07 April 2011

Mood Swing. Or, Why 2011 Is Looking A Lot Like 1979.

The Left / Mainstream Media may think the 2010 election was an aberration, a temporary bump on their way to their statist paradise, but they need to look at the Wisconsin Supreme Court race this past Tuesday - it says something entirely different.

A few months ago the GOP-majority Wisconsin Senate, in order to get control of runaway state spending in the Badger State (and defund one of the The Left's biggest cash cows, public sector unions) scheduled a vote on limiting public sector collective bargaining and automatic deductions of union dues from public paychecks. The GOP majority had the votes and the backing of the Governor, Scott Walker, who was elected in 2010 on the Tea Party wave. But Democrat Senators, desperate to keep the Benjamins flowing from the special-interest group (unions) which funds much of the Democrat machine, fled the state to keep the vote from happening. And Big Labor turned on the pressure, staging well-organized protests, threats, and a takeover of the state capitol in Madison. Even President Obama tried to influence the outcome by carrying the union's water.

But in the end, the GOP played hardball politics like the Democrats and got both items passed. Big Labor and the Democrats went nuts, and swore retribution. That is why the Supreme Court election is important.

To show their muscle via power politics, and put another reliably union vote on the Supreme Court when Gov. Walker's bills came up for challenge, Big Labor decided to make an example of conservative Justice David Prosser's reelection. So lots of union money and organization were put behind Democrat JoAnne Kloppenburg, an assistant attorney general in Wisconsin, and the race was turned into a referendum on what the governor and Senate had just done. It seemed like money and a political machine would carry the day again for The Left / Mainstream Media.

But, something odd happened. It appears Kloppenburg lost. But even if she had won, it would have been by the the thinnest of margins - 10ths of a percent. So the lesson to take away here, dear readers, is this: Big Labor has no muscle anymore. Wisconsin was, until recently, a reliably blue state. If the unions and the rest of The Left / Mainstream Media can not, when they put forth maximum effort, soundly defeat a nebbishy jurist under these circumstances, where can they? And if Big Labor loses that guaranteed income they rely on (other states have done, or are doing, what Wisconsin has done), when can they?

Unions were once a good and needed thing, but I think they have outlived their usefulness. We no longer live in a Marxian world of set classes (in America, we never really did), where one side has all the capital and one side doesn't. Hell, nowadays a fry-clerk at McDonald's can open up an E-Trade account if they want. That economic mobility is in no small measure due to the efforts of unions in the past. But today such mobility is a given in most all segments of the American economy - an economy dominated by white-collar jobs, not blue-collar ones. If that is the case, are unions even necessary in 21st-century America for workers to have a voice?

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