June 5, 2012

The Walker recall election is more important than the presidential election.

Mickey Kaus says:
1) Tomorrow’s recall may not be the “second most important election this year,” as some observers have claimed. It may be the first; 2) The ramifications for American government, which are profound, vastly outweigh ramifications for the Obama/Romney presidential campaign, which are secondary at best, even though national reporters like to go on about them, perhaps because doing so avoids … 3) The union issue: It’s a “referendum on the future of public sector unions” and maybe unions generally....
Well, somebody should have told Tom Barrett. He didn't want to talk about the unions, and he didn't want to talk about it because he knew the people were on the other side. So what if he wins? He won by ignoring the unions. He was not their candidate. So the unions have already lost. They lost in the Democratic primary. A Barrett victory will only mean that the Dems scampered away from the unions in time.
4) Previously unthinkable: The important lesson, if Walker wins, is that it’s possible to cut back on what the Left terms “collective bargaining rights” and get away with it.... 5) I’m for Walker. Even if you support private sector unionism, I don’t think public sector unionism makes sense–if the unions win too much, we can’t let the government go broke the way we cqn let GM go broke [bad example-ed you get the point--the market's restraints aren't there]. Democrats who believe in affirmative government should want it to be as efficient and affordable as possible–so we can afford more of it, if necessary. The combination of official bureaucracy plus labor adversarialism plus dues-fueled political contributions has not been a happy one.. …

36 comments:

Hagar said...

I think there needs to be some sort of unions in private industry, though not Wagner Act unions with that sort of attitude.

And in government, I think AFSCME, NEA, and AFT need to pause and take a look at just what kind of company they have been keeping.

Patrick said...

His even more interesting comment was about the President tweeting his support of the Mayor. Wow, pretty helpful. Don't want to damage the brand with another loss in a blue state, like MA, or NJ.

Jay said...

From Mark Knoller via twitter:

In none of the 3 fundraising speeches he gave last night did Pres. Obama mention today's recall vote in Wisconsin.

Ha!

Chuck66 said...

MSM is already spinning this....they are saying if Walker wins, it is because he outspent Barrett by several times. They are only looking at the campaign spending of course, not total anti-Walker spending. They are also saying the most of Walkers money came from out of state.

Chuck66 said...

A good debater will tell you that if you want to win the arguement, you have to convince people that you are on their side. That if they agree to go along with you, their lives will improve.

I don't see the anti-Walker forces being on my side on anything.

Christopher in MA said...

It is interesting to see this being reported by the State Media. I was listening to WBZ (our Boston news radio) this morning as I was getting ready for work. Near the top of the hour, they had a quick chat with a political pundit about the recall and how it would reflect on Obama and the Democrats.

The funny thing was, the words "union" or "collective barganing" were never mentioned at all. It was simply stated that, yes, Wisconsin has a recall provision and no, it's not used very often. Maybe Walker will win. Maybe he won't.

The implied slant was that a Republican governor was being recalled by Democrats. Why? they didn't say; you're left to figure out the reason on your own. So if you don't know why Walker is being recalled, you are subtly led to think that it's because he must have done something wrong.

Bias by omission. The Job Number One of the propagandists pretending to be journalists.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"In none of the 3 fundraising speeches he gave last night did Pres. Obama mention today's recall vote in Wisconsin."

Would have been the kiss of death based on teh won's negatives.

The recall will fail, regardless, unless union-supported voter fraud occurs.

We can then prepare for the Recall recall which will be the next shoe to drop.

Scott M said...

I simply don't get any of the arguments on the pro-public union side. Regardless of this individual issue or that, you have to look at the net positives and net negatives.

Chuck66 said...

Chris in MA. I get that to. The national media is using the angle that only 2 governers in US history have ever been recalled, so yes, by omission, they are implying he is bad. Not that this is done by unions who want to get control of gov't.

MikeR said...

I've always liked Kaus. He's a liberal, but an honest one. He's the only one I know of who points out that President Obama and Paul Ryan are on the same side on the Medicare issue - the opposite side of Kaus. They want to cut it to what they think they can afford. He wants to spend whatever it takes to take care of poor sick people, even if it's half of GDP.

Chuck66 said...

Scott, correct. I don't see how the unions arguments/goals improve Wisconsin, improve my life, improve future years (long term buget and economic issues).

Perhaps they to get Dick Morris to do some focus groups for them and see how different issues play. It worked for Bill Clinton's vacation spots in election years.

AprilApple said...

The left are rolling out the tired Walker = Hitler clich├ęs again.
They really have lost.

EDH said...

"Democrats who believe in affirmative government should want it to be as efficient and affordable as possible–so we can afford more of it, if necessary."

Of course, Kaus is referring to the hypothetical wing of the Democrat party.

Hagar said...

Compulsory union membership and employer dues check-off is a guaranteed recipe for major corruption scandals and neglect of the members' interests.

Daddy Binx said...

It's not going to be over anytime soon. Some people are preparing for the Big Recount:

Wisconsin recall: Democrats prepare for recall recount

It's going to be an interesting e̶v̶e̶n̶i̶n̶g ̶m̶o̶n̶t̶h̶ Summer.

Paul Zrimsek said...

The points are individually valid but the conclusion's a bit much. You've never really seen someone ride a hobby-horse until you've read Kaus on unions (or immigration).

bagoh20 said...

I am of course elated that reducing government is even on the table, let alone a winning position, but the fence siting moderate, centrist, whatevers are most aggravating.

I'm glad many of them may move to the other side, but disappointed that so many can't decide between corrupt, bankrupting and disastrously ineffective government solutions and freedom. Disappointed that such a clear choice seems so hard for some to come to grips with and that they can be swayed right back when the popular mood changes as it does for no other reason that its on a pendulum.

I hate the pendulum riders. They are the real problem who give bad ideas enough time at the helm to keep us lost wandering in circles. Stop being offended by who might be in the life raft with you. Just get in and start rowing, bitches.

Michael K said...

Kaus has a point when he writes about the disastrous effect the Wagner Act has had on the US and on unions specifically. Read about the GM story in "Crash Course." The UAW president was hostile to the Saturn effort to use Japanese quality circles to build a better US car. The GM gnomes were also hostile because they didn't want anyone telling THEM how to build a car.

Bush should have let GM go BK but it was just his last mistake, not his biggest one.

ricpic said...

It is important but not that important, Mickey the inflator.

Fen said...

Scott M: I simply don't get any of the arguments on the pro-public union side.

1) We need a Democrat Gov who will force people to pay us dues

2) We need Democrats sitting across the table from us when we "negotiate" to steal more taxpayer money... in exchange for donating a cut of that into Democrat campaign chests.

ie. The pro-Union side is about Coercion, Theft and Money Laundering.

alan markus said...

They (the MSM) are also saying most of Walkers money came from out of state.

And yet, they (the MSM) who are from out of state, are here covering the event.

Thorley Winston said...

Democrats who believe in affirmative government should want it to be as efficient and affordable as possible–so we can afford more of it, if necessary.

And those who want to get a handle on State spending both now and in the future need to realize that the two largest items in most State budgets are usually education and health care spending – the two largest components of which is labor (wages, benefits, etc.). If you want to control State spending, you need to control spending on education and health care which means dealing with labor costs.

edutcher said...

Given the state of American education, anything that undercuts the teacher unions is vital.

That said, it brings us closer to the idea that the Lefty agenda can (and must) be rolled back.

AprilApple said...

People on both sides are waking up to the fact that government union graft and the union dues/democrat party money laundering scheme are not part of a healthy economic model. Same is true for the Krugman/Keynesian model that forces tax payer funded “stimulus” to pay for economic corruption.
Nice way to vilify capitalism, lefties. Abuse it , corrupt it, then whine for more, Paul Krugman style.

The left want the middle class dependent on government. Thank heavens for push back.

Mike said...

Kaus is consistently correct about the union issues, and he may be the last honest Liberal writing in journalism today. Yeah, IF people want good government they should back these reforms, but that's a big if when it comes to Democrats. After all, the unions have been their reliable ATM for decades.

The rest of us -- not benefiting from union power or money being lavished on us -- are ripped off. That its taken so long for so many to see the inherent corruption in this process is astounding. After all, they had constructed a system where (a) Joe Union gives Johnny Politic money to win his election, (b) Johnny lavishes a big contract on the Union and then (c) a large percentage of that increased contract is funneled back into Johnny's hands so he can get more pro-union drones elected.

Gee, I could sure exploit a system where I get to pick my boss from among men who promise me the most money. Oh yeah, that's called the private sector and it only works when Johnny Politic keeps his hands off the business that employs me and doesn't force me to join a union to get that job -- or take dues from my check.

When its tyranny vs. freedom, where is Garage?

Peter said...

" Yeah, IF people want good government they should back these reforms, but that's a big if when it comes to Democrats.

What you describe probably describes progressives of the La Follette kind (yes, Democrats conveniently forget that he ran on as a Republican and as a Progresive Party candidate, but never as a Democrat).

Of course, in La Follette's day there were no government employee unions. And it's truly hard to imagine that these old-time Progressives would have supported them.

Nationally, some Democrats are abandoning their teachers union allies. If this recall election goes against Democrats, perhaps Wisconsin's Democrats will reconsider the wisdom of their (corrupt) alliance with public-sector unions?

"Democratic Mayors Clash with Local Teachers Unions Nationwide," says NPR:


http://stateimpact.npr.org/ohio/2012/04/13/democratic-mayors-clash-with-local-teachers-unions ationwide/

Nathan Alexander said...

Scott M: I simply don't get any of the arguments on the pro-public union side.

It isn't an argument so much as a worldview.

As demonstrated by Alley Oop, garage, Frederman, Andy R., et al, it is enough to merely identify which side is liberal/Democrat/progressive/Left, and which side is conservative/GOP/right. The conservative side is evil. Since the other side is evil, if you don't want to be evil, the Democrat must win any/all elections.

And since the other side is evil, there is no limitation one what laws or ethics you can break to ensure that election.

Bruce Hayden said...

I do think that this vote is important, though not as important as November. The Walker election and aftermath was the realization that in a workers' paradise, some are much more equal than others, and those who are so much more equal are more than willing to do whatever it takes to retain their advantages - in this case, far better pensions and benefits than received by those paying for the largess. And, then, of course, the 1% - the government employee union leaders.

I think that part of it may be the hypocrisy. All those good little progressives that vote Democratic, are supposed to be happy to give the privileged unionized government workers such good pensions and benefits, that they, themselves, will never see. All for solidarity with the cause, protecting against the terrors of Republicans, etc.

The people obviously don't benefit from unionized government workers. But, the surprise, in Wisconsin, was the realization that the unionized government workers really didn't benefit nearly as much as their leadership and the Democratic politicians that they are in bed with.

The emperor has no clothes, and now everyone knows it.

purplepenquin said...

It is always interesting to see the same people who fear the gov't so much that the mere words "I'm from the gov't and I'm here to help you" is the scariest thing they ever heard are the same folks who claims that employees of the gov't have nothing-at-all to fear while working and thus have no need for a union...

Michael said...

Even if Walker were to lose-- and I'd bet on a substantial win, on the theory that the press always favors the Dem in reporting polls by at least 5 points-- it's already happening in other states. Unions are getting the boot from people like Andrew Cuomo. We're already in the pension crisis, post-union world; Wisconsin's election, like so many, is merely a vote to accept or deny reality.

Nathan Alexander said...

It is always interesting to see the same people who fear the gov't so much that the mere words "I'm from the gov't and I'm here to help you" is the scariest thing they ever heard are the same folks who claims that employees of the gov't have nothing-at-all to fear while working and thus have no need for a union...

This strawman of yours makes no sense.

Andy Freeman said...

> the same folks who claims that employees of the gov't have nothing-at-all to fear while working and thus have no need for a union...

I'll bite - what employer-inflicted horrors do public employees face? "horrors" does not include anything that is common in the private sector.

Eric said...

This brings up an interesting angle. AS I understand it (and I may be wrong), a primary justification for the recalls was that Walker did things as Governor that he didn't say he was going to do. So, if Barrett wins in a campaign where he didn't talk about the unions, does that mean that he (Barrett) would support a recall of Governor Barrett if Governor Barrett reinstates collective bargaining?

Saint Croix said...

Mickey Kaus is one of the great liberals. Love to read that guy.

Steve Koch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve Koch said...

As soon as Walker got rid of the public union's ability to confiscate state employee's salary, the state employees left the state unions in droves (in some cases the state unions have lost 2/3 of their members in one year!).

It is a matter of liberty, forcing state employees to join a union and confiscating their salary to pay union dues is coercion and is morally wrong. It is not surprising that so many state gov union members left their unions when they got the opportunity.

Another profound problem with gov unions is that dems will inevitably corrupt them so that the service gov union members provide is slanted to help the dems achieve their political goals. This is also morally wrong and terrible for our democracy. Public unions must go.

John Fund points out that the interests of gov unions and private industry unions are not totally aligned. Gov unions want taxes increased to pay for government growth, which stifles the economy. Private unions want a flourishing economy that leads to job growth in the private sector so reducing taxes by reducing government spending helps the members of private unions.

While Walker's reforms caused WW3 with public union members, they were not overwhelmingly unpopular with members of private unions (45% for, 49% against).

If conservatives are able to roll back gov unions across much of the country, it will be a devastating blow for dems.