Although there have been some violent incidents and death threats, overall, despite the talk from many right-leaning pundits about "union goons," the actual danger posed by the union members appears to have been very small by labor-historical standards.The protests have been huge, and organizers have tried very hard to keep them nonviolent, but now are they to be criticized for not threatening violence? Reynolds says in the old days, union protests involved "miners, steelworkers and the like," who, working together, developed a mindset like combat troops. The unstated implication is that these were macho men.
But miners and steelworkers are one thing. When the public employees of, say, Wisconsin hit the streets, it looked more like a bunch of disgruntled DMV clerks and graduate teaching assistants, because, well, that's what it was.He doesn't come right out and say, now we're talking about females and less manly men, but isn't that the implication? I'm sure Glenn would acknowledge (and encourage) women to take on mining, steelworking, and combat, but it seems clear that he is valuing the traditional male stereotype over the traditional female stereotype.
America's DMV clerks aren't known for toughness and dedication on the job, and it would be asking a lot to expect them to display such characteristics for the first time when they're off the job.I think the protesters who chanted and slept on the Capitol floor for weeks on end and marched in the Wisconsin winter over and over again, deserve credit for dedication and for keeping things nonviolent. They are back now with their tent city — Walkerville — and it seems pretty positive and well-organized. They haven't abandoned the demonstrations and protests, even as they have also applied themselves to court battles and elections. Reynolds characterizes them as having moved on first to an election and then to the courts:
When the street protests didn't work out, the public employee unions decided to make a "nonpartisan" judicial election a referendum over Wisconsin's anti-union legislation.
The Service Employees International Union and other labor groups went all in on the election, but still lost....So they lost that election, but they've got 6 recall elections coming up next month. The demonstrations continue and election maneuvers continue.
[T]he public employee unions have been better in the legal system than on the streets, getting Wisconsin's Democrat-friendly judicial system to rule in favor of the unions despite rather shaky grounds for doing so.Why isn't that a good thing? Working through the courts, respecting the rule of law? I know, you might not like the rulings they extract from the judges — judges that you may think are partisan. But what are you saying? They should scare us with street violence? You say you want a revolution? Why taunt them as "an army of DMV clerks" when they work within the system? Isn't that a good thing? I understand that you want their side to lose, but this is an op-ed about tactics.
But mastery of rules and discretion in employing them is exactly what you'd expect from an army of DMV clerks, as opposed to steelworkers, isn't it?