Obama to governors: Stop vilifying public employees!

posted at 12:55 pm on February 28, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama addressed the nation’s governors today with sympathy over budgetary crises, but a warning not to solve their shortfalls by infringing on the rights of public employees.  He also scolded governors for vilifying and denigrating PEUs, which raises the question of whether Obama has bothered to look at the protests in Wisconsin and elsewhere.  Besides, the governors in question are mainly fighting to limit collective bargaining rights to a standard that the federal government prohibits for its own employees. RCP has the video:

Kimberly Strassel pre-emptively explained the hypocrisy in her column Friday at the Wall Street Journal:

It will no doubt surprise you to learn that President Obama, the great patron of the working man, also happens to be the great CEO of one of the least union-friendly shop floors in the nation.

This is, after all, the president who has berated Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to limit the collective bargaining rights of public employees, calling the very idea an “assault on unions.” This is also the president who has sicced his political arm, Organizing for America, on Madison, allowing the group to fill buses and plan rallies. Ah, but it’s easy to throw rocks when you live in a stone (White) house.

Fact: President Obama is the boss of a civil work force that numbers up to two million (excluding postal workers and uniformed military). Fact: Those federal workers cannot bargain for wages or benefits. Fact: Washington, D.C. is, in the purest sense, a “right to work zone.” Federal employees are not compelled to join a union, nor to pay union dues. Fact: Neither Mr. Obama, nor the prior Democratic majority, ever acted to give their union chums a better federal deal.

Scott Walker, eat your heart out.

For this enormous flexibility in managing his work force, Mr. Obama can thank his own party. In 1978, Democratic President Jimmy Carter, backed by a Democratic Congress, passed the Civil Service Reform Act. Washington had already established its General Schedule (GS) classification and pay system for workers. The 1978 bill went further, focused as it was on worker accountability and performance. It severely proscribed the issues over which employees could bargain, as well as prohibited compulsory union support.

Democrats weren’t then (and aren’t now) about to let their federal employees dictate pay. The GS system, as well as the president and Congress, sees to that. Nor were they about to let workers touch health-care or retirement plans. Unions are instead limited to bargaining over personnel employment practices such as whether employees are allowed to wear beards, or whether the government must pay to clean uniforms. These demands matter, though they are hardly the sort to break the federal bank.

Perhaps Walker should start arguing that he wants to give public-sector workers greater protection than federal workers.  Let’s see how the media covers that.

Just as a reminder, let’s recall exactly who has been vilifying whom in this debate:

Looks like another case of projection.


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rights of public employees

There is no such thing.

exsanguine on February 28, 2011 at 12:57 PM

Taxpayers to Obama: STOP WASTING OUR MONEY AND VILIFYING US, CHUMP.

Good Lt on February 28, 2011 at 12:57 PM

Barack Obama addressed the nation’s governors today with sympathy over budgetary crises, but a warning not to solve their shortfalls by infringing on the rights special privileges of public employees.

FTFObama

Good Lt on February 28, 2011 at 12:58 PM

It ain’t a right for Cripe sakes

I wish one of them yelled You lie!

cmsinaz on February 28, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Yep. The 0 is sprinting to the center!

txhsmom on February 28, 2011 at 12:59 PM

I’m sorry, what?

To: NASOC-CB MANAGERS GML; NASOC-CB CREW GML
Sent: Wed Dec 29 09:48:06 2010
Subject: Update on 2011-2012 Federal Pay Freeze

The message below is from OPM (Office of Personnel Management)

This message is to notify you that President Obama signed three documents on December 22, 2010, that relate to pay rates for Federal civilian employees. First, the President signed legislation to prohibit statutory pay adjustments for most Federal civilian employees for a 2-year period. (See section 147 of the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (Pub. L. 111-242), as amended by section 1(a) of the Continuing Appropriations and Surface Transportation Extensions Act, 2011 (Pub. L. 111-322).) Second, the President issued a memorandum asking that agencies suspend similar increases to pay schedules and rates that are set by administrative discretion. The law and the President’s memorandum cover pay adjustments that would otherwise take effect during the period beginning on January 1, 2011, and ending on December 31, 2012. Third, the President signed an Executive order documenting the 2011 frozen pay rates for certain civilian employee pay systems and establishing the 2011 increased pay rates for the uniformed services. (Members of the uniformed services are not covered by the pay freeze.)

The President’s memorandum is posted at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/12/22/memorandum-adjustments-certain-rates-pay and the Executive order is posted at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/12/22/executive-order-adjustments-certain-rates-pay.

The President has directed the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to issue guidance on implementing the pay freeze. In the coming days, OPM will post guidance at http://www.opm.gov on the law, Presidential memorandum, and Executive order and the impact of those documents on Federal pay rates in 2011.

BrideOfRove on February 28, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Leadership FAIL.

This post is not a repeat from every other Obama article in the past 3+ years.

teke184 on February 28, 2011 at 1:00 PM

I would love for just one of these Governors to stand up and say directly to Obama, “Mr. President, would you care to comment on the issue of Democratic state senators who choose to flee their state rather than do the job they were elected to do in the first place?”

And make sure that question is asked while the news cameras are running.

pilamaye on February 28, 2011 at 1:00 PM

collective bargaining rights

Collective bargaining privileges?

Abby Adams on February 28, 2011 at 1:00 PM

So where do we start, Barry? By infringing on the rights of taxpayers?

Limerick on February 28, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Ward Cleaver to Obama: Shut the hell up!

Ward Cleaver on February 28, 2011 at 1:00 PM

What a surprize. Obama in bed with the unions. Too bad he can’t see that they are out of control. Imagine the welfare trough slopers on the rampage next.

Money for nothing never really works out in the long run. It’s time these dola addicts get chopped off at the knees and get treated like everyone else.

saiga on February 28, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Guess trumka and soros are giving bho all the right talking points in favor for unions. Please Gov. Walker, don’t cave to these union thugs.
L

letget on February 28, 2011 at 1:01 PM

epic fail on Obama yet again. Now all we need is biden to say somethign totally off the wall to complete the MO of this admin….

unseen on February 28, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Keep f***ing that chicken, chump.

bloviator on February 28, 2011 at 1:02 PM

I love the “Hitler Outlawed Unions, Too!” sign and argument.

Let’s use that logic in another context.

Hitler also liked the music of Beethoven and Wagner – he used it as the de facto music of the Reich.

Does that make anybody who likes Beethoven and Wagner Hitlerian/a Nazi?

Logic – union style.

These people also claim to be trying to “educate” your children.

How’s everyone feel about that?

Good Lt on February 28, 2011 at 1:02 PM

was he wearing his comfy shoes when he talked to the GOVs?

jus asking

ted c on February 28, 2011 at 1:02 PM

*facepalm*

This president is a really, really bad joke…

Fortunata on February 28, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Obama to governors: Stop vilifying public employees!

.
Translation – You kids stop pointing out the Emperor has no clothes!

LincolntheHun on February 28, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Fact: Those federal workers cannot bargain for wages or benefits.

And I don’t believe they are allowed to strike either.

katiejane on February 28, 2011 at 1:03 PM

These people also claim to be trying to “educate” your children.

How’s everyone feel about that?

Good Lt on February 28, 2011 at 1:02 PM

not good. so much so that we homeschool them dadgum kids.

ted c on February 28, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Me: stop vilifying the US taxpayers.

Your doing to us what Roman Polanski did with a certain 13-year-old.

NickDeringer on February 28, 2011 at 1:03 PM

…Let me just say it. The Obama/Clinton/media left are comfortable with the unrest in our society today. It allows them to blame and demonize their opponents (doctors, insurance companies, Wall Street, talk radio, Fox News, SCOTT WALKER [my addition]) in order to portray their regime as the great healer of all our ills, thus expanding their power and control over our society.

A clear majority of the American people want no part of this. They instinctively know that the Obama way is not how things get done in this country. They are motivated by love. Not hate, not sedition. They love their country and want to save it from those who do not.

~ Rush Limbaugh, April 23, 2010, Liberals and the Violence Card

Fallon on February 28, 2011 at 1:04 PM

These people also claim to be trying to “educate” your children.

How’s everyone feel about that?

Good Lt on February 28, 2011 at 1:02 PM

It aint working out. Students are doing worse in education while the teachers get paid more and more.

Time for an overhaul.

saiga on February 28, 2011 at 1:04 PM

These people also claim to be trying to “educate” your children.

How’s everyone feel about that?

Good Lt on February 28, 2011 at 1:02 PM

The “hs” stands for homeschool. That’s how I feel about it!

txhsmom on February 28, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Obama to governors: Stop vilifying public employees!

Translation:

Obama to governors: Stop exercising your right of free speech!

Colbyjack on February 28, 2011 at 1:04 PM

ex:

Federal Employees have all the rights given to them by Congress under Title 5 US code (competitive civil service) or Title 10 US Code (Excepted service). These rights are substantial which is why Unions have no place other then as the Democratic Party’s bagman that transfers taxpayer dollars into the coffers of the Democratic Party.

Heah Union man: Big Taxpayer is coming to chain you to your desk and force you to listen to Rush Limbaugh while Ann Coulter talks dirty to you. Run away union man, Big Taxpayer is going to get you!

jerryofva on February 28, 2011 at 1:04 PM

And I don’t believe they are allowed to strike either.

katiejane on February 28, 2011 at 1:03 PM

I don’t either, see Air Traffic Controllers.

scalleywag on February 28, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Did he even allot time for questions from the governors? Probably not, since all he wanted was the face time telling them what he thinks they are doing and how to fix it. Shut up, I won.

Kissmygrits on February 28, 2011 at 1:07 PM

Let them (Obama, Trumka, Jarret, et al.) talk even more.

The more light they’ve been put under, the more they talk, the more people get to know them and their thinking/philosophy, the better.

People will realize they and their ‘solutions’ are 100% against the principles this Republic was founded upon.

Sir Napsalot on February 28, 2011 at 1:07 PM

You know, I think he’s right. There should be no vilification of public employees. Just fire them!

txhsmom on February 28, 2011 at 1:08 PM

State by State….grab your kleenex

Limerick on February 28, 2011 at 1:08 PM

Shut Up!

Obama explained.

Colbyjack on February 28, 2011 at 1:08 PM

2012 cannot come soon enough!

GarandFan on February 28, 2011 at 1:09 PM

I’m soon going to be paying more for my health care, contributing more towards my retirement, and for the 5th year in a row I won’t have a cost of living raise. But it’s a job and I’m happy to have it. If I went downtown and joined a protest for 3 weeks I wouldn’t have a job to come back to at all.

scalleywag on February 28, 2011 at 1:09 PM

“Public employees are vilified”?

Are you kidding me?

Knucklehead on February 28, 2011 at 1:10 PM

I wish Walker would start lifting some of these analogies. They’d go a long way helping him and he gets all the air time he wants.

cartooner on February 28, 2011 at 1:10 PM

Barack Hussein, our Mighty Muslim Mufti, is another overpaid and overbearing (and incompetent) public employee. It’s only natural he would defend his own people.

MaiDee on February 28, 2011 at 1:11 PM

The Villifier-in-Chief says not to?

Uh, what?

PappyD61 on February 28, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Ed,

Shouldn’t this post be your Obamateurism of the Day Year post?

PrettyD_Vicious on February 28, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Hey Poseur-in-Chief;

Stop vilifying Amercia!!

karra on February 28, 2011 at 1:11 PM

i can’t believe they sat through that crapola…

cmsinaz on February 28, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Were all of the Governors there? I would be interested to hear if O’bama had a private meeting with his lifelong friend, the new Democrat Governor of Hawai’i.

Wonder what they would talk about?

Del Dolemonte on February 28, 2011 at 1:13 PM

The Villifier-in-Chief says not to?

Uh, what?

PappyD61 on February 28, 2011 at 1:11 PM

AKA the most divisive president ever!

scalleywag on February 28, 2011 at 1:13 PM

The “hs” stands for homeschool. That’s how I feel about it!

txhsmom on February 28, 2011 at 1:04 PM

++++

ted c on February 28, 2011 at 1:14 PM

*facepalm*

This president is a really, really bad joke…

Fortunata on February 28, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Yes he is. After just finishing GWB’s book – it’s amazing to see just how sad and over his head, Obama really is.

gophergirl on February 28, 2011 at 1:14 PM

Did he even allot time for questions from the governors? Probably not, since all he wanted was the face time telling them what he thinks they are doing and how to fix it. Shut up, I won.

Kissmygrits on February 28, 2011 at 1:07 PM

According to Fox, there was a question/answer time, except the camera’s were shut off. Don’t know if C-Span covered it or not.

Knucklehead on February 28, 2011 at 1:15 PM

So I guess Obama is saying we should stop vilifying union thugs who physically threaten and accost peaceful tea party members, or who threaten and shout down reporters who are asking questions they don’t like, or………

Oh wait, I said “union thugs”!

I’m sorry!

I meant “public employees”.

pilamaye on February 28, 2011 at 1:15 PM

Hitler didn’t ban unions, he more nationalized them, instead.

lorien1973 on February 28, 2011 at 1:15 PM

Just when I think he has said the most idiotic thing, he surpasses himself. And there are people that think he is doing a great job! I am constantly amazed.

ultracon on February 28, 2011 at 1:16 PM

except the camera’s were shut off.
Knucklehead on February 28, 2011 at 1:15 PM

Probably not for the questions, but for not wanting to show them asking for autographs afterwards.

Limerick on February 28, 2011 at 1:17 PM

The Republican Governors should have “fleeded” to Virginia.

sandee on February 28, 2011 at 1:17 PM

You know who else created national health care? Hitler.

lorien1973 on February 28, 2011 at 1:18 PM

“You typical white bitter clingers better stop vilifying public employees”.

~Barry Soetoro

Rebar on February 28, 2011 at 1:19 PM

He also scolded governors for vilifying and denigrating PEUs

Guess Obama can’t read signs…guess he doesn’t understand the phrase “busing in thugs”…

right2bright on February 28, 2011 at 1:20 PM

I wonder if his personal trainer gladhanded them as they left the room.

Limerick on February 28, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Translation:

Obama to governors: Stop exercising your right of free speech!

Colbyjack on February 28, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Or, Obama to Republicans: Fight this and every other battle with both hands tied behind your back, your feet bound, a blindfold on and duct tape over your mouths.

Also, notice the absence of the civility lecture.

He is such a punk.

capitalist piglet on February 28, 2011 at 1:22 PM

You know, you can almost see the tips of Trumka’s fingers poking through Obama’s face.

The Puppet King.

portlandon on February 28, 2011 at 1:23 PM

Or what?

Bishop on February 28, 2011 at 1:24 PM

State public unions aren’t Walker’s only headache. Squeezed from the top.
http://pajamasmedia.com/richardfernandez/2011/02/27/all-over-this-land/

a capella on February 28, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Perhaps Walker should start arguing that he wants to give public-sector workers greater protection than federal workers. Let’s see how the media covers that.

I fear that will end with a big push to unionize federal workers.

MayBee on February 28, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Hey, Pretzeldent Waffle. Public employees have no rights not already guaranteed to all citizens. Taking money by coercion isn’t one of them.

pugwriter on February 28, 2011 at 1:25 PM

I love the use of the word “rights”. Almost everyone in the media is using it.

You have a “right” to collective bargaining. You do not have a “right” to not buy health insurance.

MayBee on February 28, 2011 at 1:25 PM

He also scolded governors for vilifying and denigrating PEUs

Looks like they are doing a fine job of vilifying themselves, eh?

littleguy on February 28, 2011 at 1:26 PM

Buck Ofama.

pugwriter on February 28, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Public unions are’t Walker’s only problem. Medicaid squeezing from the top.
http://pajamasmedia.com/richardfernandez/2011/02/27/all-over-this-land/

a capella on February 28, 2011 at 1:27 PM

ODumbAss is a knee jerk socialist jack ass… so no surprises..

What does one expect from a Soros sock puppet?

dogsoldier on February 28, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Pardon the double post. HA machinery is a bit hinky today.

a capella on February 28, 2011 at 1:28 PM

The Republican Governors should have “fleeded” to Virginia.

sandee on February 28, 2011 at 1:17 PM

heh++

ted c on February 28, 2011 at 1:28 PM

Buck Ofama.

pugwriter on February 28, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Amen!

Roy Rogers on February 28, 2011 at 1:29 PM

Instead of gaining wisdom and character and understanding of the issues facing the nation throughout his term thus far, Mr. PResident seems strangely to be becoming more and more daft.

scalleywag on February 28, 2011 at 1:31 PM

This is Obarry talking about that which he knows in depth. Most other things he mentions are out of the scope of his training…
-

RalphyBoy on February 28, 2011 at 1:32 PM

NO, not a right. A privilege granted back when it was needful and now abused and exploited by greedy unions seeking to increase their own power. Time to take it away.

jeanie on February 28, 2011 at 1:32 PM

You know who else created national health care? Hitler.

lorien1973 on February 28, 2011 at 1:18 PM

LMAO. I had a FB friend (libwit, of course) not only use the Mubarek-Stalin-Hilter-Nazi references on Walker, but she then compared using the filibuster unfavorably to Fleebagging. She thinks fleebagging is actually a much more responsible course of action

That’s how stupid the left is on this.

Jaibones on February 28, 2011 at 1:33 PM

A good president always sticks up for his big donors.

MayBee on February 28, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Stop vilifying public employees!
Yeah, vilify business instead.

J_Crater on February 28, 2011 at 1:34 PM

And I repeat: Good vs. Evil

pugwriter on February 28, 2011 at 1:34 PM

I just saw the tail end of Walker’s news conference and he just made the comparison that he was giving his PEUs more rights than the federal government gives theirs.

kagai on February 28, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Presidentin’ is sure hard, isn’t it Barry?

yoda on February 28, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Pretty hard to have a nation of laws when law enforcement favors one particular segment. Come to think of it, isn’t that one of the complaints in certain ME countries?

a capella on February 28, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Can someone point to me where in the constitution there is a right to collective bargaining?

angryed on February 28, 2011 at 1:37 PM

I thought the White House was trying to distance itself from this Wisconsin stuff?

Knucklehead on February 28, 2011 at 1:37 PM

As the old saying goes — “Don’t Bite The Hand That Feeds You” — That’s what I would say to the Unions …

wheels on February 28, 2011 at 1:38 PM

If I am not mistaken, this “Governors” meeting were all Dems,,,no Rs need apply. Was that not the case.????

retiredeagle on February 28, 2011 at 1:41 PM

OBAMA:

Does anybody think that the teabag, anti-government people are going to support them if they bring down health care?

fossten on February 28, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Can someone point to me where in the constitution there is a right to collective bargaining?

angryed on February 28, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Right below the right to an abortion, but not in the same section as the rights to healthcare and privacy.

fossten on February 28, 2011 at 1:47 PM

I’m shocked he didn’t call on Glenn Beck to stop vilifying Soros! He must have been too busy chastising his anti-Koch Sucking Comrades.

MeatHeadinCA on February 28, 2011 at 1:51 PM

Is Obama the president of a Union, or President of The Union.
His allegiance is obviously towards unions and not the country.

Further disqualifying his status as a leader. Buffoon, yes, but not in any sense a leader.

Kini on February 28, 2011 at 1:52 PM

“YOU LIE!!”

How prophetic did the villified JOE WILSON know he was going to be speaking those two words over the next 3 years of the Wrecking Balls’ Reign?

Thank you Rep. Wilson.

PappyD61 on February 28, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Why oh why does Obama always say just the wrong thing. He has a knack for it–one could even call it a gift or talent. Here he stands before a room full of governors and scolds them as if they were naughty children. I will never, ever understand this man. Here he has a chance to win their support, to learn from them and they from him and work out a rapport and some communication and he blows it!! I just don’t get it–just don’t understand how he can be so out of touch.

jeanie on February 28, 2011 at 1:53 PM

“I don’t know any of the facts. The Governors acted stupidly.”

Kenosha Kid on February 28, 2011 at 1:55 PM

This idiot will never be on the side of the States or the American People. He is a left wing radical that is bent on fomenting chaos in order to build a more perfect socialist union.

retiredeagle on February 28, 2011 at 1:56 PM

These people also claim to be trying to “educate” your children.

How’s everyone feel about that?

Good Lt on February 28, 2011 at 1:02 PM

I wouldn’t let my kids anywhere near those perverts. They have nothing to teach thaqt I want my kids to learn.

Shay on February 28, 2011 at 1:56 PM

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that the governor, attorney general, and speaker of the Arizona house are all public enployees.

Vashta.Nerada on February 28, 2011 at 1:56 PM

There was an interesting article in the WSJ from eco professor Robert Barro about the anti trust laws and the unions collective bargaining.

Labor unions like to portray collective bargaining as a basic civil liberty, akin to the freedoms of speech, press, assembly and religion. For a teachers union, collective bargaining means that suppliers of teacher services to all public school systems in a state—or even across states—can collude with regard to acceptable wages, benefits and working conditions. An analogy for business would be for all providers of airline transportation to assemble to fix ticket prices, capacity and so on. From this perspective, collective bargaining on a broad scale is more similar to an antitrust violation than to a civil liberty.
In fact, labor unions were subject to U.S. antitrust laws in the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, which was first applied in 1894 to the American Railway Union. However, organized labor managed to obtain exemption from federal antitrust laws in subsequent legislation, notably the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914 and the National Labor Relations Act of 1935.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704150604576166011983939364.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

xler8bmw on February 28, 2011 at 1:59 PM

The in-state and out-of-state democrats, however, have conspired with the President in a manner intended to damage the economic stability and ordinary course of business of a sovereignty. What he has done is set in motion a method of collapsing the economic stability of each state. By using the democratic party and unions to create unrest and chaos in each of the states, so far Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, NJ, for starters, he is interfering with the sovereignty of each state to establish their budgets preventing the individual states to from managing their state affairs. If states are unable to balance their budgets and forced into financial disaster, they will seek bailouts from the federal government. Those bailouts will come with strong strings attached, thereby giving the federal government control over the states that was never intended within the Constitution. Furthermoere, this interference is done for his personal gains; 1) he is owned by the unions and is obligated to support them over the interest of the Country, and 2) he needs to support unions over the well-being of the country to get re-elected.

xler8bmw on February 28, 2011 at 2:00 PM

So basically Obama is no slick willy … yeah, if he’s gonna win in ’12, it will be with A LOT of union support.

This is a (hopefully just ideological) war.

As getalife might say, get ready cons!

MeatHeadinCA on February 28, 2011 at 2:00 PM

When you apologize to the Tea Party members – Dumbo.

stenwin77 on February 28, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Zero can just keep borrowing money from China and is able to keep those printing presses going full speed putting out paper with no backing while Gov Walker does not have that option.

dragondrop on February 28, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Buck Ofama.

pugwriter on February 28, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Heh.. heh, Oh wait – only the Left is Allowed to be ‘UNcivil’ like that don’t ya know.

Colbyjack on February 28, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Comment pages: 1 2