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Those remarks represent some of the least inflammatory rhetoric to emanate from the left in the wake of the two votes in Wisconsin. At the other end of the spectrum, the left’s outrage took a much more sinister turn. Republican legislators, including the leaders of both houses, revealed that they have received multiple death threats. The showdown in Madison has thus been a remarkable case study in the way that leftists routinely talk out of both sides of their mouths. They claim to cherish democracy and majority rule, but Democratic Wisconsin senators chose to withdraw from the democratic process in an attempt to undermine the will of the majority. They say that public discourse should be respectful and people should avoid any hint of violent imagery, but protestors in Madison have rolled out some of the most violent, reprehensible rhetoric in recent memory and it’s no surprise at all to find that death threats are the natural outgrowth of those overheated pronouncements.
Many union supporters are now claiming that bringing collective bargaining alone up for a vote comes as a complete shock, characterizing it as an underhanded parliamentary maneuver that somehow undermined the system. In fact, everyone – on both sides of the aisle – understood that Wisconsin Republicans could have played this particular card at any time. Taking away collective bargaining privileges is not a financial measure and thus a quorum was not required. Democrats hoped that boycotting the senate would generate sympathy for the union’s cause, but significant support never actually materialized. In the intervening weeks, Governor Walker gave the Dems an opportunity to make some kind of a face-saving deal. When it became obvious that wasn’t going to happen, Walker and his party let the other shoe drop. Thus, Democrat senators are now officially abandoning their responsibilities for no reason whatsoever. It’s only a matter of time before they slink back into Madison to face the inevitable: another vote that will force the teachers union to contribute a bit more toward their pensions and insurance.
No doubt the left will continue to demonize Walker and Wisconsin Republicans, characterizing their actions as “union busting” and claiming that they tried to stifle debate. In fact, the opposite has been true. Public sector unions in Wisconsin chose to commit suicide, after having been given the opportunity to remain relevant. And so, public employees in the Dairy State join their brothers and sisters in the employ of the federal government and dozens of other states who do not enjoy the privilege of collective bargaining. Moreover, the right did nothing to inhibit the exchange of ideas or to quell opposing voices in Wisconsin. Instead, Republicans exercised remarkable restraint as the rhetoric on the left grew ever more incendiary. The left has thus suffered a massive defeat in the Midwest and they only have their own hubris to blame.
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