What a delicious maneuver. Scott Walker of Wisconsin has had his budget proposal stymied for weeks while Democratic senators holed up at Illinois motels. After pleading, threatening, and cajoling since Feb. 17, the Republican Senators simply made what appears to be a legitimate parliamentary maneuver–they stripped the bill of its appropriations content.
I have absolutely no sympathy for the Democrats on this one. Better they had stayed in Wisconsin, as they were elected to do. A person of honor takes hes/her ***-whoopin’ and goes back to work to continue the fight. Cowards hide out at IHOP*. The result is perfectly legitimate as well, given the circumstances. Public unions are an especially noxious form of coercion. They bargain with politicians, who are in turn supported by them to the tune of millions, and the bill is sent to taxpayers. Quick, how many ways can you think of for that one to go wrong?
The new bill is expected to pass the Wisconsin General Assembly, setting the stage for a national showdown on public unions. While I would rather see legislators act like adults elsewhere in the country, I do not expect it. Public unions and taxpayers are at loggerheads right now, and no easy resolution is in sight. Look for more and sillier tactics by unions and fiercer resistance by taxpayers.
Unions, both private and public, have a momentous choice to make. They must recognize that taxpayers are not going to elect people who bow to their every whim. They can either prove to taxpayers that are worth what we pay them or they can resort to the traditional tools of the union trade–force and intimidation.
I hope it is the former.
*Terry has no reason to believe that IHOP harbors fugitive legislators. This was an example of journalistic license.