Why is it that “progressives” who “Lean Forward,” as MSNBC puts it, always reach so far into the past to apply America’s sins to a current generation?
Recently Rachel Maddow had to hearken back to the era of Jim Crow to also bolster her strategy for Democrat victory in 2012– no, I’m not kidding.
Since the Republican shellacking of Democrats in 2010, Tingly and the Twit (Matthews and Maddow) have proclaimed every Republican victory to be pyrrhic. ”NOWWWW you’ve gone too far!” they proclaim on a nightly basis.
MADDOW: Put Republican efforts to strip union rights on the ballot and get ready to meet every heroic public school teacher and every firefighter and everyone who ever learned math from that teacher or had their house saved by that firefighter, get ready for America to hoist main street heroes on to the crowd‘s shoulders.
And to prove her point– and to egg school teachers on to be the new cannon fodder for the Left– she points to the Ohio statewide campaigns of… 1958! (My comments in bold…)
MADDOW: The last time Republicans in Ohio mounted this sort of an attack on people who work for a living was back in 1958. (Seriously?) Republicans wanted to outlaw union shops with a constitutional amendment that they put before the state‘s voters. They were just going to roll back union rights. (Yes, it was Right to Work legislation at a time when about 35% of the work force was unionized– and the vast majority in the PRIVATE SECTOR!)
Guess what happened. Ohio voters not only rejected the Republicans‘ big union-busting idea, they rejected it by a 2-1 margin. They overwhelmingly opposed the Republican-led efforts to strip union rights. They also replaced the Republican governor with a Democratic one.
And in that same election they gave Democrats both Houses of the state legislature and every statewide office outside of the courts and every single statewide office except for the secretary of state. Good job, Republicans.
Not only did your union-busting referendum get absolutely trounced, you got trounced, too. You got voted out of power for having tried it. The anti-union measure that Ohio Republicans wanted back then is not exactly the same thing as what‘s being proposed now, but it is roughly the same size, same shaped punch aimed directly at the middle class. (“Not exactly the same thing” is quite an understatement. In Ohio in 1958, the manufacturing– particularly the auto –industry was dominant, wages were rising, corporate profits were going up, and about 1/3 of the people worked at an hourly union wage. There was also one other difference– these weren’t just people who “worked for a living.” They were people who PRODUCED for a living. And while teachers are just about the only public employees who contribute to productivity, the rest of government is simply overhead– some of it necessary, but still overhead. Which explains why the Left wants to push teachers, along with those who do risk life and limb, to the forefront of this fight.)
And the great majority of working people reacted to it back then as you might expect. Democrats do not always remember that their base is people who have to work for a living. Democrats do not always remember that the corporate interest party is the other guys and that they‘re supposed to represent people who corporate interests would prey on if they didn‘t have somebody defending them. (Rachel doesn’t seem to remember that the “corporate interests” here would be Big Government. You know, the compassionate entity that she trusts to deliver health care?
But ultimately, the bosses here, the people on the other side of the bargaining table are not “corporate interests,” or even The Government. It’s the taxpayers. And that’s what makes this a whole different ball game than 1958. It’s about 10% of the population demanding more from the 90%– at the same time they are making more and have better benefits than, those 90%. That makes for a whole different sympathy level than autoworkers wanting more money from the President of General Motors and ironworkers making demands of U.S. Steel. (of course, ultimately, those golden gooses were killed, too)
For Rachel, Wisconsin is front and center in this scenario– but Michigan, she is sure, is right behind, along with Ohio, and it’s governor who she calls “former Fox commentator John Kasich,” never “former Congressman John Kasich…”
MADDOW: Economic populism wins for Democrats every time. If you want a Democrat to win an election put economic populism on the ballot. Put something like a minimum wage initiative on the ballot.
To prove how the tide has turned already, Maddow reaches once again waaaaayyy back into the past– when newspapers mattered. Yes, I said “newspapers…”
MADDOW: I want to show you the headlines that ran in newspapers around the state of Wisconsin on the day that Scott Walker signed the union-stripping bill there.
Now, this was the day that Walker held his big bill signing, right? This is supposed to be his victory lap. This is what local and regional papers looked like across Wisconsin on the day of Walker‘s would-be victory lap. “The Reporter” newspaper of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, “Did GOP break the Law?”
“The Post Crescent” newspaper of Appleton, Wisconsin, “Bill Passes Amid Outcry.” “The Daily Tribune” of Wisconsin Rapids, “Protesters Say Fight‘s Not Over.” “The Wausau Daily Herald,” “More Protesters on the Way,” “Thousands from Local Union Expected to Join Group this Weekend.”
And then there was this one, this one from the “Oshkosh Northwestern.”
This one may be the single most significant headline of that entire day. “Bargaining Battle Turns to Ballot Box.” That was the headline the day after this big union-stripping bill passed in Wisconsin.
“Bargaining Battle Turns to Ballot Box.” This is the key. This is the most important thing to pay attention to in trying to determine whether or not Democrats are going to be able to turn the pyrrhic nature of this Republican victory in Wisconsin into something that both stops what the Republicans are doing here.
Not to sound like Jim Mora, but Newspaper headlines? NEWSPAPER headlines? Are you kidding me?
But wait, there’s more…
With a remarkable lack of self-awareness, in True Twit fashion, Rachel mocked Republicans for returning to… the 1990s!