The draconian cuts in the House GOP budget is what you'd expect given what Republicans were campaigning for last fall. But this move at the state level to strip unions of collective bargaining rights--where did this come from? Granted Republicans and unions have never been BFFs, but why settle this score now?
"The GOP strategic aim is simple enough. If they can abolish union collective-bargaining rights, they can undermine the automatic payment of dues to the public-employee union treasuries. Shrinking those treasuries and reducing the union structure and membership will make it harder for Democrats and their allies to communicate directly with workers.
And under the infamous Citizens United Supreme Court decision, unions -- like corporations -- are free to spend as much as they want directly advocating for a candidate. That makes the math even more urgent as the 2012 election season approaches."
We've known for a while that this wasn't about balancing the budget in Wisconsin, or anywhere, since the unions already agreed to wage and benefit concessions. What it's about is building a structural, electoral advantage for the GOP. With Republicans running so many state houses, they can gerrymander Democrats out of Congress. And if they break the unions, they can gerrymander the cash away from Democratic coffers, so to speak.
Politics is a contact sport, so I suppose that I can't blame them for trying. But looking at what Republicans go to the mat over, it's hard to see how they stand for anything other than raw power. In the last Congress, they never offered any serious counter proposals to the Democrats. And why should they? They weren't there to solve problems. They were there to wound the President. And this year, it's wash, rinse, repeat. Only with majorities they can do more than obstruct. They can stick it to the opposition.
I know; I know. You didn't elect them to punch anybody in the mouth. You elected them because there were no jobs, and the Democrats had had their chance, and it was time to let the other side have its chance. But I warned you...