Six Republican seats were up for recall elections in the Wisconsin State Senate last night, and the Republicans held four of them.
The Tea Party effectively smacked the vitriolic left-wing progressive movement upside the head:
…[T]he union-backed Democrats picked up only two state Senate seats in Wisconsin last night, at a staggering cost in time, effort, and of course money. One of the seats was solidly Democratic, held by a Republican due to an apparent fluke of nature. The other was held by an alleged adulterer who had moved outside his district to live with his young mistress, and whose wife was supporting his recall.[...]
The people” were supposed to be on the side of the unions who protested at the state capitol when Walker’s bill passed, limiting the unions’ collective bargaining privileges against taxpayers and school districts. But it turns out that “the people” had other ideas. In the end, even a massive infusion of cash and union volunteers was not enough to deliver the three state Senate recall races the unions needed, despite the fact that President Obama carried all six of the seats in question in 2008.
This marks the unions’ third huge defeat in Wisconsin this year. The other two were the passage of Walker’s bill and the re-election of David Prosser to the state Supreme Court. The grand talk of recalling Walker himself next year seems a bit blustery now, given the great failure of last night.
The implications are clear:
…[A]almost 350,000 people voted in Tuesday’s recall elections — and Republicans won 53 percent of the total vote. After blowtorching the state with negative ads and benefiting from a favorable timetable, the unions could still only get 47 percent of Wisconsinites to support their effort.
This should make the unions think long and hard about whether they want to embark on a mission to recall Gov. Scott Walker next year. Doing so successfully would easily cost them five times as much as they just spent — and even with their recent deluge of cash, most of the public still didn’t support them at the polls. Additionally, the extra time will also give Walker’s reforms more time to work — and once the public sees that schools can manage their affairs effectively without being hamstrung by union regulations, organized labor’s argument gets even weaker.
When establishment Republicans talk about shying away from political battles, the “hills” that are not worth politically taking a hit for, I would urge them to look at Wisconsin. The Republicans there, with the Tea Party having their backs, stood for conservatism, stood for true reform, and won. Twice.
And a major hat-tip to Governor Walker who, in my book, is Republican of the Year. He stood up to the vitriol, to the onslaught of hate and violent rhetoric from the Left, to the deluge of union money and their thuggery, all for doing his job and standing up for conservatism. He never resorted to chest-thumping, never spoke with malice. He just made his case to the people of Wisconsin and they voted accordingly. All of this in the cradle of America’s modern progressive movement.
Kudos to Governor Walker, the GOP senators who won, and to the people of Wisconsin.
[Hat Tip: Memeorandum]
The danger is clear to anyone with a brain:
“It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government.”
That wasn’t Newt Gingrich, or Ron Paul, or Ronald Reagan talking. That was George Meany — the former president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O — in 1955. Government unions are unremarkable today, but the labor movement once thought the idea absurd.
The founders of the labor movement viewed unions as a vehicle to get workers more of the profits they help create. Government workers, however, don’t generate profits. They merely negotiate for more tax money. When government unions strike, they strike against taxpayers. F.D.R. considered this “unthinkable and intolerable.”Government collective bargaining means voters do not have the final say on public policy. Instead their elected representatives must negotiate spending and policy decisions with unions. That is not exactly democratic – a fact that unions once recognized.
Allahpundit digs through this NY Times/CBS News poll, which shows 60% of respondents disapprove weakening collective bargaining rights for public unions, and comes to the right conclusion on spending:
For whatever reason — misinformation or simple denial — the public isn’t remotely serious yet when it comes to making painful choices on spending. When asked if budget cuts are a good thing in the abstract, they’re plenty supportive, but start identifying specific programs and industries that’ll have to make do with less and those cold feet start turning icy. [...]
I don’t know what it’ll take to build popular support for greater austerity. Maybe nothing. Maybe we’re going to have to elect a bunch of Republicans who are fully prepared to sacrifice their careers by taking tough but necessary votes on the budget.
That sums up the problem pretty well. Governors around the country are trying to make extremely difficult choices when it comes to their respective state budgets, and the left has acted as expected. Here in New Jersey, the NJEA and their thugs were out in force last year as Governor Christie tackled the problem directly, the unions responded with vitriol about his weight, his well-being, rallies, etc., and we’re seeing that times ten in Wisconsin.
But as it pertains to Federal budget deficits, if we’ve learned anything over the past three years, it’s that the Democrats, and now President Obama are really not serious about reigning in spending or deficits, much less entitlement reform. And even with the Tea Party dragging the Republican party to a majority in the House, I’m not sure Republicans are willing to take that big of a political leap either. It appears that the political process will play out as a game of chicken over the next few months.