Illinois’ economy has suffered more than most during the recession, but the Prairie State is now the home to at least one growing industry: that of providing sanctuary to Democratic legislators running away from neighboring Midwestern states. Thirty-seven of forty Democrats in the Indiana House fled across the border to prevent the Republican majority in the chamber from passing a right to work bill. They joined the fourteen Wisconsin Democrats who took flight from their state rather than fulfilling their responsibilities as elected officials. It’s clear that Democrats understand that if the power of big labor is diminished, their party will suffer. Without union votes, and most importantly, union cash, the party will face the unpalatable choice of moving toward the center or finding itself marginalized on the far left fringe of American politics. And so the party has responded with these incredibly childish tactics in both Indiana and Wisconsin.
When Barack Obama was elected president and his party enjoyed majorities in both houses of Congress, many a Democrat responded to complaints about their party’s agenda with a simple, five-word observation: “you lost – get over it.” Now that those shoes are on other feet at the state level, Democrats are apparently either unaware that they lost or unable to get over it. One can only imagine how Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media would react if Republican lawmakers ever ran from across state lines to prevent a measure that conservatives found unpalatable from being voted on. And yet this churlish behavior passes for heroism to many on the left, who hail the “courage” of those they have dubbed the “Wisconsin Fourteen.”
The standoffs in Wisconsin and Indiana have given rise to remarkably heated rhetoric on the left. Protesters comparing Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to Hitler and Hosni Mubarak are commonplace, and some Democrat politicians have used that imagery as well. Representative Michael Capuano, a Massachusetts Democrat, told union workers in Boston that every once in a while they “had to get a little bloody.” Capuano later said he regretted using the language, but calls to violence on the left are clearly on the rise. Walker’s security detail is taking an increase in assassination threats very seriously. Fox reports that some Twitter posts have been particularly disturbing:
A number of Twitter users, apparently unhappy with the budget plan, have publicly pleaded for somebody to kill Walker. “Someone please shoot him?!” one user Tweeted. “Crazy people wanted!!!! Please have sniper skills,” another wrote, later adding: “Some one please take out the governor Scott Walker.
After Representative Gabrielle Giffords and 18 others were shot by a deranged gunman in Tucson a month ago, the far-left was positively hysterical, blaming the right for the “violent discourse” that – in their minds – led to the tragedy. Sarah Palin’s uttering the word “reload” and using cross-hairs to identify targeted districts during an election were somehow to blame. Far leftists tripped over each other to call for an end to such dangerous rhetoric. Take, for example, Media Matters’ David Brock, who shed crocodile tears in the wake of the tragedy, begging Palin to join him in renouncing violent rhetoric before it’s too late. But is anyone at MMFA, MSNBC, the Daily Kos or the rest of the left’s noise machine troubled by the increasingly violent rhetoric pouring out of Madison and Indianapolis today? Apparently not, since there’s not a peep of complaint emanating from that end of the political spectrum. Far-left media outlets are too busy cheering the protesters on, reinforcing union supporters’ self-righteous perception that their cause is so important that any and every action to achieve their ends is justified.
Democrats are quick to hail the blessings of majority rule, so long as they are the majority. But, the time-honored term “loyal opposition” has no meaning in Democratic ranks today, and the sorry, embarrassing situations in Wisconsin and Indianapolis are proof enough of that. B. Patrick Bauer, Democratic Minority Leader in the Indiana House, made an especially revealing comment during a conference call he held while in hiding at a Comfort Suites in Urbana, Illinois. “It’s never been seen before in this state,” Bauer said. “You’ve never seen this kind of class war.”
Class war? Not really. All of the evidence shows that transforming Indiana from a forced-unionism state to a right to work state will only increase employment, increase income and bring in more business. The only “class” that gets hurt when unions can no longer compel workers to join them and surrender a portion of their pay is the ruling class that has a donkey as its symbol. If Indiana becomes a right to work state, there are a lot of unemployed steelworkers in the northwest portion of the state who will find renewed employment, but they won’t have to indirectly – and unwittingly – funnel a portion of their wages to support the Democratic party, courtesy of their union. That’s the sort of “class war” loss that politicians like B. Patrick Bauer cannot abide.
Democrats are desperate, with good reason. Losses in Wisconsin and Indiana would be disastrous, not only because it would mean that both states would be reliably red for quite some time, but because more dominoes would be sure to fall. With the stakes so high, the rhetoric and tactics on the left are sure to be as desperate and desperately wild as ever.