Friday, February 18, 2011

Shooting yourself in the foot

The situation is Wisconsin has spun itself into an extraordinary story. We all know the outline of it - Governor Walker proposed his Budget Repair Bill which included limits to the State's Public Unions collective bargaining, as well as requiring them to pay for a percentage of their health and retirement plans.

The Teacher's Union responded by organizing their teachers to call in sick, which forced the closing of several schools in the process, so the teachers could engage in a boisterous protest in the capital. Naturally, the teachers positioned themselves as acting for the good of the students. This tactic, which may be an illegal strike under Wisconsin law, angered many Wisconsinites who saw it as little more than ignoring their students welfare over union politics.

Meanwhile, to prevent a vote on the bill by denying a quorum, all 18 Democratic Senators fled across the border into Illinois. Apparently it never occurred to the dimwits that the Illinois Tea Party would track them down, but track them down they did. So we now know they hid out in the Clocktower Resort with its attached Hooteresque Tilted Kilt restaurant and bar. Smooth move guys and gals, you now have recall petitions circulating because the voters are so fed up with your abdication of your responsibilities.

Further, and to the point of this post, Obama waded into this mess today defending the unions.

A few days earlier he had submitted his budget proposal to Congress. Many saw this as partially a tactical move prior to the upcoming vote to raise the Nation's debt ceiling. The Republicans have signaled they're not going to raise it, and that further they plan on trimming $100 billion from the remainder of this year's budget. The Democrats have been making noises that they think if they force a confrontation and a resulting Government shut-down they hang the blame on the Republicans.

Which makes their moves in Wisconsin baffling. When the 18 Wisconsin Senators crossed the state line they made it clear that they were forcing a shut-down of  Wisconsin's legislature. Has it not occurred to them that the perception of them being intransigent is going to carry through to a shut-down of the  National Governmental ?

It seems to me that for little gain, in a State level fight they're bound to lose anyways, they've fumbled away a lot of leverage in the upcoming budget fight on the national stage. I don't think they quite thought this through as much as they should have -- in Wisconsin they've painted themselves as the Party of Obstruction with indelible ink.   

BTW, the picture is from a photoshop contest at FreakingNews.


talnik said...

"fled across the border into Illinois"
Now there's a phrase I never thought I'd see!

ambisinistral said...

Heh... the only weirder line, if for no other reason than the lack of 'Titled Kilts up there, would have been, "fled the boarder into the Upper Peninsula."

If you haven't checked it out Wretchard does a much better job of connecting the possible Federal shutdown to the Wisconsin fiasco in his post Shame, Come Back Shame!

I think that connection is going to turn out to be the significant part of this story. Liberals are always babbling about The Narrative.

Well, the prologue to The Narrative about a possible Federal shutdown will now be that the Democrats already tried to shutdown Wisconsin. That is, they've taken ownership of the blame when those 14 Senators skedaddled.