Thingish Things

Public Employee Unions Will Lose This Fight

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Feb• 27•11

Seventy thousand public employee union members and Democratic Party operatives reportedly turned out to protest planned public union reforms at the Wisconsin state capitol on Sunday.  Professional “sympathizers” picketed in New York and Washington.  Public union and Democratic Party PR machines went into overdrive, hyping the picketers with news releases, Tweets, Facebook entries, blog posts, You Tube videos, and photo sharing.

The public’s reaction: Zzzzz.  Aren’t the Oscar’s on tonight?

Left wing demonstrations are played. They are becoming snooze-fests at any size. Public employee unions have always been able to turn out bodies.  It’s what they do.  It no longer matters in what numbers they turn out; the routine is mind-numbingly predictable: Here come the tee shirts with the slogans emblazoned across them.  There go the handmade signs. Now the whistles, the drums, and the chants: “[Fill in the blank], shame, shame, shame!”  Sometimes they blow up a giant inflatable rat or cockroach. And then they go home to supper.

We have all seen it too many times now to care — or even notice — when professionally led demonstrators hit the streets. Whether it’s, SEIU or the AFT,’ it’s all the same tactics and all the same message: “The Man sucks. Gimme, gimme, gimme.”

It occurs to me that the demonstrators have reached the point of diminishing returns. There is nothing more they can do than demonstrate, and no one really cares when they do.  They are not going to pick up arms and storm the Winter Palace. The Democratic Party would never allow it. And the unions already donate tens, indeed, hundreds of millions of dollars every election cycle to defeat Republicans at the polls.  What is their leverage with popularly-elected GOP governors? This time we’re really coming after you?

But the biggest problems the public employees have in their current fight is not public fatigue over conveyor belt protests, it’s that they are in the wrong, and the public is now paying attention.  We are on to the cozy and quiet deals union leaders have forged with the Democratic Party in statehouses across the country over the years.  We know about them because they are bankrupting our states and driving us out of our homes with property tax increases.

Katherine Kersten of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune crushes it today with this piece.

Some of what she writes:

…why did public unions catch on, then grow exponentially in the 1960s?

“Because union leaders and Democratic politicians, like New York City’s Mayor Robert Wagner, figured out they could benefit big-time from scratching one another’s backs.

“They could guarantee full campaign coffers for Democratic candidates while arming public employees with a power to dictate their own wages and benefits that private-sector unionists could only dream about.

“Here’s the vicious cycle: Union leaders take money from union dues and pass it to Democratic candidates. Once elected, the politicians “negotiate” with the unions that helped elect them.

In essence, the unions hire their own bosses who face them across the bargaining table.”

That is the fundamental truth of this debate, and a million picketers in Madison, WI isn’t going to change it.

The public employee unions are going to lose this fight.


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