Free Markets, Free People

WI Republicans – snatching defeat from the jaws of victory?

Why is it that in almost every scenario imaginable, where a stiff spine, adherence to principle and with public support behind them ensures political victory, there always seems to emerge a group willing to compromise (unnecessarily) before the fight is over?

With Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker maintaining a hard line on his budget bill and Democratic senators refusing to return to Madison to vote, attention is turning to a group of moderate Republican senators to negotiate a compromise to the stalemate that has drawn thousands of protesters to the state capital for a sixth straight day.

The proposal, written by Sen. Dale Schultz and first floated in the Republican caucus early last week, calls for most collective bargaining rights of public employee unions to be eliminated – per Mr. Walker’s bill – but then reinstated in 2013, said Mr. Schultzs’s chief of staff Todd Allbaugh.

"Dale is committed to find a way to preserve collective bargaining in the future," said Mr. Allbaugh in a telephone interview.

Really? Why?  Because one of the major reasons the state is having to rescind the sweetheart deals made to state workers is the result of the so-called “collective bargaining” done in the past.

Consider this – in the private sector, corporations compete against other corporations for market share.  The demands of competitiveness help keep union demands in check as both sides in a negotiation understand that going to far will cripple the corporation in terms of its competition and may cost everyone their job.   So  private sector union members have been paying a higher portion of their wages toward their own pension and health care than public union members.

There’s also an healthy adversarial relationship between labor and management that lends to checking the benefits allowed.

There is no competitive atmosphere within the public sector nor is there much of any adversarial relationship present.   In short, there are none of the checks on those unions that a competitive atmosphere puts on private sector unions. 

Secondly, the public sector unions have become huge players in state and national politics.   What happens is the guy they help elect is the guy with whom they often end up sitting across the negotiations table.  What do you think the union extracts as promises from politicians they support for election?  Well of course, sweetheart deals like those enjoyed by the unions members in Wisconsin where the taxpayer is dunned for their pension and health care benefits instead of the union member.

The bill in question is an important one.  It would also remove the requirement that state employees must join the union to hold a job in state government.  That, of course, scares the living daylights out of the union leadership.  Why?

Because it breaks their monopoly control on government employees, it removes their ability to use the state to require and collect union dues for them and it threatens their ability to fund political activities and further extend their power. 

And then there’s the accountability “problem” they’ll suddenly face.  The Wisconsin bill would require the union to hold a yearly recertification vote by secret ballot.  Until now, with mandated membership and the state collecting dues for the union (via payroll deduction), the union has had no need or requirement to be accountable to its members.  Members have had no choice but to join the union regardless of whether they wanted to or agreed with the union’s direction.    With the passage of this bill the union would suddenly have an accountability requirement.  As you might imagine, they want nothing to do with that.

With all of the liberty enhancing aspects of this bill as they pertain to the Wisconsin public service unions, why in the world are some “moderate” Republicans getting wobbly in the knees (thankfully Gov. Walker is standing his ground)?  They have a strong case, they have a voter mandate, they have public opinion on their side, union members are acting like spoiled children and their political opponents have shut down state government.

But with Democratic senators indicating they are willing to remain away from the capital indefinitely, state government remains shut down with no end in sight.

That’s bad on them.   So why is Dale Schultz trying to entice them back to the table with an absurdity like suspending collective bargaining rights for only 2 years?  It shouldn’t be their side that is showing signs of giving in, it should be the Democrats who’ve run off to another state to avoid doing their job.  Let public pressure work on them.

It is to the advantage of the state GOP to let the Democrats carry out this travesty for as long as they wish.  Let the so-called public servants stay off the job and throw their selfish tantrums in the capitol.  It doesn’t reflect well on them and the public will finally tire of it. 

But if the GOP there capitulates and compromises it will most likely turn the public opinion tables on them and encourage the unions and Democrats there and elsewhere to duplicate the tactics that forced the compromise.

For once, I’d like to see the GOP stand its ground – firmly – and invite the opposition to give it their best shot.  I think Democrats have badly misread this situation and are in the middle of hurting themselves.  What’s the old political axiom: when your opponent is in the middle of self-destruction, get out of their way and let the process continue – or something like that.   WI “moderate” Republicans need to grow a pair and stand their ground.  What they’re proposing is in the best interest of the state and its citizens, and that is what they were elected to concern themselves with.

~McQ

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18 Responses to WI Republicans – snatching defeat from the jaws of victory?

  • Somebody needs to have a serious discussion with that “moderate” idiot.  Walker is right on the verge of carrying the day here, it feels like to me.
    http://hindenblog1.blogspot.com/2011/02/burn-wisconsins-quiet-riot.html
    Even the moonbat Collective is feeling this is going against them.

  • Walker sounds like he is having none of the kum-by-ya talk

    Bringing up hot-button legislation while the Democrats are gone is another arrow in Walker’s quiver. Though the Wisconsin constitution requires three-fifths of the senate to be present to pass fiscal legislation, a simple majority of 17 members constitutes a quorum for other bills in the 33-seat state senate. So the 19 GOP senators who remain in Madison can pass any number of bills while their Democratic colleagues are on the lam, and Republicans are a majority in the assembly, too. “They can hold off, but there is a whole legislative agenda that Republicans in the senate and assembly can start acting on that only requires simple majorities,” Walker warns.“If they want to do their jobs, and have a say, they better show up.”

    Excellent…!!!

  • Meanwhile, Wisconsin has taken the public’s eye off of DC.
    So instead of building support against Republican spending cuts in the House, the eyes of the public are watching Wisconsin and the Middle East, at a time when there is a relative break in professional sports, usually a prime moment to get their attention.
    Obama has to get the attention off of Wisconsin before the CR from the House comes up for a vote in the Senate, or any possible veto will appear to come out of nowhere, making it harder to blame Republicans.

  • Wisconsin State Senator, Mark Miller, calls into question the tactics used by President Barack “I Won” Obama, Senate Majority Leader Reid and former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

    “… this is a democracy, and in a democracy you negotiate,” Miller told anchor Erica Hill.

    Governor Walker responds

    • Miller is confused.  You debate…on the floor of the senate.  You don’t FLEE to another state and make demands.

    • “… this is a democracy, and in a democracy you negotiate,” Miller told anchor Erica Hill.

      >>>   Unless you’re the democrats, then you either shut the GOP out of having any input entirely (like Nancy Pelosi did) or you run away to shut down business  (like WI  fleepartiers)

      • Uh, no … you negotiate when you’re in a position to offer something for something else – a position the Democrats in WI don’t enjoy.

        Oh, and in democracy … you vote. That’s already occurred in a broader sense (which is why the Dems are in the minority) and as soon as they follow the bread crumbs home, what is going to happen WI Senate when the Dems return to Madison to do their job.

  • Would it be too much to hope that this is ruse a lure to lure them back inside the state, so that they can be brought back to force a quorum?
     
    Of course it would.

  • Just for laughs, Krugman fires up the spin machine.

    In principle, every American citizen has an equal say in our political process. In practice, of course, some of us are more equal than others. Billionaires can field armies of lobbyists; they can finance think tanks that put the desired spin on policy issues; they can funnel cash to politicians with sympathetic views (as the Koch brothers did in the case of Mr. Walker). On paper, we’re a one-person-one-vote nation; in reality, we’re more than a bit of an oligarchy, in which a handful of wealthy people dominate.
    Given this reality, it’s important to have institutions that can act as counterweights to the power of big money. And unions are among the most important of these institutions.

    Too funny.  One would have to be a complete dolt to think the unions are not part of ‘the power of big money’ on the Democrat’s side.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/21/opinion/21krugman.html?_r=1

  • In principle, every American citizen has an equal say in our political process. In practice, of course, some of us are more equal than others. Billionaires can field armies of lobbyists; they can finance think tanks that put the desired spin on policy issues; they can funnel cash to politicians with sympathetic views (as the Koch brothers did in the case of Mr. Walker)

    >>> I’m really f**king sick of twunts like this guy using the Koch brothers as some effing boogieman every 5 minutes.  Krurgan I guess never heard of George Soros, or if he did…..well, what Soros does is just fine with him I suppose.  Gutless hack piece of trash.

    Given this reality, it’s important to have institutions that can act as counterweights to the power of big money. And unions are among the most important of these institutions.

    >>>  HAHAHAHAHAHA!   The Unions are more big money than any of them.  Who’s acting as the counterweight to who again?

  • Newly elected state Sen. Leah Vukey, a Tea Party favorite, told The Daily Caller the Senate could separate the removal of collective bargaining rights for state and local employees from the spending bill if the Democrats refuse to return. Vukey said she’s not yet sure if Wisconsin’s Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald will so so, but said it’s a possibility.
    “All the collective bargaining stuff could be done as a separate bill,” Vukey said in a phone interview. “I’m not certain if we’re going to do that at this point.”

    Sounds pretty strong to me…!!!!

  • “So why is Dale Schultz trying to entice them back to the table with an absurdity like suspending collective bargaining rights for only 2 years?”

    Cynically speaking, there is an election in 2014 which unless the economy is picking up within Wisconsin the GOP is going to have trouble winning.  

    Allowing the unions to strike in the year prior to the next election will result in strikes, making the GOP more popular even if their economic policies do not succeed. 

    • And you think giving back collective bargaining is going to put them over the top? How about 2014 and the budget is in the black and balanced? Might that not do more for them?

  • Here’s the reason in a nutshell.
     
    The GOP Senators that cave, will get blow jobs from the media from now until the next election.
     
    Recent campaign finance laws have taken campaigning out the control of those running and those willing to fund them and put it in the hands of the Media.  Media coverage controls election outcomes like never before.

  • The one self-destructing here will be Walker. I was not allowed in the capitol building today, and I am not a protestor. I’m a Wisconsin taxpayer that should have been able to enter the building. Dale Schultz is my senator, and I am proud of him. Walker is destroying the Republican party’s chance of holding the governorship in the future, the only chance will be if Dale Schultz runs. Walker is losing the support of Independents, and even of some conservatives.  You can’t drain the public schools dry and think that you’ll have an educated workforce in the near future.