Thursday, February 17, 2011

John Hinderaker on Wisconsin

John Hinderaker, at the Powerline blog, comments on the public sector unions' behavior in the state of Wisconsin:

"A common theme of the union demonstrators in Madison today was that Governor Walker is a 'dictator.' This showed up on sign after sign. It sheds light, I think, on how public union members in particular, and liberals in general, think. What is going on here is that the voters of Wisconsin have elected a Republican Governor and–overwhelmingly–a Republican legislature, precisely so that they can get the state’s budget under control.

What the Democrats don’t like isn’t dictatorship, it is democracy. That is why the Democrats in the Wisconsin Senate fled the state en masse–they prevented a quorum, so that a vote they were going to lose couldn’t take place. Once again, it is democracy they are trying to frustrate, not dictatorship.

One could make the point more broadly about the organized labor movement. The unions' top priority is to eliminate the secret ballot in union certification elections. Why? The secret ballot has been the cornerstone of American labor democracy for generations. In the early days, it was assumed that the secret ballot was needed to protect workers from possible retaliation by employers if they voted for the union. That is no longer the case. Employers now universally favor the secret ballot. It is unions who are trying to abolish it through card check legislation. Why? So their goons can threaten to beat up, or worse, any employee who won't sign the card. The last thing labor unions want is democracy. They want thugocracy, as was on display in Madison today."

Even the kindly and mild-mannered Jay Nordlinger is expressing outrage.

"At this critical hour, Wisconsin’s elected officials should remember whom they work for. And they should take courage in that remembering. They work for all the citizens, not just the ones who can take time off — paid — to shout and bully."

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