The Japanese isles are prone to frequent deadly earthquakes. Last night an particularly horrific earthquake struck. Tsunami waves ensued. The full horrors of the quake, aftershocks, and the tidal waves have yet to be fully revealed. Tokyo residents have long grappled “with its vulnerability” to quakes. For many “after the ground began to rattle, the concern burned into stoic Tokyoites’ faces was much bigger. What if this was the “big one?” A major quake is often seen as overdue….”
Without being flippant, a different kind of earthquake, an political earthquake, struck the United States this week. The earthquake was an end to the “Battle of Wisconsin” which heralds twilight for the massive power of the union gods and the influence they wield.
A lot of union supporters were shocked Wednesday night when the Wisconsin Senate voted to pass the most controversial part of the Governor Scott Walker “budget repair” or “union busting” bill, depending on your point of view. They should not have been surprised. It was politically obvious all along that the bill was going to pass – with all the geologic certainty that earthquakes will move the earth.
In our very first article on the Wisconsin law we pointed out that this was not going to end well for union supporters. We also pointed out in that article that this law was a dagger aimed at the Obama Dimocratic Party and the unions were “collateral damage”. At the time we wrote that first article the discussion in most of Big Media was about how unions would be hurt. Little mention was made that the point of the law was against the Obama Dimocratic Party. Now our view has become the conventional wisdom.
Black Agenda Report summarizes another point:
“The struggle in Wisconsin, and those to come, must shape a politics that is independent of the uniparty, the Democratic section of which is headed by Barack Obama. Significantly, “students and other protesters don’t want Obama to intervene in the fight with Gov. Walker because of the president’s cuts in Pell Grants and a whole range of social supports.” It becomes clearer by the day that “Obama-ism, rather than providing the new Democratic dispensation that delusional progressives and masses of Blacks imagined, is a straight-line path to defeat.”
What was this “Battle of Wisconsin” all about? Why were so many genuinely shocked when the inevitable happened? Perhaps surprise at the speed with which the Wisconsin Senate moved the bill is warranted. But the bill was going to pass at some point and the shock and surprise of union supporters are what shocks and surprises here. Lesson: Don’t double down on a bet when you have nothing and the opponent has aces.
What was this all about? As we wrote in our first article about Wisconsin it is about the money unions in swings states such as Wisconsin wanted to spend in 2012. It’s all about the money to be extracted with fake promises of never to come victory from union supporters who were angry but not thinking. What was never explained was the end game. What was the exit strategy? The decision to heighten the issue to a national “movement” was not a concern to those that led the charge of this light brigade. It was all about the money:
“In the aftermath of Wisconsin Republicans using a procedural move to pass an anti-collective bargaining bill last night, two liberal groups reported a fundraising bump of $200,000 alone since the bill passed.
Combined with last night’s take, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy for America have raised $750,000 since the standoff in Wisconsin began for a television campaign against GOP state senators facing recall elections.
“After what they pulled last night, these Republican senators are toast. The energy on the ground is higher than it’s ever been — and our ads are providing the air cover, making clear to local Wisconsinites that the Republican class warfare on behalf of big corporations against working families has got to end,” said PCCC’s Adam Green. DFA’s Charles Chamberlain said “Republicans have awoken a sleeping giant.” [snip]
PCCC and DFA are focusing their efforts against three state Senators in districts that President Obama carried in 2008 –Sen. Randy Hopper, Alberta Darling and Dan Kapanke.
UPDATE: PCCC and DFA aren’t the only groups fundraising off of the bill’s passage last night. The liberal group MoveOn raised an additional $350,000 overnight, bringing their fundraising total up to $825,000 to be put towards the recall campaigns.”
A great deal of money was raised and spent to achieve a singularly destructive defeat. The fundraising will not end with this particular trend setting defeat. The new money extraction scheme by these organizations will now turn to equally doomed “recall elections”. The same people who fooled themselves by looking at polls showing support for the unions in this fight and polls showing dropping support for Republican Governor Scott Walker will now fool themselves into buying pizzas and sending money to recall proponents. But these recall elections are doomed to failure as well.
Even if the Republican legislators could be recalled successfully the bottom line is that the Governor of Wisconsin has some truly extraordinary veto powers:
“What most people outside Wisconsin don’t know is that our governor wields a veto power on appropriations bills so strong as to be frankly comic. It’s not just a line-item veto; Walker has the power to veto individual phrases and words (PDF) — like “not” — from sentences. If the state Senate returns to session and passes a bill with time limits on Walker’s favored provisions, he can strip out the new language and sign his own decompromised version into law. If that sounds crazy, keep in mind that until 2008 governors of Wisconsin could — and did! — veto multi-page sections of bills, leaving in place only eight or nine words spelling out a law the governor wanted to enact. And that, in turn, was a much-narrowed version of the so-called “Vanna White veto” power enjoyed by Wisconsin governors prior to 1990, when they could veto individual letters out of words and individual digits out of numbers.”
As to recalls against individual senators, the ones that are legally susceptible to recall are those that won election in 2008 because the law requires that to be eligible for a recall petition you must have been in office for at least a year. A Republican in Wisconsin who survived the 2008 elections has little to fear in 2011. The Wisconsin Senators who should be worried are those Obama Dimocrats who came into office in 2008 – they are the ones whose fortunes have fallen since their election year. Shills like Greg Sargent promote today a Move-on paid for poll that shows two Republican senators as vulnerable to recall. Good luck with that money waster.
And for those who think Republicans are going to sit back and do nothing during recall elections, try this controversial ad airing on cable stations today, on for size:
As to complaints, legal and otherwise, even those in labor “are pessimistic that there will be a legal way to block what happened last night.” Ron Marchant, the chief clerk for the Wisconsin Senate has said the vote “appears to have satisfied the requirements of the rules and statutes.”
The utter foolishness of the position of the “fleebaggers” is made manifest in the quandary of Senator Bob Jauch who is returning to Madison on Saturday:
“When Jauch returns, Senate Republicans could resurface the original bill and pass it, having the three-fifths quorum necessary to open debate and vote on the measure. That bill already passed the Assembly, and Walker could enact both. That would remove any legal impediment that might exist and make the court cases moot. Even though the amended bill passed, there’s nothing to prevent the legislature from passing the same statutory changes twice. If that happens, the game is entirely over for the Democrats, except for their long-shot recall efforts.
The fleebaggers may end up in Illinois for a very long time. They have no face-saving play left, and their return will mean utter defeat on all fronts.
As we warned at the outset, there was no exit strategy and disaster was sure to follow. It has.
“But will he get a chance next year? That’s harder to see, mainly because Wisconsin appears to have one of the more onerous recall procedures when it comes to governors: Petitioners would need to gather signatures equivalent to 25 percent of the total number of votes cast in the previous statewide election, and they’d have only 60 days to do it. By contrast, California (where Gov. Gray Davis was successfully recalled in 2003) requires signatures equivalent to only 12 percent of the votes cast in the previous election, with a 160-day window.”
Some day in the eventual future the Republicans will lose control of both houses of the legislature as well as the governorship in Wisconsin. At that point perhaps some of the union “dues checkoff” deductions might once again become Wisconsin law – that is assuming Republicans don’t take a page from recent events and become “fleebaggers” themselves and thwart the will of the then majority. But that day will not come before 2012 and the next general elections.
Instead of focusing efforts on states with weak governors or even a slight chance of “success” the groups supporting the unions, the unions themselves, along with Obama Dimocrats, chose to fight a battle against impregnable Wisconsin Republicans. The foolish “stratergery”, sans exit plan, has proved to be a trendsetter and led to defeats elsewhere:
“The Idaho state legislature approved a bill on Tuesday to strip public school teachers of many of their collective bargaining rights while protesters in five states rallied against Republican efforts to curb union power.
The Idaho bill, which excludes issues like class size and workloads from negotiations for the state’s 12,000 unionized teachers, was given final approval by the Republican-led House and is expected to be signed by Republican Governor Butch Otter.
The bill also eliminates teacher tenure, limits the duration of teacher labor contracts to one year and removes seniority as a factor in determining the order of layoffs.
Idaho is one of several U.S. states to take up Republican plans for sweeping restrictions on public sector unions in what has become a growing national debate over labor union power.”
Can you spell s-t-u-p-i-d?
Most Indiana House Dimocrats are still “fleebagging” in order to block votes. In Ohio the state senate has already approved a sure to be signed into law bill to curb collective bargaining for public employees. Despite death threats and massive protests the Republicans, once committed to the fight, knew they could not turn back. They haven’t.
Those are the tsunami waves and quake aftershocks from the Wisconsin earthquake. Can you spell h-a-p-l-e-s-s?
Last night the Wisconsin Assembly passed the bill. Today Governor Walker signed the bill into law. The Battle of Wisconsin, as predicted here, did not end well.
Speaking of hapless… Barack Obama today whined about the horror of being an American president, not the president of China. We wish China would take this useless plasterboard from us and send us a useful wind-up toy.
The irrelevance called Barack Obama held a publicity stunt today. Most everyone is ignoring this publicity stunt in favor of real news. Nothing was said about the “Battle of Wisconsin” and Obama did not put on “comfy shoes” and go to Wisconsin to join a picket line. Obama mumbled something about compromise on spending by the federal government; Obama groused about “irresponsible” two-week extensions to run the government; Obama wanly issued warnings and fey threats no one believes.
The Joker from Chicago stated this gut buster joke: “Don’t try to use the budget as a way to promote a political or ideological agenda.” That is so stupid and mendacious we won’t even try to analyze it. To add to the fakery Obama stated it was time to “get serious about living within our means and managing our budget in a responsible way...”
On Libya Obama pretended to show concern and wound up voting “present”. After today it is clear that Hillary Clinton is uncomfortable, at the very least, with what is going on. We’ve noticed that lately when Hillary speaks about Libya she either mentions the “Obama administration” as doing or saying something and in some instances Hillary states bluntly that it is Obama that is determining the inaction.
A real president, Bill Cllinton, today came out in favor of a no-fly zone. Hillary couldn’t say it. Bill did. It is a Bill and Hillary no fly zone directed at Obama. Brilliant.
The useless boob, Barack Obama, had advertised today’s presser as a discussion of “rising energy prices”. About the only thing that Obama actually said on rising prices was “don’t blame me”. Obama also mouthed some nothing-burger about maybe, sometime, maybe not, on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Who cares? He’s President Who Gives A Crap.