Every elected leader should and will be asked: Do you favor bargaining rights for public employees? Why are their benefits richer than those taxpayers receive in the private sector? Once the voters grasp the implications of a system in which labor bosses give to politicians who then return the favor across the bargaining table. The heyday of public labor unions is over.
Indeed 'heyday' of public labor unions is over. Their attempt in last few days to come from behind was admirable and something to value. But I wish that collective enthusiasm they reserve for introspection, necessary reforms and way forward in fights in days to come. Democrats also need to learn a thing or two:
- division earlier between Labor and establishment Democrats while selecting a candidate to challenge Walker was not helpful, Dems should have avoided that; and
- the larger issue - after year and half they should have realized that the original cause of labor strife (Walker's attack on right to union for public employees) was no more relevant. Having sensed subdued backing, they could have walked out of this fight earlier while 'keeping alive' the public anger against Walker. Unions harried to 'encash that anger' rather than to use it as a spring board for longer term. You do not 'abuse' Public Sympathy so much that eventually you do not get anything, as Wisconsin general voter was really tired of this constant electionaring; all brought by Democrats.
Meanwhile, Barack Obama is 'doomed'. I do not share Nate Silver Optimism that these governor elections do not relate much to presidential elections. Obviously this Wisconsin recall election was important and it has shown to Republicans that:
- money can buy victory and
- you can 'take on unions' and get away with it.
I am not sure how much all this Obama 'gets'. But if one reads articles like this, it is clear that Barack Obama is simply missing the basic argument against GOP:
- that he tried to contain deficit while not pulling a plug on Public Spending to avoid recurring recession,
- but GOP resisted for a balanced approach of deficit reduction (entitlement curtailment along with taxes on rich) and
- worse GOP is offering policies which will make deficit a real disaster (more tax cuts to rich with unbridled spending on defense).
All of this argument would sound credible only when Obama himself is ready to offer some basic willingness for 'entitlement curtailment'. You do not do that on behalf of 'Peter Pan Progressivism'; you forfeit any right to pose yourself as an adult in the room. Yah, Public is blind; they will never realize what 'hatchet of Ryan-Romeny' is going to do but will fall for them anyways because Obama does not offer any deficit reduction nor does he have any obvious magic to improve Economy. It is a job of a smart leader to steer Public to make right choices and Barack Obama is not that smart leader at the moment.