Late Night Open Thread: Ossified Worldview Edition

Joe Klein wrote a blog post that actually made sense, about America’s changing views on unions, especially public employee unions. He summarized his case this way:

An election was held in Wisconsin last November. The Republicans won. In a democracy, there are consequences to elections and no one, not even the public employees unions, are exempt from that. There are no guarantees that labor contracts, including contracts governing the most basic rights of unions, can’t be renegotiated, or terminated for that matter. We hold elections to decide those basic parameters. And it seems to me that Governor Scott Walker’s basic requests are modest ones–asking public employees to contribute more to their pension and health care plans, though still far less than most private sector employees do.

That’s basically what I was saying yesterday, and the opinion that seems to be crystallizing among non-partisans and the general public. Guess who got pissed off? Go on, I bet you’ll never guess…
Digby! Yes, that higher angel of the progressive left had this to say about Joe Klein:

Wow, talk about misreading the zeitgeist.

Klein has been schooled a lot over the years by his readers and, I would guess, some of his friends about his ossified, anachronistic political worldview. They need to stage another intervention.

Uh, no, it’s Digby who has the ossified, anachronistic worldview planted firmly in the 1990s. The Clinton wars are over, and Obama is no Clinton. She and her progressive friends blew any credibility they had after Bush –and they had plenty of credibility–by supporting the neophyte in the race in 2008 at any cost, and then standing by as he governed exactly like his predecessor. We don’t believe them anymore that Republicans are the most eeeeeevil people ever. They’re not any more or less evil than Democrats. We’re tired of their hyperbole and arrogance and their complete unawareness that they violate their own principles all day every day.

And by we, I mean the great unwashed middle. The folks they need to win, but whom they loathe so publicly it’s a wonder they can ever articulate a winning campaign with us. Certainly not an honest one.

Guess what, Digby? American opinions have changed on unions. 51% of your own peeps don’t support unionization of public employees, and fully 64% of registered voters don’t support public unions. And that former president you’ve elevated to the status of saint in your bias, you know, the one you wish Obama was more like? Here’s what he had to say about unionizing public employees:

All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.

Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees. Upon employees in the Federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people, whose interests and welfare require orderliness and continuity in the conduct of Government activities. This obligation is paramount.

So guess who’s misreading the zeitgeist? Yeah, YOU, Digby.

Just had to get that off my chest. What’s burning you today?

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9 comments on “Late Night Open Thread: Ossified Worldview Edition

  1. Lola-at-Large says:

    I would suggest that Digby’s readers need to stage an intervention for her, but she doesn’t have the courage to enable comments.

  2. CognitiveDissonance says:

    Excellent post! Particularly the very apt FDR quote. I’m with you all the way. I’ve never felt that unions for government workers were appropriate.

  3. Lola-at-Large says:

    Thanks CD!

  4. ralphb says:

    good, good post! (whoopee style) This public union issue is just part of the much larger zeitqeist. To me, it appears the public has finally just about had enough of this country being run by people who seem solely motivated by what amounts to legalized bribery.

    After 2008, they were just so out in the open about it, that it can’t be ignored any longer. Crony capitalism will take us all down if something doesn’t halt the process.

    • Lola-at-Large says:

      I think you’re right about the much larger zeitgeist, Ralph. I just see tensions increasing. Every thread has a breaking point, too.

  5. jjmtacoma says:

    I agree in principle with the idea that public employees shouldn’t need unions, but sadly it appears the public will consistently choose lower taxes over good benefits for the public employees.

    The change in public sentiment where unions are concerned has been ginned up by the right for years. People forget that the unions are setting the high bar for what the rest of us get.

    • Lola-at-Large says:

      I’m one of the Americans whose mind has been changed, and I don’t ascribe that change to being infiltrated by right-wing rhetoric. I’ve looked closely at the issue, and filtered a number of viewpoints to reach my own conclusion.

      For my money (heh), I want to see a broader workers’ rights movement with a broader agenda. I think unions, while they started out as a good idea and did bring lots of needed change, have outlived their usefulness. We can’t continue to have better economics for union employees than we do for the public at large, and that especially holds true for public employee wages and benefits, since we the taxpayers are paying for it.

  6. zaladonis says:

    I don’t know what possessed Joe Klein that he suddenly made sense, maybe it’s just the broken clock thing, but he’s spot on.

    It’s funny that many who cheered the Egyptian protesters demanding free and fair elections are now cheering Wisconsin protesters who refuse to accept the consequences of a free and fair election. Nice heaping of hypocrisy on top of that outrage.

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