Oh, now, no he doesn’t. Union bosses are known for making thinly veiled violent threats, like the time his pal Trumka reacted to a strikebreaker being shot dead with a wink-wink about not playing with matches if you don’t want your fingers burned. The One doesn’t say stuff like that; he sits back and lets other people say it, then does his above-the-fray shtick by pleading for civility towards those on his side. Much more nuanced.

Walker’s office issued this statement:

“I’m sure the President knows that most federal employees do not have collective bargaining for wages and benefits while our plan allows it for base pay. And I’m sure the President knows that the average federal worker pays twice as much for health insurance as what we are asking for in Wisconsin. At least I would hope he knows these facts.

“Furthermore, I’m sure the President knows that we have repeatedly praised the more than 300,000 government workers who come to work every day in Wisconsin.

“I’m sure that President Obama simply misunderstands the issues in Wisconsin, and isn’t acting like the union bosses in saying one thing and doing another.”

I’m intrigued that Walker is willing to swipe at Obama after the White House decided to retreat from organizing union protests. Presumably he figures that the more he can enlarge the scale of this problem — public-employee unions everywhere bloating budgets and bleeding taxpayers dry — the more sympathy he can stir up at home for tough action on collective bargaining. A public feud with the avatar of bloated government in D.C., whose coming campaign will be bankrolled by PEUs, is a neat shorthand for that.

For your viewing pleasure, here’s Joe Scarborough warning this morning that it seems … “un-American” to deny any group the right to come together and negotiate. Never mind the fact that Walker’s proposal is limited to public employee unions and even then only to benefits (CB for wages would still be legal). He’s right in this sense: It’s really not the unions that are the malfeasors in the little racket they’ve got going. They’re doing precisely what they’re organized to do. It’s the corrupt Democratic mayors and governors, alleged guardians of the public fisc, who are happy to give away the farm in wages and benefits in return for de facto kickbacks in the form of campaign contributions. That’s why Walker is so intent on ending collective bargaining for benefits in lieu of accepting the union’s offer to take a cut in its next contract. If he doesn’t do something structural to change this, the next crooked liberal to succeed him in office will start handing out candy again. Click the image to watch.