Here’s an excerpt from a CNN piece titled Wisconsin governor defends budget bill as opposition persists. It gives a pretty good sense of what is going on in Wisconsin right now:
Kennedy (head of the Wisconsin affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers) blamed Walker for refusing to meet with union representatives.
“We are willing to come to the table and negotiate,” Kennedy said. “He is the one not willing to come to the table. He wants to strip our rights and then dictate exactly what the terms and conditions of employment are.”
Wisconsin Assistant Senate Majority Leader Glenn Grothman, a Republican, said Walker shouldn’t have to negotiate.
That exchange says it all…
Why should an elected official talk with constituencies who will be adversely affected by his plans?
Sounds like a dictatorship.
It does say it all.
Why should an elected official, doing what he campaigned on doing, be held hostage by an unelected special interest?
The union has quite perverse notions of what consititutes “democracy,” and the union conduct in Wisconsin is contributing to the hostility a majority of Americans feel toward the teachers unions, who have violated their collective bargaining agreement, lied, put their own financial interests above what’s good for the children, blocked the functioning of the elected government, and confused their own financial interest with the common good.
I am a public school teacher, and my response to the union in Wisconsin is that I would not want these people having access to my children in the classroom. I view them as morally reprehensible.
Anyone in public life who is respectful, and has an understanding, of democracy needs to be open to negotiate and dialogue with whom you disagree, especially if they represent a large constituency.
I believe that to be basic underpinning of what makes democracy work — before elections happen, when they happen, and afterwards, as well.