Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people." — John Adams.
Last Friday (February 18th) the fourteen Democratic members of the Wisconsin State Senate jumped into a yellow bus and headed off to the more friendly liberal climes of Illinois. They claimed the reason for their self-imposed exile at the Best Western Inn was to promote democracy in Wisconsin. You see they wanted to prevent a legal quorum in the state senate so there would be no vote on Governor Scott Walker’s public sector union reform bill. They claimed they were doing it for the people of Wisconsin to protect their human right of collective bargaining.
During the 2009 health care debate President Obama told Senator John McCain when challenged on the impact the bill would have on the American people “John, elections have consequences.” It appears that to a Democrat, elections only have consequences if they win — something they have done for many years in progressive Wisconsin. These 14 state senators could not accept the fact that the majority of the people of Wisconsin threw the Democrat governor and legislature majority out of office. They cannot accept their leader’s claim that elections have consequences.
These Democratic senators took an oath to defend the Constitutions of the United States of America and the State of Wisconsin and to execute the duties of their office. Without reading the constitution of Wisconsin I am certain that there is no mention of fleeing to another state when you do not agree with the majority party. This is comparable with succession. These senators are cowards with no integrity what so ever. Rather than stay and argue in opposition, as the Republicans did in the health care debate when they were being steamrolled by Pelosi and Reid, they decided to spit on their oath and exile himself to Illinois. Their actions were also replicated by the Democratic members of the Indiana Legislature to protest a similar measure to limit collective bargaining in that state.
If these state senators had any sense of honor or integrity they would stand on the floor of the Wisconsin Senate and furiously debate Gov. Walker’s bill. Perhaps they could get one or two amendments added to the bill. Eventually there would be a call for a vote, as there was in the State Assembly, and the majority party would carry the vote and Walker’s bill would become law. Then like good losing Democrats they could look to the courts to override the will of the voters. Of course if the voters of Wisconsin believe the actions of heir legislature were wrong hey can make their voices heard in 2012 and those elections will have consequences. You see when Democrats, like the dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi in Libya, don’t like the consequences they riot, scream, stomp their feet, throw insults at the opposition and exile themselves showing their true colors of cowardice.
After one Wisconsin state senator canceled his appearance on FNC’s America Live Thursday afternoon because he was running from the media, host Megyn Kelly confronted Sen. Jon Erpenbach, a Democrat currently hiding out in Chicago. (Kelly’s interview is well worth watching)
Megyn asked Erpenbach to justify his absence as the state legislature waits to vote on Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposal. “You have to go do your job. It is not your job to leave the state and cower in Illinois,” she said. “How is hiding out in Chicago discharging the duties of your office?”
While he dismissed the notion that he was “cowering,” Erpenbach insisted he and his fellow Democrats were doing their jobs, answering emails and phone calls from outside the state.
“What we do in this country is we vote. You can vote no and you can rail on the senate floor why this is wrong,” Megyn insisted. “You gotta vote, sir.”
Charles Krauthammer writes in Human Events; “The magnificent turmoil now gripping statehouses in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and soon others marks an epic political moment. The nation faces a fiscal crisis of historic proportions and, remarkably, our muddled, gridlocked, allegedly broken politics have yielded singular clarity.”
“At the federal level, President Obama's budget makes clear that Democrats are determined to do nothing about the debt crisis, while House Republicans have announced that beyond their proposed cuts in discretionary spending, their April budget will actually propose real entitlement reform. Simultaneously, in Wisconsin and other states, Republican governors are taking on unsustainable, fiscally ruinous pension and health care obligations, while Democrats are full-throated in support of the public-employee unions crying, "Hell no.”
They are crying “Hell no”, not because they have the best interests of their state in mind, but because they have the best interest of their financial backers — the public sector unions — to bow to. They don’t give a damn about the taxpayers of their state they are only concerned with their constituents — the unions and the recipient class.
Krauthammer goes on to say; “Wisconsin is the epicenter. It began with economic issues. When Gov. Scott Walker proposed that state workers contribute more to their pension and health care benefits, he started a revolution. Teachers called in sick. Schools closed. Demonstrators massed at the capitol. Democratic senators fled the state to paralyze the Legislature.”
“Unfortunately for them, that telegenic faux-Cairo scene drew national attention to the dispute — and to the sweetheart deals the public-sector unions had negotiated for themselves for years. They were contributing a fifth of a penny on a dollar of wages to their pensions and one-fourth what private-sector workers pay for health insurance.”
“The unions quickly understood that the more than 85 percent of Wisconsin not part of this privileged special-interest group would not take kindly to "public servants" resisting adjustments that still leave them paying less for benefits than private-sector workers. They immediately capitulated and claimed they were only protesting the other part of the bill, the part about collective bargaining rights.”
In the private sector, the capitalist knows that when he negotiates with the union, if he gives away the store, he loses his shirt. In the public sector, the politicians who approve any deal have none of their own money at stake. On the contrary, the more favorably they dispose of union demands, the more likely they are to be the beneficiary of union largesse in the next election. It's the perfect cozy setup.
Recognizing this threat to union power, the Democratic Party is pouring money and fury into the fight. Private unions have shrunk to less than 7 percent of the working population. The Democrats' strength lies in government workers who now constitute a majority of union members and provide massive support to the party. For them, Wisconsin represents a dangerous contagion.
“Hence, the importance of the current moment and its blinding clarity. Here stand the Democrats — avatars of reactionary liberalism — desperately trying to hang on to the gains of their glory years — from unsustainable federal entitlements for the elderly enacted when life expectancy was 62 to the massive promissory notes issued to government unions when state coffers were full and no one was looking.”
“We have heard everyone — from Obama's own debt commission to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — call the looming debt a mortal threat to the nation. We have watched Greece self-immolate. We can see the future. The only question has been: When will the country finally rouse itself?”
“Amazingly, the answer is: now. Led by famously progressive Wisconsin — Scott Walker at the state level and Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan at the congressional level — a new generation of Republicans has looked at the debt and is crossing the Rubicon. Recklessly principled, they are putting the question to the nation: Are we a serious people?”