boydroid saidI think the Democrats should stop hiding out in Illinois and get back to representing their constituents. A democracy doesn't work when elected officials can't face their minority status. They need to suck it up and work towards winning the next election with better candidates and ideas.
I think Walker should just try to balance the current budget and worry about how to handle future budgets when a less contentious atmosphere returns. That means coming to an agreement about the pay and benefit cuts and deferring the collective bargaining question for another time. In general, the public unions are on the defensive in many states as their pay and benefits face increasing scrutiny. I just have a feeling their political influence has already declined without removing collective bargaining privileges.
The atmosphere was created by Scott Walker himself...the Unions had in essence given in on wage and benefit cuts to help balance the books. It was Walker who, amongst other things, insisted on annual recertification votes, and limited the collective bargaining to bargaining for wages only.
Even that was done in a very slimey way: the Unions could bargain for wages, but the most they could negotiate was for any future wage increases to match the rate of inflation. This in and of itself suggests that there would be no real wage increases...rather, public workers' incomes would stagnate.
Of course when you completely emasculate a Union, and then require it to ask it's members if they wish to pay Union dues to something that lacks the power to negotiate for better wages, benefits and working conditions on their behalf, you are all but eliminating the Union by decree!
This had nothing to do with the "political influence" wielded by Unions, for over the past 30 years, the actual percentage of Americans who are part of Unions has been cut nearly in half: this was all about a dog serving his wealthy benefactors.
It's amazing, the amount of political clout that the wealthy and business carry over the democratic system. Seemingly lost in the whole phoney phone call that was leaked to the public was the thought that Scott Walker was taking a phone call from a man who he thought was a significant campaign contributor, and talking about governing strategy with the faux-individual.
That in and of itself should unsettle even those who support the Republicans. Of course, I wouldn't expect it to unsettle mocktwinkie or people like him...he's all but suggested that an oligarch is preferable to a democracy, because apparently people are justified in acting within their own selfish interests when it comes to cutting throats to make money...but they are not within their own selfish interests when it comes to voting!
I will hand it to Republicans...they seem to have the killer instinct when it comes to raking powerful Democrats over the coals: remember the impeachment of Bill Clinton? It was destined not to succeed, but they still subjected Clinton to the shame of having to go through that, simply because they could!
That phone call, fake though it may have been, was actually a glaring indictment of a corrupt political system in which those with money have much greater access to "elected" officials than everyone else! We all know that the wealthy do get special treatment...but rarely is it so obviously displayed for everyone to see!
That Scott Walker has launched a war against the middle class public servants, in the dying days of a recession in which the middle class were the biggest losers of all should prompt a much more fiercesome response from Democrats from coast to coast!