Message to Wisconsin taxpayers: President Obama and the Democratic National Committee have declared war on you. Message to other states: You’re next.
The political unrest in Wisconsin, billed as some kind of grass-roots uprising, is being organized and directed by Barack Obama’s Organizing for America and the Democratic National Committee. This development is consistent with Mr. Obama’s instructions for supporters to “get in the face” of those who oppose them, but in this case, they are seeking to derail a lawful legislative process.
On Thursday, 14 Democratic state lawmakers fled Wisconsin’s capital to prevent the legislature from conducting official business. Dan Grandone, state director for the president’s campaign apparatus, accused Gov. Scott Walker of “ignoring Wisconsin voices today and asking for the power to drown them out permanently tomorrow.” It is important to note that the voices of which Mr. Grandone speaks are not those of the public at large. Voters sent an unmistakable message in November by taking solid majorities in the state Assembly and Senate away from Democrats and handing even greater control to Republicans. Mr. Walker, a Republican, won by six points.
That the protesters speak in a different voice can be seen in the signs they carry. Many compare Mr. Walker to Hitler, Mussolini or Hosni Mubarak. One placard had the slogan “Repeal Walker” with the governor’s head in sniperscope cross hairs. This is the symbolism that Democrats recently denounced as “hate-filled rhetoric,” and it is far from the voice of the public. It is rather the voice of an entitled class that seeks by any means to stop its free ride from coming to an end.
The public educators engaged in the demonstrations, many of whom earn more than $100,000 in salary and benefits, seem to think the normal rules of professional conduct do not apply to them. Many falsely called in sick to engage in self-serving political activism, apparently without fear of being disciplined. A group of Madison East High School students engaged in what a union organizer called an “unplanned walkoff” of the school grounds, but that the students said was organized truancy instigated by their teachers.
These demonstrations may be dramatic and TV-friendly, but White House operatives and their union cronies are on the wrong side of history. The American people are fed up with a sense of entitlement, waste and abuse in government service. Americans in the private sector have lost jobs, been forced to take pay cuts to continue working and have reduced spending just to make ends meet. Government workers face no such jeopardy and instead enjoy automatic raises, regardless of performance. The measures causing all the ruckus in Wisconsin would require public-sector employees (excluding police and firefighters) to contribute half of their pension costs and at least 12 percent of their health care costs, which is a better deal than most Americans get. The public sector employees also would lose collective bargaining rights for anything other than pay. These are reasonable sacrifices to make in a time of fiscal crisis, and by resisting them, the demonstrators expose themselves as selfish and unreasonable.
The White House and its allies have backed similar demonstrations in Ohio and Indiana, and more may be planned for other states. One can reasonably ask why Mr. Obama is spending his time seeking to undermine democratic processes in U.S. state legislatures and ignoring the pleas of Iranians trying to throw off the shackles of Islamic rule.