I was happy to see Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) achieve a clear victory in last night's recall election for one main reason - he didn't do anything to merit being recalled. Contrary to what the unions and Democrats might believe, passing legislation that unions and Democrats don't like is not a recall-able offense. Walker signed state cost control legislation that limited the collective bargaining powers of public sector unions. It was passed by the duly elected Wisconsin state legislature. That's what we commonly refer to in this country as the democratic process, and that's how we are supposed to do things. It is no sin. Many Wisconsin Democrats thought differently, and chose instead to hijack the democratic process and hold it hostage. They shamefully went into hiding and refused to do the jobs for which they were elected. THOSE are the people who should have been recalled for dereliction of duty, not Walker. Wisconsin Democrats had it all backwards.
This is the second time Walker defeated the same Democrat challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, and Walker won by a wider margin this time than he did the first time. The union/Democrat hissy fit wasted a LOT of money on these recalls, over $66 million. Though the union/Democrat forces spent millions to defeat Walker, they were vastly outspent by the Republicans, so you can expect to hear a lot more whining about the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision from left-wing censorship advocates. Notably, you heard no such outspending complaints from the left when Barack Obama vastly outspent John McCain in the 2008 presidential election. In that case, the left trumpeted "the voice of the people". As in most things, the left's outrage is very selective, and very subjective. What they really object to is losing, and form their opinions on the fly based upon whatever view is advantageous at the moment.
Five other Wisconsin Republicans faced recall elections yesterday, and four of the five also won. The other race was too close to call the last I heard. That means the Republicans won at least five out of six races. It was a big night for the GOP.
I don't want to read too much into what this says about the larger issue of public sector unions, but I'll give my opinion. I heard a Wisconsin Democrat on television this morning talking about how this was a tragic loss for "worker's rights". That is incorrect. Instead, it was a victory for the people, just as it was when the Democrats won a vote over the same issue in Ohio. It's' the people who ultimately decide things at the voting booth, not any special interest. Public sector unions are a special interest. They do not represent "workers". They are only SOME of the workers, a small percentage. ALL of the workers are known as "the taxpayers", and the interests of the unions do not always coincide with the interests of the taxpayers who pay the salaries of those union workers. That's why it makes sense to me to have the PEOPLE decide how to control public sector health care costs and pensions, through our elected representatives. Remember, those in the public sector work for We The People. We are their bosses. We elect representatives to make governing decisions for us. If we don't like the decisions they make, we go back to the voting booth and elect someone else. That's how it works, and that's why I don't even see the need for public sector unions in the first place. The interests of public sector workers are already considered in the democratic process, and are balanced along with the interests of everyone else. There should be no higher consideration given just because the word "union" is attached to a worker's name. This thinking, of course, does not apply to the private sector, where unions are sometimes appropriate and in the past have been very valuable in preventing worker abuse. The dynamic in the private sector is completely different. There is no democracy in a private sector business. There is no voting booth. There is no voice of the people per se. I always go back to the words of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was no right-winger by any means:
"The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service," Roosevelt wrote in 1937 to the National Federation of Federal Employees. Yes, public workers may demand fair treatment, wrote Roosevelt. But, he wrote, "I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place" in the public sector. "A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government."
And that sums up my opinion on what the unions and Democrats attempted to do in Wisconsin. They attempted to obstruct the proper functioning of government.
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