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.