Saturday, February 26, 2011

Why unions are on the defensive

The battle between unions and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has drawn a lot of media attention lately. As is typical of contemporary mainstream media, their coverage only scratches the surface of the real story.

Progressive bloggers and independent journalists have done a far better job of cutting to the heart of the matter (see here and here). It appears that the plutocratic forces have a multi-pronged strategy: break public employee unions, deprive the Democratic party of a stalwart ally, and take over public utility assets.

However, even a substantial number of progressive and independent journalists have failed to notice a few key issues: 1) The crisis in Wisconsin and in many other states has happened because the Democratic Party allowed it to happen and 2) The absence of President Obama.

While it appears that Gov. Walker has engaged in fiscal chicanery in order to eliminate the unions and give away public assets, the larger question should be what gave Walker the leverage to do this? The Democratic Party and Barack Obama were swept into power in 2008 with dominant majorities in the House and Senate. What could have been a new, positive direction for the country quickly degenerated into a version of political Keystone Cops. Focusing on passing a Rube Goldberg health care bill and reducing the scale/composition of the fiscal stimulus under the banner of bipartisanship were costly blunders. It is exactly these mistakes that have given Walker and his masters the power to do what they are doing now.

One would think that 2 years of teabagger antics and a 2010 election shellacking would eliminate any naivete in the President. One would also think that the massive protests in Wisconsin would provide an opportunity for the President to push back against his enemies and strengthen his relationship with the middle class. Instead, we have the sound of chirping crickets.

11 comments:

googleheim said...

Remember when under Bush II everyone of the republican kind were out there telling everyone to go shopping in the name of patriotism ?

Now it is the opposite because Obama a black person is "in power"

It's not patriotic to shop and stimulate the economy now ?

what hypocrisy against the USA !

and the dept of education is unconstitutional to Ron and Rand Paul and the Rick Perry plus other Republikkkans.

Red Rock said...

Googleheim. I try and ignore you, but you are stark-raving mad. Yes, people are not shopping because Obama is half-black. Wow, you've figured it out. Now I can no longer deny that White Party of America did send out mailings the past couple of years instructing all whites, browns, yellows and greens not to shop as long as Obama is in office. Jeez... the secret is out. You nutter!

Mike Norman said...

Yo, Red Rock, keep it civil or you're outta here. Consider that a warning. I'm not gonna tolerate any of this Schiff-type commentary anymore.

Anti said...

These are tremendously good comments in this post.

Anonymous said...

Do you think unions will continue supporting the Democrats?

googleheim said...

Obamacare was a payback to Clinton's along with making Hillarious Sec of State.

The Blue Dogs were given just 1 week after Obamacare's passage the glorious OK for drilling along the east coast, if you remember the events coinciding very closely.

In other words, East Coast Drilling was exchanged under the table for Blue Dog support of Obamacare.

I wonder what the Blue dogs asked for from Obama vis a vis the unions.

Maybe "don't ask don't tell" ?

Red Rock go ahead and talk all you want. Me thinks you babble on.

Matt Franko said...

Laura,

I think you point out a tremendous political opportunity for an 'outsider'.

Richard said...

You make a comment to Red Rock and don't call out the silly nonsense of googleheim?

Red Rock said...

Mike,

You're kidding right? Googleheim comes out with an off the wall statement that Americans aren't shopping because we have a black President and you chastise me for pointing out that he's a nutter? Wow, what sort of alternate reality has this blog become?

Mike Norman said...

Red Rock,

I didn't read Goog's comments that way. You're a good friend of the blog and I want you to stay. Let's just refrain from the personal attacks. That's all I'm saying.

-Mike

googleheim said...

Ok let me clarify for Red Rock :

After 9/11 the economy tanked for reasons of 9/11 but also because in general things were going south anyway since the budget was balanced and all that.

Bush and his cronies went out and asked everyone to go shopping in the name of patriotism and all that.

Now, we have a worse situation, and NO WHERE are the Bushes, the Tea Party wackos, and anti-semitic Austrian Economic dingle berries are found asking Americans, the institutions, the states, and other entities to come out and spend and to shop in the name of patriotism.

Why ? because they are cornering Obama ( or trying to ) just like they did with Carter ( who did a great job of reducing spending which is why the economy tanked with him at guard ).

Why are they cornering Obama ? one of the reasons is yes that he is black, that he is probably a muslim, that he is a socialist, that he is spending too much money.

SO MR RED ROCK READ UP AND SHUT UP.