Thursday, August 02, 2012

What Price Victory?

Petrarch writes:

Scott Walker's gutting of Wisconsin's public-sector unions represents the very first actual, substantive, conservative offensive victory in nearly one hundred years.

Actually, no.  For one thing, I can think of two other substantive victories:

  • The momentum behind gun control has been turned back.  In twenty years, liberals have gone from passing actual gun control legislation to pursuing deeply fanciful meta-perception shaping like Fast & Furious.  Meanwhile, the nation has seen a proliferation of liberalized concealed carry laws, the Castle Doctrine, and Stand-Your-Ground.
  • Bilingual education has been sharply curtailed.  Once the wave of the future in our rapidly Hispanicizing nation, first California’s Proposition 227, then the NCLB, cut the legs out from under it.

But . . . yeah, I will concede that substantive conservative victories are pretty thin on the ground.  But this brings me to my second point, which is that what happened in Wisconsin isn’t one.

Don’t misunderstand me.  Considering that labor unions are a key component in the Democrat coalition, then restraining them as an electoral force is a Republican victory.  But it is a conservative one only to the extent you believe Republicans actually advance conservative priorities rather than merely slow the rate of surrender.

More compelling is the salutary impact Scott Walker’s success is having on Wisconsin’s public fisc.  The public’s relationship with its public sector unions is structurally untenable in an era of declining tax revenues and shrinking real economic output.  It’s reform therefore needed doing for that reason alone.

But make a mistake:  the reason it needed doing, and the reason we are in such dire fiscal straits, is precisely because of the Left’s more substantive victories – or rather, the victory of the priorities of America’s bifactional ruling class at the expense of middle-class whites.  Revenues are drying up because the elite have imported tens of millions of immigrants, most of them illiterate Mexican peasants whose claims on social services exceed their tax contributions, and all of whom have driven down the wage levels from which those contributions are extracted and driven up the cost of housing in key areas of the country.  Simultaneously, the elite has nearly obliterated small domestic manufacturing with its trade policies.

Had conservatives achieved actual substantive victories on these issues back in the 1990s, then our public revenues would be high enough to pay the wages and benefits “promised” to the unions.  But we didn’t, so they aren’t.

Ace notices that Obama avoided the Walker recall like the plague, and writes:

As a result of Obama's abandonment of Barrett, Wisconsin Democrats have realized something that we could have told them years ago: Obama is in it for himself and he doesn't really care about anyone else.

I will be more specific than that:  Obama realized that the union members affected by this are mostly middle-class whites.  Now, Obama is happy to take their money and votes, and he probably appreciates their efforts at intimidating his opponents.  But he doesn’t care about them as a class.  They aren’t rich.  They aren’t cool.  And they certainly aren’t “diverse”.

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