as he already has in Wisconsin--rational people know that the game is up, for the public decided long ago that people like Jackson are only for themselves. The economic largess that allowed America to abide the greed, corruption and sloth of unions for so many years is no more. Except for a few blue states, unions will lose more and more of their power--which is what this is really about--and membership. Wisconsin is the first test case. They will not go gracefully or peacefully, unless we give them no choice.

BARACK OBAMA: Mr. Obama is becoming increasingly irrelevant, not only in international affairs, but within America’s borders. Like a two-bit local rabble rouser, he continues to involve himself in local issues about which he knows nothing. He has diminished the office of the President so much that it’s hard to imagine there’s anything left to diminish, but Mr. Obama continues to plumb new depths of stupidity and irrelevance. One would think that Mr. Obama would actually have issues of some concern that need his attention in DC. Obviously, they would be wrong. Perhaps the less he actually does, the better off the nation is. Discuss. Golf anyone?

THE RULE OF LAW: It must be enforced, fairly and uniformly. If hundreds of union thugs refuse to leave legislative chambers, they must be told they are trespassing, given a reasonable time to leave, and arrested, each and every man, woman and child, if they refuse. To do less allows anarchy to reign. If the National Guard is required to provide sufficient numbers to assist the police in processing, so be it. If union thugs trespass at the homes of legislators, arrest them, each and every time they violate the law. If teachers call in sick, if they lie about absences, they must be disciplined, up to and including being fired if appropriate in a given case. There is no right to strike against the public. There is no right to deprive children of their education. But they’re our neighbors, our friends, our teachers, our relatives. They’re our neighbors, friends, teachers and relatives who are breaking the law and squandering the money our tax dollars pay them. They’re being paid tax dollars not to do their jobs and to break the law in the process. They lie to our children, bringing them to protests with the goal of continuing the bankrupting of their state, and their teachers don’t have the common decency to admit to them that their goal is nothing less than saddling them with debt that they will never pay off should they live to 150. We are not like them; those who would bankrupt us and our children are not our friends.

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES: By behaving as they are behaving, the Democrat legislators are ensuring that even more of them will be run out of office at the next election. There is no justification and no explanation for what they are doing. They are not protecting democracy, but subverting it. This is, of course, what good socialists do. This is, of course, why Mr. Obama not only supports them, but has sent his minions to organize and assist in the breaking of the law and the destruction of the democratic process in Wisconsin.

By threatening Republican legislators and their families, by coming to their homes by the busload and behaving like subhuman thugs, these dimwitted socialists are changing minds and hearts for far greater support of the Second Amendment than they can possibly imagine. There is little doubt that concealed carry will be instituted in Wisconsin, but I would venture to guess that a strong castle doctrine law is now a certainty, and soon. There’s nothing like violent mobs and death threats to focus one’s attention on essentials, essentials like being able to shoot those who break into your home with blessed immunity from lawsuits if you are forced to shoot someone under those conditions. Imagine the plight of a poor Democrat who sees how the political wind is blowing and who dares to vote for fiscal responsibility with Republicans. As is virtually always the case, they’ll be amazed and stunned at how quickly and vehemently their former “friends” and “colleagues” turn on them, and they too will see the wisdom of the Second Amendment as if the scales fell from their eyes.

After spending substantial ink, bandwidth and air time, decrying incivility, particularly comparing people with Hitler, superimposing crosshairs over their faces and making a variety of threats, Democrats find themselves in the interesting position of doing all of that and more. While the lamestream media won’t cover it, the Web will. Combining stupidity, greed, selfishness, irrationality, and law-breaking with blatant hypocrisy tends to be noticed by the public, who tend not to be amused. And actually trashing the scenes of protests is not winning friends for the unions.

Because of our universal, intimate relationships with teachers, their unions have for many years enjoyed, if not public good wishes and support, a grudging willingness to put up with their excesses. By themselves, Wisconsin teachers are squandering what little public forbearance remains. They are manifestly not “doing it for the children.” While no one wants to give up any portion of their current salary, when the money that pays that salary is running out--and fast--when millions can’t find any work, when the economy is failing and state and federal governments want to continue spending and consequences be damned, rational people adopt rational priorities, which include giving up some benefits and salary if it means keeping their job. This is not a matter of “union-busting”--though under current circumstances, that term holds substantial appeal--but a matter of financial rationality and survival. Even if the unions can’t seem to understand that if the state that pays them goes bankrupt, there will be no pay and no union dues and they go bankrupt, the rest of the public understands it very well and they’re going to see that unions get the message.

THE BOTTOM LINE: One would expect a Democrat president to reflexively support unions at the expense of the public, and in this, Mr. Obama does not disappoint. However, he goes far beyond mere political affiliation. He accuses the Governor and people of Wisconsin of “assaulting” unions. He tells us of the “sacrifice” of union employees. He understands and cares about only power, and in Wisconsin, he and his sycophants see the beginning of the end of Democrat power, and it frightens them.

If teachers really do sacrifice to serve something greater than themselves, surely it is greater than wages and benefits. Surely it is more than class warfare and hatred. Surely it is more than a President who sees half or more of America as his enemy. Is it this for which Wisconsin teachers stand?

Wisconsin’s Governor and its responsible, democracy and rule-of-law supporting legislators deserve our encouragement, thanks and support. As goes Wisconsin, so may go the rest of America. At the moment, it appears that Democracy and sanity have a fighting chance.

Posted by MikeM at February 19, 2011 03:57 AM

all i can say is that people have to pay for their bad choices. if you know wat i mean...

Posted by: travis at February 19, 2011 10:35 AM

PATCO II - This time it's personal.

Posted by: arb at February 19, 2011 11:28 AM

Three things:
1: Declare the Democrats' seats abandoned and empty and hold immediate special-elections to fill them. Clearly the folks who HAD been elected are no longer interested and/or able to fill those seats. The people of Wisconsin need representation, so hold elections to provide it.

2: Fire the Union folks. Everyone who is not at work and does not have a doctor's note is a 'no-call/no-show' and sorry, you're fired! Bye! And hire new ones - who will NOT be allowed to join the obviously criminal Union.

3: Treat the Union as a criminal organization under RICO and prosecute accordingly.

Drink water, drive on!


Posted by: Orion at February 19, 2011 12:23 PM

It seems to me that the rules should be changed so that if a legislator refuses to attend, the number of legislators would be reduced by 1 for the purposes of calculating the number needed for a quorum.


Posted by: John at February 19, 2011 02:38 PM

Did you know that the Wisconsin Constitution requires a balanced budget? Did you know that the alternative to public sector unions giving concessions is firing more than 5000 of them?

Or you could raise taxes on the rich, who have seen their effective tax rates tumble over the last couple of decades, to pay for teachers, civil construction etc.

Hmmm - why didn't you think of taht?

Posted by: Phoenician in a time of Romans at February 19, 2011 11:25 PM

Oh, gee, PIATOR pulled his head from his nethers in order to grace us with his "wisdom".

Why should the public be robbed in order to provide civil servants with better salaries and benefits than the public enjoys? Why should taxpayers be forced to make union bosses rich?

"Because they can afford it" is not sufficient. The Wisconsin civil servants can afford to contribute a bit towards their own retirements and health care, just like the rest of us do.

Posted by: Rob Crawford at February 20, 2011 12:42 AM


Increasing taxes on "the rich" is a particularly foolish policy for a variety of reasons. The top few percent of taxpayers currently pay most of the taxes in America, while about 50% pay no taxes at all. Increasing taxes in general does not create a corresponding increase in revenues because higher taxes suppress job creation and the economy. Increasing taxes on those who already pay most of them is particularly self-defeating. Mr. Obama believes the rich to include millions of Americans who are anything but truly rich, yet who provide most American jobs. Tax them and more and more jobs are lost and less and less tax revenue is created.

And the most compelling reason that trying to soak "the rich" is foolish, particularly on the state level, is that few are more capable of simply moving to a state that is not determined to destroy its economy as the rich. This kind of thinking is truly killing the geese who lay the golden eggs.

Posted by: mikemc at February 20, 2011 01:40 AM

BTW, rumors are flying that POTUS will show up in Madistan on Monday.

Posted by: dad29 at February 20, 2011 11:41 AM

Arrest the trespassers - fine them the cost of cleaning up the Building = 50% for contingencies.

Make being disobedient costly - no more spanky - spanky

Let's stard doing it right

Posted by: Mitch Rapp at February 20, 2011 09:34 PM

I wouldn't be too eager to mix it up with union thugs - those guys are formidable.

1) The rank and file of traditional unions (teamsters, construction trades, etc.) are used to physical labor, so they are strong and not easy to move if they decide to resist.

2) The ones that refuse to go quietly probably have a certain amount of experience and aptitude for brawling, and may have prepared for the contest to come with various improvised weapons, which will make evicting them an expensive proposition, requiring determination, competence, and judgment.

3) Unions are basically extortion rings (if they can't work for you, they see to it that nobody else will, either), so they do not have any moral qualms about leaning on people to get what they want. If they can't win in public, they may move the contest to a more private arena. Bodyguards, anyone?

4) The link between organized crime and unions is old enough and common enough to be a cliche, and taking off the gloves changes the rules of engagement for everyone. The thugs have the upper hand at almost all levels of escalation, unless the national guard is brought in with strict orders to use military force to impose order.

5) Legislators do not have the protection of a contract, so that is where sanctions will have the most impact. Extraditing them, or arresting them and having them brought into the session in cuffs, on camera, in their pajamas, would so strip them of dignity that they would never win another election. The mere threat of that could break their ranks. I suspect that the state constitution allows the legislators to do one thing in the absence of a quorum: command the sergeant-at-arms to compel the legislators to attend.

Posted by: oran at February 21, 2011 11:49 PM