Has there ever been a statement more clearly demonstrating the liberal and union sense of entitlement than “Governor Walker’s Coup D’Etat,” the headline of former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich's latest whine at Talking Points Memo?
By describing the vote in Wisconsin as a coup, Reich expresses more perfectly and more completely his side's elitist mentality than any words yet written or spoken. The tone of his rant is a combination of outrage and condescension — like he can’t believe anyone could have the nerve to challenge big labor and get away with it.
And it appears Reich really can’t bring himself to believe or understand what happened, or else he wouldn’t call it a coup and he would be forced to more accurately describe it as the first sane act in what is to become a nationwide fight for our future.
Merriam-Webster defines “coup d’etat” as: “a sudden decisive exercise of force in politics; especially: the violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group.” Most definitions also note the overthrow is accomplished through illegal or unconstitutional means.
Forget for the moment the Wisconsin Democrats who fled the state in an effort to monkey wrench the legislative process. Forget the bussed-in union activists and the protesters who occupied the capitol building. Focus instead on the band of Midwestern guerrillas, as Reich must imagine them, who toppled the Wisconsin government. Here are the facts behind that “violent overthrow”:
1) The legislature and Governor of Wisconsin were freely and fairly elected.
2) The legislation was passed within the rules of both bodies of legislature.
3) Only about 5 percent of the state's population is directly affected by the legislation. That percentage is from the U.S. Census Bureau, which listed 284,963 full-time equivalent state and local employees in its most recent 2009 data. The total population of Wisconsin in 2009 was 5,654,774.
4) That minority is paid by the overwhelming majority of the state's population.
5) That minority has accrued significant debt obligations for which the balance of the state's population is directly financially responsible. Wisconsin’s unfunded pension obligations equal a 32 percent share of its GDP.
6) That financial responsibility is the direct result of the negotiations conducted for the small minority's benefit.