The historical illiteracy of Wisconsin teachers; Update: Crosshairs, “Reload”

posted at 2:15 pm on February 17, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Godwin’s Law states that any political argument, carried on long enough, will eventually provoke a Nazi reference.  My own personal corollary to Godwin’s Law is that the first side to invoke it invariably loses, mainly because Nazis and Adolf Hitler are simply not analogous to normal politics in American democracy, unless one is discussing actual neo-Nazis.  It exposes a clear lack of historical literacy about the Nazis and the history between the two World Wars of the last century.  It’s the kind of argument favored by the relatively uneducated.

That’s what makes the protests in Wisconsin over Governor Scott Walker’s proposal to curtail the power of public-sector unions so deliciously ironic.  Hot Air reader Tim R in Madison took his camera with him when he attended the large protests staged by the teachers against the budget bill that would require contributions for pensions and health insurance, as well as put new curbs on collective bargaining.   Tim discovered signs like this at the protest yesterday at 6 pm just after the speakers concluded:

This is one of the milder examples, although it’s worth noting that teachers brought their students with them to the protest.  I wonder if the same teacher holding this sign would discipline a student who wrote something similar on a chalkboard, with or without the underscores.

This seems to be a theme at the protests:

Er, Hitler?  Why Hitler, of all possible comparisons?  One of her colleagues helpfully held a sign to explain it:

First, Walker hasn’t “outlowed” unions, or even proposed outlawing them, either.  Walker’s proposal would restrict negotiations with non-law-enforcement unions to wages only, and would require recertification votes each year.  It would also make Wisconsin a right-to-work state, ending automatic deduction of union dues from paychecks and instead make them voluntary.  That may put unions in a tough position to justify their continued representation, but it hardly outlaws the unions.

Besides, even if it did, it’s a fallacious argument.  Hitler was also a vegetarian who owned a dog.  Are all vegetarians Nazis?  All dog owners?  The Nazis aren’t history’s great villains because Hitler opposed public-sector unions.  To equate that with Naziism isn’t just reprehensible, it’s downright ignorant and minimizes the actual horrors of Naziism.

That doesn’t stop Wisconsin educators from expanding on their theme:

What do you get when you cross Hosni Mubarak and Adolf Hitler?  One ugly baby, that’s for sure, but not Scott Walker.  Again, this appears to be a recurring theme in this teachers’ protest.  (Also, it looks like anti-smoking efforts have been for naught in the classroom.)

But while we’re noticing just how poorly Wisconsin teachers do at history, it looks as though some of them might have problems with the present:

“Impeach Bush”?  Maybe it’s a leftover sign from a few years ago.  The Anchoress points out another sign at a different locale which reads “I AM THE FUTURE – I NEEN QUALITY TEACHERS.”  From what we’ve seen of these protests, the entire state of Wisconsin is in need of quality teachers, and it looks like the union is the biggest impediment to getting them.

Meanwhile, Democrats in the Wisconsin Senate have gone AWOL in an attempt to avoid casting a vote on the bill:

A three-day-long stand-off at the Wisconsin state capitol between union supporters and those backing the Republican governor’s budget cuts just went to another level Thursday as Democratic senators apparently fled the state to prevent a vote on Gov. Scott Walker’s budget-repair bill, which would cut public employee union collective bargaining rights and require them to contribute to pensions and health care.

Law enforcement has been sent to find missing Democratic lawmakers, according to a Madison, Wis. ABC affiliate. State Sen. leader Scott Fitzgerald said only one Democrat is needed for quorum to vote on the controversial bill, which is expected to pass a Republican-majority Senate. The “Sergeant of Arms is going door to door to find Democratic senators.”

The budget-repair bill passed a finance committee 12-4 late last night, its last hurdle before a Senate vote, on party lines convincing Senate Democrats that moderate Republicans would not deliver them an upset victory over the Gov. Scott Walker.

They have to come home eventually, and they can’t avoid their responsibilities forever.

Update: Via Ann Althouse and Instapundit, isn’t this the kind of rhetoric the Left claimed was exclusive to the Right?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4

Those unions are out winning friends and influencing people again, I see. ///

I love it when liberals take the mask off and show their ugly, hateful faces to the world! Gee, I wonder if these signs will make the nightly newscasts? ///

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on February 17, 2011 at 5:25 PM

I agree that I don’t think any teacher who is apart of this attack on the democratic process should be allowed to teach in America’s schools.

Those kids would be better served by being taught by out-of-work construction workers, than by teachers who want mob rule in America.

petunia on February 17, 2011 at 5:26 PM

Does the Cloward-Piven President Lightworker want to see this country torn apart at the seams?

You betcha.

hillbillyjim on February 17, 2011 at 5:27 PM

They have to come home eventually, and they can’t avoid their responsibilities forever.

Maybe they can’t avoid it, but they damn sure are going to try.

A suggestion for parents/students/school administrators that give a crap:
Sift through the pictures of boneheads holding protest signs, and pick out the teachers that you know. Then report them, publicly, to the school board as falsly claiming to be “sick” to participate in this charade. It would be absolutely delicious to see a bunch of these idiots fired, or at a bare minimum have their pay docked.

iurockhead on February 17, 2011 at 5:32 PM

From Milwaukee suburb here.

Yes, the people are with Walker. The Republicans were swept in on Nov. 3rd with a mandate.

Secondly, we just had a Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice primary this last Tuesday. The Dem’s put up three liberals to go up against the conservative incumbent. This was a critical election because the conservatives have narrow 4-3 majority. The Dem’s saw this as the last chance to strike down all of Walkers changes. The current Walker proposal had been made public about a week or two before the election.

The good news, the incumbent took 55% of the vote in the primary, 19 points better than the second place.

The people of Wisconsin are sick and tired of liberal Socialist Democrat policies.

WisRich on February 17, 2011 at 2:40 PM

Gosh I hope your right rich. I know I am.

wi farmgirl on February 17, 2011 at 5:44 PM

Godwin’s Law states that any political argument, carried on long enough, will eventually provoke a Nazi reference. My own personal corollary to Godwin’s Law is that the first side to invoke it invariably loses, mainly because Nazis and Adolf Hitler are simply not analogous to normal politics in American democracy, unless one is discussing actual neo-Nazis.

Ed, it’s amazing how your personal corollary happens to be the principal one cited at Wikipedia.

Vatican Watcher on February 17, 2011 at 5:46 PM

I agree that I don’t think any teacher who is apart of this attack on the democratic process should be allowed to teach in America’s schools.

Those kids would be better served by being taught by out-of-work construction workers, than by teachers who want mob rule in America.

petunia on February 17, 2011 at 5:26 PM

THIS.

antisocial on February 17, 2011 at 5:52 PM

You can find plenty of video clips of MSM figures calling Glenn Beck names. Since they’re the reasonable ones, they must be correct, right?

gryphon202 on February 17, 2011 at 3:59 PM

I’m not sure if you’re joking, or just haven’t watched Beck.

When he makes a claim about a person or group, he plays video with them saying that exact thing in their own words as proof of his claim. Just because there’s video of the claimant doesn’t mean anything… but that there’s video proof of the claim.

MSM doesn’t do that with claims about conservatives… they just airing innuendo, opinion and name-calling without backing it up with proof.

dominigan on February 17, 2011 at 5:52 PM

I was just listening to the governor’s press conference here:

http://www.620wtmj.com/home/ondemand/44930432.html

He sounds REALLY PISSED. He is NOT going to cave. Apparently the Dems tried to push some legislation against these reforms in a lame duck session after the election in November and were unsuccessful. Walker pointed out the hypocrisy of the Dems trying to ram stuff down then, and running away now, after accusing the Repubs of not working with them in the lame duck session.

Walker for the Win here!!! :)

karenhasfreedom on February 17, 2011 at 5:59 PM

Ed, it’s amazing how your personal corollary happens to be the principal one cited at Wikipedia.

Vatican Watcher on February 17, 2011 at 5:46 PM

heh.

crr6 on February 17, 2011 at 6:04 PM

Serious question to Wisconsin residents. Do you really want these clowns “teaching” your children? I’d demand they get fired, then we can talk about finding replacements.

MeatHeadinCA on February 17, 2011 at 2:55 PM

Wait till they need a referendum for anything thing. Like increases in wages, ect. They will find some of themselves unemployed. They have shot down 2 in town here, but did vote on the 3rd one to pass it. Not now I will never vote yes on it any now.

wi farmgirl on February 17, 2011 at 6:13 PM

Time for taxpayers to start meeting these bullies out there in force….

Danny on February 17, 2011 at 6:22 PM

Do you realize that the union workers can carry their sick days over from year to year and when they retire they can get up to a year of pay when they retire? Way to go Doyle.

wi farmgirl on February 17, 2011 at 6:24 PM

FIRE THEM ALL!

lilium on February 17, 2011 at 6:31 PM

Ten bucks says they’re in Chicago, having drinks with members of Obama’s campaign.

MadisonConservative on February 17, 2011 at 4:25 PM

+10
Ha!

wi farmgirl on February 17, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Ed, it’s amazing how your personal corollary happens to be the principal one cited at Wikipedia.

Vatican Watcher on February 17, 2011 at 5:46 PM

heh.

crr6 on February 17, 2011 at 6:04 PM

Great job commenting on the thread topic. Typical.

This demonstration is your political mindset in all of its glory. All the hate. All the demagoguery. You can’t win in the arena of factual and reasonable debate, so your kind demonstrates with ingenuous slogans conjured from made up facts.

Not to mention the real threats being made against Republican lawmakers. Not the imagined ones your side throws out for your media lapdogs, but real threats.

They should all be fired.

hawkdriver on February 17, 2011 at 7:02 PM

Oops.. I thought this was a Tea Party rally when I saw them carrying those Hitler posters. Wasn`t that what the Dems and Nancy Polosi said the Tea Partier`s were carrying!
And that they were racists and unpatroitic…huh, I guess they`ll have to rethink the motives of this crowd of racists and unpatroitic misfits too!!!

Lou on February 17, 2011 at 7:14 PM

Drudge posted a link-the Dems are at some resort in IL.

ProudPalinFan on February 17, 2011 at 7:59 PM

Beck had some audio from the “protest” this morning. Some of the kids who should have been in class were asked a few basic questions, such as:

Q. “Why aren’t you in school?”
A. “Our teacher brought us here.”

Q. “What are you protesting?”
A. “I don’t really know, y’know, but, like, we’re outta class, so like, it’s all good.”

Q. “What is happening here?”
A. “We’re just protesting something this dude here did.”

So, the teachers didn’t bother with the simple teachable moment of informing their students regarding the nature and significance of the event. What did they do, just come to class and say, “Field trip to the statehouse!”?

The kids can be excused their ignorance if the teachers didn’t do their job and explain the situation. The teachers should all be fired.

PATCO!, PATCO!, PATCO!

Freelancer on February 17, 2011 at 9:25 PM

Why use people to teach them, Computer work stations/cubicles.May be 1 monitor(human) per class. Doesn’t have to be a teacher. One time expense of compter system and your done.

BruceB on February 18, 2011 at 10:07 AM

Every time I see these comparisons I always think of the movie office space.

“You know, the Nazis had pieces of flair, that they made the Jews wear”

RINO in Name Only on February 18, 2011 at 11:21 AM

There’s even more historical illiteracy here. There were trade unions before 1933 in Germany and there was at least one trade union after.

Has Walker arrested the leaders of the unions?
Has Walker confiscated their property and accounts?
And has Walker substituted a union of his own making?

And since the police and firefighter’s unions (all 314 of them) will remain, he hasn’t really outlawed all but the state-sanctioned union, DAF.

The more you look into it, the less resemblance you can see between the two, especially regarding that Walker didn’t actually ban anything.

That’s the main reason why Hitler quotes are so stupid, the libs have been making Hitler so meaningless. And while arresting people because they get in the way of the design is not the worst thing he ever did, it still is characteristic of the way he operated. When he didn’t have an overwhelming mandate for Chancellor, he just jailed the Communist representatives, and bammo overwhelming majority!

Axeman on February 18, 2011 at 1:43 PM

So if someone takes a shot at the governor, will the press blame these people? Of course not. They’re just exercising freedom of speech.

Fire them all, including the absentee senators. They’re doing more harm than good by inculcating socialism and unionism in our children.

flataffect on February 18, 2011 at 7:18 PM

PUBLIC EMPLOYEE UNIONS WERE A BIG MISTAKE IN THE BEGINNING AND A LARGER ONE NOW. FIRE EVERYONE WHO HAS NOT SHOWN UP FOR WORK THE LAST FEW DAYS, DOCK THEM THE PAY THEY WOULD HAVE GOTTEN HAD THEY REALLY BEEN SICK AND SEND THE UNION PACKING. THE UNION HAS ALWAYS DEALT WITH DEMOCRATS WHO GAVE THEM WHAT THEY WANTED. THIS IS A NEW THING TO THEM AS IS NOT BEING IN THE MAJORITY FOR THE DEMOCRATS. THEY MAY HAVE TO HAVE PHYSIOLOGICAL HELP LIKE THEY HAD AFTER BUSH BEAT GORE. LOL

old war horse on February 18, 2011 at 11:59 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4