Let’s Not Kid Ourselves about Walker’s Victory
By Phil Perkins
March 14, 2011
What the Republicans in Wisconsin’s legislature and Governor Scott Walker did in finding a way to pass last week’s historic bill is admirable for its tenacity and courage in the face of loud, intimidating leftist critics. In the midst of a firestorm, they still managed to do what they perceived as right, necessary and in the peoples’ best interest. However, the fight has really just begun.
Rest assured there will be challenges to this bill from multiple quarters, each having some variation on the theme that the bill was passed without a proper quorum or is otherwise “unconstitutional.” The critics are, of course, by and large the same people who would insist without batting an eyelash that Obamacare was passed legitimately and is a legitimate law.
There’s little doubt that in the days and weeks ahead, the loud-volume protests will continue, including efforts to recall or impeach Walker and Republican members of the legislature. In countering these efforts, Walker would do well to continue on the same course he’s followed since this firestorm began. That is, to regularly offer an unapologetic yet thorough explanation for why this seemingly drastic action had to be taken in the name of fiscal sanity, not the union-busting of which he’s being accused.
It may be instructive to look at the National Football League’s “labor” strife too as the millionaire players’ leader made the cynical move of “decertifying” the players’ union so that an owners’ lockout could presumably be prohibited. It’s hard to feel sorry for either side, but one of the league’s bargaining executives gave an impassioned summary yesterday of management’s willingness to meet the union halfway and the union’s refusal to budge that should be a template for governors like Walker, Ohio’s Kasich and others to follow. Why? Because in the NFL’s case, it is now the players who will be using demagoguery to paint the owners as the greedy parties who are not even willing to share the financial information the union requested. By not letting the demagogues get away with it, the owners can perhaps restore some fiscal sanity to their sport and even have some influence over the financial future of other pro sports. If they fail, the NFL’s fans, just like the taxpayers in Wisconsin and elsewhere, must realize that they will bear the brunt of continuing increases to player salaries and other perks in increased ticket prices as surely as the taxpayers will pay ever-higher taxes if Walker’s and others’ similar measures are not allowed to stand.
It’s also good to remind people that in the Wisconsin law, police and firefighters are to be exempted from the ban on collective bargaining for future benefits as well as salaries. Thus it is truly not the middle-class destroying monster that the left loudly proclaims it is. The continued advocacy of this common sense will be to the left what a bucket of water was to the wicked witch of the east in the Wizard of Oz. Walker’s action is nothing more than carrying out the will of those who put him in office last November. On the other hand, Obamacare was not what the majority of Americans who voted for Obama had in mind. As we approach 2012, Walker and other leaders need to repeatedly point out this inconsistent logic of the left in defining the Wisconsin law as evil incarnate while Obamacare continues blithely on in the face of a judge’s ruling that it truly is unconstitutional. That’s where the real outrage needs to be directed.