The public-sector union protests continue in Wisconsin and other Midwestern states. James Taranto,who writes the Best of the Web Today column at WSJ.com, finds it “quite striking the way almost every lie the left ever told about the Tea Party has turned out to be true of the government unionists in Wisconsin and their supporters:
• Extreme rhetoric. The Wisconsin Republican Party has produced what Mediaite.org calls an “incredibly effective” video juxtaposing liberal complaints about allegedly extremist Tea Party rhetoric with unionist signs likening Gov. Walker to Hitler and other dictators. Left-wing journalists are making similar invidious comparisons: “Workers Toppled a Dictator in Egypt, but Might Be Silenced in Wisconsin” read the headline of a Washington Post column by Harold Meyerson last week. The other day on CNN we saw scenes of a Madison crowd chanting, “Kill the bill” — which was said to be violent and invidious a year ago, when “the bill” was ObamaCare.
• Violence. Blogress Ann Althouse, a state employee based in Madison, posted a video of municipal salt trucks blowing their horns in support of the unionists. A YouTube commenter responded (quoting verbatim), “whoever video taped this has no life and should be shot in the head.” Unlike Frances Fox Piven, Althouse has never advocated violence, but don’t expect the Times to give this the kind of coverage it gave Piven’s claims that she had received threatening emails.
• Partisan AstroTurf. That’s the Beltway term referring to a fake grassroots movement. Politico reported last week that “the Democratic National Committee’s Organizing for America arm — the remnant of the 2008 Obama campaign — is playing an active role in organizing protests.” A blogger at the OFA website, BarackObama.com, writes: “To our allies in the labor movement, to our brothers and sisters in public work, we stand with you, and we stand strong.” …
• Refusal to accept election results. Although Republicans have a majority in the Wisconsin Senate, Democrats have fled the state, taking advantage of the body’s rules to deny the majority a quorum. The Indianapolis Star reports that Democrats from the Indiana House are employing the same tactic. Even Barack Obama, when he was an Illinois senator, usually voted “present.”
• Stupidity. Remember “Teabonics,” a photo album of misspelled Tea Party signs? The unionists can’t spell any better — and some of them are teachers! Althouse got one photo of what we think is a woman holding a sign that reads ” ‘Open for business’ = Closed for Negotiatins [sic].” Also, some of the teachers’ tactics — in particular, fraudulently calling in sick and exploiting other people’s children by enlisting them as protesters — seem not only unethical but calculated to repel the public. One blessing of low standards for public school teachers is that it ensures many of them are not bright enough to stage an effective protest.
The one exception: So far we haven’t seen any evidence of racism by the Wisconsin unionists. But we’re watching for it.
If only the tea partyers had been accused of getting fake doctor’s notes to excuse their absence from their (private-sector) jobs, it’d be a total match.
The tea party movement didn’t suffer much from the false accusations against it. Will the union protesters’ cause suffer because they’ve actually done these things?
– By Kyle Wingfield
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