Big Labor’s Big Boo-Boo
C. Edmund Wright
Wow. Where to start?
The “it’s gonna be a late night in Madison” notion was virtually over by the end of Happy Hour — which no doubt did cause some very late nights instead in Washington and Chicago. With little or no happiness at all. And naturally there were also the comparisons to the vibes of the night Scott Brown took down the Kennedy seat in 2009. More on both of these dynamics shortly.
The real story is: what happened this spring in Wisconsin was not a recall election at all. Pure and simple, it was a mulligan. A childish do-over. Moreover, it was a battle of government union members and their families against pretty much everyone else. And when that really crystallized in the minds of the voters, the unions’ cause was doomed. The name Tom Barrett is irrelevant here. The biggest losers last night — and there were many — were big labor generally and public service unions specifically.
Succinctly put, the petty, protected, pampered lefty government unions — still indignant over Scott Walker’s 2010 win — simply threw a 75 million dollar tantrum as a third do over on that same election. And the unions’ reward from the citizens of Wisconsin for a year and a half of hell was a resounding “go to hell” of epic proportions. And if anyone doubts that there is a God — and that He has a sense of humor — the Wisconsin State Motto is, yep, “Forward.”
You can’t make this stuff up.
Making stuff up, however, is what the entire leftist media-Democratic Party complex is doing today, blaming everything and everyone from the Citizens United decision, voter fraud, a bogus robo-call, George Bush — and probably even Brett Favre. MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell even pretended the election did not happen, focusing on Mitt Romney’s job creation record in Massachusetts instead. It’s all very funny. And satisfying.
Now the losers:
Big Labor: Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell didn’t want to admit it on Fox, but big labor was absolutely the huge loser last night and in fact, they have been losing ever since Walker took office. It was the behavior of the unions in the Madison riots that really started the general public’s focusing in on just how much these “public servants” are now making in salaries, pensions and health care, and how damned entitled they feel to all of this. That is what started all of this mess. The public was also tuned in to the unseemly nature of public sector unions per se and their relationship with politicians they get elected. And perhaps most devastating of all is the fact that some government unions in Wisconsin have lost over half of their own membership during this protracted battle. And oh by the way, public sector unions started in Wisconsin. In 1959.
Democratic Party: It goes without saying that if big labor loses, the Democratic Party loses. Actually, we have Wisconsin to thank that this now goes without saying. The past 21 months have been a highly visible object lesson for all to see. Moreover, the Democrats have lost much of their built in fund raising via the union mechanism thanks to some of Walker’s reforms.
MSM and their exit polling: As 9pm EDT rolled around last night, all media outlets were buzzing with word that the exit polls were 50-50 and Ed Schultz was settling in “for a long night.” He had no idea at the time. These exit polls excited the same fantasies that these same media outlets had been feeding that “the race was tightening” in the final week. Actually, it was not tightening at all. One thing the exit polls showed was that almost everybody who voted had long made up their minds. And why not? You’re either on the gummint gravy train or your’re not. What’s to decide? How this escaped the geniuses in the media is another story. But they lost last night in a big way.
Obama: This one is a no brainer, and was pretty much obvious when he decided to avoid Wisconsin this week like yellow in the game Twister. But it goes deeper than that. His failure to do more than send a last minute Twitter message in support of Barrett has to rankle the unions, who have in the past done so much to get Obama and other Democrats elected. Looking ahead to November, their coffers are depleted, and enthusiasm for giving money to Obama, manning phone banks, and canvassing drives has to diminish not just in Wisconsin but beyond.
GOP Establishment: Setting Reince Preibus aside for a second, the GOP Establishment took a bit of a whipping last night — because Walker is exactly the kind of Republican the establishment constantly warns us is poison for the party. Preibus gets a lot of grief because he is RNC Chair and they normally deserve it . But Preibus was key to Walker’s first win as well as Senator Johnston’s defeat of Russ Feingold in 2010. We can only hope that now Preibus will have more cred in the halls of the RNC offices inside the Beltway.
Gop Consultants / Conventional Wisdom See above, but the consultant class deserves their own space in the biggest loser category. They have cost us many elections over the decades, and last night was a huge blow to their entire foundational template. This may be Walker’s biggest gift of all to conservatives.
Bipartisanship / No Labels Crowd: The stunning vitriol and passion in this election, along with the results of the recent Pew Research findings, have dealt the notion of “getting along” and bipartisanship a huge blow. Actually, reality is the problem with bipartisanship. This is a nation divided on the role of government and government unions and all of the attendant spending and control in our lives. Many of us knew that already. Those that didn’t surely should now, after seeing the last 21 months unfold in Madison and after perusing the Pew results as well.
Julia: The entire nanny state government dependency mindset — as demonstrated by the Obama 2012 cartoon character Julia — took a big whipping last night as well. The folks who pay for all of the government union members and for all of the Julias had a collective awakening and said enough is enough. If there’s another installment of Julia, and I suspect there will not be, she would be very unhappy watching MSNBC in last night’s episode.
Now, as pleasing as this result is, this is not an indication that Mitt Romney can necessarily come rolling into Wisconsin and win. While Walker, his Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and several State Senators won last night, surveys indicate that even in this environment Romney would have lost. Besides, rarely has Romney shown the cojones on any issue that Walker has shown consistently.
Which brings us to the contrast with the Brown win in 09. The Walker win is even sweeter and more significant. Scott Brown campaigned on tea party principles, and while avoiding the term celebrated those principles in his victory speech. But he has not always voted that way — and will run against Princess Warren as a moderate.
Scott Walker meanwhile campaigned outwardly as a tea party type in 2010, governed that way absolutely — campaigned again as a tea party candidate this year — and won an even bigger victory. Now, in his speech last night, Walker said that “he’s committed to working together” and to is determined to “put this election behind us.” Of course he was sounding the obligatory good winner attitude, as he should have. We all know better. The liberals, their unions, their President, their media — all have to be defeated because there is no working with them.