…they are playing the role of Wellington.
Was it only 48 hours ago that liberals buoyed by polls and news reports were convinced that Scott Walker and the republicans were about to back down?
Now not even one day after they were proved spectacularly wrong the left has decided on a new meme to replace the old one that didn’t seem to work. Apparently now this vote is a case of political suicide for Republicans. E. D. Kain is convinced this will be their doom:
And now conservatives have chosen public-sector workers and teachers as their hill to die on. They have followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and elected Scott Walker, Rick Scott, and various other Tea Party candidates. Heavily funded by big campaign donors like the Koch brothers and other corporate interests, the Republican party has made a concerted effort across the country to take on unions, public pensions, and social services for the poor.
It is to laugh. Apparently E. D. hasn’t figured out that the “interest” that public unions fight against is…”the public” that is the taxpayer.
Richard Trukma is also playing the lemons into lemonade game as Jennifer Epstein reports:
While blasting Walker and Wisconsin’s Republican legislators for their “absolute corruption of democracy” in passing an anti-labor bill, the leader of the nation’s largest union group thanked the governor for getting activists fired up. “We probbably should have invited him here today to receive the Mobilizer of the Year Award,” Trumka said Thursday morning while speaking to the National Press Club in Washington D.C. “Wisconsin is the beginning — it’s pushing the start button” for pro-labor activism.
Right, he mobilized people so well that unions had to bus in supporters and were unable to match anything near tea party numbers in national rallies across the country.
Let’s cut to the chase here. The unions went all in here because they understand what is at stake, not bargaining, but the political clout that the union monies bring the leadership and the democrats who reward them with those monies. This is was what the unions were defending. That’s why they were willing to give up so much to avoid this vote.
Think about what it has cost the Democrats/unions:
1. War Chests: The three weeks of protesting had to have been a drain on both union and democratic funds. The monies they claim to have raised are not insignificant but they have not reported the expenses of their national campaigns. I would not be surprised if the funds raised are not sufficient to cover what they’ve already spent. In fact they will need the extra money to fight in all the other states that, seeing the union defeat in Wisconsin, will find themselves willing to take them on.
2. The schedule: Unfortunately for democrats this took place at the beginning of the term of Governor Walker. This means that this plan will have time to make the difference in the state economy meaning the voters will be able to see actual results by the time he is facing re-election. The unions are making a lot of fuss about recall efforts forgetting that recall efforts are also being placed against democratic lawmakers who actually fled the state as well. Those efforts will not reverse the bill nor did they manage to intimidate the lawmakers in question.
3. Voting with their dues: Even worse for the unions is the reality that the state is no longer obliged to collect union dues for them. The compulsion is gone. Legal Insurrection has it nailed:
The vote will be taken with the feet of tens of thousands of Wisconsin public employee union members, who will have the choice for the first time in memory of deciding whether to join the union and pay the union dues, which have been estimated in the $700-1000 per year range.
The public employees will have to make a choice, take a pay increase or pay the union.
I think we know how that vote will turn out, and whether the employees — once given a choice — will buy what the unions are selling.
I think the unions knew how this vote will come out too. That’s why they decided to die on this hill. They understand that where union membership is not compulsory it has dropped like a rock. They understand that this vote will be before any election and will signal nationwide how weak and narrow their actual support is within their own ranks.
4. Public Opinion: That’s the other card that the unions and the media tried to play. I’m going to make the wild assumption that the office holders of Wisconsin are no more brave that other office holders across the nation. If they actually believed that they were going to suffer the public harm that the unions and the media insist they are going to get, don’t you think that they would have backed down? I think they didn’t back down not because they were any more courageous than other polls, I think they knew how to count and saw the protests for what they were and acted accordingly. As I’ve said, if the unions were convinced it would have resulted in a huge turnaround (particularly in an election year with Obama on the top of the ticket) they would have acted differently.
5. The visuals: This is the big one. The visuals of this protest favored the tea parties and the governor from the start and continue to do so. People don’t like to see their capital occupied, or doors handcuffed shut or people threatened with death, or their legislators running away. There is supposedly a big protest with Michael Moore this weekend. Yup Michael Moore and Jessie Jackson are really going to be able to sell this nationally. As I said in my examiner piece yesterday:
There has been an awful lot of video shot of the Wisconsin protests, there has been even more taken of both tea party protests and tea party meetings. The question becomes: which set of images are more likely to elicit the support of the majority of the American Populace? We will find out in 2012.
The only thing the Wisconsin democratic protesters and the tea party protesters have in common is both will likely be prominently featured in GOP ads in 2012. I’m sure the death threats against the Wisconsin legislators and those against Scott Walker (some actually signed on twitter) are going to go over real well come election day.
6. Bigger Events: Even if the unions want to keep the pressure on unfortunately for them bigger events are overtaking them, the rising costs of Gas, the war in Libya, and the national budget battles are going to trump any attempt to keep the furor up in anyone except for the truest of true believers.
E.D. Kain is trying to pull the Albert Sidney Johnston who with insufficient military to stop a union advance, used propaganda to keep the enemy thinking he was stronger than he was.
My advice to the Republicans? It hasn’t changed: Ride right through them, they’re demoralized as hell!