In case you haven’t been following, Republicans in Wisconsin and now Indiana have been grappling with out-of-control spending and ways to return some sanity to state fiscal policy. In addition to direct cuts to government, another option they’re looking at is curtailing the privilege of government employee unions to engage in collective bargaining.
For ages, unions have siphoned the wages of workers (through union dues) into the pockets of Democrat politicians because, sharing a love for the Marxist philosophy which underlies unions, Democrats have worked to protect and empower unions–usually at taxpayer expense.
Like so many free rides, in our current state of economic collapse, this one too is coming to an end. And Democrats are predictably freaking out. Wisconsin Democrats left the state rather than show up for a vote they couldn’t win, goofing off beyond the boundaries of the state where the governor might send state police to retrieve them. Soon Indiana Democrats followed suit.
But what is the mentality behind this “tuning out” from the business they’ve been elected to do? And have we ever seen this sort of behavior before in our country?
Tracinski exposes this underlying thinking, and reminds us of a time when this tactic was tried before. This is an excerpt from his article:
This is why the left is treating any attempt to fundamentally reform the public workers’ paradise as an existential crisis. This is why they are reacting with the most extreme measures short of outright insurrection. When Democratic lawmakers flee the state in order to deprive their legislatures of the quorum necessary to vote, they are declaring that they would rather have no legislature than allow voting on any bill that would break the power of the unions.
National Review’s Jim Geraghty describes these legislative walk-outs as “small-scale, temporary secessions.” The analogy is exact. One hundred and fifty years ago, Southern slaveholders realized that the political balance of the nation had tipped against them, that they could no longer hope to win the political argument for their system. Faced with a federal government in which they were out-voted, they decided that they would rather have no federal government at all. The Democrats’ current cause may not be as repugnant-holding human beings as chattel is a unique evil-but it has something of the same character of irrational, belligerent denial. More than two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the left is still trying to pretend that socialism is plausible as an economic system.
The Democrats are fleeing from a lot more than their jobs as state legislators. They are fleeing from the cold, hard reality of the financial and moral unsustainability of their ideal.
This analysis blows the center out of they bulls eye. As I have pointed out a myriad of times in the last week, liberals are downright professional in their propensity to run like scalded dogs from reality.
As Tracinski’s column so deftly and clearly points out, liberals are masters at crafting utopian fantasies, and even a few real-world enclaves of limited scope which are by and large insulated from the harsh reality of the real world.
So when conservatives are able to bring irresistible pressure which exposes encroaching reality, liberals run for the hills. Tracinski’s analogy of the “small-scale, temporary secessions” is near perfect.
The slaveholder states of the 19th Century worked hard to maintain a fantasy world where it was morally acceptable and quite natural for one human being to own another human being on the basis of skin color. When the slavers found themselves in danger of having a cold bucket of reality dumped over their heads, they retreated from reality so they could keep their distance and hopefully re-establish a new fantasy enclave beyond the reach of an unpleasant reality.
So it is that these Leftists in the state legislatures of Wisconsin and Indiana are running from a reality they find abhorrent. Like the slavers of the 19th Century, they would rather divorce themselves from the representative process of our nation and states than to acquiesce to the real world where people don’t get a free ride and are expected to carry their own weight.
But we shouldn’t allow them to get away with subverting our republican form of government. When Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008 along with a Democrat-controlled congress, those of us who cherish the American way of life knew with foreboding the threat that this Leftist control of our government presented to our republic. Yet congressional Republicans did not hide out from their duty in 2009. No, they grimly faced the music (the notes of which they had written themselves with their failure to show leadership)…and fortunately the Tea Party movement pulled America’s bacon out of the fire.
Legislative Democrats should hope that a Leftist movement of the people like the Tea Party (perhaps made up of union goons and drones) can save their bacon, but they should not be allowed to go AWOL and subvert the legislative process.
They may prefer to live in a fantasy world, but real Americans prefer to live in and deal with the real world.
HT: Free Republic.