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The Stakes In The Walker Recall

Memo Pad

The Stakes In The Walker Recall

Wisconsin, Scott Walker, Economy, Manufacturing, Unemployment, Wage Trends

WASHINGTON — Recalls and impeachments are a remedy of last resort. Most of the time, voters who don’t like an incumbent choose to live with the offending politician until the next election, on the sensible theory that fixed terms of office and regular elections are adequate checks on abuses of power and extreme policies.

The question facing Wisconsin’s citizens is whether Gov. Scott Walker engaged in such extraordinary behavior that setting aside his election is both justified and necessary.

Voters don’t have to get to this large question. Walker’s opponents forced next Tuesday’s recall vote by using the state’s laws in an entirely legitimate way. They gathered far more petition signatures than they needed, signaling that discontent in the state was widespread.

The result has been a fairly conventional campaign in which Republican Walker once again confronts his 2010 Democratic opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. At this point, preferring Barrett, an affable moderate liberal, to the conservative firebrand Walker is reason enough to vote the incumbent out, but the broader case for recall is important.

Walker is not being challenged because he pursued conservative policies but because Wisconsin has become the most glaring example of a new and genuinely alarming approach to politics on the right. It seeks to use incumbency to alter the rules and tilt the legal and electoral playing field decisively toward the interests of those in power.

The most obvious way of gaming the system is to keep your opponents from voting in the next election. Rigging the electorate is a surefire way of holding on to office. That is exactly what has happened in state after state — Wisconsin is one of them — where GOP legislatures passed new laws on voter identification and registration. They are plainly aimed at making it much more difficult for poorer, younger and minority voters to get or stay on the voter rolls, and to cast ballots when Election Day comes.

Rationalized by claims of extensive voter fraud that are invented out of whole cloth, these measures are discriminatory in their effect and partisan in their purpose. On their own, they are sufficient cause for the electorate to rise up and cry, “Stop!”

But Walker and his allies did more than this in Wisconsin. They also sought to undermine one of the Democratic Party’s main sources of organization. They sharply curtailed collective bargaining by most public employee unions and made it harder for these organizations to maintain themselves over time, notably by requiring an almost endless series of union elections.

E. J. Dionne

Besides contributing to The National Memo, E.J. Dionne, Jr. is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a syndicated columnist for the Washington Post, and a university professor in the Foundations of Democracy and Culture at Georgetown University.

His most recent book is Our Divided Political Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of DiscontentΒ (2013).

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  1. EdC May 31, 2012

    The NATION cannot live two more years with Walker. The really really stupid thing about this whole deal is that when you kill the descressionary money. The economy not only stops for the middle class, but they can buy any s— from the rich either. so for most of the supporters of this plan they are cutting their own nose off of their own faces. backers like Home Depot, and Bank of America will lose as bad as the rest of us. If you can’t buy materials cause you have no money, then causse you have no money B of A can’t loan to you, to buy H D. materials.

  2. Will vote for him, but he is a poor choice. This is the problem with both partys. They both provide poor choices. I also think it is interesting that Walker uses Milwaukee’s poor job creation in his campaign without admitting that as governor he may have had some influence there. 23,000 jobs is far short of the 250,000 he promised to create, a promise he probably could not have deliveried on anyway. Another claim he is involved in to is that under Obama women have lost the most jobs without admitting that most the government workers he laid off or furloughed were women.

    1. Bunny May 31, 2012

      You are voting for him because he is a Republican ?

      1. You misunderstand, I’ll vote for Barrett, I usually vote republican, but not as much since Palin. I have no use for the Teabaggers’ crap. I am pretty sick of both parties. Living in the North, I find Barrett clueless about our issues, would have prefered Falk, she atleast campaigned up here. Also Dems need to get their act together.

        1. Bunny May 31, 2012

          Yes , I did misunderstand . Thanks for clarifying . I do agree that the Dems need to get their act together.

      2. ObozoMustGo May 31, 2012

        I suppose he can vote for whomever he wants for whatever reason he wants, cant he Bunny?

        My view of the WI recall election is this….

        This is about public employee unions losing control over the leftist politicians who have bestowed lavish benefits on the unions who in turn take that money and cycle it back to the leftist politicians who bestow even more benefits on the unions who cycle it back to the leftist politicians who bestow more benefits on the unions who………………… you get the point.

        Public employee unions should be outlawed completely. They are nothing more than virtuous money laundering schemes that keep lazy a$$ union bosses making big money off the backs of workers all the while they are kicking taxpayer money back to the politicians. There has been no one at the negotiating table representing the taxpayer until Walker showed up.

        Private employee unions… no problem with them.

        Too bad for all you leftist nutjobs in WI…. you will lose this recall election again. And God willing, Walker break your illegal hold on the taxpayer wallet forever!

        Have a nice day!

        1. awakenaustin May 31, 2012

          You really are a one trick pony! Leftist nutjob, leftist nutjob, leftist nutjob, on and on. You regurgitate the same pap every time. Don’t hold your breath waiting for all the great taxpayer benefits you will receive generated by destroying unions. This assault is on unions not just public employee unions. They are merely the current target. Never been a public employee myself, but almost all I have known have been no less hard working and conscientious than private sector workers. They clearly earn the money they receive.
          I understand that a dollar in your pocket is always worth more than another person’s job.
          Try not to drown in your own bile and poison.

  3. Denis Winkle May 31, 2012

    In the words of Our Forefathers it becomes apparent. In what set the Agenda of the Tea Party and Alex. That is. As the Soul Intent of fractious and minority.

    Republicanism is the political values system that has been a major part of American civic thought since the American Revolution.[1] It stresses liberty and inalienable rights as central values, makes the people as a whole sovereign, rejects inherited political power, expects citizens to be independent in their performance of civic duties, and vilifies corruption.[2] American republicanism was founded and first practiced by the Founding Fathers in the 18th century. This system was based on early Roman, Renaissance and English models and ideas.[3] It formed the basis for the American Revolution and the consequential Declaration of Independence (1776) and the Constitution (1787), as well as the Gettysburg Address (1863).[4]
    Republicanism may be distinguished from other forms of democracy as it asserts that people have unalienable rights that cannot be voted away by a majority of voters. In this case, [Senators and Representatives].[5] Alexis de Tocqueville warned about the “tyranny of the majority” in a democracy, and advocates of the rights of minorities have warned that the courts needed to protect those rights by reversing efforts by voters to terminate the rights of an unpopular minority [Senators and Representatives].[6]
    Virtue vs. Commerce
    The open question, as Pocock suggested,[26] of the conflict between personal economic interest (grounded in Lockean liberalism) and classical republicanism, troubled Americans. Jefferson and Madison roundly denounced the Federalists for creating a national bank as tending to corruption and monarchism; Alexander Hamilton staunchly defended his program, arguing that national economic strength was necessary for the protection of liberty. Jefferson never relented but by 1815 Madison switched and announced in favor of a national bank, which he set up in 1816.
    John Adams often pondered the issue of civic virtue. Writing Mercy Otis Warren in 1776, he agreed with the Greeks and the Romans, that, “Public Virtue cannot exist without private, and public Virtue is the only Foundation of Republics.” Adams insisted, “There must be a positive Passion for the public good, the public Interest, Honor, Power, and Glory, established in the Minds of the People, or there can be no Republican Government, nor any real Liberty. And this public Passion must be Superior to all private Passions. Men must be ready, they must pride themselves, and be happy to sacrifice their private Pleasures, Passions, and Interests, nay their private Friendships and dearest connections, when they Stand in Competition with the Rights of society.”[27]
    Adams worried that a businessman might have financial interests that conflicted with republican duty; indeed, he was especially suspicious of banks. He decided that history taught that “the Spirit of Commerce … is incompatible with that purity of Heart, and Greatness of soul which is necessary for a happy Republic.” But so much of that spirit of commerce had infected America. In New England, Adams noted, “even the Farmers and Tradesmen are addicted to Commerce.” As a result, there was “a great Danger that a Republican Government would be very factious and turbulent there.”[28]

    1. EdC May 31, 2012

      Republican stresses Liberty, but todays Republican especially Walker does not, one should have the liberty to bargain for the cost and profit of his wares, yet the actual fight is to stop the bargaining power for the worker, whos work is his wares, to not be allowed to bargain for them. If you told a shop owner he must sell his product for less then he has to pay for it, what would he do, If you told a manufacturer that he would have to sell his wares for less then what he has to pay for his raw material what would he do, why should someone have to work for less then it costs him to exist, let alone live, Why should a person have to work and still see his kids starve, because rich people say so, that is Republicanism, today under Walker, and Scott and hopefully not Romney it’s called Slavery, and THAT is what today’s republican stands for.

      1. ObozoMustGo May 31, 2012

        Ed… I must clarify for you once again… The fight is not “bargaining power for the workers”.. you are intentionally misleading. The real topic is bargaining power for the taxpayers over an extremely greedy public employees union that has benefits that were bankrupting the state. This is not about workers at GM or Ford or any other private busines having their right to bargain. This is about public employee unions losing control over the leftist politicians who have bestowed lavish benefits on the unions who in turn take that money and cycle it back to the leftist politicians who bestow even more benefits on the unions who cycle it back to the leftist politicians who bestow more benefits on the unions who………………… you get the point.

        Public employee unions should be outlawed completely. They are nothing more than virtuous money laundering schemes that keep lazy a$$ union bosses making big money off the backs of workers all the while they are kicking taxpayer money back to the politicians. There has been no one at the negotiating table representing the taxpayer until Walker showed up.

        Private employee unions… no problem with them.

        Too bad for all you leftist nutjobs in WI…. you will lose this recall election again. And God willing, Walker break your illegal hold on the taxpayer wallet forever!

        Have a nice day!

        1. forrest57 May 31, 2012

          here he is again the cyber bullie bringing the distant past into today as if it was yeaterday. REPUBLICAN LACKY!!!! THE REASON THAT THERE IS A DEFICIT IS BECAUSE OF CORPERATE WELFARE AND CORPERATE TAX BREAKS THAT RANGE INTO THE BILLIONS

          1. ObozoMustGo May 31, 2012

            the truth hurts you, doesn’t it gump? Public employee unions are money laundering schemes that should be immidiately outlawed. Union bosses do nothing but suck money off the backs of the workers and dish some back to the pols. They sell you this whole bullsheet idea of being for the workers, but that’s the biggest lie you’ll ever hear. The pols get to stay in offce and union bosses get to do nothing for a living. What a great deal if you can get it. No wonder they took over the WI state house like a bunch of thugs and scumbags. Their union bosses got them all riled up.

            But the truth is the truth, gump. If you are a worker, your union bosses are screwing you for their own benefit. That’s all there is to it.

            Have a nice day!

          2. Norman Dyche May 31, 2012

            Hey guys, remember it isn’t just Wisconsin. They will have their recall, but many of us in other states are smart enough to see our union officials as they are. How can you possibly back them when you can’t speak at a union meeting, and the ballots and candidates are preselected. You ask why?, and then at a mid break you are told to shut up or leave by three thugs. All the aye votes are in the 1st 8 rows and they look no further for votes. Yep our west coast is live and well.

          3. metrognome3830 May 31, 2012

            You must have experienced the same union as OMG. I got this to say to you Norman. That sounds like a large dose of bullshit! If any union gets by with that, it’s the fault of the membership for letting them get by with it.

          4. metrognome3830 May 31, 2012

            OMG, I’m just asking, where did you get all the totally useless and erroneous information about unions. Now I spent many years of my working life in union shops and some years in non-union shops. In my experience, working in a union shop was far more beneficial. Nothing against the non-union shops, but the wages and working conditions were better in union shops. And I will state for a certainty, that the wages, benefits and working conditions in those non-unions shops would have been far worse if it weren’t for the unions. So I hope you won’t be terribly offended if I tell you that your “information” smacks more of “opinion.”

            But, you have a nice day.

          5. ObozoMustGo June 1, 2012

            Hey metro! See my other response. It’s appropriate here too.

            I have ALWAYS made a distinction between private and public employee unions. While certainly the origination of private unions resulted in improvements for employees back in the day, they have lived through their period of usefulness and are probably more destructive than helpful today. However, despite the fact that I think this way, I will still fight for your right or others rights to unionize in private commercial settings.

            But public employee unions are different. They are a scam. Plain and simple.

            Have a great day, metro!

          6. metrognome3830 June 4, 2012

            Well at least you will concede that private unions did result in improvements for employees back in the day. However, we disagree that they are no longer useful. I see The busting of public employee unions as just a first step to going after private unions. And judging from comments I read by people, I think it is going to hve to be an expensive lesson for them to learn that once the unions have been broken, they will discover just how difficult it is going to be going one on one with management to not only get better conditions, but to hang on to the ones they have. And I see no difference between private and public employee unions. Public employees are entitled to decent wages and working conditions, too. There are no more scams there than there are in corporate offices. Anyone can produce anecdotal “evidence” that unions are only around to keep the lazy and incompetent employed. For every one of them, there is the same quality “evidence” of lazy, incompetent corporate executives. But this meager evidence just does not fairly represent either side. The only upside I personally see in all this is that I have been retired for seven years. I don’t have to fight the battle any more. I helped negotiate a few union contracts. I know what it’s like. I didn’t do it because I thought I needed a union to keep my job. I could do just fine on my own — and did. I did it because I thought it was necessary to keep the playing field level for everyone. I know not everyone, not even union members always like the union — except when the collect their paychecks — but I have serious misgivings about doing away with them. No, there is nothing plain and simple about it.

            Have yourself a great day, too, OMG.

          7. ObozoMustGo June 4, 2012

            Good Monday morning, metro, my friend!

            The reason I make the distinction between public and private unions is that the basic structure of their relationship to management is inherently different. Private unions negotiate with an adversary on the other side of the table. Public unions negotiate with management (that’s the politicians) who have the same interests as the union. The more thay pay, the more the politician is supported by the union. There are no adversaries. This is why it’s a scam. Get it?

            Agreed, there are lazy people in ALL walks of life, union, public, private, whatever, just like there are good people in ALL walks of life.

            No one says the government workers should not be paid fairly. But today’s government workers average salary and benefits far exceeds the compensation of the average American private sector worker. So, in effect, the private sector workers are working for far less money to pay government workers lavish salaries and benefits. This is inherently wrong and unfair.

            It used to be that a person would take a government job knowing they would make less than private workers. But the trade off was job security, great hours, more vacation time, and a generally stress free environment. That was a fair trade off for many workers. But the public unions have changed the equation, with the help of the politicians they fund, so far in the other direction that the civil servants are not really the servants anymore, the private workers are their servants.

            This is why even FDR did not support or permit public employee unions.

            Have a great day, metro!

            PS> Where was that place you went for fish and chips with your wife on Friday?

          8. metrognome3830 June 4, 2012

            Good morning to you OMG!

            From your perspective, that public employees make far more money than private sector employees, I can see why you would not like them. However, I tend not to believe the figures touted by the right in this matter. They tend to take an average salary for public employees and compare it to an average salary for a private employee. They make no distinction (purposely, I believe) between job descriptions. When you compare the salary of, for instance, a government IT specialist with that of a private sector delivery truck driver, you will naturally have a significant difference in pay. But if you compare the wage of, for instance, a street maintenance worker with a comparable private sector worker, the difference in pay becomes much less. People who make up these comparison charts are quite clever with how they handle information. As I have told you, I have been in private sector unions and public sector unions. And in non-union workplaces. My last 10 years of employment was as a transit operator for King County, Washington state. I got two weeks of vacation, the hours ranged from good to lousy, much of the time either signing in before 5 A.M. or, alternatively, if I didn’t like that, the 3:30 to midnight shift. And trying to maintain a schedule in Seattle traffic is anything but stress-free. In my private sector jobs, I had enough seniority for five weeks annual vacation. Of which I usually managed to use three. In my non-union minor management position, I was paid a salary and if I was caught up on my duties, and everything was running well, I could slip in several days off. The salary was comparable to what a public employee would make with the same job description. The image of the overpaid, underworked, imcompetent public sector employee is largely a myth. I think we can agree that these people exist in public and private sector jobs, but I am not so cynical as to believe they are the norm. And I think FDR was wrong on that point.

            Have a great day yourself, OMG!

            OH, yes, the fish and chips was at Fuzzy’s Bar and Grill in Surprise, AZ. If you are ever in the neighborhood on a Friday night, I will take you there.

          9. ObozoMustGo June 4, 2012

            metro, I was last in AZ in Scottsdale 3 years ago at the Fairmount resort for a company outing. Is that near Surprise? Would love to go back this coming winter. November is awesome there.

            As to public employee comp…. it’s both salary/wages AND benefits totaled up. I am east coast. For example, a teacher in NJ starts work at 23 years old, works 30 years and can retire full pension. According to their deal, that teacher will have only contributed only about $62K but will retire mid 50s with a pension valued at close to $2 million. They also retire with fully 100% paid healthcare for life. How does that work? That example is extreme, I know, but not by much, my friend. There are many others that are equally offensive even if they are not as extreme. Some don’t even contribute anything to their own retirement. NJ pays 92% of the cost of health insurance for every single employee in the state. The teachers were the exception. I think Christie has been able to extract 1.5% from them at this point, but give me a break. The teachers union collects $130 Million in dues in NJ. They don’t spend a nickle on the teachers or schools. It is nearly 100% political spending and union bosses making $300+K per year. This is exactly the same scenario that plays itself out in thousands of examples across America.

            So while you may want to focus only on salaries, the real hidden costs of public employee unions are in the lavish benefits and pensions they are paid when they no longer even work. And the new workers get the same benny’s, and the cycle continues while the burden grows bigger and bigger and bigger.

            Again, I don’t blame unions per se’ and certainly have nothing but respect for people that are civil servants. But the public employee unions are just scams in too many cases. We will have to agree to disagree, metro.

            Have a great evening, my friend!

          10. metrognome3830 June 4, 2012

            Yes, I know about your east coast teachers. I have a retiree friend here who is from New Jersey. Everytime we talk unions (he was a union member, Operating Engineers) he brings them up. But they are not really representative of unions as a whole. I know what they make. Trying to discuss it with him, I looked up their salaries and I was absolutely amazed. New York and New Jersey are high. An administrator in some districts can make $200,000 per year. And their pensions are better than most. But, if you look at the charts, not even all the districts in NY and NJ have the same salary or pension. It appears that some of the sweetest deals are more in the suburban school districts than the inner city. But in a state like Wisconsin or other states in flyover land, the remuneration is considerably lower. Did you know, for example, that Scott Walker had already negotiated a higher co-pay on the health insurance and pensions from state employees? No one mentions that in the news stories. Yet he continues to flog that as an issue. He, like most other politicians, has no interest in really bringing down spending. They are only making noise about it now because they are under pressure from the electorate to do something. So he and his ilk will go after the easiest target, the people doing the work. Do you hear of he or any of his political hacks stepping up and saying they will take a cut in salary and/or benefits. Of course not. On the national front, the Republicans will weep, wail and howl that Obama is running us into debt. If they succeed in taking control of the goveernment, do you think they will actually do anything about the debt? Of course not. They’re not even really concerned about it. So you have the two main political parties, all in an uproar about the debt. And no matter who gets elected, the debt will still be there and higher in 2016. There are experienced economists that will tell you that there IS no way out of this debt without defaulting. Things have gone too far. Even if we cut spending AND raise taxes, it’s too late they say. The people of the country are also complicit. Everybody wants to cut spending, but they want to start with other people’s programs, not programs they benefit from. So we come to a standstill and then start rolling rolling backward at a faster and faster pace. I’m glad I learned to drive a horse and wagon as a kid. Because we are headed back to those time.

            Now that I have delivered this cheerful news, have a great day, OMG, while we still can.

            If you get back to Scottsdale, we will have to figure a way to get together. Surprise is about 45 minutes from Scottsdale. And somewhat less affluent.

          11. ObozoMustGo June 4, 2012

            I think many places are less affluent than, Scottsdale, metro. We had a company meeting at the Fairmount, so they paid. I cant afford that, either. Especially the absolutely delicious Kobe Sliders with duck fat fried french fries at $27 for 3 little ones!!!! Ouch….. but YUMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!! They were worth it. πŸ™‚

            As to sweetheart deals, I agree not everyone has the same deals, but there are enough where many of our states and cities and locales, particularly heavily unionized and Democratic ones, are on the brink of disaster. Too many years of too many promises for too many freebies and this is what you get. It’s not an R problem, it’s not a D problem. It’s a math problem, and a cultural problem.

            I agree with you that regardless of R or D, they have so far been very bad at saying NO to more goodies because this is how they get reelected. And your friend may be right. It may be too late. But it doesnt mean we give up. You are a good Democrat, metro. And you strike me as a very sensible man. You and the other Democrats have to be the ones telling your politicians that they need to become fiscally responsible, as well. And if they are not, form a Dem version of the Tea Party and start throwing the incumbents out in favor of reasonable and sensible candidates that place taxpayer interests ahead of their own political futures. Only when this begins happening within BOTH parties do we really have a shot and changing this mess.

            Talk about scary? I just read something today that shows that the top 10 debtor nations have total debt over 300% of combined total Global GDP. And the $70T of G10 debt is collateral for $700T in derivatives used to hedge those bets. If the Eurozone countries begin a default, we are likely to see a domino effect in the financial markets and global banking system. This would be bad. Very bad! Very, very, very bad! Since WWII, no one has been sensible enough to say no to spending in ANY democracy, not just ours. The chickens will come home to roost, lets just hope we can bring ’em in slowly and one by one, not all at once. We are close, but I think we still have some time to gain our senses. I hope…………… too bad 90% of America is ignorant of this stuff.

            Gotta run. See you tomorrow my friend.

          12. EdC May 31, 2012

            Since I”ve have been absent forrest 57 had to stand in, thank you forrest. Under Walker taxes have insreased for the citizens and billions of tax breaks were given to, not small businesses like the barber, or the gas station owner, but to major corporations. Unions despite Republican corporate retoric, are the job creators. Teachers in Wisconsin unions were making exactally what they made thirty years ago, and they are paying for the materials that the kids us. Yet Walker gave a Nephew a job, starting at eighty grand, twice what a seasoned teacher made. Bozo, you talk about truth yet youhave proven time and time again that your truth is made up facts. Walker claims that out of state money is coming in to get him, yet Koch brothers have admitted to three quaters of a billion dollars they have sent to him, He has a $160,000 criminal defence fun, no other governor has a defence fund, Even the Illionois governor didn’t have a defence fund. But lets get back to unions create jobs, I know this is lost on you, with your mind like a steel trap, rusted shut. If you have thirty men building a bridge and they are only paid ten dollars an hour, their boss has already charged $30.00 dollars an hour for each of them and pocketed the difference, where as if he actually paid the union wages of $30.00 dollars an hour these men men would go out and eat at the local coffee shop, buy local boots from the local store, get toys for their kids etc. but since they only get $10.00 dollars an hour they double up in motel rooms and and recieve handouts from the local church. So let me ask the rest of you, because we know what bozo says, Which creates a better economy, thiry guys buying a meal or two from the local coffee shop each week, thereby the owner having to hire a new waitress of two, or the bosss having dinner every night at the local strip club trying to chat down the topless pole dancer, who already has a job. And if a new waitress is hired at the the local dennys doesn’t she have to go celebrate at the local Penny’s buying a pair of shoes. If that were a hundred guys building a much needed bridge, like between Boehner constituency and McConnell constituency, how many new waitressess could we have, how many shoes makers could we have. But republican employeers complain, wheile buying new Alagator boots, about how they can’t afford to pay union wages. First they should figure out how much they would need to job themselves, second if the can’t afford it, then there business is not qualified to hire on anyone. Your time is as valuble to you as their time is to them. regardless of what Bozo has to say.

          13. forrest57 June 1, 2012

            dopo bozo please let me know everything you know about UNIONs and how they run since you are the worlds expert on lies and bullshit ( or is this all you can do is repeat lies and propaganda fron the RETARDED PARTY the GOP. I bgelong to the Ironworkers internnational UNION and in about 6 months I will retire at the sweet age of 55 what are you doing for your retirment? and as far as the officers of any union they are not appionted they are voted on by the body of that piticular union, district leaders are voted by the body to rep them in their district and all UNION leaders are voted on at national conventions WE the body vote not some imaginary thug from the distant past so shut your shit hole about things you dont know about

          14. ObozoMustGo June 1, 2012

            Unions are a drag on the economy. That’s what they are. They drive business out of America. But, you have a right to be in a union if you want. So go for it. My point is not against private unions like the ironworkers. It is against PUBLIC employee unions, which are a scam. There is no other word for it. Even FDR, the spawn of the devil himself, would NOT allow for Fed employees to unionize because he knew the dangers involved that would ultimately lead to massive corruption of politicians and screwing of taxpayers in the end.

            Congrats on your upcoming retirement! You have successfully screwed the system and have “gotten yours”. Once retired, you can be a full time union thug going around threatening people at marches and their businesses and homes like a real mafia shakedown man. You should be so proud!

            Have a nice day!

          15. she343 June 2, 2012

            how can public workers have bloated benefits (per the latest bumper stickers)– if all the union bosses are doing is making themselves and politicians rich?
            Change the “union boss” to “management class” and you have the perfect far left rant! —
            So tell me how many union bosses are making several million a year?And aren’t the CEOs and financial elite also buying politicians with their contributions?

          16. ObozoMustGo June 2, 2012

            343… your points about who gets what money is nothing more than more of the same old class warfare crap that’s so commonly echoed from the Obozo zombies these days. It actually has nothing to do with what I typed.

            And, for you information, you should Google what the salaries of the union bosses are. You should be shocked! Many of them earn well over $250,000 per year, some way more. And they do nothing for it but take money off of workers backs.

            My discussion points are specifically about the PUBLIC employee unions and their unholy alliance with politicians. That’s all. That alliance has become a money laundering scheme that is bankrupting our cities and states. You cannot compare that to what a private company does with their private funds. They don’t have the power to tax you like politicians do.

            Don’t blame me, I’m just the messenger.

            Have a nice day!

        2. futebolao May 31, 2012

          You actually make decent points here and there, but then diminish your argument with the unnecessary insults and condescending tone.
          Even your id is insulting. No basic respect for the President of the US. I did not like GW Bush’s politics, however, I do like the man: he is a good and decent person. I would never insult him like this.

          There can be no discourse with you where there is no basic civility.

          1. ObozoMustGo May 31, 2012

            Thanks for the back-handed compliment, fute! I’ll take them as I get them on this site. Most people are just dyed in the wool leftist nutjobs around here. And I mean that affectionately! Besides, no need to take things so personally. Believe me, I get waaaaaayyyyyyy more insults around here than I give. But it’s all in good fun. We cant be too serious all the time, can we?

            Have a nice day, fute!

          2. futebolao May 31, 2012

            Can you even define “leftist nutjob” without using “leftist nutjob” in your reply? Also, your ‘have a nice day’ and claims of affectionate intent are clearly untrue. You seem to try to balance your own vitriol with a false smile. A vitriolic personality with a smile. Creepy.

          3. ObozoMustGo May 31, 2012

            Actually fute, I am being cordial and honest. We can argue and debate and insult one another and still be cordial. Problem with text is that you dont get context. Like when you call you friend an a$$ but are kidding around.

            Defining a leftist nutjob…. hmmmmm…. it’s pretty simple. Anyone whose worldview is shaped by the Holy Trinity of the left: Race, Gender, and Class. Typically that means they see the world through the lenses of victimization, are classically attracted to viewpoints that are born of jealousy and envy, and believe that man can be perfected through public policy. They believe in collectivism, and not individual liberty. That the state is more important than the sovereign individual and that the individual must subjugate his interests to the greater good of society. They also do not grasp the concept of profit motives or economic incentives, and mostly believe that profits are a bad thing.

            There… that’s as good a definition as you’ll find in about 1 minutes time.

            Are you a leftist nutjob?

            Have a nice day, fute! Really, I wish you well for the day. πŸ™‚

        3. Bunny May 31, 2012

          Explain why you have not problem with private unions .

          1. ObozoMustGo May 31, 2012

            Bunny… I’m really glad you asked. The reason is this:

            With a union and a private business, when they negotiate with one another, they are adversaries. Each side looking out for their own interests. Each side must compromise for the business to continue.

            In public employee unions, the politicians and the union guys are on the same side of the negotiating table and the incentives are set up so that the politicians basically give the unions whatever they want in exchange for political support and contributions. The guy that pays the bills is the taxpayer, and rarely is the taxpayer’s interests represented in those negotiations. This is why not even FDR would permit unionization of federal employees, even though he was an ardent leftist and union supporter. I think it was either JFK or LBJ that changed that policy.

            You see, the whole system of public employee unions is fundamentally flawed. It’s a way for politicians to launder taxpayer funds to union bosses who in turn give some of those funds back to the very politician that has the power to tax.

            Does this make sense, Bunny? I hope this helps to clarify things.

            Have a great day, my lefty Bunny friend!

          2. Bunny May 31, 2012

            Why do you feel that Walker is just after the public employee unions ? I do not see any information that he has clarified this?

          3. ObozoMustGo May 31, 2012

            Bunny… no one said he is “just after” anyone, per se. And Walker has no say over private matters between a company and their union employees. But he does represent the taxpayers’ interest against the public employee unions.

            Like I said, I have no problem with private unions. While I think unions have outlived their usefulness, and I dont agree with them politically, I support their right to organize as they see fit.

            Have a great day, Bunny! πŸ˜‰

          4. Bunny May 31, 2012

            So then Walker is not after the Unions ? Which is it ?

          5. ObozoMustGo May 31, 2012

            Hi Buggs! Saying the Gov is “after” some group is little over the top in characterizing a situation where for once, someone is representing the taxpayer against the public employee unions, and is doing what is needed to prevent massive cost overruns in government. You’r characterization of fiscal responsibility as some sort of vendetta by saying a Gov is “going after” one group is completely false.

            I do get it, though, Bunny. You guys on the left ALWAYS need a boogey man for your wars, but it’s not true.

            You obviously think otherwise. Tell me, how is Gov Walker “going after” the private employee unions?

            Have a great evening my lefty Bunny friend! πŸ™‚

          6. Bunny May 31, 2012

            for once somebody is representing the taxpayer against the public employee unions ….. You answered my question.

          7. ObozoMustGo May 31, 2012

            Eureka!!!!!! You and I agree, Bunny!

            Have a great day, Bunny

          8. Bunny May 31, 2012

            What you did was admit that Walker is against the Union. He would not represent this people if he did not feel this way .

          9. ObozoMustGo May 31, 2012

            So you admit that representing taxpayers is going against the unions?

        4. Wade Stanley May 31, 2012

          Two things:
          First, give me an example of “lavish benefits.”
          Second, do you seriously believe they will stop with just public unions? The corporate bosses want to destroy ALL unions……..

        5. metrognome3830 May 31, 2012

          I see. If a private employer has to negotiate with the unions and pay a fair wage, that is acceptable. That employer has to pay the wages and benefits, not you (the taxpayer). However, when you (the taxpayer) has to pay the wages and benefits, you object. Then you (the taxpayer) wants to tell the workers, “You take what I give you, go do your job and shutup.”

          Sorry, OMG, I don’t buy your argument. Yes, I know, you don’t even have to say it, “leftist nutjob.” But, you see, when you continuously put people down as “leftist nutjobs” for being so bold as to ask for middle-class wages, it ceases to be effective — if in fact it ever was.

          You have a nice day as well.

          1. ObozoMustGo June 1, 2012

            Good morning metro… I hope this day finds you well. Note that I do mean “leftist nutjob” affectionately in most cases. Sort of like calling your buddy a dummy. Unfortunately, in text, there is very little context that would come from speech. I’m just poking fun at you, metro. πŸ™‚

            Reading your post reminds me of the southerners that are still fighting the civil war in their minds. You see, the leftists like to see class warfare in everything. Such thinking is embedded in your assumption that a government worker would have to “do your job and shut up”. It creates a vision in one’s mind that somehow, the employer (the bourgeois) has eternal power over the poor employee (proletariat) who is powerless. A very Marxist, sweatshop sort of picture is conveyed by your statement. You see, reality is far different, and you know it. While that may have been an accurate picture 150 years ago, it has NO basis in fact today.

            You are fighting a war that has long ago become irrelevant. This is a common psycosis amongst the leftist nutjob set and it’s damned near impossible to cure. Only an ability to face the reality of the world around you objectively can you then be able to realize that where government workers are NOT in unions, they are not mistreated or beaten down. I know, I know. Your natural instinct as a leftist nutjob is to find that one example from the local municipal office in Suskabush in 1994 where Sally was abused because Dan the mayor made her work 50 hour weeks and only paid her for 36 hours. Then you want to extrapolate it to say it happens all the time, create a crisis around it, and then seek to pass legislation that would change everyone’s behavior for ever, if only they behaved perfectly as the left wants them to do.

            Metro… it’s just not reality, buddy.

            What is reality is State and Local governments all over America have made concessions to public employee unions over the years that are breaking the banks of these states and towns.

            What is reality is that politicians have the power to tax and they in turn have the power to launder taxpayer funds through their union boss buddies back to themselves for reelection. It’s the politicians that negotiate with the unions. Metro, they’re on the same team!!! Dont you get it?

            What is reality is that the union bosses who do nothing except pal around with politicians are paid very well off the backs of those workers. They are part of the scam that screws the workers and taxpayers.

            Metro, the whole game of public employee unions is a scam, buddy. It is a total scam. This is why I made the distinction between public and private unions.

            I hope this helps you.

            Have a great day and pleasant weekend, my leftist nutjob friend! πŸ™‚

          2. metrognome3830 June 4, 2012

            OMG, I don’t know what your actual experience with unions is, but I think your perception has little to do with what really is. Of course union bosses have to deal with the politicians. I won’t even deny that some get way too cozy with them. How is that different from the corporate lobbyists who “pal around” with the politicians. If one side does it, the other side is going to do it too. Do you really believe that the unions would just tuck their tails and go away? The politicians are the ones cleaning up here. They pander to both sides to collect campaign funds and perks. And then make their decisions based on who can lay the most money on them. Speaking of unions, what about organizations like ALEC. The only difference between unions and organizations like ALEC is that one calls themselves an organization. And has a lot more money. But all they are is a union. A group of people/businessmen joining together to advance their cause. Sorry, OMG, there is just no chance for you to convince me that only unions are to blame for our present woes.

            But I’m sure I can’t convince you that they aren’t, either. So, have a good day. I’m sure we’ll talk later.

          3. ObozoMustGo June 4, 2012

            Metro, please don’t infer that I ONLY blame unions. I don’t because they do what they do. I blame the politicians for being corrupted on both sides. And by corrupted I mean that the interests of the taxpayers are the LAST thought for a great many of them when it should be the first. They view us taxpayers as the bottomless pit of money that they can use for whatever purpose they want to play their games and build their power structures to serve themselves.

            My comments were about the inherent structure of the relationship with public employee unions that fosters corruption on a massive scale. I know… you’ll ask “what massive scale”… I will ask you to do your homework about the financial stability of our states, cities and localities, and what their unfunded liabilities in retiree benefits and pensions are. Do that and it will be hard for you to argue otherwise.

            See you later, my friend!

    2. futebolao May 31, 2012

      Here is the current Republican oath:

      I am a Republican because:
      – I BELIEVE the strength of our nation lies with the individual and that each person’s dignity, freedom, ability and responsibility must be honored.
      – I BELIEVE in equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, sex, age or disability.
      – I BELIEVE free enterprise and encouraging individual initiative have brought this nation opportunity, economic growth and prosperity.
      – I BELIEVE government must practice fiscal responsibility and allow individuals to keep more of the money they earn.
      – I BELIEVE THE proper role of government is to provide for the people only those critical functions that cannot be performed by individuals or private organizations; the best government is that which governs least.
      – I BELIEVE the most effective, responsible and responsive government is government closest to the people.
      – I BELIEVE Americans must retain the principles that have made us strong while developing new and innovative ideas to meet the challenges of changing times.
      – I BELIEVE Americans value and should preserve our national strength and pride while working to extend peace, freedom and human rights throughout the world.
      – I BELIEVE the Republican Party is the best vehicle for translating these ideals into positive and successful principles of government.

      It is a fine and decent credo. Unfortunately, the very first statement is violated by so many members of the current Republican party that I am deeply disappointed by this party. The basic dignity of the MAN who is our President is under daily assault. I have never seen a President so vilified in such a personal and petty manner. I do not understand it.

    3. Bunny May 31, 2012

      You are one smart lady ! I am trying to understand more about our Government . This world is out of control. How can this Government be fixed ? I do feel the people need to let our Government workers know that they are working for The People ! ! ! That is NOT happening ! Do petitions help ? Is there HOPE ? ? ?

  4. quasm May 31, 2012

    Mr. Dionne;

    Your sentence in the fifth paragraph beginning with “It seeks to use incumbency…” describes Pres. Obama’s current practices.

    Dik Thurston
    Colorado Springs

  5. futebolao May 31, 2012

    Totally agree awakenaustin.

    All I ever read from Obo…… is “leftist nutjob”, blah blah, [condescending comment], “leftist nutjob”, blah blah, [condescending comment], etc. I am amused by the ‘have a nice day’ at the end of every message, which is clearly not intended.

    Whatever meaningful message Obo…. has is lost in all that.

    One clear message I do get is a general hatefulness and disregard for basic dignity. Unfortunately for the Republican party, this person is belongs to them.

  6. jebediah123 May 31, 2012

    Please, for anyone who reads this article about Walker or has signed the recall petition——DO YOU REALIZE HOW IMPORTANT THIS RECALL ELECTION IS?? The entire nation is watching this, especially the republican money kingpins. If Walker wins the republicans can say that the state of Wisconsin has rejected the Democratic party and use this in the presidential election.


    There were approximately 0ne million recall signatures. When Walker won his gubernatorial election, he didn’t win by a big majority. If all one million recall signers vote, Walker can be beat. IF YOU DON’T VOTE, DON’T CRY IF WALKER WINS!!

    1. rmarqua2921 May 31, 2012

      Well, certainly I think the policies of Mr. Walker and the Republicans are scary! What he has shown is that he is unable to negotiate contracts with his own people! Should he then be in the position of Governor of the great State of Wisconsin? Isn’t that a part of his job! Instead he attempts to “kill” the opposition, his own people! If he is such a good governor he would have the ability to negotiate a contract that was good for the State of Wisconsin. I do not understand how these governments who bad mouth and try to destroy the unions get by with this! This is how communist countries deal with problems! Destroy the opposition! The government has all the power! The governors or representatives have to sign any contract for the State! If it is not good for Wisconsin, then DON’T SIGN THE DAMN THING! Once you sign it , don’t come around and blame the other guy! Walker is a poor excuse for an administrator!

  7. ObozoMustGo May 31, 2012

    Democratic National Convention Schedule released by WikiLeaks!

    Democratic National Convention Schedule
    4:00 PM – Opening Flag Burning Ceremony
    4:05 PM – Singing of “G_D___ America” led by Rev. Jeremiah Wright
    4:10 PM – Pledge of Allegiance to Obama
    4:15 PM – Ceremonial ‘I hate America’ led by Michelle Obama
    4:30 PM – Tips on Dodging Sniper Fire – Hillary Clinton
    4:45 PM –Al Sharpton Leads Castrati Choir in Singing “Great Balls of Fire”
    5:00 PM – UFO Abduction Survival – Joe Biden
    5:30 PM – Eliot Spitzer Speaks on “Family Values” via Satellite
    5:45 PM – Tribute to All 57 States
    6:00 PM – Joe Biden Delivers 100,000-Word Speech Featuring 23-Minute Question and 2- Hour Answer
    8:30 PM – Airing of Grievances by the Clintons
    9:00 PM – Bill Clinton Delivers Rousing Endorsement of Obama Girl
    9:15 PM – Tribute Film to Freedom Fighters at Gitmo – Michael Moore
    9:45 PM – Personal Finance Seminar – Charlie Rangell
    10:00 PM – Denunciation of Bitter Gun Owners
    10:30 PM – Ceremonial Waving of White Flag for IRAQ, & Afghanistan
    11:00 PM – Obama Energy Plan Symposium /Tire Gauge Demonstration
    11:15 PM – Free Gov. Blagojevich rally
    11:30 PM – Obama Accepts Tony and Latin Grammy Awards
    11:45 PM – Feeding of the Delegates with 5 Loaves and 2 Fish – Obama Presiding
    12:00 AM – Official Nomination of Obama by Bill Mahre
    12:01 AM – Obama Accepts Nomination, declares that the Kenyan thing was a distraction, he was really born in Bethelehem
    12:05 AM – Celestial Choirs Sing
    3:00 AM – Biden Delivers Acceptance Speech
    OPTION: Closing with a Declaration of War on the rich To be decided just before the Convention

    1. rmarqua2921 May 31, 2012

      Don’t you really have more important things to do than this? Must have taken you hours! Maybe you could share with us what the difference is between Romneys financial policies and those of George Bush? The answer to this would be much more helpful for our country! I guess you Republicans are still trying to “bad mouth” your way into the White House!

      At least we won’t have to listen to Donald Trump, main speaker for the RNC!

      1. ObozoMustGo May 31, 2012

        Took no time at all!

        1. rmarqua2921 June 1, 2012

          You didn’t answer my question! What is the difference between the financial policies of Romney and those of George Bush? I can’t seem to find any difference and no Republican yet has come forward with an answer, including mitt Romney!

          From: Disqus
          To: rmarqua29212003@yahoo.com
          Sent: Friday, June 1, 2012 8:41 AM
          Subject: [thenationalmemo] Re: The Stakes In The Walker Recall

          Disqus generic email template

          ObozoMustGo wrote, in response to rmarqua2921:
          Took no time at all!
          Link to comment

  8. Don B June 1, 2012

    The Republican Party used to have some stellar statesmen in its orbit. Today they are nothing but hucksters for the 1%. I can’t uncerstand why any middle class working person or member of the “working poor” would vote for a candidate in this party. Its akin to shooting yourself in the foot.


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