The battle of Madison, Wisconsin and Columbus, Ohio is the first major fight of America’s new Civil War between the Governors and the Unionists.
Wisconsin’s Scott Walker pushed through a law curtailing collective bargaining for state employees. John Kasich of Ohio forced similar legislation through in Ohio. Now the unions are mounting a counterattack through demonstrations and a full court press in the press.
It is unclear who will win this war. The first sneak attack portrayed the Unionists as spongers who have perverted the political system by co-opting politicians with gluttonous campaign contributions and then exacting tribute from them through opulent pay contracts and pensions that will ultimately bankrupt the States.
The Unionists were surprised by the advance of the Governors, but now are mobilizing their legions under the banner of “saving the middle class.”
The public is just starting to listen. The next election may be the decider of the current war because the early battles will be indecisive. The Courts will dither while the troops skirmish with signs and occasional fists.
To me the big question is how “Middle America” comes to view the fight. The middle class has undeniably taken a beating over the last decade, but whether the voters will see the Unionists, particularly the government worker Unionists, as one cause of the decline is the big question. We tend to like our local teachers and mailmen, even Congresspersons, despite the fact that we loathe them as a group.
We are witnessing more than a food fight in Madison and Columbus. This is not the start of class warfare in America. This is the war for the middle class voter that will decide at least the 2012 election.
Question: Should government workers retain collective bargaining rights?