Ronald Reagan had been elected and re-elected president of the Screen Actors Guild. He proudly told labor audiences he was the only union president ever to run for President of the United States. He won 24% of Democrats’ votes, many of them labor union members.
But President Reagan also believed that federal law must be upheld. Federal law forbade government workers going out on strike. This was especially urgent in the case of air traffic controllers. Such a strike could cripple the already stricken U.S. economy.
Reagan warned the PATCO strikers to return to their jobs or face dismissal. They called his bluff. He wasn’t bluffing. He fired them all.
The world took note. In the Kremlin, the KGB reported “with Reagan, words are deeds.” The world is taking note of President Obama now, too. With Obama words are, well, words.
Gov. Scott Walker walked the path Ronald Reagan blazed. Barack Obama’s promise to walk the picket lines with union strikers rings hollow this morning. Like so many of his other campaign promises.