Some of us semi-older types can remember back when Ronald Reagan fired all the air traffic controllers so that one small group of people could not hold the entire country hostage to their demands. In my mind it was one of the most decisive and rational acts of any Presidency.
It was also called "union busting" by the progressives of that day, but they couldn't get any political traction on it because the vast majority of the country was squarely behind the President, including many if not most of the rank and file Democrats of that day.
Unionists were shrieking as usual, but most of the people were in no mood for nonsense back then. We were trying to recover from yet another big government caused recession, coupled with massive inflation. (also caused by government meddling) Unemployment was extremely high, which also explained the country's lack of empathy for those poor downtrodden controllers who actually had well paying jobs.
Against the backdrop of that history, and the more recent history of the unionists rally/riots in Wisconsin, came the news last week that Chicago's new mayor, Rahm Emanuel, has decided to bust the public sector unions in his jurisdiction.
Some may protest that statement as hyperbole, but I would make the case that it is an accurate description of what Mayor Dead Fish has announced he will do. The headline in the Chicago Tribune on June 30th reads: "Emanuel to Unions: OK cuts or be laid off."
The story goes on to accurately describe the mayor's message to the city hall union workers as a threat. According to the story he told them that "unless they get on board quickly with the "money saving changes" to their jobs", he would fire 625 of them.
In plain terms, he is setting the rules and if they don't like it, out they go. Same as any other ultimatum from an employer in a company that doesn't have a union. Hmm, it's like there is no union. If that isn't union busting, then the term needs to be redefined. (To be clear, I support the approach.)
The point of all this is to demonstrate that when Democratic politicians recognise that the gig is up and make needed cuts, they are called "money saving changes and adjustments." But when Republicans do the same they are said to be "slashing and burning" all the things that made America great. (Freedom is what made America great, but that's to be argued in a different commentary.)
It's only politics and I have no sympathy for the Republicans. But unless we understand the game, we are just being played instead of watching with our finger on the ballot trigger while those that craft these images go about the business of enriching themselves with our taxes.
In Massachusetts, a state run entirely by liberals (of both parties), a law which is eerily similar to the one which caused union thugs to go ballistic in "cheese land" was passed by Democrats with nary a peep from the liberal press. It seems it was just common sense out East while it was union busting and teacher bashing back in the Midwest.
And now in the windy city, it's going to be hailed as good, sound, realistic money management by a hard knuckled whiz kid with close ties to a President who some of the more starry eyed among us hailed as the hope of the ages.
Barack Obama has proved his loyalty to the hands that fed him his election victory by handing them the keys to the company at government owned auto companies while exempting them from his socialized medicine scheme. But here in Chi-town his first lieutenant is a full fledged union buster.
And I'm OK with that.