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Wisconsin Democrats stage a cuckoo coup   

By Larry Eubank
web posted March 7, 2011

Wisconsin protesterScott Walker is a cross between Hosni Mubarak and Hitler. He's Darth Walker. He has a God complex. So the Wisconsin protesters tell us. The proper response to that is, "I'm rubber, you're glue. Everything you say bounces off me and sticks to you." You make a childish statement, you get a childish response.

But if the conniption-throwing mob in Madison think they're like the Egyptians who deposed Mubarak, they're just plain cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. They're not a crowd of freedom fighters battling tyranny. They are the tyrants. They're a mob of self-centered, spoiled thugs, defending their own interests by attacking the best interests of all the people. Their motto could be, "Screw you, Jack – I've got mine and I want to keep it."

No More Sweetheart Deals

Let's start with this proviso: nobody likes to pay more. Everybody wants to keep as much of his own money as possible. But Wisconsin's public employees have had an awfully sweet deal for some time now, and it's becoming a real problem for the state's budget. By the standards of private employees, the public union members are making out like bandits, as detailed by Robert M. Costrell ("Oh, To Be a Teacher in Wisconsin," The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 25, 2011).  

To help cure the current budget problems, public employees will have to contribute more to their benefit packages; and to help prevent a repeat crisis, it would help if they no longer had the power of collective bargaining. (Collective bargaining is power -- not necessarily a right.)

The state has given the public employees too great a deal in the past; and now it has to claw some of it back. Employees can't be blamed for not liking that. But what offends the general public is their sense of entitlement – their apparent belief that they're above the law, they're more important than other citizens, and they have a right to threaten, disrupt, and run riot, because their cause is so just.

 Their cause is not just. Their cause is crap. The lawlessness and disruption they are causing just serve a selfish purpose – "More for me."

Motive-Mongering

Naturally, the leftist mob doesn't discuss the budget problems on their own terms. As always, they resort to character assassination and motive-mongering. They claim to be able to read Governor Walker's mind, and they invent a narrative of what "really" motivates him – a narrative Obama was only too ready to buy into. The real issue, they tell us, is not a need for financial austerity in the state; it is just the fact that Republicans are intent on union-busting. That is now the accepted, othodox view of leftists, universally adopted as the official Party line.

 One of the earliest proponents of the line was a Harvard professor:

"What's going on in Wisconsin is not simply an attempt to adjust the benefits or co-pays or health plans," said Theda Skocpol, a political science professor at Harvard University. "It's an attempt to bust the unions."

-- "Wisconsin in near-chaos over anti-union bill," by Dan Hinkel and Nicholas Riccardi, Los Angeles Times, February 18, 2011.

Leftists jumped to embrace that allegation. For instance, Alan Colmes said on the Feb. 22, 2011 edition of the Fox News program "The O'Reilly Factor,"

The bigger issue here is that you have got a governor who has lied. He is claiming it's about  the budget when it's about union-busting.

Such attribution of motives to one's opponent leads to a childish, even infantile type of debate. Unionistas have reacted like a small child who has been told to clean up his room, and who throws a tantrum, shouting, "You hate me! You want to kill me!" So you have to assure the child you don't hate him or want to kill him. Thus the argument is successfully diverted -- you're no longer arguing, "All the rest of us have cleaned up our rooms. You need to clean your room, too. It won't kill you! " No, the discussion has to address his claims that, "You don't love me! You want to kill me, bash me, bust me!" Such is the nature of the union workers' conniption fit now being thrown.

An Intermittent Coup

Democrats in the Wisconsin Senate also threw a tantrum. When it looked as if they were losing, they kicked over the game board, picked up their marbles are ran away.

In effect, they staged a sort of temporary coup against democratic government. Democrats have invented a rule, "We always have to win the debate; if it looks as if we will lose, there will be no debate." Or, "Only laws we favor will be allowed to pass." Or, "It's our way or the highway."

By those terms, democracy is just a façade. Debate under such circumstances serves only to determine how much Democrats will win by; the possibility that Republicans might win is removed from the board. That is dictatorship; it is "democracy where and when we Democrats allow it" – i.e., no democracy at all.

The Public-Employee Mob

Another anti-democracy aspect of the affair has been the aggressive tactics of the unruly mob of protesters -- especially their aggression and intimidation during House proceedings, when a screaming mob of lefties surrounded representatives as they passed Walker's bill. That was a truly dangerous precedent, and a frightening breach of civility and democracy.

And it had historic resonances. While comparisons to Nazis are all too common today, it has to be said that occupation of a legislative house is a sobering and threatening development. It sounds all too much like Brown Shirts tactics, as they were related in the documentary film, "How Hitler Lost The War," written by Robert Denny. That movie describes a key event after Hitler became chancellor of Germany:

Narrator: Hitler now asks the legislature to pass an Enabling Act that will give him dictatorial powers for four years. Tired and intimidated, they pass it.

Dr. Earl Zimke, University of Georgia history professor: When he asked for the Enabling Act, he really didn't have a two-thirds majority. But he didn't need, really, to have one, because he had the rest of his majority standing along the wall in brown shirts. And the parties knew how they had to vote, if they wanted to stay in good health. From the summer of 1933 on, there was only one party in Germany, namely the Nazi Party.

 There are many morals to be drawn from the film, but two important ones are, 1) Never vote into office a politician who has his own private army; and 2) Never allow a mob from a private army to swarm into the seat of government during important debates. The situation in Wisconsin is dangerously close to breaking those rules, as union members start to resemble a private mob of bully-boys in the service of Democrat causes, and as they feel justified in imposing their will by force.  ESR

Larry Eubank's web site can be found at http://www.larryeubank.com/ © 2011

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