February 19, 2011

There's a Tea Party rally in Wisconsin today — pro-Scott Walker — and I'm a bit wary.

Red State says:
Calling all tea party and grassroots conservatives in Wisconsin! This is your moment. Your state is ground zero in the fight against the unions. We win there, we win everywhere.
The fight against the unions... Well, there's an open declaration that it's not about solving the budget crisis, fairness, and shared sacrifice. I'm sure the people who've been protesting for the last 4 days will appreciate your frankness. That's what they accuse the Wisconsin GOP of doing. Is that the Tea Party way? You're coming in to serve us some iced tea, here in the Wisconsin winter — ice tea with a wedge of divisiveness, for that refreshing gulp of pure partisan flavor.
Why else do you think President Obama, Organizing for America and just about every element of the Left is focused on the fight in Wisconsin? Heck, even the godfather of the union movement, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, is flying into Madison today [to] address the union protestors.
Yes, the anti-Scott Walker side has its outside agitators. I don't think that necessarily helps the protesters win over the people of Wisconsin. (As I've said.) By contrast, Scott Walker and the GOP legislators have looked like they are focused on the public good, doing what needs to be done for the people of Wisconsin, which I think is a persuasive political message in Wisconsin. You want to switch that to Republicans versus Democrats in a hardcore political standoff? By bringing in your own outside agitators? Is that good Tea Party style? I don't think so!
As the union thugs and clueless students run around the capitol shouting, “Tax the rich, fix the deficit!” and holding up signs with crosshairs on Scott Walker’s head, the taxpayers of Wisconsin have been organizing.

Tomorrow, (Saturday, February 19) from noon to 3pm, the local tea party leaders from across Wisconsin and American Majority are joining in a counter protest to the unions (I Stand with Scott Walker!) on the state capitol grounds in Madison.
Okay, fine. Fine to have a protest supporting our governor. But it should be about Wisconsin and the public good — not party politics.
Confirmed speakers are Andrew Breitbart, Herman Cain, Jim Hoff of Gateway Pundit and my brother Ned with more to come.
Something tells me these people are not Wisconsinites.
Fox News, CNN and ABC News will be covering the event.

Time to flex some conservative muscle.
Flex some muscle... I know it's a metaphor, but you're sending out propaganda calling the protesters "thugs" — and that's just too belligerent. The point is for people to show up, be there, physically. That means something. And it works a whole lot better when there is nothing explicitly or implicitly violent about your speeches, signs, and caricatures. Keep it idealistic and kind-spirited, pro-Walker protesters.

And if you come in from out of state, I don't particularly want you here, but you need to know — whatever you've read about "thugs" and signs with cross-hairs and Hitler — Wisconsin people are really polite. If you don't understand that and behave extra-well, you will look like a lout — and that's even before the Democratic-friendly media do their usual work of trying to make you look bad.

I hope Wisconsinites do show up today — on all sides of the debate. Be there. I will. Let's be good citizens, interact with each other, try to understand what's going on and who thinks what, who cares about Wisconsin and who's there to take advantage of the spotlight for nonWisconsin purposes. May the greater good prevail.

106 comments:

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

Trumka and Jesse Jackson aren't Wisconsinites either, the dye is cast, Wisconsin is ground zero, this is about something much, much bigger.

jurassicpork said...

Some reasons not to listen to this woman.

Lincolntf said...

Now that Organizing For America and the SEIU are clamoring for their members to administer beatings to the Tea Partiers, I think things could get well out of hand. Hopefully the police will be able to deal with the violence the Dems are planning, but the behavior of these types of mobs is impossible to completely predict or control.

Darleen said...

But it should be about Wisconsin and the public good — not party politics.

With all due respect, Ann, everything I've seen about the anti-Scott protests so far have nothing ... Not-a-thing ... to do with "the public good".

While people in the private sector have endured layoffs, pay most or all of their healthcare benefits, plan for their own retirements, they are watching teachers ditch school to protest their "right" to free medical for life and pensions that private sector cannot dream of. Including the teacher's union in Milwauke demanding the healthplan cover Viagra.

The TEA Party has always been about fiscal responsibility - and when unions behave like some thuggish Marie Antoinette, and even Obama comes out in support of the union and Jesse Jackson comes to town to liken it to Egypt, one cannot leave it stand in a vacuum. That has been the downfall of GOP/conservatives everywhere. The willingness to concede the argument to the other side.

No. It can never happen again; otherwise you can kiss any hope of limited government goodbye.

chickelit said...

I am angered to hear that the Pro-union people actually broke some glass and stunk up the halls of the Capitol building last night. link.

Jason said...

Believe it or not...unions are not well-liked by the public as a whole.

Tea Party people didnt get a chance to protest Jim Doyle 2 years ago when he rammed through a $1 billion tax increase in 24 hours to repair the budget.

Personally, I believe teachers threw down the gauntlet earlier this week by skipping work to protest...how is that part of "the common good"?

I hope the protests remain peaceful and incident-free. But at the same time, Tea Party folks who are protesting today shouldnt be silenced on how they feel because there MIGHT be the chance that there is some sort of physical altercation.

centralcal said...

Excellent comment, Darleen.

Perhaps Ann can tell us what teacher unions do for the public good?

Ut said...

"Well, there's an open declaration that it's not about solving the budget crisis, fairness, and shared sacrifice."

Hardly ... this is about government unions which organize themselves to hold American taxpayers hostage to their ransom demands.

We simply can no longer allow government to organize against the people.

That is un-American.

In America ... the people rule the government. Not the other way around.

Government unions turn this principle on its head. They organize themselves together and then bargain with each other for raises, bonuses and unpayable pensions.

This MUST stop.

Tea Partiers are not anti-union ... we're anti PUBLIC EMPLOYEE unions.There is a huge difference.

Ordinary Americans should be free to join unions, or not, as they see fit. Government employees should be outlawed from doing so. And the thieves in Wisconsin are proving it with each new demand they make on the taxpayers.

Piercello said...

Wretchard at the Belmont Club says,

"What happens when activists converge on a vortex is that reasons become secondary. Logic is less important than the one question left: “Who goes there?” Challenge-response. This is the nature of polarization."

Rest of comment here.

Beta Rube said...

I'm surprised at the overwrought hand wringing by the prof on this post.

After almost 50 years of conservatives being called fascists, racists, child haters, war mongers. and much much, much, worse, a little pointed language directed at the left really isn't out of line at all.

If anything it's overdue.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

Tea Party protests have been peaceful for over two years now. If there is trouble today it will come from the usual suspects, search SEIU beat-down videos on YouTube for the particulars.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I hope Wisconsinites do show up today — on all sides of the debate. Be there. I will. Let's be good citizens, interact with each other, try to understand what's going on and who thinks what, who cares about Wisconsin and who's there to take advantage of the spotlight for nonWisconsin purposes. May the greater good prevail.

I'm not from Wisconsin and hope that it could have, would have, should have stayed as a Wisconsin issue.

Too late. When Obama stuck his nose into it, when the Unions bus in professional protestors with professional signs, when you have jackasses like Jackson showing up....it....is....too.....late.

When the Democrat legislators boogied out of the State and are still derelecting their duties.....they made it completely a Democrat versus Republican issue. TOO.....LATE

While your (vain) hope that the Tea Party people should lay down and roll over like good little lap dogs is nice, it won't happen. The Democrats are always trying to play this game. They act like thugs and spoiled children and WE are supposed to ignore it and let them steam roll over us.

While I am not from Wisconson, I am watching this very closely, because I expect this circus to come soon to my State of California.

I hope that the Tea Party brings their members that are ex military and who are willing to stand firm against the Union thugs.

This is Do or Die issue for our country.

If we let the Unions overthrow an election, if we allow the President to overthrow an election, if we allow mob rule to take over and ignore the votes of millions of people for the screaming crowd of professional union protestors....we....are...doomed as a country.

DO or DIE.

chickelit said...

Like it or not Althouse, the outside attention is there. This problem is way bigger than Wisconsin.

Ride the tide!

Reap the vortex!

Forward!

Republican said...

If there's one thing Breitbart and his sidekick Hoft know, it's how to stage a successful anti/protest against stuff.

Trooper York said...

Be careful. I hear Garage Mahal will be there. He is easy to recognize. He will be the guy wearing the cheesehead chewing on the dead possum on a stick.

EDH said...

Looking back, the key is keeping your sense of humor.

"Mom always liked you best!"

There's a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware


There's something happening here
What it is ain't exactly clear
There's a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware
I think it's time we stop, children, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
There's battle lines being drawn
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind
I think it's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side
It's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away
We better stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, now, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, children, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down

maninthemiddle said...

The target (in a non-violent way)is the circular relationship of public employee unions, politicians, and tax dollars.

Employees are (generally) forced into membership. Typically, $500-$1,000 a year is automatically deducted and placed at the disposal of union leaders.

Union leaders spend many millions to elect, support, and influence politicians.

The "chosen" politicians take taxpayer dollars to pay for increased public employee salary and benefits - thus assuring that the many millions of dollars from union leadership continues to flow to the politicians' coffers.

Rinse, repeat... over and over until economic collapse occurs.

The only loser is... well... everybody who isn't a public employee union member.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

If we do not get the public unions under some sort of reasonable control....we the tax payers will be nothing less than serf and slaves to the government.

We will be working solely to pay for the wages and benefits of the privileged class of government workers.

So while Althouse wants us all to play nicey nice and mind our manners, this is about the future of the Country and about the future of our children and grandchildren.

It is about whether we live free or whether we are serfs.

It is about whether we have free elections and a representative republic government or whether we are under the thumb of special interest groups, unions and mob rule.

It is about who controls the future.

Almost Ali said...

ATTN. Tea Partiers; counter-protest preparation:

Your Complete Union Primer:

Plus, what to expect from your fully unionized police departments:

Plus the complete Obama pocket translator:

PJ said...

I think the Professor is quite right to be concerned. Governor Walker is currently winning the battle for hearts and minds. The public employee unions need a game-changer. Headlines blaring Violence Erupts At Pro-Walker Tea-Party Rally could be just the ticket. Anybody here think the press is going to work hard to find out exactly how it happened? And the opposition will be there with video cameras -- and more importantly, editors -- looking for a YouTube moment. Universal extreme niceness must be maintained by all possible means.

chickelit said...

He is easy to recognize. He will be the guy wearing the cheesehead chewing on the dead possum on a stick.

He'll have to leave the stick outside the Capitol doors. Should be easy for Meade to spot a dead possum on a stick. Garage will prolly enter the building on the east side too.

#trackinggarage

Jason said...

The legislature has to adjourn last night because their safety could not be guaranteed because the people being bussed in "werent afraid to be arrested", according to one staffer.

In our capitol building.

Yet we're urging Tea Party restraint?

Darleen said...

Every TEA Party member should have their Flip or Vado in hand at all times.

BTW, I am a public union employee and I believe public employees should not have the right to unionize. Even private unions don't get a say in who management is.

DaveW said...

The fight against the unions... Well, there's an open declaration that it's not about solving the budget crisis, fairness, and shared sacrifice.

The fight against public sector unions is precisely about solving the budget crisis, fairness, and shared sacrifice.

The Crack Emcee said...

jurassicpork,

"Inexplicably popular Republican gargoyles such as Ann Althouse, a Wisconsin native, have already swooped down on the protesters,..."

Dude, you are so wrong it's not even funny:

"Inexplicably popular"? Bullshit. She's a full-on free speech advocate and we love her for it. I'm one of her harshest critics and I love her for it. LOVE HER. There ain't shit that's "inexplicable" about it, except you're a idiotic bonehead who doesn't know what he's talking about.

"Republican gargoyles"? Are we talking about the same Ann Althouse? The one who voted for Obama, and John Edwards? Dude, are you high? And why you want to call her a gargoyle? What the fuck is your problem?

I'm serious, I think you just better get the fuck outta here because you're already on my bad side for being a liar and - I'm warning you - I'll eat your fucking ass for lunch if you fuck with my friend anymore, you fucking piss ant.

I'm not kidding:

Your bullshit pissed me off, and I'm the last motherfucker you want on that ass because I will ride it.

Keep it up and see.

DADvocate said...

Ann - for someone who finds nuance everywhere, your comments are quite naive. In war, we urge those on our side to fight the enemy, defeat Germany, defeat Japan. We don't have to go into the specifics each and every time.

As Ut said, "Tea Partiers are not anti-union ... we're anti PUBLIC EMPLOYEE unions."

A handful of people being able to force the rest of us to pay them, with our own money, better than we, ourselves, are paid is the antithesis of freedom and democracy.

Maguro said...

It is about whether we have free elections and a representative republic government or whether we are under the thumb of special interest groups, unions and mob rule.

Word.

Here in Illinois we have a budget crisis, too, and a Democrat governor and state legislature and they're dealing with the issue as you would expect Democrats to - raising taxes, borrowing a shitload of money and screwing the contractors that work for the state. Unionized state employees are a sacred cow and won't be touched.

That's democracy and no one in Illinois is rioting about it. The people wanted Democrat policies and they're getting them.

Likewise, the People of Wisconsin elected Walker and the other Republicans to solve the problem their way. If Wisconsin Dems don't like it, they can always move to Illinois. It's a progressive utopia here, trust me.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It is really a set up, you know.

The Unions will instigate violence and the Media will be complicit in twisting the event to make the Tea Party the horrible people.

They tried their best to do this during the health care debate and failed because there were enough videos showing that they were lying. Hopefully, the Tea Party people will be prepared for this certain to happen event.

Personally, I think if you are going to be pulled into a confrontation and then falsely blamed for causing it you might just as well go for it .....full throttle.

It is a certainty that this will happen. Might as well be fore armed since we are already fore warned.

realwest said...

This is gonna get bad very quickly.
See:http://www.620wtmj.com/shows/charliesykes/116529988.html?blog=y
and then read:http://budget.wispolitics.com/2011/02/jeff-fitzgerald-assembly-adjourned.html
Apparently,according to those links, thanks to President Obama this has become a National Fight for the Unions who are busing in thousand of folks and who are, perhaps looking to "bloody" the tea party folks:http://thisainthell.us/blog/?p=22334
I, of course urge caution on these links, but it does seem apparent to me that this is gonna be a BIG Union fight - and they have - unlike the native union members - started trashing the captiol building, and threatening legislators and their staff members with physical violence.

edutcher said...

OK, the language in the post is Ann's creamy hippie love chick coming to the fore - not being nasty, I think it's her natural inclination to see things settled peaceably.

I don't blame her. At age 60, a riot is not the place to be and she's justifiably proud of the way things have gone up to last night.

That said, it's getting nasty enough out there that Gov Walker had to adjourn the assembly for security reasons and, while Wisconsinites may normally be polite, somebody has decided to up the ante in typical union fashion.

I don't think the Tea Partiers will start anything; they certainly haven't in the past and have been on the receiving end of the bullying, but, for good or ill, "doing what needs to be done for the people of Wisconsin" includes a fight against the power of the public sector unions, and we know how dirty SEIU plays.

So, while Ann would like to keep the temperature of the rhetoric low, I don't think it's gonna happen. This is national now, and as WI goes, so goes the nation.

reader_iam said...

The days of state politics being left to people in the state are over (see certain key elections last fall). FULL STOP. I say this not as an advocate of that but as an observation.

That horse has left the barn, Althouse, and well you should know it (in fact, in certain ways, you helped encourage it to leave, whether you intended to or not).

PETER V. BELLA said...

Trumpka is a thug. Asked the family of Eddie York.

Brian said...

Althouse almost sounds like a sheriff of the Old South, railing against outside agitators. This is a nationwide struggle; public employee unions are bankrupting almost every large-population state, with the exception of Texas. And I think many Wisconsinite taxpayers might appreciate outside support.

Mutnodjmet said...

Ann: I must disagree with your take on this, though most respectfully. The fiscal fate of many states, including my own California, rides on what Walker and the WI State Legislature can achieve. This is a proxy for what will happen in all other states. I known Californians who flew out specifically to support Gov. Walker today. I will be following this event closely.

Joan said...

you're sending out propaganda calling the protesters "thugs" — and that's just too belligerent.

But they are thugs. Why is naming something appropriately "just too belligerent"?

madawaskan said...

Let's be good citizens, interact with each other, try to understand what's going on and who thinks what, who cares about Wisconsin

Althouse-this is probably why we don't have a pure democracy and instead representative government.

Unfortunately you are about to get a first hand lesson in that.

You get crowds, you get...well like I asked on one thread-

were they chanting

Free Wiscaonsin

or- We Are Wisconsin.

It was unintelligible.

Who's representatives left them?

Who's constituents have been trying to intimitate the Republican reps who are doing their job?

The Crack Emcee said...

Hey, Ann, you might want to stay home and let Meade go down and film shit - they know you. Those union bitches are thugs and I don't want you risking yourself if you don't have to - what would be the point?

Anyway, that's my two cents.

MadisonMan said...

I regret I cannot get to the Capitol today. I'll be at the State Meet. I'm also alarmed? dismayed? annoyed? that out-of-staters -- are coming in. FIBS. Idiots Out Walking Around. Gophers. Who needs 'em?

My daughter is there, but only for a while -- she has play practice later today (Crazy For You, at West, in two weeks). Being unable to get into school the last 3 days has sorta screwed up the set-building schedule.

Katherine said...

It seems that Ann is a little anti tea party there. What gives? Doesn't want people from Wisconsin in her state (we southerners are overrun with yankees we don't want in our state voting democrat but what to do?) . People on Wisconsin are really polite (southern and other tea partiers must be barbarians then?).

Ann - get a grip. You voted for Obama, I didn't so I think I must be ten times smarter than you even though I didn't go to law school.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

MM- Out-of-staters are coming in because Obama and the dems made this a national issue.

Out-of-staters are coming in to state my case, from here in NY.

Mr. Eide said...

I've been in Madison the last three days and I have not seen any signs that say:
Tax the rich, fix the deficit!” or signs with crosshairs on Scott Walker’s head.
That is simply a lie made up by the tea party to try to rile up its members.

MadisonMan said...

I am happy, however, that the people are in town spending money, giving the economy a needed boost.

Skyler said...

Public employee unions are fundamentally dangerous and always have been.

As an extreme example, just imagine if the military were represented by unions. Can you imagine a strike by the army? By people with very powerful weapons?

There is a reason that unions frequently get violent: they have little power otherwise. They have to enforce discipline, and they have to magnify the ill effects of a strike or they will lose. This inherent tendency to violence is dangerous in any work force that is paid to do public service of any kind.

DR said...

You know, I have been ambivalent about public sector unions, until this moment. As I watch public servants subject to undeserved political harassment across the country, I wonder if perhaps the robber barons of the last century might actually be more benevolent bosses than the rabid mob civil servants now have to contend with.

The idea that people join public service for the compensation is not a very cogent one -- these are, by and large, people who have dedicated their lives to the service of the greater community. This ethic of service for the common good -- so crucial for the maintenance of a strong society -- seems completely missing in their army of overwrought critics, who subject them to a broadside of ill-informed insults and would seemingly want to blame them for anything and everything. In the case of Wisconsin, for instance, any sensible person should recognize that public employees are not to blame for the budget shortfall now facing the state. This particular shortfall was indisputably manufactured this year by the current governor. And I bet if the issue were examined, we would find that even with the insurance and retirement perks union leaders have signaled their willingness to relinquish, Wisconsin public employees are still underpaid relative to their peers in private industry.

But as I said, nobody goes to work for the public in order to make money -- they do it largely because they have a broader sense of purpose. In return for this sentiment, they are scapegoated by the very people they have been called to serve.

Is it any wonder that education in this country is going downhill, when nobody respects teachers anymore? A willingness to contribute to -- even sacrifice for (and not just through military service) -- the common good is necessary for the maintenance of a prosperous society. Most Germans understand this, but many Americans cannot.

Real American said...

defeating the union thugs IS for the public good. They have far too much power and need to lose it. They've abused their power increasing the size and burden of government and, of course, for more viagra. Ending their stranglehold is REAL CHANGE!

And while the Tea Party folks are rhetorically calling for a "fight", the union thugs are literally threatening Walker, the GOP Senate and their families. The union thugs are calling for beating up Tea Partyers. There's no moral relativism here. Union thuggery is the disease. Ending their grasp on power is the cure.

mm said...

Brilliant, Althouse. Bad move to have 'outsiders' come to Wisconsin to support Walker. Walker doesn't need anyone muddying the message he is articulating so well. MSM won't treat this kindly. Expect to hear that protests were peaceful until tea partiers showed up. Expect to hear that the issue was never about fiscal sanity. Expect to hear that far more people demonstrated for unions v. against.
Seriously, I can't imagine a better scenario for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. When your opponent is inflicting wounds on himself - just stay the hell out of the way!!!

On Wisconsin!

Beldar said...

Sometimes I can't tell when you're being provocative and when you're being naive, Professor Althouse, and this post is one such time. I fear it's the latter.

Organized labor OWNS the Democratic Party, and the only change in that since The One took over is that it's become even more true.

madawaskan said...

chickenlittle

Last night I saw a series of photos where the State police had to chase after a protester and they couldn't tackle him until he had already busted through the door of an assembly room in the Capitol building.

Did anyone else see that?

Peano said...

Ann said: The fight against the unions... Well, there's an open declaration that it's not about solving the budget crisis, fairness, and shared sacrifice.

Talk about a question-begging comment.

MadisonMan said...

I hope the people flying in are prepared to stay a while. The storm that starts tonight looks pretty wretched. Typical late winter ice storm for someplace in s. WI -- why not Madison? (I'm hoping we get mostly snow)

Madison's worst ice storm ever was in early March 1976. This is the time of year that ice storms are most likely here.

edutcher said...

The Crack Emcee said...

Hey, Ann, you might want to stay home and let Meade go down and film shit - they know you. Those union bitches are thugs and I don't want you risking yourself if you don't have to - what would be the point?

Anyway, that's my two cents.


Couldn't agree more. I don't know how far Ann's willingness to trust other people's good intentions goes, but a little circumspection may be prudent.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PatCA said...

DR,
You lost me at "But as I said, nobody goes to work for the public in order to make money."

Every employee I know has gone to work in public employment for the money and benefits.

What I have seen in the last 20 years is that a good 20% of the employees are taking advantage of the system, to put it mildly. I have seen it all, from laziness to outright theft. And since we have "collective" bargaining, the other 80% will take the hit too of cuts. That's life.

That being said, I also don't trust our hotheads any more than their hotheads, so I hope it goes well today.

Trooper York said...

"The idea that people join public service for the compensation is not a very cogent one -- these are, by and large, people who have dedicated their lives to the service of the greater community"

That's pretty funny dude. Most people join the civil service because it is the only job they can get and because of the guarantied perks and benefits. The one thing every civil servant can tell you is the day he can retire and how much he is going to get for his pension. The idea that people become bus drivers and sanitation men to "serve" the public is really very funny.

It's a Cookbook!!!!!!

traditionalguy said...

The spotlight on Madison, Wisconsin will likely attract Presidential hopefuls to get some facetime. That's ashame because it is not an outsiders job to stir hatreds for the Media to manufacture into a slander of all of the locals. I speak as a southerner who lived through the 1960s.

Piercello said...

DR,

Maybe we think the common good is better served by diminishing the political clout of the public union leaders, who tend to serve their own interests much more faithfully than those of either their constituents or society at large.

Maybe we have lost respect for teachers across the board (although not on an individual basis) because both the curriculum they teach and the philosophy behind it are dangerously incomplete and unsustainable, and they have permitted it to become this way.

A service ethic is a wonderful thing. Indenturing the rest of the population to pay for your ability to make a recession-proof living from it, however, leaves much to be desired. Otherwise, the notion of service is stood on its head.

I say this as a former (private-sector) union member, an active student, and a member of an extended family of teachers.

Skyler said...

DR opined, " Wisconsin public employees are still underpaid relative to their peers in private industry."

Teachers in Wisconsin average $89k a year. That seems a bit generous, don't you think?

Lincolntf said...

If they want respect, they should show up at their fucking jobs. Waving Hitler signs while demanding that everyone else pay their way isn't exactly respectable behavior.

Motorcycle said...

Ann, I guess since you're so close to it that you view this as primarily a Wisconsin issue but it crossed the line a few days ago into a national fight. When Jesse Jackson showed up with his blather of a speech then I'd say it tipped. Sadly (and I mean that), this is not just about your state anymore.

Trooper York said...

The fact of the matter is that many of these government workers started with a reservoir of good will. Which they have promptly squandered by their reckless and possibly illegal conduct. To close down schools and then take students to protest for their material gain has to be against the law. To call in sick to force the shutdown of the educational system has to be against the law.
Today was the day they should have protested.

That’s what people with real jobs would have to do. If they pulled this shit in the real world they would have been fired.

Hey Teacher Leave Those Kids Alone......Let Them Go to School!

madawaskan said...

Unions have been organized for over a hundred years now.

How do you know that they didn't bus in "outsiders"?

As to "outsiders" how about telling all of your out-of-state- University of Wisconsin students to get out?

Video of Jesse's Jackson's speech looked like a high school pep rally.

Really -all those students are instate born and breed "Wisconsinites"?

The citizens against this union effort don't have the apparatus of the unionists.

The unionists and like minded politicans know not to call themselves "socialists" anymore the new buzz word is -

"Communitarianism".

Unlike the unionists the citizens opposed to this haven't been "organized" for decades because their specialty isn't upheaval and they happen to believe in -

Our form of government.

madawaskan said...

Of course when they try to scramble and at the last minute try to do one tenth of what the unionists have been pros at for decades

-it's not fair!

Liberals never like fair-because when that happens their ideas lose.

Like in the last election.

Andrea said...

Wow, DR, you really are naive. While there might be more than just lip-service paid by some type of public sector workers to "service to the community," a large component of the attractions to people of government jobs is the sweet, sweet benefit package. It's called "the Iron Rice Bowl." See, it's become more and more difficult to fire a government worker in just about all segments of the government. Basically, if you can establish yourself in a government department somewhere, and can put up with the bullshit and the boredom that comes with realizing you're not producing anything, you're just a paper-pusher, then you're set for life. Do you really think people work for the DMV out of a love of community and the desire to serve it?

Teaching used to be one of those government jobs that was more attractive to "service" types than most, and as such generally didn't come under the opprobrium that other government positions did. But that hasn't been true for a long time -- sure, many people become teachers out of idealism. But as we can see idealism can be undermined by favors and cash. A truly idealistic teacher who had entered the field to "serve the community" wouldn't have called in sick, abandoning his students, so he could carry a badly-spelled scurrilous sign just so he could keep getting the free health care and other benefits that private sector workers haven't ever had. (I can tell you that when I worked full time and had health insurance a whole lot more than 7% came out of my paycheck, which was never large to begin with -- I've never made more than $26600 per year -- for it.) You really need to come in out of the Sixties.

Michael said...

We note that the unions, like the govt., likes the idea of taking their share directly from your paycheck. That way the money you earn is never "yours." Make these union members start writing that monthly check. If they think the union is a good bargain they will write it religiously. If not not.

M. Simon said...

I'm all for the public good.

Vouchers

End the Soviet School System.

CHOICE!

M. Simon said...
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M. Simon said...
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M. Simon said...

I suggest a visit to The Pipe Fitters followed by dueling bongs at 30 paces. The first to lose all motor coordination wins.

Extra points for voiding where prohibited.

Seriously. Why doesn't WI have a med-pot law?

A_Nonny_Mouse said...

Why the sudden leap to your apparent serious concern that if the Tea Party gets involved there will be violence???

The only violence so far at anything Tea Party-related has been (admittedly only a few) attacks ON them -- by bused-in SEIU members.

I admit that occasionally Leftard idiots HAVE tried to plant "pretenders" with inappropriate signs at some Tea Party events; so far they have been "outed" by sane Tea Party participants who don't want the group's name and ideals dragged through the mud by triumphant leftwing "gotcha" media.

(Also remember, the Tea Party people are the ones who show up carrying garbage bags so they can tidy up on their way out. Tea Partiers are generally super-fine folks!)

Darleen said...

DR, have you worked in the public sector? Because I wonder whose nether regions you are attempting to cover with smoke here ... While many people gravitate towards jobs they will enjoy, it doesn't automatically translate into "serving the public" as major motivation. Loads of firefighters join because fighting fires is personally enjoyable. Adrenline, you know. Ditto police officers. That's what motivated my eldest into paramedics, now an ICU nurse. I worked ten years in a DA office - most of the DDA's I worked with got into it because it was going to be more exciting than corporate law. And benefits and retirement, unmatched in the private sector, is a huge motivator for most people I know currently in public employment.

There was a time that public employees DID take lower upfront wages or salaries than their counter parts in the private sector; it was a trade off for being allowed guaranteed benefits on the backend that evened out the comparison. However, those benefits - including retirement at vastly earlier ages than the private sector, plus the almost impossibility of being fired - far outstrip the private sector and have become an unconscionable public debt.

Chip S. said...

Kansas, 1856
Madrid, 1936
Madison, 2011

This is the beginning of something that reaches far beyond Wisconsin. We can all see that.

Of course the Tea Party should be there.

M. Simon said...

Beldar said...

Sometimes I can't tell when you're being provocative and when you're being naive, Professor Althouse, and this post is one such time.


She voted for Obama. Obama made it national. She owns it.

I'm betting she gets pwned.

Skookum John said...

Michael,

You're spot on about deductions. They are the tool of leeches and tyrants. I propose eliminating them and making people pay all taxes due out of their own pockets with a once-per-year check. On October 31st, so it's fresh in their minds when they vote.

M. Simon said...

89K a year translates into $44.50 an hour in the private sector (2,000 hours) bump that by 4/3s for 9 months a year. Roughly $59.50 an hour for an 8 hour day.

I'm an aerospace EE and would be glad for a $15 an hour part time job right now. And I can go lower.

ricpic said...

That was a great comic turn, DR.

M. Simon said...

EDH said...

Something happening here.

I was at the Pandora's Box demos on the strip. Sadly an ill son keeps me in Rockford today.

garage mahal said...

If Walker wants these teachers to go back to school. I say, you first fuckface. A college flunk-out in charge of our education system. Great idea.

adam said...

My goodness.

How about reading what Ann posted?

And let's think about what the Tea Party says it is for -

1) the Constitution - hey look folks: it is a local issue! Just think, the left is making it a national issue and trying to use national resources to force a national solution on the people of Wisconsin. So the Tea Party responds by making it a national issue? Because "they" are doing it?

2) dollars and cents - here we have a straightforward solution to a simple dollar and cents problem. While the private sector has conditioned workers to think in terms of "doing more with less" and "burden sharing" the public trajectory has been "we need more resources" and "you are assaulting public servants" by making them pay towards things that you and I have to pay toward. How can they possibly win that debate unless we hand them ammunition? So should we hand them ammunition by making this about breaking unions and erecting a "cut everything" GOP brand? Why not just stand back and let them lose the argument from their losing position? as they try to nationalize it and pretend that Americans will feel enraged that they were asked to pay toward their medical benefits? They are out of touch and trying to use 60s rhetoric to save their pampered skins - can't we just let them do it? Can't we just let them shut down government via strikes while they try to set up blame for a looming shutdown of the federal government (which is baked into Obama's re-election strategy)?

Let them hang themselves.

Darleen said...

Why not just stand back and let them lose the argument from their losing position?

Please do point out the last time that happened.

sheesh.

Oligonicella said...

"The fight against the unions... Well, there's an open declaration that it's not about solving the budget crisis, fairness, and shared sacrifice."

That's an open declaration against the cause of the budget crisis, unfairness and unshared sacrifice.

adam said...

DR -

Unions serve the public interest when they are a counterforce to abusive employment practices.

As I learned in business school, unions are a sign of bad management.

So please tell me of the abusive practices of the Federal, State and local governments in this country?

Union membership in the private sector is in steep decline as management has learned to make better use of human resources (something our stratified economy demands anyway). Union membership continues to rise in the public sector to where, now, most union members are public employees.

So - to assure us that this did not happen because it was a way to form a political block that could extract resources unfairly from the public purse - articulate the profound and sustained abuses by public employers that has given rise to public unions.

adam said...

Please do point out the last time that happened.

sheesh.


2002 midterms. 2004 presidential election.

Revenant said...

It would be a mistake for large numbers of non-Wisconsinites to show up and counter-protest.

Having people who aren't even part of the electorate horn in on state politics annoys a lot of people. Yes, yes, I know the Democrats are doing it -- but THAT annoys people, too. Don't interrupt your enemy while he's busy making a mistake.

David said...

These people will be about as useful as Jesse Jackson was to the democrats.

Being anti union in Wisconsin is an old (and losing) tradition. The public employee unions have been greedy and foolish enough to undermine support, but Wisconsin is still a workingman's place and generalized union busting is not going to play well, especially from publicity seeking national celebrities.

Revenant said...

If Walker wants these teachers to go back to school. I say, you first fuckface. A college flunk-out in charge of our education system. Great idea.

Walker's success kind of underlines how important a college education... isn't.

Trooper York said...

Garage Mahal said...
I say, you first fuckface."

Hee, hee.

He said fuckface.

RuyDiaz said...

"The fight against the unions... Well, there's an open declaration that it's not about solving the budget crisis, fairness, and shared sacrifice.[...]"

Wrong, professor. Winning the fight against the public sector unions is a precondition to achieving long-term fiscal soundness. (Not 'solving the budget crisis', which would only be temporary.) In addition, curtailing the power of public unions is certainly fair, and would result in their members sharing in the sacrifice their fellow citizens are already burdened with.

Best;

DADvocate said...

these are, by and large, people who have dedicated their lives to the service of the greater community. This ethic of service for the common good

nobody goes to work for the public in order to make money -- they do it largely because they have a broader sense of purpose.

Bwahahahahaha!!!

Are you serious?!

Virtually everyone I know goes into public "service" because the pay is better then most, the job security is much better than most, the benefits are good, and/or the work is relatively easy. The only exception to this, in my experience, is policemen. Lots of guys want to be policemen because, as one told me, you get to "drive fast and fight."

You get all the holidays, generous sick leave, probably comp time and more. Now the entitlement mentality has infected the public worker sector to the point that the public good means nothing.

My father urged me to follow him as a college professor for the reasons above. My youngest sister did follow him. She often lists the reasons above as to why it was a good choice. My oldest sister works in state government and lists the same reasons. Money was her biggest reason for going into government. She wasn't making enough as a private attorney to support her daughter.

I'm sure both are excellent at their job, but they both frequently point out how incompetent and lazy many other workers are. Plus, neither one has ever belonged to a union.

When you accuse others of not having a "cogent" argument, make sure you have one yourself.

DADvocate said...

Walker's success kind of underlines how important a college education... isn't.

Yep. The elitist left raises its ugly head again. Thanks, gm, for reminding us what condescending snots you are.

M. Simon said...

garage mahal said...

If Walker wants these teachers to go back to school. I say, you first fuckface. A college flunk-out in charge of our education system. Great idea.


Put Bill Gates in charge.

But I like your snob attitude Grudge.

“The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because philosophy is an exalted activity, will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.” — John W. Gardner, Saturday Evening Post, December 1, 1962

My fond wish is that you get a PhD in Philosophy to do your plumbing.

David said...

Teachers in Wisconsin average $89k a year. That seems a bit generous, don't you think?

It would be generous if true. Suggest that you go the the Wisconsin Office of Public Instruction web site, where you can download spreadsheets with detailed teacher compensation data, district by district. It varies greatly by district and overall is much lower than 89k per year.

This argument is winnable without making up facts.

Bartender Cabbie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donald Douglas said...

Linked: 'Majority of Americans Against Public Employee Unions'.

Alex said...

Headlines blaring Violence Erupts At Pro-Walker Tea-Party Rally could be just the ticket.

The left loves Reichstag fires. Anything to distract Americans from the REAL issues of breaking the union once and for all.

Alex said...

gm is pathetic. Talking like a filthy-mouthed teen at 40+.

Darleen said...

David,

I took the teacher's only average salary spreadsheet:

http://dpi.wi.gov/lbstat/xls/tasr10.xls

and ran the numbers. Teacher average compensation (salary + fringe) equals $74,843.55.

Not shabby for 9 months of work, eh? Most teachers I know find paying parttime jobs during Summer break.

madawaskan said...

Having people who aren't even part of the electorate horn in on state politics annoys a lot of people. Yes, yes, I know the Democrats are doing it -- but THAT annoys people, too. Don't interrupt your enemy while he's busy making a mistake.

Thing is Ann's setting up a straw man.

Please, seriously as if tons of Tea Partiers are flying to Wisconsin this time of year.

[Ya sometimes I type "valley girl".]

madawaskan said...

Now the better question might be-

are the "outsiders" allowed to come in from Wausaukee?

There's a territorial issue here.

Ever wonder why a lot of the time the capital city of a state is more liberal than the outlying areas?

State workers. They own it sometimes quite literally.

TBIGUY said...

The whole issue in not about "what" it's about "how"
There is more division in this country than ever and taking away rights of anyone is wrong. Anyone read the fine lines of the repair bill that takes away funding for programs that help disabled people? The budget issues in this country are not the result of anyones pensions, but rather the result of greed. If we look at the amount of corporate well fare that is handed out to mega millionaires who need zero incentives or help expanding their business, compared to the expense of state budgets...you'd get a better idea of where the money is going. The middle class is being wiped out. Kohler company can now bring in temp workers who make $10 an hour, without benefits. Will herbs new economy employees ever be able to buy a home of kohl products...never. The rich whine about taxes, but are the first people holding their hands out for free govt money.
This country is toast...too many big mouths who talk instead of doing. Sarah plain, rush limbaugh, glen beck...there all hate mongers...and the people who follow them are the same. If we move away from a society here everyones voice matters, will this truly be a democracy?
Scott walker has a job to do, but yet, his job is not to further the divisive tone in this country. Teachers, state workers, etc...are not the people who made billions creating derivatives, sub par mortgages, or built factories in china...who by the way....is a communist country....hello...
Anyone know how much the government has paid to disabled vets...following the rush to war by george bush? Anyone know how many vets are denied benefits for PTSD, tbi, etc, etc, etc....so many people spew hatred towards our president, but forget the mess he walked into. Two wars, the big three near death, a health care system that is broke, an insurance industry that makes a living denying a living for so many. What this country needs are people who lead with civility, not people like gov walker whose extremist tactics do nothing more than create more hostility, a more divided country. This is the first generation, that whose life will be worse than the one before. I feel bad for students who are witnessing a nation whereby rights are being taken away, opportunities are diminishing...things need to change....and the change can start within all of us.

Dudley Do-right said...

I get it TBIGUY. If we bring a sentence, you'll bring an incoherent rant.

You make your masters proud. Pass the bong.

Grump said...

Good reason to be wary ... Obligatory communication (email) from Sarah Palin read to the crowd. If the Tea Party is going to annoint her the leader, they are going to have problems. And I support Walker (mostly).

TBIGUY, you say "taking away rights of anyone is wrong." What about the right to work without being forced to pay union dues? Collective bargaining rights are fine with me, but forced unionism is not. How about the right to freely associate, or not, with the union that represents the employees where one works?

Paul Zrimsek said...

For a group of people who are supposedly unconcerned with money and interested only in serving the public good, these state workers are oddly unhappy about being given a chance to prove it.

Issob Morocco said...

I am a bit wary and distraught that your erstwhile Democratic Senators have set up camp in my state. So spare the lectures on civility and niceness today unless you want to come and collect them.

Illinois has enough spineless and corrupt politicians, especially Democracts, without having to be a residence in exile for your problems.

rhhardin said...

Union rights, listen carefully to Epstein (at 12:00 minutes on contracts)

"The system of voluntary exchange meets the rule of law so long as you can say that the buyer and the seller, or the partner and the partner, when they combine their resources, do not have any greater or lesser claims against third parties than they did when they acted separately. And the theory about this is they get the joint gains, the improved economic position that they have creates greater opportunities for trade for everybody else, and doesn't allow people to start slipping in various kinds of controls over what everyone else does. This is an important restraint. Look for example at collective bargaining statutes. What they say is that you have a bunch of workers, none of them under a rule of law system can force an employer to hire them, that never be a property right, it would just be a matter of negotiation, if now they decide to band together, can they impose upon the employer a duty to negotiate with them in good faith towards a contract? Well, that's a question of A and B and C getting together and imposing obligations on D which they otherwise never had. And so would be flatly inconsistent with this modern version of the rule of law because it allows people who want to combine their entitlements to get claims against third parties which they could not get exercising them as individuals."

jimspice said...

Go Koch/Walker!!!

dick said...

I am having a very hard time understanding your take on this. We have a president who has spoken up in favor of the unions and has dispatched his re-election crew to Wisconsin. We have Jesse Jackson, who is not from Wisconsin, and Richard Trumka, who is not from Wisconsin, already speaking here. We have the Dem legislators who skipped to Illinois to evade their duty as legislators. We have the union not only protesting here in Wisconsin but also in Indiana and Ohio and other places, all under the control of the national union and the presidential re-election crew. We have busing into Madison from who knows where and you will not be told by the union either. You have the union membership across the nation, including San Diego, claiming that if this bill gets passed all kinds of things will happen and we already know that that is all a lie. We have an organization, SEIU, which does not speak for the teachers involved in this mess.

And then we have trying to get the Tea Party to make nice and not rock the boat. Seems like that is something that has long been rocked big time and not by the Tea Party. This bill has already been moved from balancing the budget to questions on just how much power must be ceded to the unions. As I say, your reasoning here I find totally out of line with what the situation already is. Granted it would be nice if the Tea Party could just show up, do a little parading around, show the flags and signs, try to make their point and have that point truthfully reported in the media. Anyone with half a brain knows that is not gonna happen here. Your unions have already broken laws all over the place by closing down the schools across the state and the MSM and the president and the national unions and DNC and TPM and Kos have already blown the whole thing out of proportion. In order for the Tea Party and the governor of Wisconsin to get this legislation, which seems to have major support from the voters and for which the governor was elected in first place, have to combat all the legion lined up against them and you ain't gonna do that by playing rolld over and ask them to scratch your belly.