Public employee unions show their true face

Posted by: Phineas on February 18, 2011 at 7:01 pm

**Posted by Phineas

Forget the overheated rhetoric and signs comparing democratically elected governors and legislators to Hitler and rapists. Forget the spoiled-brat demands and Athens-style protests for the unquestioned continuation of gold-plated benefits that most private-sector workers would give their eye teeth for. You want to know just how much of a threat to democracy, representative government, and the general safety public-employee unions can be when threatened?

Try to take away their goodies, and they’ll go after your mother:

Idaho has a “superintendent of public instruction,” and his name is Tom Luna. He has proposed some measures that the teachers’ union doesn’t like, at all. And his opponents have made sure that he feels good and threatened.

Someone went to his mother’s house — his mother’s. Someone slashed his tires and spray-painted a threat onto the door. As reported in this article, Luna has said, “Family and personal property are off-limits. You don’t cross that line . . .”

Oh, yes, you do. At least some do. I will repeat what I have already said this morning: I don’t want to hear from the Left about “civility” for the rest of my life.

Neither “civility” nor “democracy.” And this is in deep-Red Idaho!

This isn’t just (or at all) a fight over benefits or economics; this is a struggle over who has power — the elected representatives of the people or union bosses and their paid-for allies in the Democratic Party. Right now it’s just Idaho, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana, but the battles here and, inevitably, in other states will determine who has that power. The Left has drawn such hard lines already against any reform that the governors can’t afford to back down, lest they let Labor know the elected representatives of the people can be intimidated through intransigence and thuggery. It’s a sad thing for decent union members who would likely have accepted reasonable compromise if the situation had been honestly explained to them, but their leaders have lead them into a battle that forces the governors to break the unions in order to keep faith with their voters — the taxpayers who are the public employees’ real bosses.

More than being about fiscal soundness, this is a battle between representative democracy and corporatism.

Regarding the President’s shameful insertion of himself into what is purely a matter for state governments, Matt Welch at Reason cuts through the bull and asks “Is this how a President should act?

I have written in the past about how libertarians are pretty lonely in the political scheme of things in terms of constantly being challenged to defend themselves against the “logical conclusion” of their philosophy. But I think it’s time to amend that. We are witnessing the logical conclusion of the Democratic Party’s philosophy, and it is this: Your tax dollars exist to make public sector unions happy. When we run out of other people’s money to pay for those contracts and promises (most of which are negotiated outside of public view, often between union officials and the politicians that union officials helped elect), then we just need to raise taxes to cover a shortfall that is obviously Wall Street’s fault. Anyone who doesn’t agree is a bully, and might just bear an uncanny resemblance to Hitler.

The president’s heavy-handed involvement, along with House Republicans’ refusal to sign off on any new bailout of the states, means that this may very well be America’s biggest and most widespread political fight in 2011. It’s a cage match to determine first dibs on a shrinking pie. A clarifying moment.

And that clarity will not work to the unions’ benefit. The public is on to their racket.

Break them.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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12 Responses to “Public employee unions show their true face”


  1. Carlos says:

    It doesn’t matter what is said in defense of the public officials who stand up to thugs like Obhammud, union leaders or teachers, they (Obhammud, union leaders or teachers) will process it just like they do any other argument of logic: if it fits their ideology, they’ll run with it 100%, if it goes against their ideology they’ll dismiss it out of hand, no argument, no processing of reason, no discussion.

    Although they may individually be at least intelligent, they typically and nearly unequivocally display an amazing amount of ignorance simply because they don’t want to look at facts or results – too many of those facts and results run counter to what they know, wrongly, by intuition and, by extension, by feel-good “intelligence.”

  2. Richard says:

    Tell the truth. The main issue the protesters in Madison have is with the limitation on collective bargaining not benefit cuts. Also how about relating that Gov. Walker was looking at a budget surplus but spent $140 million in his first few days in office on give aways to his conservative base.

  3. Carlos says:

    OK, Richard, you seem to have all the facts, so why don’t you tell us all about how a governor who has no power to spend without authorization and no power to void legal contracts with unions has done all this? After all, it’s like you say: tell the truth (not as you see it but as it really is.)

    Once we get the facts from such an obviously unbiased source such as you we will be able to fall gleefully in line with the lying, fraudulent teachers that have so much concern about the welfare of their charges they are willing to show them how communist democracy really works.

  4. Iva Biggin says:

    Non union Americans outnumber the union pigs by a wide margin. They are not going to be sympathetic to these pampered jerks anymore. The unions might find themselves voted out of existence in the near future. If they want to “play rough” that can be accommodated also.

  5. Annie says:

    Whatever happened to “It’s For The Children” screech…it obviously isn’t or these union members would be at their jobs instead of dragging their students along to use as props and indoctrinating them in the thuggery behavior they are displaying. Stand strong Gov. Walker and all the other Governors showing leadership in getting their state spending under control. This is where the rubber meets the road…progressives have run out of other peoples money. Good, let’s get this party started and bust this collective arm of the Democrat party who have been robbing taxpayers for over half a century!

  6. Neo says:

    Joe Klein must be off his meds …

    Wisconsin: The Hemlock Revolution
    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?

    … and “Hemlock” is so appropriate

  7. Brontefan says:

    Unions, which have their origins in communism, don’t care about the children, the folks, or the law. Power is the key and power corrupts. And we have a president who is not presidential–but rather a meddler into specific affairs–even when he admits on camera that he knows nothing of the details. He is a super star on television shows and has complete omitted any dignity of the office. I suppose next, he will have the DOJ sue Wisconsin. It is time to repeal the 17th Amendment and get our senators to WORK for the state governments. People forget that the States created the federal government, not the other way around. Also, remember this prize believes the constitution is comprised of negative liberties. After all, it doesn’t say we receive our rights from the government–they are inalienable and come from God. Have we had enough of this Marxist yet?

  8. Ellie Light says:

    Sickening to see such greedy people using children as hostages. What a bunch of thugs.

    Is this the kind of behavior we should expect from the community organizer in chief?

    You betcha.

    Obamao must go.

  9. Neo says:

    There are reports of doctors on street corners in Madison handing out “excuses.” But in what might be the most unkind twist of all, “Crooks and Liars” is claiming these “doctors” aren’t doctors at all, but in fact are stooges working for Andrew Breitbart. Any “punked” teacher showing up back at school with one of these “excuses” is toast.

  10. MissJean says:

    As a teacher, I’d be fine with an end to collective bargaining over salary as long as the district carefully outlines pay-scales, raises, and job requirements. And puts in place an iron-clad rule against nepotism – all the way down to great-nieces of school board members.

    Even with a union, teachers face having grades/disciplinary action changed for the children of fine, upstanding community members. Or scheduling favoritism, in which one teacher has 25 students per class (none with particular problems or disabilities) and another teacher has 33 students per class, including a couple “stacked” with disciplinary-problem kids. (Sometimes this happens to new teachers – it was called “paying my dues” when I had 7 students with probation officers and weekend juvenile lock-up in the same class. But it also is an effective tactic to get higher-paid teachers to burn out and quit.)

  11. Steve Skubinna says:

    Richard probably gets his facts from Rachel Maddow. Which means he’s as stupid as she is.

    There was no budget surplus in WI.

  12. Great title to the blog post, phineas.

    I have to think that the liberals are seriously overplaying their hand here. Most libs that I’ve encountered think these public sector unions are getting out of hand and are getting worried that this situation is going to backfire on them.