The Friday Letter / Issue #181

On Wisconsin! In the Reagan mold: We win, they lose

Courage was on the ballot yesterday, and courage won. — U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin

Stephen Combs / The Federalist Review

Nothing was more delightfully entertaining Tuesday night than the wake they held over at MSNBC. There was Ed Schultz having a hissy-fit and proclaiming the end of the world, and two humorless pontificators from leftwing magazines preparing for the gulag, certain they would never breathe fresh air or see natural light again.

They were imagining a world without government school teachers or firemen, with garbage piling in the street, putrid water, children starving and old ladies pushed off cliffs. They didn’t say these things; they didn’t need to. You could read it in the saddest, most pathetic faces seen on television since Elvis died.

Interviewed late in the program, the race hustler Jesse Jackson said Republicans have a plan to destroy government schools. Number of teachers laid off in Wisconsin: 0.

Nominally, the score was Republicans 5, Democrats 1. It was actually worse than that for Republicans, as the lone Democrat victory resulted in Democrat takeover of the Wisconsin Senate. Early on a Republican sweep appeared likely, and the mood at MSNBC turned so somber that bereavement counselors should have been called in. The best that Schultz, host of “The Ed Show,” could come up with was a prediction that Walker will be indicted “within a few days.”

An obviously depressed Ruth Conniff, political editor of The Progressive magazine, appeared to be close to suffering a psychiatric emergency. It must have been unbearably difficult for her and fellow panelist John Nichols. Nichols is The Nation’s Washington correspondent.

Schultz is possibly the most outrageous of MSNBC’s lineup of hardcore leftist commentators. Last year he called conservative radio host Laura Ingraham “a right-wing slut” and said Republicans are “bastards.” He calls Walker a criminal and has said Republicans who criticize President Obama are traitors. But he is always good for a laugh.

Schultz, his election-night panelists, Democrats in general and unionists in particular are unhappy because of a simple fact they find hard to swallow: Scott Walker was elected on a promise to balance Wisconsin’s budget and end compulsory unionism. Then he did exactly what he promised.

Both Walker and Kleefisch have received credible death threats. One unhappy voter said he hopes Gov. Kleefisch “gets colon cancer.” Classy.
A sobbing malcontent told CNN that 236 years of American nationhood are over: “If we didn’t win tonight, the end of the USA as we know it just happened,” he said. Why: Because Walker succeeded in getting union members to make a small contribution to their pension funds and health insurance.

And, because the Wisconsin Legislature reinstated a basic right: that of workers, not union bosses, to decide whether or not to join the club. In the final analysis, this is what really galls the unionists – not the rank-and-file, but the leadership. (Twenty-seven percent of union members voted for Walker, and that is another thing that enrages the Left.)

The Left supports freedom of choice –so long as the choice is to have an abortion. It does not tolerate the right to choose health care, schools or union status. Those decisions are the purview of government.

The numbers tell everything, though it is hardly surprising that a leftist propaganda machine would mischaracterize them. Membership in Wisconsin’s government union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, fell by 54% between March 2011 and February 2012 – from 62,818 to 28,745.1

Schultz blames this free-fall on Walker, and he’s right. Walker signed legislation that ended compulsory union membership and paycheck deduction of dues. The result was a stampede.

Schultz says union membership fell because Walker laid off teachers and other government workers, and he’s wrong. In fact, Schultz lied, because the truth of this matter is not in dispute. Walker and the Legislature cut government spending and balanced the budget without slicing a single government job.

Not surprisingly, most mainstream media stayed on key with in-unison analysis that Walker won because he outspent the challengers: 7-1, 9-1, 10-1; take your pick. Somehow they saw this as unfair, as if someone minding his own business working the job for which he was hired is doing something illegal by fighting back. You bet Walker fought back, in the spirit of then-Joint Chiefs Chairman Colon Powell, who described the impending Gulf War back in 1990: We don’t want a fair fight. We want to overwhelm them.

Evil money, John Nichols told host Ed Schultz, “can take a dysfunctional and not credible governor and repurpose that person as an electable candidate.” He described a “title wave of money that has overwhelmed our state.”

Dysfunctional? Not credible?

Nichols, Conniff and Schultz were boisterous in their objection to money coming out of the Walker camp, but they forgot to mention the incalculable millions that came from Democrats, special interest groups and unions, which included the busing-in of union mobs from around the country to stir up the base.

NOTES
1. Source: MSNBC