Posts Tagged ‘wisconsin protests’

Cross posted at the Minority Report:

The internet has had a liberating impact for humanity. It allows the average person access to more information faster than kings and presidents of old. It is a platform for everyone from Charlie Sheen to protesters in Egypt to express themselves.

The internet is also unforgiving. The teenage girl who decides to make a few hundred bucks posing unclad in front of a camera may find that image googled during a job interview. The intemperate e-mail sent in anger will find itself forwarded to thousands. And if you choose to make threats, don’t think you will be able to hide behind an assumed name. A great example of this took place on St. Patrick’s day last.

During the late unpleasantness in Wisconsin, blogger Ann Althouse (who lives in the area) and her husband Lawrence Meade provided invaluable coverage, interviewing protesters and providing video that showed what was actually happening. It allowed millions to bypass the MSM who choose to whitewash the protests and their aftermath.
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POWIP noticed something from Mickey Kaus that I didn’t:

It appears the Democrats had not accepted the concessions outlined by Walker in an email to some Dem senators (an email his office released). These were discussed below. They allowed collective bargaining over a broader range of issues, but kept the provision ending mandatory union dues checkoff, which is arguably the change unions fear the most. emphasis mine

Walker was accused over and over of trying to bust the union but was willing to compromise on collective bargaining but that’s not what the unions fear. What the unions fear the most are their members.

Why do you think they were so insistent on card check? Why do you think they were so interested in eliminating the secret ballot? It is all about the ability to intimidate. If union membership actually provided enough of a benefit to the majority of their members they would not worry about the state forcing dues collection. People would be anxious to join and willing to pay. The truth is for many union membership has become all about supporting the leadership that supports the democrats and gains the majority of the benefits therein. Johnny Friendly lives!

Their latest move is not all that impressive either.

There are many Kloppenburg signs at the march and, as I’ve noted before, although it’s supposed to be a nonpartisan election, some people try to make it very political. I’ve seen many people out at the protests stressing the need to make Kloppenburg a Supreme Court Justice so that she can vote against the GOP budget repair bill and do other things that will help the party that lost the elections last fall get something back in the judicial process.

As the left becomes more desperate expect to see more and more of this kind of thing.

…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!

Update: Yup that should have said Albert Sidney Johnston, thanks to Edward for the Catch.

Update 2:
Unsurprisingly the NYT doesn’t get it but Obi Wan does.

Donny Deutch is calling the Governor Fascist, Mika is still hitting the governor and the republicans but points out the Democrats having fled have not a lot of lets to stand on.

Harold Ford is hitting Walker with both fists, Willie Geist is also saying it shows Walker for what he is etc etc etc.

Pat Buchanan is nailing it that the pictures of the mobs are going to hurt big time but the bottom line is did this work or did it not work.

Barnicle is pointing out that it’s going to come down in four years with “are you better off than you were four years ago.” Mika is agreeing.

The reports from Althouse of door being handcuffed shut by protesters are going to be in republican ads next year and will be devastating in the next election both locally and nationally.

Today’s vote in the legislature will determine if Wisconsin is ruled by the mob or by the law. It will also be interesting to see how the police react. Will they help republican legislatures get through the mob? Will they keep the mob from trying to intimidate the legislatures?

It will be an interesting day. I say the unions will go all in because they feel they have nothing to lose. The pictures will not be pretty.

Will democrats be smart enough to stop the Unions or will they be egging them on?

It will be fun to find out.