In August of 410 AD the Western Roman Empire closed for business with the arrival of the Visigoths. The invasion of Rome was a leader named Alaric, and he and his army had been hired out to protect the northern edge of the empire. When Alaric did not get the promotion within the Roman Army that he sought, he made war on Rome herself. Like other barbarians tribes, Alaric and his Goths were hired guns with whom Rome cut deals to do her dirty work and then refused to make good on the deals.
Rome had become, too large, too far-flung and had too many enemies with which to contend to maintain its borders. And so it promised the barbarians a raft of goodies, including lands and citizenship in exchange for knife and sword work. By the time Alaric marched through the gates, the Empire was a shambles of poverty, strife and government mismanagement. During the following century, other barbarian tribes would pick over the bones of the former empire, but one could place the date of the death of Rome on the day Alaric and his disgruntled Goths rampaged through the city streets.
The problem with outsourcing your problems to thugs and barbarians is just that: They are thugs and barbarians, and if you give them a taste of the spoils or make them extravagant promises, they will expect you to deliver, and if not you will feel the wrath you had hoped they would vent on your enemies.
The Democrats have used union money and union activism and have sent unions to harass and in some cases even physically assault those with dissenting views. You may remember a man selling Gadsden flags who was attacked by union workers. Or this particular gem when a union protestor hurled obscenities at a 14 year-old girl at a Tea Party Rally in Wisconsin in 2011. (Warning: Strong Language)
And now the Mayor of Chicago has his hands full.
The smart campaign might have released something like Romney’s statement that Chicago teachers are turning their backs on students, and how disappointed he is. That of course would be and in fact was set upon by the MSM as Republicans trying to make political hay out of the strike. But we knew they would do that anyway.
Or maybe the Romney-Ryan Camp could have released something pithy and homespun like “Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.” It would have had the same effects except the MSM spin would have included a line about Republicans calling teachers dogs.
It would have been better for the Romney and Ryan to say nothing, and let Rahm Emmanuel savor the fruits of a bitter harvest. It would have been better to allow Hizzoner to cope with the lions he worked so hard to let in the house. After all, if you make a deal with the Devil, he is going to want to be paid. Whether it is in money, blood or your soul, the Devil is going to want to be paid.
By letting Emmanuel stew in his own juices and deal with the hydra he has helped to nurture, the nation would have been treated to the perfect example of Chicago-style politics, and their inevitable outcome.
That having been said, I have to ask: Paul Ryan, what were you thinking?
I’m no political wonk, but whoever advised Paul Ryan on this comment should stop getting his or her campaign strategies from Bazooka Joe wrappers: “I've known Rahm Emanuel for years. He's a former colleague of mine. Rahm and I have not agreed on every issue or on a lot of issues, but Mayor Emanuel is right today in saying that this teacher's union strike is unnecessary and wrong. We know that Rahm is not going to support our campaign, but on this issue and this day we stand with Mayor Rahm Emanuel.”
Stand with Rahm Emmanuel? Did I hear that right? What’s the matter Paul? Was Obama’s post convention bounce not high enough for you? I recognize that you folks are looking to acquire some broader appeal, but a statement like that, no matter how bipartisan you may have wanted it to sound makes you sound like you are veering for the middle of the road and waffling for the undecided vote. Rahm made this casserole. Let him savor the flavor.
And remember you, no matter how bad it gets between Rahm and the unions, he will never stand by you. Save the love for the people who will and leave Rahm alone.