Fleebaggers urge Walker to negotiate with unions rather than legislators

posted at 8:48 am on February 23, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Wisconsin teachers and other union activists at the state capital have already demonstrated that they have no clue on civics and history, with their accusations against Governor Scott Walker of being a “dictator,” and their comparisons to Hosni Mubarak, Benito Mussolini, and Adolf Hitler.  The latter comparison got started with Democratic state Senator Lena Taylor, the day before she and her colleagues went on the lam, with this statement:

“The history of Hitler,” Wisconsin state Sen. Lena Taylor told a reporter on Feb. 15, 2011, “in 1933, he abolished unions, and that’s what our governor’s doing today.”

Politifact ranked this a Pants On Fire lie:

Hitler abolished all unions and collective bargaining by decree, not with legislation. And he used force to liquidate the unions that did exist. …

Taylor said Hitler abolished unions “and that’s what our governor’s doing today.” Walker has not proposed abolishing any unions. His budget-repair bill would prohibit some government workers from joining unions and it would curtail the collective bargaining rights of most public employees.

But Walker cannot order any of the changes; they would have to be approved by the Legislature, put in place by voters in November 2010. Hitler, by fiat, not only ended all collective bargaining, he abolished all unions, seized their funds and sent their leaders to concentration camps.

Taylor’s comparison is ridiculously extreme.

It deserves our most extreme rating: Pants on Fire.

Politifact isn’t exactly hostile to Democrats normally, but the Wisconsin Democrats and those who support them have kept Politifact busy the last few days, as their list of articles on the subject shows.  Taylor obviously knows nothing about politics and civics, and yesterday the state Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller added his name to the demonstration of ignorance.  Allahpundit posted the video of Miller’s speech last night, but this part of NPR’s interview with Miller deserves specific attention:

Does that mean that, having the delayed the process, that you’re going to be willing in some reasonable amount of time to vote on this bill even if you’re going to lose the vote?

We have provided a window of opportunity for cooler heads to prevail. The state employees have offered to give the governor the economic concessions he required to — he thought he required — to be able to balance the next year’s budget. And they’ve asked in return to be able to keep their rights as workers. So it’s no longer an economic issue. And with that being the case, we have provided an opportunity for there to be a resolution.

Do you see any way that there can be a resolution other than, I mean, do you see a way forward for negotiation here, is what I’m asking.

Oh, absolutely there’s a way for negotiation. And there’s an offer on the table right now, which is very public, which is that the state employees have agreed to economic concessions, they want to retain their rights — the governor should accept that. Any kind of a governor that has that kind of a good deal should pick it up. …

For good measure, Miller also insisted that the Wisconsin Fleebaggers abandoned their posts for democracy:

Miller defended the Democrats’ decision to leave Wisconsin.

“The only action available to us to slow this down, to allow democracy to work, was to take ourselves out of the Capitol . . .  and allow people to have their voice,” he said.

Does Miller seriously state that governors should negotiate legislation directly with public-sector unions rather than the legislature, or bring some sort of Labor Seal of Approval before moving legislation?  I addressed this nonsense in my column at The Week yesterday:

Mark Miller, one of the runaway legislators who fled from Wisconsin to Illinois, complained that Walker didn’t negotiate with the unions when proposing his bill, and that “in democracy, you negotiate.” But Walker isn’t proposing a new contract with the unions –- he’s proposing changes to the law and to the budget for the state of Wisconsin. The proper forum for negotiating legislation and budgets is in the state legislature, and the proper principals for those debates are the elected public officials of Wisconsin’s government, not the unions. In fact, it’s rather telling that Miller would abdicate that role to the unions rather than his own caucus in the legislature.

Furthermore, the Republicans who control the legislature had prepared to debate the bill. The schedule called for 17 hours of debate on the changes, which have percolated since Walker campaigned on budgetary and public-sector reform last year with these specific proposals. Democrats in the state senate have prevented the proper exercise of negotiations by denying Wisconsin a quorum in their upper chamber.

And why? the Democrats who fled know they will lose. Instead of facing defeat, they have chosen to hold representative democracy itself hostage, and demand that the minority rule the majority as their terms.

The “people” had their voice.  It was called an election, and PEU bargaining rights were a specific issue in the campaign.  Democrats defended those, and wound up in the minority in Wisconsin for the first time in decades.  Miller doesn’t want representative democracy to work — he wants to dictate terms and ignore the will of Wisconsin voters.

If nothing else, Miller has made the Democratic sell-out of their seats to Big Labor more transparent than any other Democrat in the US.  Let Democrats run in the next election on the platform that unions should supersede the legislature, and let’s see if they even hold onto the number of seats they have now.


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Does anyone else remember the urinalists and hippie libs moaning and b!tching because Boehner exercised his RIGHT to speak as Minority Leader for like 45 minutes when the effturds in the House were trying to pass the jobs killing and insane cap and tax bill????

Branch Rickey on February 23, 2011 at 11:08 AM

Wisconsin teachers and other union activists at the state capital have already demonstrated that they have no clue on civics and history,


And yet, Wisconsin students rank #3 nationwide on SATs. So I guess “having a clue” is more about possessing Rush Limbaugh’s agenda than actual, historical and civics-related knowledge???

Go, Wisconsin teachers!!!

bifidis on February 23, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Go, Wisconsin teachers!!!

bifidis on February 23, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Why don’t you move up there and support them with your taxes?

darwin on February 23, 2011 at 11:16 AM

KingGold, don’t know if anyone else has addressed this, but bountymen have no standing to touch an elected state official, especially as none have been indicted, or even charged, with a crime. Given the present circumstances, it’s against the law for any but a Wisconsin state peace officer to attempt any enforcement of the Governor’s requirements upon these absentee legislators.

Freelancer on February 23, 2011 at 11:16 AM

FTR, I believe ‘fleebaggers’ was first used at Gatewaypundit last Friday: Wisconsin State Troopers Sent Out to Retrieve AWOL Dems …Update: Flee-Baggers Are Hiding In Chicago

slickwillie2001 on February 23, 2011 at 11:34 AM

News Update on IN. Dems responded to Daniels placating them by issuing a LIST of bills they insist must be off the table before they return.

Now, the leader of the Senate is doing the job. He was smiling and saying, “No deal.”

The Dem interviewed had a very, very shaky voice.

This will change the dynamics, yet again, over the WI and Ohio public perception.

AnninCA on February 23, 2011 at 11:47 AM

One of the bills they insist be removed is the expansion of charter schools.

oy vey…..

AnninCA on February 23, 2011 at 11:47 AM

I think negotiation could work, as long as he keeps it simple.

Get back to work, or I’ll fire your a**es collectively. Keep up the pressure Gov.

austinnelly on February 23, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Go, Wisconsin teachers!!!

bifidis on February 23, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Agreed. Teacher’s Unions, though, can go where the sun don’t shine!

littleguy on February 23, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Let Democrats run in the next election on the platform that unions should supersede the legislature, and let’s see if they even hold onto the number of seats they have now.

Make them run on it. Until every last adult in this country knows exactly how public sector unions get paid and who pays ‘em, and exactly what a trick collective bargaining rights for PEUs aer.

perries on February 23, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Go, Wisconsin teachers!!!

bifidis on February 23, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Many of them will BE gone, soon. The alternative to paying into their own retirement and benefits is layoffs.

In case you haven’t heard, Wisconsin is spending more than it brings in. You can’t pay people with money you don’t have. Unless you’re California, who sometimes pays people in IOUs.

hawksruleva on February 23, 2011 at 1:15 PM

Does Miller seriously state that governors should negotiate legislation directly with public-sector unions rather than the legislature….? EM

Why not? It’s what he does.

Barnestormer on February 23, 2011 at 1:26 PM

bifidis on February 23, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Well bifi is sayin that WI ranks third on the SATs, but I spent quite a bit of time checking this out with the 2009 SAT stats and he’s wrong. They do okay, but they are not third nationally by any means. For example, we in NH are ahead of them. And remember that it’s college bound kids who are apt to take the SATs…the top academics. Where a teacher proves his or her mettle is keeping the lower performers in school and actually preparing them to go out into the real world. Teachers who walk off the job for nearly a week prancing and yelling for Union causes cannot care too much about these I’m thinking.

jeanie on February 23, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Because Mark Miller chose to be a sniveling coward and run away from his responsibilities as an elected official, he disqualifies himself from having anything to say on this matter, at least until he gets his sorry butt back to Madison and faces the music.

pilamaye on February 23, 2011 at 1:35 PM


And yet, Wisconsin students rank #3 nationwide on SATs. So I guess “having a clue” is more about possessing Rush Limbaugh’s agenda than actual, historical and civics-related knowledge???

Since when does the SAT measure “actual, historical, and civics-related knowledge”? It’s a test of verbal and math aptitude, not of knowledge.

But hey, any random claim of “facts” will serve a progressive argument, eh?

I’ll tell you what, I’ll challenge the public school teachers of Wisconsin to a competition. I’ll pick, not quite at random, a half dozen friends of mine who don’t have college degrees. They’ll take skills tests in math, science, history and English. I’m willing to bet that my friends will outperform the credentialed teachers. Few teachers today have actual degrees. They may have gone to Ed school and gotten degrees in education, but they often know virtually nothing about the subjects they’re assigned to teach.

My sister has been teaching science in NYC for over 30 years. Her degree is in biology, not education. Over the years her kind of real knowledge based background has become rarer and rarer.

Oh, and she makes over $100K a year in salary and drives a Lincoln. And, no, she doesn’t spend 3 hours a night preparing lesson plans or correcting homework – and she’s a superb teacher.

rokemronnie on February 23, 2011 at 1:42 PM

rokemronnie on February 23, 2011 at 1:42 PM

I agree. I took the teacher’s test and have never taught. I landed in the 98% percentile.

So you’re right. Any number of people would be prepared on the content.

I do respect that teachers have developed classroom skills,etc.

AnninCA on February 23, 2011 at 1:47 PM

Go, Wisconsin teachers!!!

bifidis on February 23, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Freud approves. Going, gone, be gone!

Schadenfreude on February 23, 2011 at 1:50 PM

One mortified Wisconsin taxpayer speaks for many. “As the daughter of former Wisconsin Senate Minority Floor Leader William R. Moser (D-Milwaukee, Dist. 6),” Mary Magdalen Moser told me, she’s humiliated by the “flee-bagging” politicians. “I am ashamed of the actions taken by the minority party to subvert our system of government by boycotting its legitimate processes. Anarchy is undemocratic, and I know that my Dad is spinning in his grave right now. . . . I do not support refusing to participate, because that will not solve any of the issues facing our state.”

If Obama had any substance and leadership in his constitution he’d have said this to the country.

Schadenfreude on February 23, 2011 at 2:05 PM

I wonder if the Republicans in Wisconsin have considered a different path, -using vouchers. Issue them in numbers adequate to roll back the number of teachers required. The cost of the vouchers is sure to be less than the cost of teachers and overhead.

slickwillie2001 on February 23, 2011 at 2:18 PM

If Republicans overreached with their budget-repair bill and unfairly restricted the rights of unions, then let Democrats go on record opposing the bill and make it the centerpiece of the next legislative election in Wisconsin. Under the circumstances, though, the Democrats who have tried to hijack democracy in order to dictate terms should be the ones who fear the next election the most.

Schadenfreude on February 23, 2011 at 2:33 PM

Let Democrats run in the next election on the platform that unions should supersede the legislature, and let’s see if they even hold onto the number of seats they have now.

Never underestimate a “cheesehead” Ed.

chickasaw42 on February 23, 2011 at 5:20 PM

Does Miller seriously state that governors should negotiate legislation directly with public-sector unions rather than the legislature, or bring some sort of Labor Seal of Approval before moving legislation? …

Somehow I don’t think that the Democrats would be willing to similarly negotiate with and require the approval of the NRA on Democrat backed gun control.

RJL on February 23, 2011 at 8:59 PM

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