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]
Sic semper tyrannis, means “thus always to tyrants” in Latin, but it’s primarily associated with John Wilkes Booth’s last words before assassinating President Lincoln, and were allegedly the words of Brutus before he stabbed Julius Caesar.
With that in mind, watch this Wisconsin
douchebag protester screaming the phrase at Governor Scott Walker:
I believe this
scumbag gentleman is encouraging violence against Governor Walker, don’t you? But it’s the Tea Party that induces violence and racism. Where is the media’s thought police on this?
With benefits, they make approximately $100,000 and the average teachers’ salary is $56,000. Per capita income in Milwaukee barely breaks $20,000:
The superintendent who’s been in the school district for nearly forty years remarks at around the 1:26 mark:
“This is the worst financial condition that I’ve seen in the district…the costs are way outpacing the amount of money that we have…”
If you see nothing wrong with what’s in that video, then you’re part of the problem.
The Wisconsin State Assembly voted on and passed Governor Walker’s budget bill early this morning. This is what happened after the vote was tallied:
Democrats erupted after the vote, throwing papers and what appeared to be a drink in the air. They denounced the move to cut off debate, questioning for the second time in the night whether the proper procedure had been followed.
“Shame! Shame! Shame!” Democrats shouted in the faces of Republicans as the GOP lawmakers quietly filed off the floor and a police officer stood between opposing lawmakers.
“Cowards all! You’re all cowards,” yelled Rep. Brett Hulsey (D-Madison) as another Democrat tried to calm him down.
Here’s the video:
This is how the Democrats and their union overlords roll–intimidation, heated rhetoric, etc. We’ve seen it play out all week long. And they’ve taken it to the statehouse.
To the extent that the left now considers the Koch brothers the face of their opposition, they should be wary as the Kochs won’t be intimidated by the amateurish actions of the unions and their protesters. No, the Kochs aren’t backing down:
“With the Left trying to intimidate the Koch brothers to back off of their support for freedom and signaling to others that this is what happens if you oppose the administration and its allies, we have no choice but to continue to fight,” says Richard Fink, the executive vice president of Koch Industries. “We will not step back at all. We firmly believe that economic freedom has benefited the overwhelming majority of society, including workers, who earn higher wages when you have open and free markets. [...]
“This is part of an orchestrated campaign that has been going on for many months. It involves the Obama administration, the Center for American Progress, aligned left-wing groups, and their friends in the media.
Here’s the deal. The union bosses are thugs, plain and simple. But they can be simple-minded. They’re used to getting their way and will throw a tantrum when they feel opposition.
Here in New Jersey, for example, the NJEA have had their way with Trenton for years until Governor Christie was elected. They were used to demanding previous governors to jump and the governor would happily oblige. When Governor Christie pushed back–and hard–the unions immediately started with the demonstrations, the in-your-face tactics, etc.–the typical nonsense. They’re used to getting their way. They’re spoiled.
So far Governor Walker is standing his ground and I would like to think that once the State Senate takes up the legislation, that Wisconsin’s Republicans stand firm. It’s the only way to reverse the unions’ ruinous cycle of fiscal destruction.
Last week it was reported that the Obama administration, via the OFA and the DNC gave their approval and lent their support to the union protests in Wisconsin.
Today, the administration is distancing itself from all of that:
Administration officials said Sunday that the White House had done nothing to encourage the demonstrations in Wisconsin — nor was it doing so in Ohio, Florida and other states where new Republican governors are trying to make deep cuts to balance their budgets.
And, officials and union leaders said, reports of the involvement of the Democratic National Committee — specifically Organizing for America, the grass-roots network born of Mr. Obama’s 2008 campaign — were overblown to start with and were being inflated by Republicans sensing political advantage.
“This is a Wisconsin story, not a Washington one,” said Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director. “False claims of White House involvement are attempts to distract from the organic grass-roots opposition that is happening in Wisconsin.”
Yeah. A grass-roots opposition that has to bus in malcontents from other states. I believe astro-turfing is more like it.
In reality, the DNC was caught approving of the protests last week on Twitter (screenshot via Doug Ross):
Despite the DNC and White House lies, it’s obvious that they fully support and encourage the protests by union thugs and lawbreaking teachers. Not only that, but by association they encourage the vitriol and anger spewing from the protesters, which is exemplified in tweets like this:
“Get in their face”
Methinks the walking back of support could be attributed to the fact that the longer these protests grind out, the more Americans across the country start to get weary of “workers’ not going to work, and their union thug tactics. Indeed it does look like more people support Governor Walker than the unions.
Look, the President is a left-wing ideologue, who sees the public sector unions as his primary base of support and approves of their methods to obtain and hold political power. That’s just the nature of that beast. Conservatives and anyone who’s been paying attention have known this for years. That being said, it’s still disturbing to see the President of the United States side with an organization that represents 10-15% of the total American workforce and a select few in Wisconsin, and the filth that comes with it, against every other American. This is what class warfare looks like.
[Hat Tip: Memeorandum]
Why are national liberal groups treating Wisconsin as if it were their last stand? Partly for reasons of symbolism. Historically, Wisconsin “embraced the organized labor movement more heartily than any other [state],” notes liberal activist Abe Sauer.
Labor historian Fred Siegel offers further reasons why unions are manning the barricades. Mr. Walker would require that public-employee unions be recertified annually by a majority vote of all their members, not merely by a majority of those that choose to cast ballots.
In addition, he would end the government’s practice of automatically deducting union dues from employee paychecks. For Wisconsin teachers, union dues total between $700 and $1,000 a year.
“Ending dues deductions breaks the political cycle in which government collects dues, gives them to the unions, who then use the dues to back their favorite candidates and also lobby for bigger government and more pay and benefits,” Mr. Siegel told me. After New York City’s Transport Workers Union lost the right to automatic dues collection in 2007 following an illegal strike, its income fell by more than 35% as many members stopped ponying up.
Like I wrote yesterday, their way of life is at stake and they’re going to defend it to the bitter end. The public sector unions have literally bankrupted the states. The job for conservatives is to bring this to an end sooner rather than later.
[Hat Tip: Memeorandum]
Revolutions everywhere–in the middle east, in the middle west. But there is a difference: in the middle east, the protesters are marching for democracy; in the middle west, they’re protesting against it.
I mean, Isn’t it, well, a bit ironic that the protesters in Madison, blocking the state senate chamber, are chanting “Freedom, Democracy, Union” while trying to prevent a vote? Isn’t it ironic that the Democratic Senators have fled the democratic process? Isn’t it interesting that some of those who–rightly–protest the assorted Republican efforts to stymie majority rule in the U.S. Senate are celebrating the Democratic efforts to stymie the same in the Wisconsin Senate?
An election was held in Wisconsin last November. The Republicans won. In a democracy, there are consequences to elections and no one, not even the public employees unions, are exempt from that. There are no guarantees that labor contracts, including contracts governing the most basic rights of unions, can’t be renegotiated, or terminated for that matter. We hold elections to decide those basic parameters.
…[T]he anti-Obama, anti-Democrat tide is still running high. This tide is still quite strong enough to overwhelm the government-employees unions in Wisconsin and by 2012 may yet be strong enough to wash Obama himself out of office.
Organized labor is leading liberalism on a lemming stampede toward a cliff, and it’s probably too late for Klein or anyone else to stop them.
If you read any of the liberal blogs or watch cable news, you would think that there is a mass populist revolt going on in the Midwest. This is not the case. Public employee unions are protesting and, as numerous as they are, do not represent the majority of Wisconsin’s citizens.
This is not an “uprising”, it’s not a “revolt”. It won’t be considered a revolt until you see everyday Americans, for lack of food, for lack of representation, for whatever, take to the streets and demand that their voices be heard. But then again, we’ve already seen true uprisings recently, and those only come around once a generation.
These lawbreaking teachers and union thugs are protesting because their way of life–the fleecing of taxpayers, the bankrupting of state governments, the hubris, the sense of privilege, all of it–is
hopefully about to come tumbling down.
The fact that Richard Trumka rolled into Wisconsin today, that President Obama is directing OFA to astroturf the protests, that the SEIU is busing in thousands of malcontents, speaks volumes about how serious they consider the threat. As well they should.
UPDATE. Part of today’s reach-around at Stacy McCain’s place. Thanks!
The Milwaukee Area Technical College, like most of Wisconsin, had known about Governor Walker’s budget proposal for weeks now, but decided to vote on a new, budget busting contract for its teachers anyway (my bold):
The vote occurred against the backdrop of Walker’s proposal for sweeping changes in public employee union bargaining rights. The new contract replaces the current one that expires June 30. It cannot be overridden by the Legislature if Walker’s bill passes.
Clearly, the MATC union, which long has called the shots at the school, has every right to bargain hard – and try to lock in the best deal it can get for its 1,933 members before the climate for collective bargaining chills. The union claims it made significant concessions to help close the projected $23.4 million budget shortfall for fiscal 2011-’12. MATC says the deal saves the school $11.6 million.
But the board erred by not holding out for an even better deal on behalf of taxpayers, who pay 60% of MATC’s operating costs. That board, by the way, isn’t accountable to voters; it’s appointed.
To summarize: Wisconsin taxpayers pay the bulk of the schools operating costs, but essentially get no say in how the money is being spent. They’re hard-earned money is at the whim of greedy and parasitic unions who really don’t care about anything other than their precious contracts.
Someone’s getting the shaft in Wisconsin, but it certainly isn’t the union.
I’m reminded by Jim Geraghty that yesterday was the two-year anniversary of the stimulus package–the $800 billion Keynesian boondoggle merely added to the deficit with no substantial gain. The NRSC has put together a commemorative video that should remind us all of the outright waste of taxpayer money:
It’s ironic really. A big portion of the stimulus went to plug the holes of states budgets, so that they could paper over their individual deficits. Despite warnings from conservative circles, those measures only acted as a band-aid, kicking the can to…2011. Now we have union protests in Wisconsin led by law-breaking teachers and their union, Democrat politicians literally running for their political lives out of state to avoid the reckoning. Now those protests are spreading to Ohio and possibly Indiana.
And let’s not forget what Chris Christie has been doing here in the Garden State in addressing the public union parasites straight on for the past year or so.
Yeah. Happy Anniversary, Stimulus.
Behold, the new civility. Brought to you by Wisconsin’s public school teachers and their union puppet masters:
That’s a screenshot from this video:
This is an example of the pure vitriol and hypocrisy that embodies the modern Left. Governor Walker is trying to balance the state’s budget and put their fiscal house in order, which is his obligation as chief executive of the state, a position to which he was elected in November. That’s his crime here. For that he deserves to be target with a gun-scope by leftists.
And where’s Eugene Robinson on all of this violent rhetoric? Where’s Nancy Pelosi? MSNBC? The liberal blogosphere? Where are all the calls for civility and for “new tones”?
That’s all out the window when liberals need to speak their mind. Targeting public officials with violence is normal for them. Glaring hypocrisy is what it is.