Nathan Sass

Act 10 Goes To Washington

In Politics on October 8, 2013 at 6:00 AM

For those of us in Wisconsin, the debate over Act 10 – limitations on collective bargaining for public sector workers – is a fresh memory.  Recalls, threats, intimidation, boycotts, rallies, marches, sit ins, sing ins, death threats, and all other manner of acting out are still fresh in our minds.

It seems that the Act 10 circus has hit the road and is now playing nation-wide.  The instigation for this sequel is a 17% federal government shutdown.

As with all sequels, the second installment is not a total repeat of the original, but the core characters, story line, and plot devices are reused.  This is the case with “Act 10 – Part II – Shutdown Boogaloo“.

The response to Act 10 in WI was a series of escalating petty and outlandish acts by a very angry left-wing.  The protests typically included thinly veiled threats of physical violence, use of personal pejoratives, along with the gnashing of teeth and wailing typical of an ancient Roman funeral (right down to the paid actors doing the wailing and gnashing).

We were supposed to believe that this was a spontaneous and grass-roots response to a massive infringement on the population, and that the union members were acting of their own accord.

In the time since Act 10 went into effect, we can be reasonably sure that this was never the case.  The protests (and all the actions associated with them) were planned, pre-meditated, and well organized pieces of political theatre.  It is also now becoming clear that the directors of the political production were not in WI at all, they were in Washington D.C., and likely in the White House itself.

Nothing in the Democrat party happens “bottom up”.  The left is an authoritarian construct of “betters and lessers”.  Those in power give orders, and followers take them unquestioningly.  That is exactly how the Act 10 protests functioned.

It was not the membership of the WI unions telling the union leaders what to do at all.  The leaders told the members, and the members did as they were instructed.  Simple proof of the top down nature can be seen in the massive number of members those same unions have lost in the time since.  If the membership WAS the driving force, membership would have remained stable.  A loss of significant membership indicates that the leadership was not doing the member’s bidding, but telling members to do the leadership’s bidding.

Of course the ultimate top of the Left is at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in the White House.  There resides the brain trust, strategy makers, and ultimate order givers.  Everything in WI was done according to the plans and dictates of D.C.

This is an essential lesson as we watch this repeat “writ-large” over the 17% federal shutdown.  Those same strategists are at work today, and they are using the same strategies they tried (and failed with) in WI.

Their methods have origins in Saul Alisnky’s Rules For Radicals, primarily.  They rely on the sowing of chaos and discord to turn public opinion against one’s political enemies.  Simply put, the left acts out in offensive and disruptive ways, the public is angered over the disruptions, and the left demands blame be placed on the other side for forcing them into such behavior.

On a small-scale, in limited circumstances, with a highly sympathetic cause, this strategy can succeed, and has a few times.  But taken to a large-scale, and over a topic with less emotional substance and a less sympathetic nature, it becomes a slow motion self-destruction.

In WI the left assumed sympathy for unions and teachers would be great, and their actions forgiven because mean old Scott Walker was picking on the poor little unions.  The left assumed all the chaos would be laid at Walker’s feet, and he would lose in a recall election as a result.

They were incredibly wrong.

And now that same brain trust is using the same strategy in D.C..  Act like petulant children, blame the other guy for it, and the public will side with you and blame the other guy for your bad behavior.

Instead of protests, boycotts and sit ins, they are using closures, barricades, and web site shut downs.  As the saying goes – Same song, second verse.  A little bit louder and a little bit worse .

If the D.C. GOP follows Walker’s example, holds firm in their principled positions, refrains from responding in kind, and otherwise ignores the tantrums from the left, they will win over the public as Walker did.  That could result in major gains in the Senate in 2014, and even more in 2016.

The GOP will not get Obamacare totally defunded, and even Ted Cruz probably knows that.  But they can push for it to be delayed or modified.  It may take a long time to get that result, but holding fast to a principled opposition position will not be looked at by the public as improper, especially in the face of the actions of the administration’s “make it hurt” strategy.

In fact, the longer the GOP holds firm, the more the left will escalate their tantrums and therefore alienate the public.  Obama may go so far as to start closing interstates or other drastic acts.  Unions like SEIU will begin ranting protests.  Death threats will become commonplace.  It WILL get worse before it gets better.

The left knows no other way.  That is their entire playbook.

The GOP has riled them up, and sent them into a frenzy.  Now we need to stand back and watch as they escalate their behavior out of control and commit strategic suicide.

The 17% shutdown is not the war, it is merely a battle in the longer war.  The goal is 2014 and beyond, not the next 6 months.  If the GOP holds strong, united, and respectfully principled, the left will marginalize themselves into a huge electoral hole, as they have in WI.

Democrats used to have a better than even shot at winning most elections here.  Since Act 10 and their tantrums, they now face an uphill climb in most elections.  They certainly can still win, but they are no longer the favorites.

This result can and will be replicated nationally if the GOP in D.C. holds their ground as Walker did.

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