The big news today is the continuing turmoil in, of all places, Wisconsin. To briefly sum up, the newly elected Governor and Republican majority there are attempting to dig the state out of it's budget black hole (a projected $3.6 billion deficit over the next two years)- and their first target is the unions. Michelle Malkin is is covering the story. Democrat law-makers have responded by actually running away, fleeing across state lines to hide out in Illinois: it takes the presence of a single Democrat to allow the budgeting process to continue you see.
While the brave Democrats have fled, the unions and their supporters are protesting, phoning in sick to shut down schools and intimidating Republican lawmakers to such an extent that they are coordinating with law enforcement-
I ask whether he is going home tonight, to sleep. He says, “We’re not disclosing that. My colleagues and I are not talking about that. We’re working with law enforcement” on the matter.
Remember, this is not some Third World nation we're talking about- it's Wisconsin, USA and the year is 2011. Yet we have elected representatives feeling so threatened that they cannot discuss if they are going to their own homes. We have other elected representatives who have just been voted into the minority throwing a hissy fit and refusing to show up for the work they were elected to do in order to sabotage the will of the people of their own state. Can you imagine the media furore if a Republican minority subverted the political process in such a way?
And where's the President on all of this? Is he calling for calm debate, for cooler heads to prevail? Is he roundly condemning the threats aimed at Republicans? Of course not- in fact, his own campaign apparatus is coordinating the protests.
Here's what one state employee wrote to Michelle Malkin, explaining that for the unions this fight is not just about pay and contributions but their stranglehold on employees-
The unions are scared to death they will lose their gravy train, you are forced to join the union upon state employment as a condition of employment, what is more tyrannical than that? So, now, the workers would be able to CHOOSE to join the union or not, and many will leave it. The rest will have to cut an actual check to the union each month, instead of having it garnished from their check, and the union knows people will get tired of that. THAT is what this is really about.
Doug Ross describes the situation in his own inimitable way-
The Democrats and the public sector union bosses created untenable compensation, pension and benefit packages... and then promptly destroyed them by making them so outrageous that the taxpayers simply can't afford them anymore. And instead of saving up the union members' dues money for tough times -- like these -- they spent all of that money electing Democrats and funding ever more untenable spending programs. Get it? There's no freaking money!
And yet Democrats and the unions are refusing to abide by the will of the people- in fact, they are demonstrating, just weeks after the attempted murder of Rep Giffords, with placards that deliberately echo what happened in Tucson - see the second and thirteenth image in this post in particular. Thus far only nine protesters have been arrested- but given the heated rhetoric being aimed at Republicans and the fact that law enforcement are involved we can only hope that the representatives and their families remain safe from harm.
The economy as a whole is suffering, unemployment is high, the USA as a whole is running trillion dollar deficits and the state budgets are on the verge of collapse- and yet the unions are refusing to give up one iota of their bloated compensation packages. The Democrats they helped get elected have abdicated their duty to the people of the state they represent (seems they've forgotten that they don't work just for the unions) and Republican lawmakers have had to work with police to ensure that they and their loved ones remain safe. And to top it all off the President's own campaign organisation is right in the thick of it.
It's not Greece, it's not some corrupt Banana Republic, it's the United States of America in the 21st century.
And this could just be the beginning of much worse to come.