So, what’s it going to be, police, firefighters and state troopers? Are you going to stand with your brothers and sisters in the union movement who fought and died for your right to collectively bargain in the first place? Are you going to fight for the rights of your fellow public employees to have the same collective bargaining rights you are supposedly going to retain, that have served you better than any other group through the years?
The answer, so far, is: no f*ing way. Law enforcement and fire fighter groups have always been the whiniest bunch of crybabies in the labor movement, and, now that they think they are going to get to keep their ball, they are going to take it and go home. You’ve just lost all your collective bargaining rights? Aw, poor babies. Can I get you a tissue? I got mine. Get yours back, if you can, but don’t look to us big strong (mostly) men for help. Losers.
According to an AP story, “Both the police and firefighters' statewide unions as well as the Wisconsin Troopers' Association issued statements praising Walker for recognizing their members' jobs are important and unique.” Yes, aren’t they special?
Dave Seager, president of the Milwaukee Professional Firefighters Association, denied the exemption was a quid pro quo in any way, saying it simply shows Walker respects local public safety workers. Seager said it wasn't his job to decide whether the exemption was fair.
No, it’s not your job to decide what is fair, you jerk. But it is your job to fight for what is fair stand with others beyond your self-interested little clique, especially when the entire concept of the right to collective bargaining for public employees is hanging by a thread.
Here’s a wake-up call for all those selfish pricks in uniform: your goose is as cooked as anyone else’s in public employment. Just ask one of the governor’s brown-nosing talk-radio buddies. As we have discussed before, James T. Harris is an embarrassing caricature of a part-time radio wing-nut, who nevertheless has managed in recent years to squeeze himself onto alternate reality programs on Fox News and even mainstream TV shows as a predictable regurgitater of right-wing talking points. This Sunday afternoon, I caught about five minutes of his drivel while driving around and discovered something quite interesting – which is certainly a first for a Harris program. It seems – dear, saintly cops, firefighter and troopers – that your special dispensation, despite your efforts to buy permanent special treatment, is going to be quite short-lived.
According to Harris, he had a conversation with the governor. By the way, he calls “Scott” – all the talk-radio Republicans call him “Scott”. Could you imagine if anybody else on the radio referring to President Obama as “Barack” or Gov. Doyle as “Jim”? But I digress… Harris supposedly asked the governor,about the carve-out for the cops and firefighters because it “didn’t smell right”. The governor (Scott, Scooter, whatever) told Harris that his law-and-fire reward to the only unions stupid enough to endorse him is only temporary.
From the podcast of Harris’ show (yes, they waste server space for this clown), about 55% in:
But I can tell you what was conveyed to me from the governor…They’re on the bubble. It’s coming. But the reason is, my understanding is that Scott, er, Gov. Walker lets them out of this is because they’re – the union is threatening walkouts. And they’re going to need the National Guard, they’re going to need police and fire to be available. And so, he said that they have enough people to cover it, in case they even take that action. But that was part of why he did not include them in the initial cuts…This was the rationale behind it.
Now, there may be other things going on here other than what Harris thinks is going on. It is entirely possible that Walker told Harris that because he knew he was stupid enough to believe it and it would end what must have been a tedious conversation with him. It doesn’t make sense to wait just because the cops might stage a walkout – what, is the National Guard busy cleaning their guns or something?
It may also be that Harris is telling tales out of school and he isn’t supposed to be squawking the governor’s devious plans to his 7 radio listeners. If that’s the case, he’ll be dropped by the Walker-loving WTMJ management before you even finish reading this post.
Either way, are you willing to take that chance, coppers? Who is going to stand with you when the other shoe drops in the next few months (which is the timeframe Harris claimed)? When that time comes, you may well find yourself out on your own, without the support of the broader labor movement you should now be supporting. How’s that famous quote go? Part of it is “Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out--because I was not a trade unionist…Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak out for me.” You know the rest (and who Niemoller was talking about), don’t you?
Good luck when that happens. You have to decide which side you are on now. Tomorrow is, quite literally, too late.