The Corner

The Goon Show

First time tragedy, second time, a bunch of fat guys throwing punches: My New York Post column today looks at the goon show known as the Michigan labor movement:

Here we go again. Less than a year after losing their epic battle with the GOP in Wisconsin over much-needed public-sector union reforms, Democrats and their thug allies in the labor movement have opened up a new front in neighboring Michigan. For all their shouting, chanting and punching, though, the result is likely to be the same.

On Tuesday, the GOP-dominated state Legislature passed, and Republican Gov. Rick Snyder immediately signed, “right to work” laws that make membership in public and private unions optional and let union members opt out of mandatory dues — thus threatening a cozy little racket that sees dues money promptly cycled back to the union bosses’ Democratic Party protectors and enablers in the form of campaign “contributions.”

Well, “twist a pig’s ear, watch him squeal,” as Leo the mob boss says in the Coen brothers’ greatest movie, Miller’s Crossing. To the Brezhnev Doctrine Left, there can never be any rollbacks or givebacks; “Forward,” is the only word they understand. Or maybe it’s “Revenge.”

It was all foreshadowed: During the debate in the Legislature, Democratic stooges had warned direly of repercussions. “We’re going to pass something that will undo a hundred years of labor relations,” intoned state Rep. Douglas Geiss, invoking the auto industry’s storied, often violent, union battles. “There will be blood.”

Even President Obama got into the act, telling workers at a Michigan rally against the legislation a few days ago that “what they’re really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money.” Right-to-work laws, said Obama, “don’t have to do with economics — they have everything to do with politics.”

He got that last part right, at least, which is why emotions are again running high in the Midwest…

And you know what happens when emotions run high in Jimmy Hoffa’s old stomping grounds! There will be blood, as Steven Crowder found out. By the way, I agree with my pal Mark Steyn that the Lansing rumpus was pointed and purposeful. The Islamists have proven that a little intimidation goes a long way, and their co-nihilists on the left find in their tactics just one more will to power to admire. Still:

The Michigan mess is a sad commentary on the present state of unions, both public and private, in these economic hard times. The Depression-era glory days are long gone, with results evident for all to see: Once-magnificent Detroit, which featured the finest residential architecture in the country, has gone from the fourth-largest US city — and the richest per capita — to a pathetic, crime-ridden basket case, hemorrhaging population.

That’s the problem when a beautiful theory gets mugged by a gang of brutal facts — you’re left with the ruins of Detroit, and the only way around it is to call it the new normal, move on, and hope the media sticks to the narrative, and continues to print the legend

Michael Walsh — Mr. Walsh is the author of the novels Hostile Intent and Early Warning and, writing as frequent NRO contributor David Kahane, Rules for Radical Conservatives.


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