Lest there was any doubt that this showdown has been fully nationalized, this should finish it off.
“The President of the United States has a unique opportunity and responsibility to lead this nation. President Obama has acknowledged the challenges we face, but – thus far – he has done nothing to offer solutions. Now, worse, his political organization is colluding with special-interest allies across the country to demagogue reform-minded governors who are making the tough choices that the President is avoiding.
“This is not the way to begin an ‘adult conversation’ about solutions to the big challenges facing our country. Rather than inciting protests against those who speak honestly about the challenges we face, the President and his advisers should lead.
“When the American people watched the people of Greece take to the streets to protest cuts to unsustainable government programs, they worried it might foreshadow events in our nation’s distant future – but today, we see the same sort of protests on the streets of Madison, fueled by President Obama’s own political machine.
“Rather than trying to ‘win the future,’ the President’s political allies are trying, desperately, to cling to a failed past by fighting reforms our nation needs to liberate our economy from the shackles of debt and create a better future for our children and grandchildren. The President should make it clear to his friends that the people of Wisconsin, and states across America, can handle their own affairs without Washington special-interest money and meddling.
This isn’t limited to Wisconsin. The One’s O-bots at OFA are also helping to put together protests in Ohio and Indiana, a tactic that would have inspired much outrageously outraged liberal pants-wetting about “astroturf” had the party roles in the protests been reversed. At Reason, Matt Welch beholds the spectacle of a C-in-C going all-in against a state governor trying to balance his budget and wonders, “Is this how a president should act?” And the answer, clearly, is yes: If, like Obama, you value your own reelection so dearly that you’re willing to run screaming from entitlement reform despite the mortal risk our debt poses to the country’s fiscal stability, then intervening in Madison on behalf of the unions who’ll fund your campaign is precisely how you should act. That’s what being the union crony-in-chief means. His party has been bought and sold by PEUs, so if the taxpayer tap runs dry for the latter, it runs dry for the Democrats too. So it’s time to lay down some ‘turf. That’s what Lincoln would do, no?
Speaking of a complete collapse in leadership, via Greg Hengler, below you’ll find video of Democratic Wisconsin Senator turned cretinous fugitive Joe Erpenbach explaining that kids are missing school because of Scott Walker, not because of the public-school teachers who are out in the streets protesting a new benefit scheme that most private employees would kill for. Since Obama’s so tangibly interested in these protests, go ahead and lay that at his feet too. And since, as of this writing, top Democrats have yet to interrupt their self-congratulation about civility by saying anything about the “Scott Walker is a new Hitler” rhetoric being kicked around outside the Capitol — which is really the tip of the iceberg in terms of nastiness — let’s also throw that in the mix. Quite a little political stew we have simmering here. Andrew Breitbart and tea partiers are set to hold a counterdemonstration in support of Walker tomorrow, but that too may be just the tip of the iceberg. Erpenbach says he and the other runaway Dems are willing to stay away for weeks, until Walker — and this is a real, actual quote — fulfills “his responsibility to bring the state together.” While union members outside Walker’s office screech about Nazism, a Democrat who fled the state rather than lose a vote is faulting Walker for dividing Wisconsin. And he’s doing it from an undisclosed location. Perfect.
As I write this, Ben Smith at Politico is touting a new poll showing that fully 64 percent think public employees shouldn’t be allowed to unionize. Meanwhile, Joe Klein — yes, Joe Klein — is scolding the Wisconsin Dems for running away from democracy and heralding a new “rebalancing” of union political power. Exit question: Who do you think is going to win this showdown, Walker or Obama?
Update (Ed): Obama had better hope that the answer to the exit question is himself. There is probably no path to the Presidency for a Democrat who loses Wisconsin — and he was in deep danger of doing that before this crisis erupted. If I were Obama, I’d be very leery of getting too deeply involved in this, especially on the losing side.