Last week Scott Walker signed the budget repair bill, at least the parts they stripped out of it that they could pass without the quorum. The missing senators who have disenfranchised their constituents finally came back to (expected) heroes welcomes.
Stephen Hayes and John McCormack of the Weekly Standard write an excellent synopsis of what went down with whom. I like this quote:
But even as they offered to contribute more, unions throughout Wisconsin were rushing through contract extensions that would exempt them from having to pay more towards benefits. In some localities, public employee unions were not only pushing to avoid the increased benefit contributions, they were attempting to force through pay raises.
Unions claimed that they objected chiefly to the limits on collective bargaining, which they said would leave public employees vulnerable to unjust firings and unfair changes to their benefits. The unions also objected to a provision that would allow public employees to choose for themselves whether to join the union and pay dues—a departure from current law. Other states that had implemented these changes had seen union membership drop precipitously, and union leaders understood that the corresponding loss of power and money would be devastating.
In the end, as others have pointed out, it wasn’t about all of the made up things like “human rights” or any of that other b.s. It was about money, and the money train looks as though it is about to end.
That article is well worth reading to see how the Democrats were acting in bad faith all along. Walker got a favor from his opponent in last falls gubernatorial race Tom Barrett, who said he would have done the same thing that Walker did, which in the end was the nuclear option.
The article also points out that the Republicans have apparently done their homework on this thing and checked with three non partisan bodies in the Wisconsin legislature, as well as the senate clerk to make sure no laws were violated. It looks like court time will be wasted by the Democrats to try to get any of this stuff shot down.
Meanwhile, protests rage all around the capitol here in Madison. I haven’t gone down there for a week now since I had a business trip, but from what I saw on TV the crowds look immense. So what are they all here for? When will it end?
Our capitol building and grounds are an utter disgrace. I am having a hard time believing that everyone here in Madison doesn’t want these people to just diaf. Well, that might be a bit strong, but I am betting that many just want to move on. Spring is near, and I cannot imagine a worse way to spend a warm weekend than marching around the square yelling “hey hey, ho ho, Scott Walker has got to go”. It is just so mind numbingly insane I can’t wrap my tiny brain around it.
I drove from Milwaukee to Madison yesterday and passed no fewer than six school buses loaded with protesters. Sheesh I just cannot believe these people want to spend their weekends this way. Of course many of them could be getting paid.
Paul Milenkovic (forgive me if spelling is not correct) and others have argued in these pages that a more moderate approach would have been better and they have great points. I was leaning that way, but now I disagree since we can see how the Democrats were negotiating in bad faith. I am happy that Walker nuked them. Now that they are back it is time to ram all the rest of it through. Screw them. They lost. If the people don’t like it they can re-elect the Democrats next time around and they can bankrupt the state for all I care. We have to try, at least, to do what is right while we can.