Right Thinking From The Left Coast
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Smacking Maddow Down Again

Rachel Maddow is not a reporter or a journalist.  She opines.  You have to keep that in mind when you watch her.  Because she’s not fair or accurate and doesn’t bother to dig up facts before going on her show and spouting them to her unthinking audience.  She’s also a smear artist. Viz:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

If you can’t stand watching, I’ll summarize.  Governor Walker previously fired union security personnel.  He then hired guys from a subsidiary of a firm that has another subsidiary that’s been caught with embarrassing pictures in Kabul.  Those guys were then restored by an arbitrator at heavy cost to the taxpayers.

Notice what Maddow doesn’t say.  That the embarrassing pictures have anything to do with Walker or Wisconsin (or even Wackenhut).  But there’s three degrees of separation so ... something.  She doesn’t look into why Walker fired the security personnel but seems to regard the arbitrator’s restoration of their position as some kind of vindication.  I wonder if she’d say the same thing about the judge and arbitrator who have kept a Florida cop involved with domestic abuse and DUI on payroll for seven years.  Or the one who made Philly hire back four cops caught beating a suspect.  Or the one who forced DC to hire back the teachers Michelle Rhee fired for gross incompetence.  This is part of the problem.  It is almost impossible to fire incompetent people in government thanks to the deals Democrats have cut with their union paymasters.

Now maybe these guys were perfectly competent and Walker was just union-busting.  It certainly looks like he mad a bad call.  But given Maddow’s history of shoddy reporting, I’ll wait until I hear that from a reputable source.

Maddow also repeats the half-truth that Walker exempted public safety unions because they backed him, a common liberal claim.  Politifact again:

During the campaign last November, leaders of the Milwaukee Professional Firefighters Association and Milwaukee Police Association appeared in an ad supporting Walker and blasting his opponent, Democrat Tom Barrett. Walker also won endorsements from the West Allis Professional Police Association and the Wisconsin Troopers Association

Walker didn’t get the endorsements of two statewide unions, the Wisconsin Professional Police Association and the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin, which both backed Barrett.


We then contacted the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, the statewide union that endorsed Walker’s opponent last year. Executive director Jim Palmer said the statewide organization is much larger than the local Milwaukee police union that endorsed Walker. The state group has approximately 11,000 members versus Milwaukee’s roughly 1,400, he said.

Similarly, the state firefighters association has more than 3,000, compared with the Milwaukee union’s 875.

The unions, incidentally, oppose Walker’s changes.  They do agree that Walker is exempting them because his proposals would be a lot less popular if they included public safety employees.

But that’s just the beginning.  Maddow then goes off on a rant about this isn’t really about saving money (apparently having not read Politifact’s debunking of yesterday’s bullshit) but breaking unions to support “big business”.  Of course, big business doesn’t really have a dog in this fight, since the unions are employed by the taxpayers, not businesses and, as McArdle points out, business taxes are a small portion of state budgets.

But even that is not far enough through the looking glass.  The ultimate goal, according to Maddow, is to break one of the principle special interests backing the Democratic Party. She may have a point, but notice the subtle bias.  When Democrats attack Republican interest groups, it’s Republicans who are the villains for standing up for those groups.  But when Republicans attack Democrat interest groups, it’s Republicans who are the villains again.  Never are the Democrats held responsible, even when the spinelessly flee from states to avoid votes.

(That link is for the Indiana confrontation, in which the eeevil Republicans are trying to ... bar unions from negotiating contracts that require non-union workers to pay union fees.  Ed Morrissey has (possibly) coined the term “fleabagging” for the Democrats fleeing states to avoid votes.)

There’s a saying among lawyers.  If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither on your side, pound the table.  As Politifact showed, the Democrats don’t have the facts on their side.  This may end up in court, but it’s unlikely they have the law on their side.  So ... they’re pounding the table with rants about coconut brassieres, union busting and campaign contributions that would make Glenn Beck blush.

Maddow has a closing rant on how Republicans are trying to make it harder to vote.  The crux of this is an evil bill that would ... require ID to be presented at the voting booth.  I’m not familiar with the Wisconsin bill, but bills in other states have had numerous provisions put in so that people can get a free identification card—fees for ID being regarded as an illegal poll tax.  It has nothing to do with voter registration.  Only in Maddow-world does having to show ID to vote constitute ripping the franchise away from to poor downtrodden Democratic voters.

Update: Just to be clear: I’m not a Walker disciple.  It’s possible he acted stupidly in his previous union fight.  I disagree with his pro-life views.  And I’m very concerned about his apparent plan to sell of state-owned power companies in a no-bid process.  Hell, I’m not sure that this entire dust-up isn’t over-reach.

But this continual attempt to change the subject to something, anything other than Wisconsin’s budget problems, is ridiculous.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 02/22/11 at 09:43 PM in Left Wing Idiocy  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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