February 8, 2012

Why did Mitch Daniels in Indiana get away with doing something more drastic than what Scott Walker did that set off the huge protests in Wisconsin?

Leon Fink (in Salon) wonders:
In Wisconsin, the union presence seemed wedded to a deep sense of civic identity, including connection to a long-standing state tradition of “progressive” innovation and peaceful reconciliation of differences among competing social and economic interests.

In Indiana, despite the fact that Indianapolis had once hosted more union headquarters than any other city in America, legislated reduction of the union presence triggered no visible sign of larger public hurt. That the union leaders themselves viewed the issue as “mere politics” betrays their own skepticism that worker rights can truly appeal to the public conscience...
That is, love/support/respect for unions needs to be firmly embedded in the culture of the place or you don't get the Wisconsin Effect. Noted. That means you can't suddenly whip up a political frenzy in response to one political move on the other side, no matter how drastic the move is.

Fink drifts off into a reverie. Here's his last paragraph before the one-liner "I’m dreaming, of course. This is Indiana.":
I could only think of how different was the determination of the 1968 Olympic athletes who raised a black-power salute at their official Olympic awards ceremony. If a similar sense of solidarity had been on display in Indianapolis, players from each team might have unfurled a “union” banner — Norma Rae-like — at halftime and carried it aloft to their respective locker rooms. Better yet, they would have handed off the emblems to Madonna, a long-established member of both the Screen Actors Guild and Directors Guild of America.
It's actually pretty pathetic when your dreams of deep embeddedness in the culture consist of showy gestures by sports/music/movie celebrities. Madonna, the union member? Why would organizations that boost Madonna resonate with Hoosiers and seem wedded to a deep sense of civic identity?

Face it, Fink: There's a price to be paid for locating liberalism in pop culture. It's not going to be deep. It's inherently shallow. Deeply shallow.

74 comments:

Matthew said...

Because Walker won, continues winning, and likely will win again. If Walker had lost, then maybe Indiana would be different.

Jay said...

In Wisconsin...peaceful reconciliation of differences among competing social and economic interests.

That's funny.

I guess that is why Gov Walker and other Republican legislators received death threats.

Peter Hoh said...

But remember, Mitch Daniels is a liberal squish who is completely unacceptable to the GOP base.

He conservative track record as governor must be the result of liberal media trickery.

Peter Hoh said...

"His"

Paul Zrimsek said...

It only counts as "peaceful reconciliation of differences" when we end up getting our own way.

Scott M said...

There's a price to be paid for locating liberalism in pop culture. It's not going to be deep. It's inherently shallow. Deeply shallow.

This pretty much describes most progressive sacred cows. Diversity, for instance, is only skin deep.

Why the big difference between WI and IN in reaction to the legislation? A maturity gap?

Fen said...

the determination of the 1968 Olympic athletes who raised a black-power salute at their official Olympic awards ceremony

Yah black racism!

Wonder how he would have felt if three white guys had done a KKK or neo-nazi salute.

Matthew said...

"I could only think of how different was the determination of the 1968 Olympic athletes who raised a black-power salute at their official Olympic awards ceremony."

So... he supports Tebowing?

Brennan said...

In Indiana, does this new law exempt police, firefighters and emergency response technicians?

Jay said...

Yet, the popular reaction and public protest in Indiana were relatively mild compared to the seizure of the state capitol and subsequent wave of teacher strikes and extended mass protests centered last year in Madison.

Perhaps the Salon writer should understand there are more people in Madison dependent on state government than there are in Indianapolis.

By the way, the comments over there will make you much stupider if you read them.

I love how the meme of voting Republican is against your self interest persists despite the readily apparent failure of Obamanomics which the left has been waiting for for decades.

Matthew said...

"Why the big difference between WI and IN in reaction to the legislation? A maturity gap?"

I honestly do think it is just tactics. They realized that fighting it in WI didn't work as expected. If the next round of recalls go their way, then maybe there will be lash outs. Also, the energy and money are spent in the old recalls/protests and OWS movement. There's only so much protest, then burn out sets in.

garage mahal said...

We're so lucky to have Jay in every thread to explain everything to us.

James said...

The Indiana law does not carve out exemptions for police, firefighters, etc.

It should also be pointed out that Dems in the Indiana Assembly did flee the state (they went to Illinois) in an attempt to stall the vote.

Fen said...

From the comments at the link:

"The question is the answer. Hoosiers no longer feel compulsory union membership is an equal rights issue. Rather they have made it clear that compulsory union membership is an infringement on their right to work and earn all of their money"

ie. they are smarter than Wisconsin

Palladian said...

Jesus, that essay is embarrassing writing.

Meade said...

"Madonna, the union member? Why would organizations that boost Madonna resonate with Hoosiers and seem wedded to a deep sense of civic identity?"

Boost? After reading this report, I'll be surprised if Madonna doesn't think twice and twice again about just who it is she allows to boost her.

traditionalguy said...

"Deeply shallow" is the winning concept for the day.

Of course this crack intelligentsia's writing completely misses the inherent difference between a Public Sector Union's corrupt bargains with politicians they pay to elect, and true Labor Unions that must bargain with private businesses with separate ownership.

That is a shallow analysis indeed.

He only sees an assumption that Public Credit from legal access to taxpayers is the ONLY REALITY allowed in today's economy.

After all, how else can a Socialist Redistributionist System be expected to function?

Youngblood said...

"[P]layers from each team might have unfurled a 'union' banner — Norma Rae-like — at halftime and carried it aloft to their respective locker rooms. Better yet, they would have handed off the emblems to Madonna, a long-established member of both the Screen Actors Guild and Directors Guild of America."

This is great. The best union solidarity fantasy Fink can come up with not only involves celebrities, but celebrities acting out a scene from a movie.

If we're going to indulge in such fantasies, we should go whole hog! After these assorted stars pull a Norma Rae, Rocky Balboa could punch out the governor, and Harry Potter could fly in on his broom and turn Newt Gingrich into an actual Gingrich newt, and zombies could devour all of those nasty Republicans...

Just about as likely, right?

Meade said...

""(The) employer did not maintain a log of injuries and illnesses or provide fall protection and training for heights greater than four feet. The employer did not conduct protective hazard assessments or determine soil conditions when placing guy wires and anchors and finally, the employer failed to designate a competent person for construction of the load-bearing roof."

Read more: http://www.wlwt.com/news/30406999/detail.html#ixzz1lnzpsKRa"

Scott M said...

Jesus, that essay is embarrassing writing.

I don't know that he did any writing. He let his buds Matt, Mark, Luke, and J-dog do it.

Scott M said...

I honestly do think it is just tactics. They realized that fighting it in WI didn't work as expected. If the next round of recalls go their way, then maybe there will be lash outs.

The Occam's Razor rationale and, as usual, probably the correct one.

Matthew said...

I write bad essays, so I don't poke other bad writers in the eyes. Especially not wish fulfillment fantasy writers.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Maybe the lack of union outrage was the lack of union members. Most of them are in the Region where the steel industry is (was) and there just ain't many left.

I was an avid union supporter until after five years working as an outside contractor at US Steel and Bethlehem gave me a new perspective.

Then again less union workers was also due to technology changes. Back in the day an open hearth furnace would take 4 hours and almost 15 guys to make a heat. The basic oxygen furnace
(BOF) could do it in 45 minutes with 4 guys.

SarcastiCarrie said...

I live in Indiana quite close to downtown Chicago, but decidedly not in Illinois.

Mitch Daniels is not a new governor. He's been here a 7 years already and in that time we have not seen our taxes increase (generally speaking) and our state is considered solvent. We're next to Illinois. We know what happens if you go down the jobs-crushing road. We don't want that. We see the billboards trying to lure business from Illinois (the billboards say something like "Illinnoyed by Higher Taxes?").

If My Man Mitch says that we really need to do something to stay competitive, we might not go right along with it, but we'll look into it and rationally consder whether it is so. We're grown-ups and a lot of us actually work in heavy industrial manufacturing environments that have unions.

edutcher said...

How much is Daniels' doing and how much was consensus beforehand is up for grabs.

Walker's fiscal success is real and that's what is going to be the impetus for other states.

Even Andy Cuomo is considering pension reforms.

Christopher said...

"I write bad essays, so I don't poke other bad writers in the eyes. Especially not wish fulfillment fantasy writers."

There is a joke about fanfiction somewhere in there.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... Madonna, a long-established member of both the Screen Actors Guild and Directors Guild of America.".."

Interesting there isn't much said about the massive wage gap between actors and pro sports unions versus the guy at the Local 69 Pipefitters.

Michael said...

The reason Indiana is different from Wisconsin is that Wisconsin has Madison, with the state's one major university co-located with the state capital to form a critical mass of academic and bureaucratic moonbattery. Michigan would be the same. In Indiana, the U of I, Purdue and Notre Dame are out-state and the capital is a working man's town. It's not the working man that opposes Walker; it's the leftist elite and their allies.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... I live in Indiana quite close to downtown Chicago, but decidedly not in Illinois..."

A fellow Region Rat.

;-)

bagoh20 said...

Conservatives, especially us rube varieties, are often accused of believing in historically whitewashed patriotic stories, but I don't think many of us believe John Wayne or Forrest Gump is the political answer to the government's fiscal incompetence. But again, we're not real sophisticated, don'tcha know.

bagoh20 said...

Michael @ 10:03 sums up the obvious truth of the matter.

The difference is academia, which is ironically a force for one-sided analysis, deficient of deep thought.

Remember, the large university is a depository for children who's parents are paying handsomely to get them out of the house where their unfunded demands and lack of contribution would have destroyed the home's finances even more thoroughly. College was the cheaper alternative and Madison welcomes them.

SarcastiCarrie said...

@Hoosier Daddy - I live here, but I'm not from here, so I don't get that title. I don't even know the phone number for the Mercantile National Bank time and temperature line like the locals do.

I'm "from" Illinois. As they say, it's better to be "from" Illinois than "in" Illinois (unless you're a rouge democractic legislater, in which case being "in" Illinois makes you a minor celebrity).

garage mahal said...

It's not the working man that opposes Walker; it's the leftist elite and their allies.

You have no idea what you're talking about.

karrde said...

I suspect that the people of Indiana have more experience with unions affecting everyday life than the people of Wisconsin.

But that's just an impression.

Acquaintances of mine who live in Indianapolis noted a phone-calling push to get any union-connected-person into the capitol to protest. They also noted the absent-legislators problem, and heated rhetoric that seemed to deliberately misconstrue the effects of the legislation...

I was about to claim that Indianapolis doesn't have a large University nearby to provide an pool of idealistic young people to run the protest...but then I looked up Indiana University, and discovered that they have a large campus at IUPUI, in Indianapolis. So I don't know if that counts.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... @Hoosier Daddy - I live here, but I'm not from here, so I don't get that title..."

Ah. That Northwest Indiana area, from Whiting to about Valpo is known as the Region.

gerry said...

You have no idea what you're talking about.

Where does the line for candidates to run against Walker in the recall election form? Hello? Hello?

karrde said...

...and then I note that Michael@10:03 disagrees with me about the presence of the University, and that Purdue/Notre-Dame/rest-of-IU is outside of the state capitol.

Interesting comment. Still don't know if it applies fully.

Perhaps the local labor unions are much closer to local blue-collar workers than to the local University.

Or perhaps the general public just doesn't like protests at the State Capitol in favor of unions very much, after the WI protests played out.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... I looked up Indiana University, and discovered that they have a large campus at IUPUI, in Indianapolis. So I don't know if that counts..."

Not really. Iupui is predominantely a commuter campus and a lot if the students work so you're not going to get the typical lefty, sit around the coffee table and talk about Chomsky that you will at places like Madison or even Bloomington.

SGT Ted said...

Madonna, a long-established member of both the Screen Actors Guild and Directors Guild of America.

Yewa, nothing says "solidarity" and "of the ordinary working people" like the richest union members in an extremely exclusive entertainment profession.

Jay said...

Madonna, a long-established member of both the Screen Actors Guild and Directors Guild of America.


And that makes her, net worth in the hundreds of millions, just like those guys at the GM plant!

If we had a sane society, modern liberalism would be laughed off the public stage.

Fen said...

Or perhaps the people of Indiana are adults.

Beta Rube said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beta Rube said...

Whenever I see Madonna squat, I, like Garege, am reminded of the rights of every American working man and woman.

wv: rasty- what Scoobie Doo used to think Madonna was.

Rob said...

Madison and Indianapolis are very different towns. Now, if Bloomington was the seat of government...

Curious George said...

As been mentioned, UW and it's lefties and lefty traditions have a lot to do with it...add state government union workers, and a permanent local hippy population that is drawn to it.

Look back at the protests...remember the number of socialist groups there? These people work in coffee shops, restaurants, Union Cab, etc. they are not state workers, or union at all. Many live just blocks form the capitol.

Indy is nothing like this. Indy is more like Milwaukee if it was the capitol.

Thorley Winston said...

I think that the reasons are threefold:
1) Labor unions were already notably weaker in Indiana than Wisconsin prior to the recent changes in their respective laws.

2) Walker did it first and organized labor (at the national level) already shot much of their wad in Wisconsin and Ohio leaving less resources to go after the next State(s) that followed suit.

3) Daniels isn’t a one-term governor and also not subject to a recall which decreases the likelihood of being able to do anything about it.

bgates said...

Interesting there isn't much said about the massive wage gap between actors and pro sports unions versus the guy at the Local 69 Pipefitters.

Interesting that there isn't much said about the massive wage gap within the actor/director or pro sports unions. The NFL minimum is $340K; the highest-paid player got $23M, or 67 times the minimum. And he didn't even play! I'd be ok with a teachers' union that allowed that kind of wage structure based on performance - say a $10,000 minimum for a glorified babysitter type, up to $670,000 for an all-star.

John Stodder said...

I can see the sentimental romanticism about labor unions, and how it persists in writers and other sensitive intellectuals.

But I don't see how you leap from there to a defense of "right to work," a concept that is part of the soft underbelly of union politics, e.g. that before labor can hope to coerce employers, first it must coerce workers. Organized labor is, at its heart, organized by thuggery, in one form or another.

I suppose from an evolutionary standpoint, passing a right to work law is a step up from a flaming poo bag on the front stoop of a worker who doesn't want to join, which was a step up from killing their pet, which was a step up from bashing their faces in with a chain.

So I guess we'll see if labor wants to go back down the evolutionary ladder in Indiana, or if it just dries up and blows away.

Cornroaster said...

"Why would organizations that boost Madonna resonate with Hoosiers and seem wedded to a deep sense of civic identity?"

Actually, when Madonna filmed parts of "A League of Their Own" about 20 years ago in Evansville, IN, she called Evansville a "boring" town', which led to efforts to declare Evansville a "Madonna-free" zone.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/52377567@N04/6735975989/

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... Interesting that there isn't much said about the massive wage gap within the actor/director or pro sports unions. The NFL minimum is $340K; the highest-paid player got $23M, or 67 times the minimum..."

Well the issue is both the lowest and highest paid player fall into the greedy 1%. At that point it is like arguing over the wealth difference of Gates and Buffett.

Rusty said...

There's a price to be paid for locating liberalism in pop culture. It's not going to be deep. It's inherently shallow. Deeply shallow.




And as if on cue.


garage mahal said...
It's not the working man that opposes Walker; it's the leftist elite and their allies.

You have no idea what you're talking about.




The girl knows her shit.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... Actually, when Madonna filmed parts of "A League of Their Own" about 20 years ago in Evansville, IN, she called Evansville a "boring" town', which led to efforts to declare Evansville a "Madonna-free" zone..."

It's safe to assume the celebrity set feels that way about most of flyover country.

kimsch said...

The Screen Actors' Guild and the Directors' Guild aren't there to "help" their members except to keep others out.

There are many people who would gladly act, write, direct, etc., for no money at all (like those unpaid internships on another thread) just for the opportunity to work in their dream profession or to maybe, just maybe, get famous and then bring in the big bucks.

MarkW said...

Michigan would be the same.

Nah, not really. Lansing, MI is much smaller and less influential in MI than Madison is in WI. Madison is 230K people in a state of 5 1/2 million. Lansing is half as big (115K) in a state almost twice that size (10 million). Michigan State isn't even in Lansing (it's in East Lansing) and anyway the state's flagship campus (and hipster liberal enclave) is 60 miles away in Ann Arbor (where, BTW, the current Republican governor still lives--he didn't move to Lansing when elected).

Matthew said...

"The Screen Actors' Guild and the Directors' Guild aren't there to "help" their members except to keep others out."

Isn't that the nature of guilds opposed to unions?

kimsch said...

Isn't that the nature of guilds opposed to unions?

Yes. But the essayist was conflating "guilds" and "unions" suggesting an equivalency.

David said...

Indianapolis, the capital of Indiana, is a large diverse city which is not dominated by politicians, academics and students.

Madison is a self reinforcing, self satisfied bubble of the like minded, many of whom have a lot more time on their hands than the people of Indianapolis.

Peter said...

So, perhaps Gov. Walker should have gone for a full right-to-work legislation?

What would the incremental political cost of RtW have been, as compared with just going after the public sector unions?

MadisonMan said...

Not one comment on the cringeworthy image that accompanies that article!

Mitch Daniels was elected at a different time than Scott Walker. And, as noted by many, Indianapolis is nowhere near Madison.

You might as well compare apples and oranges.

Matthew said...

"You might as well compare apples and oranges."

Apples make better fruit, oranges make better juice.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... Isn't that the nature of guilds opposed to unions?.."

All I know is in my World of Warcraft guild, they cut my repair bill allowance and said they have too many warrior tanks and are limiting the number who can join in favor of Paladins.

It's fricking discrimination is what it is. And in favor of poofter Night Elves to boot. Goddam organized labor even ruined MMOs

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... You might as well compare apples and oranges..."

Or a steak to a fruit of your choice.

;-)

ic said...

Actually, Indiana Dems skipped town in 2011. Then they found out skipping town was very unpopular with the voters, they stayed put as sitting ducks in 2012.

Scott M said...

Then they found out skipping town was very unpopular with the voters, they stayed put as sitting ducks in 2012.

Brannigan: We're trapped. Like fish in a barrel.
Nixon's Head: Options?
Brannigan: I recommend we hide in a barrel, like the wily fish.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Peter:

Yes, a good inference is that Walker would be better off going for the Right to Work law. He'd still have had a fight, but it's a better fight.

Right to Work is a lot simpler concept to explain, and much harder for the union bosses to complain about. The best argument they can marshal is to claim (falsely) that they're "forced" to represent objectors, so the objectors should pay.

(This is false two ways; it is a little known fact that a union can seek a members-only contract, rather than seek to be the bargaining agent for everyone. They aren't forced, they choose to seek exclusive rep privileges because it's hardly a burden, it's a source of power.)

Right to Work is a smarter fight in other ways. As someone said, it goes to the heart of union power, by ending the automatic pipeline of money. Pass a Right to Work law, and then the other things you want are less difficult to pursue. And if you can't do Right to Work, you won't be able to do the other stuff. Example? Ohio.

Other differences: Indiana has no recall nor referendum, so the union bosses must defeat this the old-fashioned way; defeat and replace incumbents. Not impossible, but much harder.

Recall is absolutely idiotic. You want to recall an elected official? That's what the next election is for.

Referendum is an example of a good-sounding dumb idea. The mess called California is a good example of what's wrong with legislating at the ballot box.

The thing about a referendum is that all the "no" position has to do is sow doubt. Ohio has the referendum process, and a Right to Work law, if passed, would next go to the ballot. A fear-mongering campaign that succeeds doesn't prove folks are against Right to Work; it proves the "nos" sowed just enough doubt.

Finally, Gov. Daniels did a flip-flop. A year ago, he didn't care about Right to Work; and suddenly his presidential fortunes deflated. I think he soon realized that helping to sink Right to Work the year before sunk him.

Milwaukee said...

Matthew said...

"The Screen Actors' Guild and the Directors' Guild aren't there to "help" their members except to keep others out."

Isn't that the nature of guilds opposed to unions?


I suppose I'm not clever enough to understand the difference. Perhaps the difference is one of time and space: guilds are so Middle-Ages while unions are modern. Then too, my understanding associates guilds with some sort of skill level. While one must have some skill to be a union carpenter, plenty of other unions are not necessarily about skill and quality control of members. Both are definitely about erecting barriers to entry to minimize competition and raise wages for the lucky members.

Milwaukee said...

As for "Right-to-Work" and Wisconsin, once again the public sector employees have it better. They have a right to employment without joining the union, while private sector employees must either join and pay dues, or not join and pay dues.

Marshal said...

"In Wisconsin, the union presence seemed wedded to a deep sense of civic identity, including connection to a long-standing state tradition of “progressive” innovation and peaceful reconciliation of differences among competing social and economic interests."

This guy's an idiot. Wisconsin progs have a tradition of political militancy when facing competing interests.

John said...

What Matthew said but not just that.

The unions gave it their best shot and wound up looking like out of touch morons.

Once Indiana saw that they were toothless, it was easy to pass RTW. What are the unions going to do about it?

Pretty much nothing, as we see.

Thanks Wisconsin for leading the way. Thanks also (seriously!) To all the demonstrators. They gave a perfect illustration of Shakespeare:

[The WI demonstrators are] but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.



John Henry

garage mahal said...

Thanks Wisconsin for leading the way. Thanks also (seriously!) To all the demonstrators.

Welcome! The next budget will restore the collective bargaining rights taken away, and Republicans in this state will be as rare as a sasquatch sighting.

John said...

Will it get RTW repealed in Indiana?

Will it get the other "rights" that have been taken away from unions in other states restored?

I've got $10 that says that the "rights" of the WI unions are never restored.

And even if they are in WI, they have still opened the floodgates in the other 49 states.

John Henry

garage mahal said...

You know little, if anything, about Wisconsin.

John said...

No, but I do know somewhat about Garage Mahal and powers of prognostication.

Will you take the bet?

If you will drop me a not at johnfajardohenry@gmail.com and we can discuss the particulars.

John Henry

98ZJUSMC said...

garage mahal said...
You know little, if anything, about Wisconsin.

2/8/12 10:04 PM


I know that Walker:

Beats all noted (D) challengers by a sizable percentage.

Has turned a negative balance budgetary situation into a positive.

I know he didn't have to force layoffs. In fact, some formerly cash-strapped districts even hired.

Was there anything else?