Monday, February 21, 2011

Wisconsin Protesters Demonstrate Distorted Democracy

Hell, no!  We wont Go!!
The protest in Wisconsin is deeply offensive for a whole host of reasons, chief among which is it turns the essential aspect of a representative republic on its head.

The elected officials are the representatives of the people that elected them - that would be the voters of the state of Wisconsin. It is not the place of the Democratic party to bus in people from out of state, nor is it the place of a political party or its operatives in Washington to attempt to pressure the elected representatives of the State of Wisconsin, nor is it the place of the president to comment on affairs in a state as it attempts to address its budget shortfalls.

The fact that government employees were allowed to unionize, and now move as a block influencing the government that pays them is at odds with American ideals.

The people of Wisconsin are the only people that should be petitioning the Wisconsin government. 'Civil Rights'? 'Vote No'? These people don't have a clue. One woman protester shouted out
"The unions are the people who brought us a weekend. If we don't do this now, our children will not have a weekend!"
What an idiot.

Philip Greenspun wrote an interesting post on the history of the public employee unions, which is a relatively recent phenomena.
Politicians were traditionally opposed to public employees’ right to unionize, strike, or collectively bargain for wage and benefit increases. They saw their constituents as the taxpaying public and did not think that the government was such an abusive employer that unionization was necessary to protect workers. Calvin Coolidge, as governor of Massachhusetts, summarized the feeling of the average politician: “There is no right to strike against the public safety by anyone, anywhere, any time.”
Sounds good. What happened?
All of this was changed in 1958 when an aide to New York Mayor Robert F. Wagner, Jr. (D) suggested that city workers could be a large enough voting bloc to ensure his reelection. As the percentage of Americans working for the government grew, other politicians began to see support for public employee unions as a way to get votes. State politicians around the country allowed public employees to unionize shortly after Wagner’s executive order. President John F. Kennedy (D) allowed federal government workers to unionize starting in 1962.
Sheesh! It figures.

The First Amendment to the constitution guarantees the people's right to speak their mind to their representatives in government, in declaring: "Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people to peaceably assemble and petition the government." That is referring to the people being governed. Reportedly half the people that are occupying the state capitol are union people that have been shipped in from other states.

And what does the governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker (R) say
"We need to make sure that as loud as the voices are in the capital, we don't let them overpower the voices of the tax payers I was elected to represent. We are willing to take this as long as it takes, because in the end, we are doing the right thing, and for us, we have to do this."
There is so much wrong with how liberals go about attempting to exercise power. Teachers leave their work to hang out at the capitol to try to harangue the duly elected government? The schools they are supposed to be working in are closed down, the kids no longer being educated and without even having a place to go, their parents now responsible to stay home with them or find some other arrangement?

The Democrats that are supposed to be a functioning part of the government left the state to hide in Illinois. And why did they do this, after taking al the trouble to get themselves elected in the first place? To prevent the government from being able to move forward legislatively. They left so they could obstruct the government, making themselves a tyranny of the minority. In addition, the 'protesters' are now carrying their protests to the home of the governor, to scare him and his family. These are the same thug tactics Obama had the union types carry out with the AIG execs.

A CNN reporter asked one of the protesters:
"You talk about coming to the table.. the governor coming to the table. Do you think it was the right tactic for the Democratic senators not to come to the table."
At which point the CNN reporter was shouted down with
"United we stand. UNITED WE STAND. UNITED WE STAND..."
Nice answer. And these folks are teaching our kids? These people are an embarrassment. The people of Wisconsin are being threatened by a thuggish political state. It is infuriating, and the whole thing stinks to high heaven.

An educator in Texas, Mike McDaniel, wrote an excellent post questioning the ethics of the teachers involved in these protests. Read it here.


  1. This is such a great post. And, as I always marvel, chock-full of civil discourse.

    I had not realized how recently public employees had been allowed to organize. I so like the way you put it, that politicians did not think that the government was such an abusive employer that unionization was necessary to protect workers.

    I suspect that a lot of Americans might not realize that, as Mike McDaniel notes in a wonderful post at Confederate Yankee:

    There is no such thing as a “right” to form a union or to engage in anything unions do. It’s a privilege extended, and rescinded, by the voters of any state.

    (hat tip to Mad Minerva.)

    And this our children will not have a weekend! cry. Somehow I don't have any doubt that the weekend will continue to exist -- which is good, because that is when "our children" will be working their second jobs.

    I love the simple clarity of Walkers' words you quoted:

    "We need to make sure that as loud as the voices are in the capital, we don't let them overpower the voices of the tax payers I was elected to represent. We are willing to take this as long as it takes, because in the end, we are doing the right thing, and for us, we have to do this."

    Say, you don't suppose there's a chance that the unbecoming behavior of the union folks in Wisconsin will put and end to the liberals' claims that it is the Right that is always engaging in violent rhetoric?

    Yeah. Me either.

  2. I also liked another of Mike McDaniel's lines, as he begins to describe the financial realities of governing Wiscosin:

    This is not a matter of greedy, venal politicians trying to steal money from teachers to build something entirely stupid, unnecessary and unwanted like high-speed rail.


  3. Well, I have visited both your links and am the better for it. That Mike McDaniel wrote an excellent piece.

    As an aside, what do you think of the doctors who showed up to hand out medical excuses for the protesters?

  4. Well, I understand there are different kinds of intelligence, and I know that having the smarts to get through med school does not guarantee either sound judgement, or moral standards. Yet I still react with a frustrated disbelief similar to the "We can put a man on the moon, but we can't (your favorite future technical advancement)!"

    How can they think it is ethically acceptable to violate the trust the state and the public have given them by committing fraud, providing false documents of laughable diagnoses?

    How can they think they will not be held accountable, as they boast and smirk on camera about the "patients" who are "sick " of the Governor?

    How can they think that neither current nor potential patients will find their immature posturing and inappropriate activist behavior off-putting at the very least, if not completely discrediting?

    PLUS (!) they're violating their primary avowed responsibility to Do No Harm, 'cause they're making some of us feel really, really bad. ;)

    (I will concede, since I am assuming they did not call in sick to attend the protest, and that they did not accept any remuneration for their "services," that they care enough about doing something they seem to think is right that they gave up some time off to participate. If it turns out I'm mistaken in either of these assumptions, I'm really gonna be sick.)

  5. Well said. I'll give you my two cents worth on the matter, and it's a finger in the eye of medicine, that much is sure. 'Walker Pneumonia' if you will, is not an accepted diagnosis. The physicians are in violation of medical professional standards in a number of ways. The physician writing the note is claiming that a professional relationship exists between the "patient" and the physician. That being said, the physician is expected to keep records to document the contact. A history and physical exam are expected to be in such records, as is documenting the diagnosis and treatment plan, along with plans for follow-up care and directives of what to do if the condition becomes worse. None of that exists here. These physicians have no idea of who it is that they have 'seen', nor do they have a way to get back in touch with these patients or act in any way as a physician is expected to act. Further, the contact between patient and physican is a private, protected interaction. Discussing patient care in an open, public environment is a violation of the HIPPA laws. It is the physician who is expected to keep such conversations private. Failing to do so would be considered professional misconduct. Lastly, as the notes are being used by the teachers to file for fraudulent claims for medical pay, the group of physicians shown are in fact a part of a conspiracy to defraud the government. If charged they would have to report their interaction with the law, and a Board investigation would necessarily have to be done to address whether or not the practitioners in question have behaved in a professional and ethical manner.

    Physicians should be focused on caring for patients, not entering the political arena or giving cover for people who have left their place of employment for the purpose of protesting. If there were not political aspects to their actions, I would say they were in very significant trouble with the Wisconsin Board of Medical Examiners.

  6. I can't believe a reporter from CNN of all places is shouted down by these clowns. I guess they think it plays well, but I'm confident average people are not happy with this. Things are really tight, and yet these union creeps still want the gravy to flow their way.

    Oh, and so much for President Obama's calls for civility, and discomfort with challenging the actions of the government. In this case, threaten the governor's family, show up at his house, make it hard for he and the republican state legislators to get in and out from the capitol, say what you will, do what you will.... its all good (in this case).

  7. It's too big a story to just pretend it isn't happening, but I do wonder how much of America is seeing any honest coverage.

  8. From The Oregonian we are getting the usual tilted narrative, such as:

    "The Wisconsin governor, elected in November's GOP wave that also gave control of the state Assembly and Senate to Republicans, set off the protests earlier this week by pushing ahead with a measure that would require government workers to contribute more to their health care and pension costs and largely eliminate their collective bargaining rights.
    He says the concessions are needed to deal with the state's projected $3.6 billion budget shortfall and to avoid layoffs of government workers."

    So, the Wisconsin governor set it off. He says they need to address a 3.6 billion dollar short fall.

    What he is doing is what he said he would do when he was campaigning. It is what the people of the state elected him to do. The liberals and their ilk had opportunity to argue against his ideas back in November. They did, and they lost. Now what Mr. Walker is doing is called following through on a campaign promise. It is generally considered good form, and somewhat rare in today's politicians.

  9. Off that your newspaper didn't provide a bit of context or perspective, isn't it? -- A $3.6 billion budget shotfall divided by 5.6 million residents is $642 per resident. And that's just the reported budget shortfall; I expect that the total state budget is at least 10 x that.

  10. that was supposed to be "Odd that ..."

  11. Yeah, they are hoping you wont notice that the money that is supposed to be spent on these benefits have to be paid for by the citizens. But the citizens who are paying the taxes aren't quite willing to let that slide.