Showdown in Madison: Excerpts from the national coverage (Part 3)

Here is the conclusion of my review of some of the best national coverage.

No compromise in Wisconsin

Principled leadership will beat public-union bullying

By Ray Hartwell

“As we follow events in Wisconsin, a history lesson is appropriate. History has a message for Gov. Scott Walker and the people of Wisconsin whose electoral mandate he seeks to implement. It is, very simply, that Mr. Walker should not compromise. Principled leadership will prevail over the orchestrated thuggery of the public unions, notwithstanding the unions’ conspicuous support from our nation’s most aggressive ‘community organizers’ …

History lights the path for Mr. Walker and the Wisconsin legislative majority. They should not compromise. They should stay the course on fiscal responsibility. When they do so, the people who elected them – and millions of others around the country – will applaud their integrity and principled leadership.”

Big Labor’s theater of the absurd

Wisconsin antics showcase problem with public-sector unions

“Even big government’s biggest fan, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, warned of the danger of unionized government in a 1937 letter. He explained that ‘the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.’ In this case, the employer is “the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress.” He added that “militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees.”

According to Roosevelt, government employees ‘serve the whole people, whose interests and welfare require orderliness and continuity in the conduct of Government activities. This obligation is paramount.’ And ‘a strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government until their demands are satisfied,’ something that is ‘unthinkable and intolerable.'”

Wisconsin Battles Bloated Union Demands

By George Will

“Hitherto, when this university town and seat of state government applauded itself as ‘the Athens of the Midwest,’ the sobriquet suggested kinship with the cultural glories of ancient Greece. Now, however, Madison resembles contemporary Athens…

[Government employee] unions are government organized as an interest group to lobby itself to do what it always wants to do anyway – grow. These unions use dues extracted from members to elect their members’ employers. And governments, not disciplined by the need to make a profit, extract government employees’ salaries from taxpayers. Government sits on both sides of the table in cozy ‘negotiations’ with unions.”

The Showdown Over Public Union Power

At last, politicians and voters are fighting back against the most potent lobby for government spending and ever-higher taxes.

By Steven Malanga

“Government workers have taken to the streets in Madison, Wis., to battle a series of reforms proposed by Gov. Scott Walker that include allowing workers to opt out of paying dues to unions. Everywhere that this ‘opt out’ idea has been proposed, unions have battled it vigorously because the money they collect from dues is at the heart of their power.

Unions use that money not only to run their daily operations but to wage political campaigns in state capitals and city halls. Indeed, public-sector unions especially have become the nation’s most aggressive advocates for higher taxes and spending. They sponsor tax-raising ballot initiatives and pay for advertising and lobbying campaigns to pressure politicians into voting for them. And they mount multimillion dollar campaigns to defeat efforts by governors and taxpayer groups to roll back taxes.”

Message to Madison: No Special Treatment for Government Workers!

By Carol Platt Liebau

“The government-worker unions’ hysterical opposition to the Wisconsin collective bargaining bill – echoed and encouraged by the President and Democratic National Committee – signals an acknowledgment by both the unions and liberal politicians that the legislation represents a structural threat to a system that has benefited both of them.

As the system currently works, government-worker unions collect dues from their members that are used, in significant part, to support Democrat politicians who are then voted into office and charged with ‘bargaining’ with the government unions that supported them. It has worked splendidly for everyone involved – except the ordinary taxpayer who’s stuck paying the bill. So any legislation that would impede the continued operation of this cozy system and encourage further taxpayer-friendly reform is, not surprisingly, anathema to both the unions and the politicians.”