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MICHAEL GOODWIN: Union Bile Runneth Over

The Boiling Over of the Liberal Mind is on full display these days, and it is not a pretty sight.

Union protesters in Wisconsin compared Gov. Scott Walker to former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and other tyrants. A sign showed him in a Nazi salute and screamed, "Heil Walker." Another said, "Hitler, Stalin, Walker." Still another showed a swastika next to his name.

New York unions also reached back to World War II, although with a twist. "Wisconsin: Our Pearl Harbor," wrote John Samuelson, president of the local Transport Workers Union, which represents transit workers. He railed against "enemies of labor and democracy."

But Paul Krugman proved himself the master of disaster comparisons. The bid to trim union power reminds the excitable New York Times columnist of the invasion of Iraq.

His argument, as best I can follow it, is that privatizing services and weaning people off government is exactly what Iraq was about, and we did it in Chile 40 years ago, too. Or something.

Wherever you look, the bile runneth over. Beyond making fools of themselves with juvenile comparisons, the "social justice" crowd is inadvertently proving that public-sector unions are a privileged class. Touch them and you die from a thousand insults.

One Democratic congressman wanted the real thing. Rep. Michael Capuano of Boston said Wisconsin protesters should "get a little bloody" to protect bargaining rights.

He later apologized, but too late to rescue the era of civility President Obama urged after the Tucson shooting. Civility doesn't stand a chance against the entitlement culture of unions and their political puppets.

What makes the responses so irrational is that there is an obvious problem. Many states and cities are dangerously deep in debt, thanks in part to union payrolls and pensions. Washington hangs on by virtue of its printing press.

It's not as though American governments don't spend enough. Taxes go up nearly every year in most jurisdictions, yet it's never enough to keep pace with the spending.

The emergence of the Tea Party movement was precisely on this point. Demonized by the mainstream media, which trolled rallies for signs of racism and Hitler, members took their wrath to the ballot box and won a historic victory.

Instead of accepting that verdict, the unions and others seek to delegitimize new governors like Walker by calling him a fascist and a Nazi. The running and hiding by Dem lawmakers adds an element of farce, their empty chairs a potent symbol of their impotence.

Such nonsense is not likely to stop the movement to put the "public" back in public servant. Poll after poll across the country shows most people understand the relation between government bloat and expensive union contracts, which give workers a richer life than the taxpayers they supposedly serve.

There is a danger that Republicans will repeat the mistakes of Democrats and overreach. But Obama and his allies in Congress and states like Wisconsin don't have much standing to demand compromise after they acted on straight partisan votes.

Had they exercised a modicum of restraint, Washington and the states would be in a better fiscal position and Dems could have created a model of bipartisanship that Republicans would be pressed to follow.

But they didn't, and now are finding that payback is a bitch. The least they could do is take their medicine like adults.

Click to Read Michael Goodwin's Complete Column in the New York Post

 

Michael Goodwin is a Fox News contributor and New York Post columnist.