Republicans in Wisconsin did something unexpected today—they acted in defense of themselves. Forget the talk about "a better business climate for Wisconsin" or the inherent unfairness of public sector unions. All of that may be true but it also doesn’t matter. The Republican Party, at a stroke, ripped out one of the main supports of the organized Left in this country on their home turf.
The Democratic Party is less a party than a coalition of mutually hostile tribes. These tribes band together occasionally to remove wealth from white Americans and redistribute it among their various constituencies. Even the low ranking progressive activists understand that politics, in the end, comes down to who is doing what to whom. The Saul Alinksy Rules for Radicals community organizers are not forming a socialist vanguard party but conning corporations or the government into funding various slush funds in the inner city or in academia. The huge disadvantage the American Right (such as it is) faces in this country has less to do with philosophical problems or flawed tactics than it does with the simple fact that the Left has far more full time activists and that they are mostly funded by taxpayers or clueless corporations. One Peter Brimelow is worth 500 community organizers. The problem is that there are about 50,000 and they are funded by the Fortune 500 and the government.
In contrast, the very homogeneity of the white, Christian GOP gives it a significant disadvantage—surrounded by people like them, they deal in abstractions all day. As a result, they actually believe their own propaganda. In my dealings with the Beltway Right, whether watching David Keene speak rapturously about reaching out to minority voters at a CPAC planning meeting, listening to George W. Bush talking about the universal desire for freedom in the Muslim world at a Republican fundraiser, or wearily debating someone at a CATO Institute function who thinks open borders would end the recession, I keep getting the uncomfortable feeling that they mean it. It really is that simple—they believe what they are saying. A depressing experience is explaining to a libertarian or conservative how a certain policy (like mass immigration) will actually undermine limited government in the long run and receiving the response, “that doesn’t matter—we must remain true to principle.” Conservatives believe in self-interest in the economy, but not in politics—unless you can justify it by the writings of a man in a wig 300 years ago or a Jewish economist from Austria, it is not allowed.
Conservatives often bemoan the lack of “good faith” in the sacred institutions of Congress, elections, or the courts, ignoring that those very institutions far more often work to the advantage of progressives. Liberals don’t stop until they get what they want whereas conservatives believe in the “process” until they lose, whereupon they go home and prepare to lose again.
Therefore, it was shocking to see Republicans actually do what it takes to win a political battle. By removing the fiscal considerations from the bill, the GOP was able to ram through the removal of collective bargaining for public sector unions without needing the Democrats who fled the state in order to avoid the vote. Of course, this also essentially admitted that the real issue was not some financial emergency, but the Republican desire to cripple public sector unions. To which I can only say—good. Unions are perhaps the one force that keeps working class whites voting Democratic. Also, far from the “hard hat Republicans” of lore, anyone who has been at protests in Wisconsin can testify that not just public school teachers but many rank and file white union members have accepted the propaganda that Republicans are “racist.”
The Stupid Party, of course, is still well on its way to committing suicide. However, this victory should not be underestimated. Public sector unions are not just a fiscal threat, but a huge part of the left wing coalition on every issue. Even if this was just a handout to big business and the open borders Kochtopus, this is a real victory, this is real politics, and it was performed in a gutsy fashion I did not expect from Republicans. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.