o far CNN, Fox, and NBC are all calling the Wisconsin election for Republican Scott Walker, making him the first US governor (out of 3 attempts) to survive a recall election.
The left will sure as crap start making excuses tomorrow--Citizens United, voter suppression or intimidation, the recession, tampering with ballots, anything to explain why their guy lost. It's not that they'll ignore their own voter suppression or intimidation, tampering with ballots, and fraudulent votes, rather they'll project their own crimes onto Republicans. They'll squeal to high heaven and try to figure out why their guy lost.
Let me make it easy for them: he lost because Walker was not only the better candidate, but because he's a good governor. Since all the ballots haven't been counted yet we don't know the exact spread, but Walker was projected to win by the same 5-6 point margin, over the same opposing candidate, as he did when elected a year and a half ago.
My school's very own Che Guevara challenged me today about votes, about unions, etc. He tried to convince me that because unions did good a hundred years ago that I should vote for them today; what he failed to point out, if he even knew it at all, was that major labor leaders during that grand union era--and let's not leave out President FDR (see below)--was against public sector collective bargaining.
Unions are enraged. They've been calling such increases (requiring public workers to pay 5.8% of their salaries towards retirement and pay 1/8 of their health care expenses) unspeakable since Walker was elected handily in November. Then, Feb. 10, Walker went further. He'd allow public-sector unions to negotiate only pay, not benefits, mainly because he wants HSA-style health plans and 401(k)-style retirements for state workers, and unions would fight that, tooth and ragged red claw.So what has Wisconsin, the "cradle of progressivism", taught us? That even with all the shenanigans the left has pulled--Democratic legislators' leaving the state, days of teacher protests whilst lying about being sick, a union-funded and -inspired recall election of a state supreme court judge, and now a union-funded and -inspired recall election of a governor--the people trust the Republican governor more than they trust the public sector unions.
So unions erupted. Teachers faked illness in such numbers as to close school districts for days. Mobs beat on the doors of legislative chambers. And in some heavenly Hyde Park, the great liberal god of the 1930s is saying he saw it all along.
Roosevelt's reign certainly was the bright dawn of modern unionism. The legal and administrative paths that led to 35% of the nation's workforce eventually unionizing by a mid-1950s peak were laid by Roosevelt.
But only for the private sector. Roosevelt openly opposed bargaining rights for government unions.
"The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service," Roosevelt wrote in 1937 to the National Federation of Federal Employees. Yes, public workers may demand fair treatment, wrote Roosevelt. But, he wrote, "I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place" in the public sector. "A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government."
Heckuva job, unions. Why would anyone want to join you with a record like that?
The wind's blowing into the sea lanes, friends. Let's make sure our sails are up.
Update: it will also be interesting to see if San Diego, with a Republican mayor, and San Jose, with a Democratic mayor, vote to curb retirement benefits for city workers:
The ballot measures differ on specifics. San Diego’s Proposition B imposes a six-year freeze on pay levels used to determine pension benefits unless a two-thirds majority of the City Council votes to override it. It also puts new hires, except for police officers, into 401(k)-style plans.Are either of those so draconian? No, I don't want to pay more out of my pocket, either, but that isn't really the issue, is it?
More than 100,000 residents signed petitions to put the San Diego measure on the ballot.
Under San Jose’s Measure B, current workers would have to pay up to 16 percent of their salaries to keep their retirement plan or accept more modest benefits. New hires would get less generous benefits.
Mayor Chuck Reed, a Democrat, joined an 8-3 City Council majority to put the measure on the ballot.
Update #2: Ann Althouse points out:
Look at the blue-red balance on the map for last year’s state supreme court battle. Now look at tonight’s map.
Update #3, June 6, 2012: San Diego passed its measure by over 66%, and San Jose passed its by over 69%. Scott Walker's Wisconsin margin was 6.9 points, greater than that with which he was elected only a year and a half ago.
Public employee unions had better get with the program.
Update #4, 6/6/12: Hitler finds out that Walker won the recall:
The movie is called Downfall. You probably haven't heard of it, but you've seen zillions of these spoofs.