Fleebaggers or Patriots? (in Debates)


QBRanger February 27 2011 9:39 AM EST

What are you thoughts on the Wisconsin situations? Mine should be quite obvious.

Lord Bob February 27 2011 12:43 PM EST

Anyone who praised Senate Republicans for obstructing nearly every single piece of important legislation with the filibuster who also condemns the Wisconsin Democrats for doing what they were elected to do in standing up for the rights of everyday workers is guilty of the worst partisan hypocrisy.

It's incredibly obvious that this has nothing to do with the state budget. The unions have already agreed to the benefit cuts to save the budget, which didn't need saving until the Republicans did what they always do: cut taxes for the rich. Yep, give to the rich, take from the middle class. It's the Republican way.

No, this is about trying to quash unions altogether. This has nothing to do with the budget, but with outlawing the unions' power to bargain collectively. Chris Wallace even got Walker to admit this on, of all places, Fox News.

Worse yet, Republicans are looking to use the Wisconsin scenario to do the same thing across the nation. And because Democrats are so reliant on unions for organizing, one can easily see what this is really about. Republicans want the end of the Democratic party. And not through the democratic process. Not through votes and elections, through the proper way. No, they're going the dishonorable route, by underhandedly attacking Democratic power bases.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] February 27 2011 1:06 PM EST

In terms of strategy it's a fantastic one LB. Democratic funding is weak now with the death of campaign finance reform. Crushing the unions would leave them without a prayer. The economic malaise, combined with the populace at large having a negative of labor could result in a very positive result for the GOP in the next elections. Government services grinding to a halt is a fantastic result for conservatives, it proves everything they've always said.

Demigod February 27 2011 1:09 PM EST

It's incredibly obvious that this has nothing to do with the state budget. The unions have already agreed to the benefit cuts to save the budget ... this is about trying to quash unions altogether

This part's a given.

I have mixed feelings about Walker's stunt. There isn't the same need for teachers' unions as there was 100 years ago -- but that's because of the unions. And it's pretty well known that teachers' unions have been one of the stumbling blocks for reform policies. I would actually support Walker if he were doing this as an altruistic attempt at education reform, but instead he's doing it as a very dubious political move.

Lord Bob February 27 2011 1:10 PM EST

Are you making my point for me Novice? Of course this is what the Republicans are doing. I find it contemptible.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] February 27 2011 1:18 PM EST

The real issue for Wisconsin is the part of the bill that would allow the sale of state owned utilities to private parties without price restrictions.

Lord Bob February 27 2011 1:21 PM EST

There isn't the same need for teachers' unions as there was 100 years ago -- !!!but that's because of the unions!!!.
Emphasis on the last part. The reason workers have the protections and benefits they now have is because of unions. Destroying them would remove all that.

And it's pretty well known that teachers' unions have been one of the stumbling blocks for reform policies. I would actually support Walker if he were doing this as an altruistic attempt at education reform, but instead he's doing it as a very dubious political move.
On this we are in agreement. Nobody is saying the teachers unions aren't a bit too powerful, and I work in a school, so I know this firsthand. However, getting rid of collective bargaining altogether is so far outside the realm of an acceptable solution as to be laughable, and anyone who suggests it has obvious political motives.

Lord Bob February 27 2011 1:26 PM EST

The real issue for Wisconsin is the part of the bill that would allow the sale of state owned utilities to private parties without price restrictions.
No, the real issue here is the attack on collective bargaining. It is a real issue. A very, very important one at that. Do not dismiss it as if it isn't.

The issue you bring up is also a large concern, but does not carry the same consequences for workers across the nation that the union issue does.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] February 27 2011 1:32 PM EST

I said for Wisconsin...

Collective Bargaining is certainly center stage for the country, but this is just a preliminary encounter, the real battle hasn't even started.

Lord Bob February 27 2011 1:37 PM EST

the real battle hasn't even started.
I'm really hoping that this is the last straw for liberals and we start a left-wing "tea party." We've been pretty bad about getting fired up about stuff in the past, when compared to the Republicans. Let's hope this reverses.

Gunny Pew Pew [Red Permanent Assurance] February 27 2011 3:00 PM EST

The scare of a Wisconsin in ruins won't be enough to warrant such crazed unity until the mess can be seen from space. If they get 22% unemployment, a spread of gas developments, and rolling black outs in 3 to 5 years like an Enron aftershock. Sure, you'll have your Lobster Back party.

QBRanger February 27 2011 5:19 PM EST

Now I will chime in:

Anyone who praised Senate Republicans for obstructing nearly every single piece of important legislation with the filibuster who also condemns the Wisconsin Democrats for doing what they were elected to do in standing up for the rights of everyday workers is guilty of the worst partisan hypocrisy.

That is a poor analogy. The Republicans used whatever tools were given by the rules of the US Senate to try to filibuster the Obama policies that they disagreed with. Just as the Democrats did with Bush and so on. We can chat for a while about why Republicans HAD to filibuster so much. A large part due to Senator Reid's abuse of the position he had. He filled the tree more time than any other Senate Leader, making the filibuster the only recourse the Republicans had. They were unable to offer amendments for most of the legislation that was passed along party lines.

http://www.conginst.org/index.php?option=com_myblog&show=Filling-the-Tree.html&Itemid=26 -- This in 08!!!

Unlike what happened in Wisconsin where the Republicans were willing to have a free debate.

The Republicans NEVER left their job and went to Canada to avoid taking a vote.

As Obama once stated "elections have consequences". If the Democrats did not like the new law, they should have used whatever tools were given to them by the Wisconsin Senate to try to stop it. Or try to return the Democrats into power the next election.

As to the real reason the governor wants to limit collective bargaining here is one example, albeit from a right wing site, that perfectly demonstrates the problem.

http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2011/02/27/wisconsins-largest-teachers-union-is-an-extremely-profitable-insurance-business-that-happens-to-provide-services-to-children-on-the-side/

http://hotair.com/archives/2011/02/26/one-reason-why-wisconsin-needed-union-reform-captive-benefits/

With collective bargaining, the union can just next year bargain for the benefits back.

As a great liberal politician once stated as well as one of the past presidents of the AFL-CIO: "“It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government.”

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/02/18/the-first-blow-against-public-employees/fdr-warned-us-about-public-sector-unions

I dislike unions for numerous reasons, but I do see where the private sector unions can be helpful. I see no reason for public sector ones. Especially with the civil service laws in place. 100 years ago, certainly unions were a necessity. Now, with all the work related laws, the anti-discrimination laws, and the minimum wage laws that are on the books, all unions do is make it harder to keep a budget in the public sector or compete in the private one.

However, the one thing that strikes me as quite funny is for all the venom spewed at the Tea Party last year, we are finding out who the true Astro-Turf, violent, incendiary people really are-the Unions.

It's incredibly obvious that this has nothing to do with the state budget. The unions have already agreed to the benefit cuts to save the budget ... this is about trying to quash unions altogether

As I stated above without collective bargaining changes the unions can next year make changes to counter the "give backs" Walker is asking for now. Just alone, the change in the medical plan would save 68M a year. But with the current collective bargaining agreement, that cannot even be addressed.

Demigod February 27 2011 5:29 PM EST

Fleebaggers or Patriots?

I was going to avoid this as pointless, but I figure I might as well address it. The reason the dems are fleeing is obvious -- it's all they can do to avoid the railroading. Therefore they fall on the "patriot" side of the fence, if you can call people patriots for just doing their jobs.

I'm all for political namecalling when the suit fits, but I think both parties can agree that the Dems are doing the smart thing by going on the lam.

QBRanger February 27 2011 5:45 PM EST

I was going to avoid this as pointless, but I figure I might as well address it. The reason the dems are fleeing is obvious -- it's all they can do to avoid the railroading. Therefore they fall on the "patriot" side of the fence, if you can call people patriots for just doing their jobs.

Just like how Obamacare was passed? We were all told by Obama that "I won" and "elections have consequences". Despite the fact the Republicans knew there could not stop Obamacare, they still stayed and took the votes. And knew the next election, they would get substantial gains to try to overturn/stop this new law. Running away is not patriotic. If the public does not like how this law was "railroaded" through, they could in the next election vote Democratic.

Governor Walker did not hide his agenda. The Democrats are running away from their responsibilities. What if this happens now, for every law the minority disagrees, in every state that has a quorum type of system? The Democrats did this in Texas a few years ago and now they did it again in Wisconsin. What happens if it happens now all the time the minority disagrees? But note that the Republican have never ran away from their responsibilities. Never picked up their ball and left the playground.

And railroaded? If you want to chat about railroaded, chat about Obamacare. Passed on Christmas Eve with almost no formal debate in the Senate. In the Wisconsin assembly, there was 61 hours of debate, more than any other bill most members can recall. There is plenty of debate for this bill. There is just runaway politicians afraid to cast their votes. The voters of Wisconsin voted a Republican majority and the Democrats disrespect their citizens.

I'm all for political namecalling when the suit fits, but I think both parties can agree that the Dems are doing the smart thing by going on the lam.

I really dislike namecalling but considering the vulgar term often used by liberals for the Tea Party, reference Bill Maher etc.., I thought it cute to use the term Fleebagger.

But saying BOTH parties agree that the Dems are doing the right thing is very wrong. 2/3 of the public (America, not Wisconsin) disagree with their tactic of fleeing:

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/february_2011/67_disapprove_of_legislators_fleeing_wisconsin_to_avoid_vote

I would say that both parties can agree that the Dems are doing the WRONG thing by fleeing. Well mostly both parties, the Democrats are fairly evenly split.

Colonel Custard [SeeD] February 27 2011 5:47 PM EST

The Wisconsin legislature's job involves being in Illinois?

Demigod February 27 2011 6:00 PM EST

Despite the fact the Republicans knew there could not stop Obamacare, they still stayed and took the votes.

This is different. Republicans running from that vote would have served no purpose. The Dems are (likely) hoping that the extra time would afford enough public backlash to get Walker to accept the offer on the table. If the GOP thought they could pull off the same stunt, they would have, and I would have acknowledged it as a smart move for them.

Demigod February 27 2011 6:02 PM EST

The Wisconsin legislature's job involves being in Illinois?

Representatives are representing the people. If a party is hardlined against something, and the only hair of a chance is to buy more time, then yes.

QBRanger February 27 2011 6:25 PM EST

This is different. Republicans running from that vote would have served no purpose. The Dems are (likely) hoping that the extra time would afford enough public backlash to get Walker to accept the offer on the table. If the GOP thought they could pull off the same stunt, they would have, and I would have acknowledged it as a smart move for them.

Yes, running to Canada would not have mattered as there is no quorum procedure in the Senate.

But how long is enough time to get public backlash? It has already been 2 weeks. There seems to be no backlash. At least none I can clearly see. The public dislikes the fleeing tactic according to Rasmussen. Other pols see a highly partisan line on the union collective bargaining changes.

But in Wisconsin, they had a deadline of 2 days ago. They had to restructure their debt and this law was key to doing so. I think they can delay it for a couple more days, but very soon there will be permanent damage.

But yet again, the Republicans were swept into office, including the governorship by the voters. Their agenda was not hidden but they ran on exactly what they are currently proposing.

Now 2 questions:

1) How long is "long enough"? When should the Democrats return? I think the public knows full well what is on the table, what the Republicans and Democrats both clearly stand for. They know what is proposed and what/how the unions react to changes. Again, when should they return to do their elected job?

2) What if now, for every piece of legislation that the minority party disagree with, they now flee the state in those states where a quorum is needed? Does this set a precedent that should be used for any disagreement, if the minority knows they do not have enough votes to stop a bill they disagree with? Instead of trying to change it via amendments, and other legal processes, do representatives now flee the state when they do not like some piece of legislation?

Seriously, does running away send a good message about our representative democracy? If you disagree, instead of taking it like a person, run away?

Demigod February 27 2011 6:55 PM EST

1) How long is "long enough"? When should the Democrats return? ... Again, when should they return to do their elected job?

"Long enough" is as long as the media coverage lasts, which seems to be cutting back from what I can tell. So I wouldn't expect this to last too much longer. And remember, their "elected job" is to protect party interests. You may hate it, but they're doing their job.

2) What if now, for every piece of legislation that the minority party disagree with, they now flee the state in those states where a quorum is needed?

Don't ignore the anomalous nature of this. This isn't an everyday act. It's a case where one party is having legislation "shoved down their throats." And it happened when the public was primed following the political protests abroad. To me, it looks like the Dems were buying time to see if the PR would force Walker to not go for the jugular. The only recent similar event is the Healthcare bill, and again, if the Republicans had the same primed citizens and ability to flee, they would have.

Furthermore, it doesn't look like the stunt will work, so I doubt you have much to worry about.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] February 27 2011 7:09 PM EST

had our founding fathers followed the rules, would we even have our representative democracy though?

ranger, there is much more to the texas story than you stated. for those willing to make up their own minds regarding patriotism, here's the wikipedia article regarding the republican redistricting in texas.

Demigod February 27 2011 7:16 PM EST

Dudemus... post the link.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] February 27 2011 7:26 PM EST

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_Texas_redistricting

hehe, i have a fever, sorry! ; )

QBRanger February 27 2011 7:33 PM EST

"Long enough" is as long as the media coverage lasts, which seems to be cutting back from what I can tell. So I wouldn't expect this to last too much longer. And remember, their "elected job" is to protect party interests. You may hate it, but they're doing their job.

Actually they were elected to serve the people who voted them in. Their constituents.

Democrats do not vote with their party 100% of the time. They vote or should be voting based upon how their constituents want them. The basis for a Republic.

Don't ignore the anomalous nature of this. This isn't an everyday act. It's a case where one party is having legislation "shoved down their throats."

There are may pieces of legislation that are "shoved down their throats". It happens all the time.

So the next time, when or if the Democrats regain legislative control, and they want to increase taxes on the upper class, it is acceptable for the Republicans in the minority to run away?

In every state, one party has the majority. And in those states where one party has both the House and Senate and Governorship, there will be pieces of legislation that are "shoved down the throats" of the minority party. That is what elections are for. That is why they have processes in place such as debate and the possibility for amendments. In Wisconsin, nobody was shutting all debate in the Senate. Nobody was stiffing the amendment process (unlike Senator Reid). The Democrats just knew they were outnumbered and ran.

If the populace dislikes the legislation, they can vote out the offenders. And that is EXACTLY what happened in 2010. At both the federal and state levels across most of the country. With the exception of the hardcore liberal strongholds such as MA, NY and CA.

Or is this just a really extra special case since it is the unions that are being effected? Or is it the tens of millions of dollars of union dues that are at risk to their coffers?

ranger, there is much more to the texas story than you stated. for those willing to make up their own minds regarding patriotism, here's the wikipedia article regarding the republican redistricting in texas.

I have no idea what you are referencing Dude, in "more to the story".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_Texas_redistricting

Even if the disagreed with the law, there were other methods to utilize including what eventually happened, the Supremes got involved.

The only recent similar event is the Healthcare bill, and again, if the Republicans had the same primed citizens and ability to flee, they would have.

There were plenty of "primed" citizens during the health care debate. Unless I read that wrong. And the Republican did not flee. We will never know if they would have if that would have stopped the bill. I personally believe they would not, while I am sure others believe the opposite. However, that is a hypothetical while what is happening now is a reality. One can only really chat about what is reality, not what is hypothetical. All that can be said is that they did not run away (even thought it would not have mattered), but stayed and casted NAY votes for the record.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] February 27 2011 7:45 PM EST

The Democrats did this in Texas a few years ago and now they did it again in Wisconsin.

you stated that. i posted a link to the explanation of why they did what they did.

to simplify it for you that is kind of like boiling down the whole american revolution to: tax dodgers tried once again to get out of paying the crown what was rightly owed.

i am not sure who is right, but i can guarantee both sides, just as in the american revolution, think that they are right and their cause is just. truly only time will tell who is the patriot in these type of causes. anyone claiming to have the answer is likely too far on one side to see reality though.

i do find it very ironic though that the party who purports to be about smaller government and less federal interference is very eager to make new laws when it is one of their pet peeves.

QBRanger February 27 2011 8:17 PM EST

you stated that. i posted a link to the explanation of why they did what they did.

Why they did it is not that material to the conversation at hand. Everyone thinks their view is correct. But to just leave, rather than respect the results of elections is just wrong.

This is the 2nd time Democrats did this. And 0 for Republicans. Are the Republicans less passionate about their beliefs? Or do they just respect the rule of law more?

i do find it very ironic though that the party who purports to be about smaller government and less federal interference is very eager to make new laws when it is one of their pet peeves.

I see someone who with a mandate from the voters of Wisconsin needs to balance a budget that was in the red. And part of that process is changing the collective bargaining ability of Ppublic sector unions. Not private, but public sector. The way to make the change needed for fiscal sanity is what Governor Walker is trying to do. Pass legislation as per the American way. If you disagree with what he is doing, fine. But what he is doing is not un-American at all.

Of course we both know there is a vast difference between a public and a private sector union.

This is not designed to increase government, which would be ironic if it were. It is designed to make things easier for the local and state governments when dealing with the public sector employees. To give them the tools needed to shop around for better deals on healthcare, to not have to negotiate minutiae such as the color of wallpaper in the classrooms.

I fail to see any irony.

QBRanger February 27 2011 8:20 PM EST

to simplify it for you that is kind of like boiling down the whole american revolution to: tax dodgers tried once again to get out of paying the crown what was rightly owed.

No, the American revolution was taxation without representation. The Crown, England, was levying taxes on Americans who had no say on the rate of the taxes.

In this case, the people of Wisconsin had an election, the Republicans won, and they are doing exactly what they told the voters they would do.

I see no similarity between the American Revolution and these people who fled the state avoiding a democratic vote.

Lord Bob February 27 2011 10:43 PM EST

That is a poor analogy. The Republicans used whatever tools were given by the rules of the US Senate to try to filibuster the Obama policies that they disagreed with.
It is not a poor analogy. The Republicans obstructed legislation passed by an elected congressional majority using the tools available to them. The rules in Wisconsin require a quorum to do business. Democrats are using those rules to their advantage to do the same thing: obstruct legislation, in this case straight up bad legislation. How they do it is irrelevant. They are using rules right out of the Republican playbook here. By the way, have you heard of the impending "government shutdown" lately?

Or try to return the Democrats into power the next election.
Maybe you haven't been reading. The intent of the legislation effectively banning unions from existence is to PREVENT Democrats from competing effectively and winning again. That is why the stakes are so high here.

I will not read the Hot Air articles because I know all I can expect is nonsensical right-wing ranting.

Now, with all the work related laws, the anti-discrimination laws, and the minimum wage laws that are on the books...
As Tavis Smiley recently said on Bill Maher's show, unions are to thank for:
The 8-hour workday
The minimum wage (though many still go without a living wage)
Health care

Also, countless security and safety regulations, benefits, and other labor laws.

Laws can be repealed. Do we really want a far-right legislature, without with no Democrats or unions to protect these provisions, running roughshod all over them?

However, the one thing that strikes me as quite funny is for all the venom spewed at the Tea Party last year, we are finding out who the true Astro-Turf, violent, incendiary people really are-the Unions.
I wouldn't be so sure. Several right-wing groups, including one tea-party group, have already advocated planting people in the protests to make them look crazy. Even Walker himself admitted to exploring that option in his interview with the fake David Koch.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/23/scott-walker-buffalo-beast-phone-prank_n_827058.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jesse-berney/walker-koch_b_827129.html

I would say that both parties can agree that the Dems are doing the WRONG thing by fleeing. Well mostly both parties, the Democrats are fairly evenly split.
Aside from the fact that Rasmussen regularly leans right with their polling, I will respond to the "but polls agree with me!" argument in my usual fashion: so bloody what?

But how long is enough time to get public backlash? It has already been 2 weeks. There seems to be no backlash. At least none I can clearly see.
Um, yes there is. What news are you watching?

But yet again, the Republicans were swept into office, including the governorship by the voters. Their agenda was not hidden but they ran on exactly what they are currently proposing.
Why do you not accept that argument for heath care reform?

How long is "long enough"? When should the Democrats return?
When the union quashing bill is off the table entirely.

What if now, for every piece of legislation that the minority party disagree with, they now flee the state in those states where a quorum is needed?
Not every piece of legislation has the far reaching financial and political ramifications as this bill. There is a need for certain majority busting loopholes such as the filibuster, and this tactic. These tools should be used sparingly. This is one of those times.

Most likely Wisconsin and other state legislatures will do what the Senate did after the obstructionist Republicans won the midterm. They will reform the rules to prevent egregious use of the tactic in the future.

I could go on, but I'm done for the night.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] February 27 2011 10:52 PM EST

well you brought up in your title are they patriots. i then drew a parallel to probably the most well known patriots of america. the king of england probably did not think of them as patriots, nor did the british sympathizers.

to spell it out for you once again, only time will tell who the patriots are in this instance. we do have the texas case to look at though and at least one of the players is probably not going down in the annals of american patriots...i could be wrong about that though as well.

to be even clearer, if the american patriots had followed the rule of the law in force at the time, we would not have our representative democracy.

in regards to smaller government, i never heard any caveats in the speeches. i guess what they meant to say is not that they wanted smaller government but that they wanted their government. in fairness, all politicians are like this and the potentially false dichotomy does distract from both sides taking more and more control.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] February 27 2011 10:57 PM EST

Why they did it is not that material to the conversation at hand.

sorry, forgot to reply to this. it is material to the conversation at hand due to the fact that both the texas redistricting and the wisconsin union battle could easily be viewed as having the same motive, legislative tricks to reduce the ability for democratic party voters to be heard.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] February 27 2011 11:12 PM EST

it may have actually been lincoln who set this precedent:

http://www.kmph.com/Global/story.asp?S=9803297

Lord Bob February 27 2011 11:14 PM EST

In response to the title: they are patriots. Standing up for the blue collar workers of their state makes them patriots. Taking a stand, leaving their homes, putting themselves through this ordeal and fighting for the working class citizens of America against the Koch brothers is one of the most patriotic things I've seen in a long time, and I wish we had more politicians with this kind of courage and integrity.

QBRanger February 28 2011 12:33 AM EST

Ah to my point.

When Republicans use the filibuster to try to stop legislation that they think is bad, they are the party of "no" and obstructionists.

But when Democrats do it, they are heroes and standing up for what they believe in.

FYI, the filibuster is designed exactly for what the Republicans used it for during the health debate. To prevent legislation that is not liked by a super-majority. As a counter to the simple majority needed for the House. Used more and more frequent now due to increased polarization of society.

The quorum in Wisconsin was designed so the majority party could not call a quick vote and get legislation passed before the minority party could gather to vote.

As it is obvious, there has been plenty of time to gather in Wisconsin. The quorum rule was never designed to prevent a vote. The filibuster was. Very different.

Yes, unions have given us the 8 hour workday. The 5 day workweek. Minimum wage. Medical care was not due to the unions but more the fact of the influx of labor after WW2. Companies plied on perks such as health care, which was quite cheap at that time, to get the best employees. But that was due to the private sector unions. Which has little to do with the public unions. The interactions are vastly different between the two. Even someone that a liberal lionizes stated that public sector unions were bad.

BTW, the Koch brothers gave 42k to the Wisconsin Senate race. Less than 1% of the total money spent on that race. Much much less than the unions gave his opponent.

In my mind this is a fundamental threat to the core values of American democracy. This is not only in Wisconsin but has spread to Indiana. And what is happening is against Wisconsin law. Specifically Senate rule 23: Committee not to be absent. Members of a committee, except a conference committee, may not be absent by reason of their appointment during the sitting of the senate, without special leave.

The filibuster is IIRC not against the law.

When public sector unionists succeed in getting the support of a major political party even to the point where that party will violate the law, it is a sign their power has exceeded all reasonable bounds.

The Koch brothers would never have enough power or influence to get 14 Republican Senators to flee the state.

Lastly:

Why do you not accept that argument for heath care reform?

Obama did not run on the individual mandate. In fact, he was completely against it when Hiliary was for it during the primaries.

He promised it would lower costs but will not.

He promised you would not have to change doctors. I already had to due to the new law.

He cut Medicare 500 Billion dollars.

But it now is the law, and the Republican never ran away, even to make a statement. They took the vote, tried to do what they could.

The US wasted 1 year on this law without addressing the primary concern of the country.

Etc.. Etc...

Colonel Custard [SeeD] February 28 2011 2:44 AM EST

The intent of the legislation effectively banning unions from existence is to PREVENT Democrats from competing effectively and winning again. That is why the stakes are so high here.

So, if unions are disbanded, people will cease to have pro-DFL sentiments? Or is it that all the Democrats won't be able to make it to the polls because they can't collectively bargain their employers to allow them time to vote while the polls are open on Election Day?

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] February 28 2011 8:33 AM EST

I believe it's the amount of campaign funding coming from the unions

QBRanger February 28 2011 9:39 AM EST

The real reason the unions are in a tizzy about collective bargaining:

http://www.opensecrets.org/overview/topcontribs.php?Bkdn=DemRep&Cycle=2010

When looking for the true reason, follow the money.

As you can see, 9 of the top 20 contributors were union.

One of the key points that I dislike about unions in certain states, including Wisconsin, is that you have to be a member in order to keep your job. With the current bill proposed, Governor Walker wants to make union membership optional. A great change IMO.

But nobody so far has addressed one of the reason Wisconsin is trying to end collective bargaining for everything but wages. One of the main reasons-The ability to go out and properly negotiate things such as health care. How does that help the entire state when they are forced to use a specific healthcare carrier that charges one of the highest rates in the state?

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] February 28 2011 10:51 AM EST

He promised it would lower costs but will not.

it is little fun to debate with people who believe they can see the future.

Lord Bob February 28 2011 12:11 PM EST

So, if unions are disbanded, people will cease to have pro-DFL sentiments? Or is it that all the Democrats won't be able to make it to the polls because they can't collectively bargain their employers to allow them time to vote while the polls are open on Election Day?
If you're going to demonstrate a complete lack of understanding regarding the topic, try not to sound so smug about it.

When looking for the true reason, follow the money. As you can see, 9 of the top 20 contributors were union.
Your point here? It has been established early on in this thread, by me no less, that the Democrats rely on unions for organizing and fund raising. Just like big oil and insurance companies are large backers of Republican candidates. That's kind of why this legislation is so dangerous beyond the already dreadful thought of destroying unions.

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] February 28 2011 2:16 PM EST

This debate is an interesting one, but I am not sure I can trust the facts being presented here as the "whole truth and nothing but the truth". I see that the usual suspects are on opposing ends of this debate. As usual the republican governor has the unwavering support of conservatives. And as to be expected, the unions are backed by liberals. This seems like the perfect setting for a well defined debate without a lot of extraneous fluff.

Ok, so I've heard that the teachers unions are economically burdensome to the state, along with all unions in general in the public sector. If the unions concede with all the economic demands of the state (through bargaining) how can the economic reason for the dissolution of public sector unions still be a viable point in the debate? I reject "well they can just negotiate their fancy stuff back next year" as a valid point, as that steps outside the realm of unbiased facts and into the realm of subjective opinion, which is much less interesting to debate.

QBRanger February 28 2011 3:03 PM EST

Verifex,

Read this article. Yes it is from Hotair which is a right wing site. But it demonstrates the problems local municipalities have in dealing with unions via collective bargaining.

http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2011/02/27/wisconsins-largest-teachers-union-is-an-extremely-profitable-insurance-business-that-happens-to-provide-services-to-children-on-the-side/

This is just one example. The collective bargaining contract in Wisconsin is filled with these type of examples that cost cities and the state excess money.

Just like big oil and insurance companies are large backers of Republican candidates.

Please show me where big oil or insurance companies gave as large amounts to Republicans as the unions gave to Democrats.

Quite a lot of "big business" split their contributions. Such as Pfizer, Microsoft, GE, Boeing etc...

In fact, the top Oil company came in at 97th, just ahead of the University of California.

Again, this is not about private sector unions, but the public sector ones. Those already covered by extensive civil service rule and regulations in Wisconsin.

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] February 28 2011 3:24 PM EST

Okay, I read the article, but I am confused about something. No where in the article does it mention "factually" whether or not the WEA Trust matter was already dealt with as a matter of the new negotiations with the state.

If many districts in the state have already dumped the WEA Trust in favor of lower cost alternatives, then it seems like it's just a matter of further negotiations to get the others onto lower cost insurance.

Okay, that is one example of a cost-cutting measure that could be handled in negotiations, if some districts have been able to shift to lower-cost insurance carriers, then it is not an impossible feat that requires legislation to do so. Name another economic burden the unions are forcing upon the state that cannot be handled through negotiations.

Another thing, the nature of the legislation is very creatively worded on that site, saying that Walker is "reforming collective bargaining." How is removing the unions ability to negotiate on key items considered reform?

Lord Bob February 28 2011 3:29 PM EST

Please show me where big oil or insurance companies gave as large amounts to Republicans as the unions gave to Democrats.
http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?ind=e01
http://dirtyenergymoney.com/

That's just known oil contributions. Then count all the secret donations and special interest groups like the US Chamber of Commerce flooding Republican campaigns thanks to the Citizens United decision. I'm fine with unions spending on Democrats, especially considering they're still at a fund raising disadvantage.

QBRanger February 28 2011 3:41 PM EST

The Democrats are not at a fundraising disadvantage.

Here from the NYT, a left leaning paper if there ever was one:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/27/us/politics/27money.html

Still that does not explain how unions gave much more to campaignes in 2010 than big oil or insurance companies.

Here, in fact, are the top industry donors for the 2010 cycle:

http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/mems.php

As you can plainly see, the top 14 all gave more to Democrats than Republicans.

I see no fundraising disadvantage for Democrats, especially when you add unions into the mix.

But still, does that make what these runaway Senators are doing right? If you dislike legislation run away and cry foul?

You never answer my question on what would happen if everyone did this if there was legislation they did not like.

And we chatted about the huge and vast difference between the filibuster (something used as designed) vs the quorum (something abused). The quorum call was never designed for this purpose, eva!

Lord Bob February 28 2011 4:55 PM EST

The Democrats are not at a fund raising disadvantage.
Not from direct contributions. But factor in all the spending from outside groups, whose donors are not disclosed, and you see a different picture.

I probably should have used a different word than "fund raising." I do not simply mean money raised by the DNC vs. the RNC through direct donations. I am referring to all money spent, including that by shadowy groups like the US Chamber of Commerce and Crossroads GPS.

My point on oil stands. The dollar amount is irrelevant. Oil is a republican fundraising stronghold in the same way unions are to the Democrats. You just don't like that our side gets more.

But still, does that make what these runaway Senators are doing right? If you dislike legislation run away and cry foul?
Obstruction is obstruction. The Democrats are taking a page from the Republican playbook, and are using rules to block legislation they know is dangerous. Is it really the tactic you don't like, or just who is using it?

You never answer my question on what would happen if everyone did this if there was legislation they did not like.
I did, it just wasn't the answer you wanted.

And we chatted about the huge and vast difference between the filibuster (something used as designed) vs the quorum (something abused).
The filibuster was never intended as a technique to block EVERYTHING. It was horribly abused.

QBRanger February 28 2011 5:32 PM EST

The filibuster was never intended as a technique to block EVERYTHING. It was horribly abused.

As stated in an earlier post Senator Reid abused his power as the majority leader to "fill the tree" more than any other Senator in history.

Therefore the filibuster, which is a legal action, was used more than ever before. In reaction to how the legislation was placed for a possible vote. And all that chat we had about reforming the filibuster by the Democrats last month? Nothing, why? Because they realize it is essential to keeping the democracy intact and to stop abuses.

You state "But factor in all the spending from outside groups, whose donors are not disclosed, and you see a different picture.". Please show me where that is the case.

Now to this:

By the way, have you heard of the impending "government shutdown" lately?

O yes I have. Due to the malpractice of the Democrats not making a 2010 budget last year, which was one of their chief responsibilities. Now, the Republicans have been left to do the Democrats job and are doing it. The Democrats do not like the cut and they, not the Republicans are threatening a shutdown.

I guess we will disagree on whether abandoning your job for the sake of obstruction is good for bad for democracy as a whole. Compared to using something that is within the legal rules.

So does the end justify the mean in this situation? And if Republican ever do this, I assume you will be 100% behind them as you are for the Democrats?

Now we are not chatting about the filibuster, which was used before by the Democrats. We are chatting about leaving the state to prevent a vote on an issue.

You never answer my question on what would happen if everyone did this if there was legislation they did not like.

You stated you answered this question. I cannot find that answer. Would you please re-post your answer in your next response?

QBRanger February 28 2011 6:01 PM EST

Ah, I found your response. sorry.

Not every piece of legislation has the far reaching financial and political ramifications as this bill. There is a need for certain majority busting loopholes such as the filibuster, and this tactic. These tools should be used sparingly. This is one of those times.

Most likely Wisconsin and other state legislatures will do what the Senate did after the obstructionist Republicans won the midterm. They will reform the rules to prevent egregious use of the tactic in the future.

Not really a response to my question, just another liberal talking point about this situation.

So if the Republican felt that strong about some other piece of legislation, such as tax increases, then according to what I read, they have every right to be just as obstructionist and leave the state to prevent a vote.

Funny how you call the Republicans obstructionist in one paragraph and in the other you praise the Democrats for doing something in the same vein but in their case illegal.

BTW, the Democrats wanted to reform the filibuster rules and got nowhere. You know why? Because they realize it is essential for the US Senate. As they may be in the minority in 2012 with 23 seats up for reelection compared to 10 for the Republicans.

I have always agreed with the filibuster rule of the US Senate. Even when the Democrats were using it repeatedly to stop most of Bushes Federal Judgeship nominees.

Lord Bob February 28 2011 7:22 PM EST

And all that chat we had about reforming the filibuster by the Democrats last month? Nothing,
Err, no. While the filibuster itself is still available when it is needed, the changes I wanted were implemented.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/27/reid-mcconnell-rules-reform-agreement_n_814907.html

You state "But factor in all the spending from outside groups, whose donors are not disclosed, and you see a different picture.". Please show me where that is the case.
http://washingtonindependent.com/98851/gop-allied-groups-outspending-democratic-counterparts-6-to-1

So does the end justify the mean in this situation?
Yes.

And if Republican ever do this, I assume you will be 100% behind them as you are for the Democrats?
It depends on what the reason is, not who is behind it.

Not really a response to my question,
It was a response to your question, just not the one you wanted.

I do believe that the only reason Republicans are so up in arms about this move is because they didn't think of it first.

I don't have much time left, so I want to get to this: you reject the analogy between the filibuster and the quorum thing on grounds that the filibuster is intended for that purpose, and the Wisconsin Democrat's tactic you say is illegal.

You also opposed passage of health care reform through use of reconciliation, a 100% legal maneuver intended to get around the filibuster. If I recall correctly, you actually opposed the use of reconciliation itself, ignoring for a minute what it was used to pass. On what grounds did you oppose this, and how do you reconcile this with your support of the filibuster on the "it's a legal tactic" grounds?

QBRanger February 28 2011 8:23 PM EST

The reconciliation process was legal. Backhanded and despicable but entirely legal.

I was against it, but it was legal and not illegal. Entirely within the confines of what Congress is/was and its rules.

Now the Republicans will have to repeal the law as it is or hope the Supremes see the error of Congress and the individual mandate.

From 2000-2006 the Democrats used the filibuster and the Republicans used reconciliation, all entirely legal under the rules of Congress.

This abuse of the quorum is not legal or even ethical under the rules of the Wisconsin legislature. It was never used before this situation.

So again, you are saying it is ok for the Democrats to break the law in this case since the end justifies the means, but if Republicans do it, you will most likely be against it due to your political leans leftward. Since according to you, it depends on the reason.

Very very hypocritical of you.

With respect to campaign finances, now the Republicans can finally keep up with the union contributions. Add all contributions the parties were about equal in '10. In '08, the presidential race, Obama outspent McCain 2:1. We can debate the Citizens United decision in another thread if you like. Unlike you, I think it was the right decision.

I do believe that the only reason Republicans are so up in arms about this move is because they didn't think of it first.

Actually the Republican knew about this maneuver due to the Texas redistricting fiasco previously quoted. With a wikipedia link enclosed.

The Republicans never used it due to its illegality. And immorality. This just shows how much in the tank the Democrats are for the unions. It now is very obvious that the Democrats are the party of the unions and not the taxpayers who pay the unions.

I guess if this is so important, we will soon have Obama propose a new law letting federal workers collectively bargain, which they currently cannot do. It is so important to have unions that elected officials resort to breaking the law in order to keep the intact.

And the "right" to collectively bargain is nowhere to be found in the constitution.

I guess Republicans respect the law, Democrats, it is obvious, only respect the laws they want. As long as the end justifies the means.

Thanks for clearing things up Bob. This thread has been very informative.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] February 28 2011 8:44 PM EST

I guess Republicans respect the law, Democrats, it is obvious, only respect the laws they want. As long as the end justifies the means.


because republicans have never broken the law claiming the ends justify the means?

they both do it all of the time, seeing the other sides transgressions whilst ignoring your own is human nature even as it is delusional.

horseguy001 [Battle Royale] February 28 2011 9:27 PM EST

Not being an American, I wish Canadian politics were this interesting.

At the end of the day, elected officials are just that. Elected. Unless I am missing something, the republican majority was elected by the people, so clearly they are a majority because thats how the state voted. The dems should accept it and move on.

Not to bash Americans, since that is a dead horse, but a huge problem your country is facing is everyone sees the need for cuts, yet no one (even the politicians) are willing to tighten their belts. Your country is broke, and yet it seems most states have both fingers jammed in their ears with eyes closed, until it all comes crashing down.

I once read a statistic (will dig around for the link when I am not at work) that it takes in the neighbourhood of 21 Middle Class families to cover one high school teacher in the highest bracket of pay. A system like that can't sustain itself.

QBRanger February 28 2011 9:28 PM EST

because republicans have never broken the law claiming the ends justify the means?

they both do it all of the time, seeing the other sides transgressions whilst ignoring your own is human nature even as it is delusional.

Dude,

Please tell me where 14 or more Republicans got together to willfully brake the law to achieve their end.

Or did something as blatant as this in our lifetime.

Please give me an example.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] February 28 2011 9:31 PM EST

hehe, i never said 14 did it all together, nor did you in your epic rant. ; )

Lord Bob February 28 2011 10:18 PM EST

Just have time for a drive-by response. Don't have time to respond to everything properly right now.

And the "right" to collectively bargain is nowhere to be found in the constitution.
Neither is the filibuster, or anything about parties. Or most other things we have today. What does that have to do with anything?

Please give me an example.
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Medicare_Prescription_Drug,_Improvement,_and_Modernization_Act

Oh, and spell check hates this address. Aren't web addresses supposed to be exempt from spell checker? This is ridiculous.

QBRanger March 1 2011 5:36 AM EST

I fail to see how that broke the law.

You may not like that law, but it was a legally passed law.

I think this thread has likely ended of any useful additions.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] March 1 2011 7:26 AM EST

watergate?
iran contra?
extraordinary renditions?
waterboarding?

this thread has been devoid of useful additions since it was created. i have to wonder why the only time you really return to the forums is to try to educate the heathens?

i feel that you really do not want a debate as your tactic is to ignore everyone's viewpoint, belittle it or deny that it has any relevance. perhaps we also need a soapbox thread, much like fs/wtb where only the creator can post in it?

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] March 1 2011 1:21 PM EST

I tried to create a rational debate, but it's more fun to yell random statistics and take pot shots at your opponent. Since the focus is on "hey those guys left the senate, how despicable!" rather then any root causes of the legislation. It's pointless to talk about why they left the state, or any other political maneuvering. It's like having a debate about why politicians lie, I'm sure you could talk about it for hours, but would you really get anywhere?

Lord Bob March 1 2011 3:58 PM EST

You may not like that law, but it was a legally passed law.
As was health care reform, but you spammed the boards here with countless threads about how it was wrong to pass it using the legal tactics employed.

It just seems to me like this is all another big bout of "it's only OK when we do it" which is incredibly typical of you Ranger. Republicans can play the obstructionist all day long, and you'll defend them. Democrats say enough is enough and do what in the end amounts to the same thing (and if it's so illegal will they be arrested? No, they cannot be) and you are up in arms about, of all things, the legality of the tactic. I'd say the situation at hand calls for desperate and extreme measures, given the stakes.

And no, it is not hypocrisy on my part. My objection has always been the use of the Filibuster and the secret holds on everything, even things that later passed with wide bi-partisan support. The filibuster, and other obstructionist tactics like what we see in Wisconsin, remain necessary tools for reigning in the majority party when they get out of control or abuse their power, like the Republicans are in Wisconsin. This has always been my position.

This is all aside from the real issue at hand, which is the legislation itself. What Walker and his Republican allies are doing is a very, very bad thing. A. Very. Bad. Thing. It will have widespread consequences for the already declining unions and their workers across the entire country. Of course I support just about ANY tactic that prevents this from happening. In dire situations, extreme measures are sometimes needed. Saying I can't support the obstruction of this extremist right wing legislation because they're breaking the rules to stop it is like telling me I can't support the Libyan rebels, because technically they are breaking the law by rising up against their oppressive dictator. It's ridiculous. Sometimes a bit of civil disobedience is necessary to keep the government in check. As a tea party supporter, I'd have thought that you would understand that better than anyone.

QBRanger March 10 2011 3:45 PM EST

It is all academic now :)

Lord Bob March 10 2011 4:32 PM EST

It won't hold up in court, and they're already talking about recalling Walker and his GOP cohorts. This could end up as a big political win for labor in the end. I'm still hoping it rolls into a big left-wing "Tea Party" in time for 2012.

Tell me Ranger, what do you think of the tactic Republicans used to push through this catastrophe?

QBRanger March 11 2011 7:38 AM EST

Tell me Ranger, what do you think of the tactic Republicans used to push through this catastrophe?

The same thing I thought of the Democrats using reconciliation to push through Obamacare.

Morally not so good, but perfectly legal.

BTW, they cannot recall Walker for another 10 months.

Lochnivar March 11 2011 10:59 AM EST

Morally not so good, but perfectly legal.

I thought I had read that it contravened state laws...

Gunny Pew Pew [Red Permanent Assurance] March 11 2011 12:23 PM EST

Whoa whoa whoa expanding health care isn't on sensibility par with banning unions!? Excuse me while I wrap my feeble mind around this brainfart.

Lord Bob March 11 2011 12:39 PM EST

Morally not so good, but perfectly legal.
As noted, the legality of the tactic is up for debate.

BTW, they cannot recall Walker for another 10 months.
Eight GOP senators, however, don't have that protection.

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] March 11 2011 2:08 PM EST

Why argue about the legality of the tactics used?!
IT IS AN ARGUMENT THAT DOES NOT HAVE AN END.

Ranger, Bob, the others, why don't you present your ideas as to why you think the unions are bad and should be taken away or why they are a necessary part of our society?

Lord Bob March 11 2011 3:08 PM EST

Fex, I already gave several reasons above.

Lord Bob March 11 2011 3:10 PM EST

And now look what that bum Snyder is doing in our state.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUpO1QFMDtM

Glad I didn't vote for him.

miteke [Superheros] March 11 2011 5:01 PM EST

I don't mind filibustering or avoiding quorum. I think you should FIGHT for whatever you believe in. I laud both parties for using the rules to their benefit. What bothered me about the Obamacare legislation was the lack of transparency, not that they used rule abuses to pass it. I want the time to be able to involve the public in these important pieces of legislation. The democrats won and earned the right to pass the legislation they did. I just wish they would not have been is such a hurry so that we could have held more open debates and refined it a bit. Had we done this, I think the legislation would have benefited greatly, even if most of the republican ideas would have been thrown out. It amuses me to no end that they ended up with something that may be thrown out in court because they did not take the time to make it judicial proof. Poetic justice if you ask me. Then again, they didn't have the time they needed to do it right, so I can see why they did it the way they did.

Anyway, congrats to the Democrats for passing Obamacare (and may we get the votes to toss it out), and congrats to the Republicans for eliminating public union collective bargaining. Nice move that they did there! It's nice to see some real conservative ideas in legislation finally.

Gunny Pew Pew [Red Permanent Assurance] March 11 2011 7:34 PM EST

Forgot your </sarcasm> tag.
This thread is closed to new posts. However, you are welcome to reference it from a new thread; link this with the html <a href="/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=003AT4">Fleebaggers or Patriots?</a>