Indeed, Reagan was such a smash hit with government employees that, during his presidency, the Supreme Court was required to decide whether a government employee could be fired for talking on the job about John Hinckley's assassination attempt against Reagan, saying, "I hope they get him."
Where have you gone, rock-ribbed Republican government employees?
With the nation in the fight of its life against incompetent government bureaucrats who can never be fired and think the world owes them $100,000 a year, free health care, and endless vacation, sick, personal and mental health days -- all granted to them by Democratic politicians to buy their votes -- liberals love to pretend the governor of Wisconsin is at war with West Virginia coal miners.
Again: We're not talking about unions in industries where there is something called "management" on the other side of the bargaining table. We're talking about government jobs used to buy Democratic votes with your hard-earned money.
Until five minutes ago, journalists sneered at the very blue collar workers they are now using as a cat's paw to burnish the image of government workers.
Real union members are people like Todd Palin, who have nonprogressive views on things like gay marriage, abortion, public displays of religion, illegal immigration and the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo. Most of them don't even care whether the Screen Actors Guild provides sufficient coverage for Jungian psychotherapy.
The media's true kinship is with functionaries who work for state bureaucracies, not machinists, loggers and coal miners.
But now that journalists need to generate warm feelings toward surly government bureaucrats, they are suddenly portraying the bureaucrats as the salt-of-the-earth, blue-collar types they usually revile.
Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin perfectly illustrates the mentality of the average liberal. Discussing a proposal to raise the retirement age of Social Security before there's no money left, Durbin said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that for people like him, who work at a desk, it's no big deal. But for "folks involved in physical and manual labor, another year or two becomes problematic."
And what profession did Sen. Durbin choose to illustrate the idea of backbreaking work? A construction worker? A woman working in a chicken processing plant? A commercial fisherman?
No. He cited postal employees. "It's tough," he said, "to say, just stick around and deliver mail for another couple years."
Even in their sleep, liberals must dream about new ways to suck up to public sector employees.