...into a firing squad.
"Oh, for a leader, Lord!"...he cried out in the Wilderness...."and soon, if it pleases your Lordship."
The Empire Strikes Back
You've all heard about this, in early July, when it was just a cop union vs city management issue, and now, that Oakland police have notified citizens THEY WON'T BE RESPONDING TO CERTAIN CRIMES, especially burglary, in the one of the most crime-ridden cities in America. Negotiations broke down (on what seemed like minor issues to me...a little help here LUR) and Oakland city managers cut over 80 police officers as promised.
One: Look for this all around the country starting right now, in a variety of scenarios. Every level of the state class, including cops and their unions, and city, county and state governments, schools and teachers (they are not the same in these money wars) have run out of ways to tap the taxpayer for more money. This is generally acknowledged. This city manager vs cop union mess is but a variant of that theme, in which two state-funded entities are competing to see can foist public blame on the other for the debacle.
Two: What you will see in all the cases as they emerge is that the pawns in their budget battles will always be the citizens; the taxpayers. They (we) are either being punished for refusing to pay more taxes (going all the way back to Jarvis Amendment in CA in the '70s) or that their pain, misery and personal loss are simply irrelevant to the issues being negotiated. Tough toenails.
Labor Union Report, right here on RedState, is probably the best informed private sector labor union analyst in America (he doesn't even know I read what he writes), but I have some experience in dealing with these issues from the side of (private sector) management, while Achance in Alaska has gobs of experience of dealing from management's side in state government. Both Art and I know something of what is known to management, and in their books, the union side may not always know.)
What I know here without even opening the public books in Oakland, and in virtually every spite-and-malice budget issue that will be foisted on an innocent taxpaying public in the days to come, is that there are at least forty people on the city management side who earn twice the salaries of those 80 cops laid off...who are as useless as teats on a boar hog. They serve no public purpose. Any state, county or city budget can be cut 20% blindfolded, then another 10% by paying closer attention, and the citizens will never miss a thing in so-called services the government is supposed to provide with that money. This includes police departments, and almost all will be found in the several front offices, not in the front lines side of government, where cuts always occur.
Knowing only this, as we speak, forty members of the Oakland city government staff should be doing the backstroke across the bay to San Fran, all their earthly possessions on their chests, while a group of citizens row alongside, to render assistance if needed, but yelling "Stroke, Stroke, Stroke."
Is that too mean? What I know is that none of those people sitting around that negotiation table will cause it to happen. Only an aroused citizenry...with pitchforks, and oars...joining hands across the racial and socio-economic divide can cause it to happen...and tomorrow won't be too soon. Just one time, throw those bums out, put them into water-wings and tell 'em to swim like hell to Frisco, and all the crocodile tears you're seeing about having to shut down the panda exhibit in Anaheim, or the Ahnuld Nature Preserve in Napa Valley will go away. Once they know you're (we're) in charge, good things will happen...quickly.
Oh, for a leader with a pitchfork, Lord! Or, maybe a few hundred, if You're not too busy?
The Ruling Class Blows Back
Read EE's headline today about Lisa Murkowski entertaining the idea of running as a Libertarian for the senate seat in Alaska if she loses the close primary vote to Joe Miller (and as Achance notes, possibly handing a good red state over to a second Democrat senator...gadzooks!). This isn't just troubling, it officially marks a trend (Bob Bennett, Charlie Crist) which we on the essay side of RedState as well as the front page have been commenting about since early in the spring.
For a long time now, we all have commented about conservatives' staying home in 2006 over displeasure with a mamby-pamby GOP, handing the Congress over to the Democrats (that'll show 'em, by God!), then in 2008 staying home again because GOP voters never learned their first lesson, by anointing a genuflecting, lips-across-the-aisle John McCain to run against an avowed..an openly avowed...anti-constitutionalist (among other things). We could have written the Ground Zero Mosque story then in Oct 2008 and simply waited for it all to happen. It became a probability the day McCain decided not to speak ill of Obama, and a done deal the day the voters stayed home again. They'd barely learned to limp with that first prosthetic toe when they shot a second one off. (You can see I'm still a tad miffed. I despise teat fits. I also hate vindictive spite-mongers. But I repeat myself.)
For months, in small districts all over the country, even before the Tea Parties and 9/12'ers, we'd seen the people reject the Establishment choice (NY-23), and move right on into making their own choices, a process which continues thanks to the hard work of Cold Warrior and others (who I say once again, may well be the most important Republicans in America, for it is they who will replace the ancien regime in the GOP.) For over two years (that I've been watching) GOP websites have been eaten up with debates (putting it nicely) between what could be called establishment vs insurgent conservatives, urbane pragmatists vs one-issue social conservatives, suburbanites vs stump-jumpers, but what seems to me to be more aptly described as Beltway Ruling class Republicans versus Regular People Republicans (many who now call themselves Independent), often identified with the Tea Parties and the ordinary, non-professional citizens who join such mobs. It's been a work in progress.
We've all known this fight was brewing for a long time, but seeing the greater threat from the Left...who have gone all-in on a "Kill-the-Constitution-Now" mission to replace our Liberty with their Tyranny and dictatorship...and one they intend to complete within 26 months (at the outside)...
...well you can see why we've felt it was important that cooler heads prevail and sit down and forge alliances that will allow us first and foremost to jointly dispatch this common enemy of Liberty. There is no basis for any religious issue, even say, abortion, to be a bar to this alliance. The Constitution enables both viewpoints. Economics?, we only ask that the Constitution be consulted and used rather than circumvented or disregarded. Even issues of class, (save one) which actually underlie all our other divides, should not be a bar, as we promise to wash out hands after using the rest room and brush at least once daily. We even promise not to try to trap you into a game of Constitutional or Philosophical Trivia Pursuit...or at least will spot you a hundred points...if you promise not to ask for a spelling bee. That one exemption? The Ruling Class notion. It must be abolished, and even must be forsworn before you can even sit down at the table with us. If you cannot, then you are one of Them, and we will have no truck with you.
Oh, for a Leader, Lord, who can bring these people together...sooner, if it pleases You, for it sure pleases us.
And the Tea Parties Circle up....
Then this from Jennifer Kuznicki in MI-01about the splitting up the tea party coalition in that district, raising all the issues that have been raised nationally, from vainglorious and self-serving leaders seeking to see their names in marquee lights, and maybe even on a street sign some day in Petosky, to the possibility of Democrat money being used to peel voters off. A great read, educate yourself, for virtually every issue, real and imagined, about the strengths and weaknesses of the Tea Parties, how they can be manipulated by their own egos and vanity, the media, and Democrat money are laid bare there.
Some of this is now, and will continue to be, media driven, for they want to put a monolithic face on the tea parties. That's the only way they get their editors to spring for a plane ticket to Traverse City and a car rental up to the Upper Peninsula. There has to be a big picture connection, and it has to be top-down, or the media won't play. That is their template. Only so what?
The tea parties can go home and change their names to Marxist Defamation League for all I care. All I know is that we now have several thousand small groups of citizens who will probe, prod, and annoy local city councils and government offices, and will not go away. It is the best thing to happen to America since kissing face to face. They will not go away, no matter how much the media, the Democrats, or Lindsay Graham wish they would. Nor will they fade, as long as there is an ounce of freedom left in America. Just like fathers who once taught their children to look under the hood and kick the tires, local government is now getting an inspection that, with fits and starts, will trickle up much more quickly than anyone can imagine, to state and national office, and will last for generations. Kicking government's rubber tire will become cool once again. And ColdWarrior will be there to punch their tickets.
Oh for a leader, Lord, hands-on...only in Michigan 01 the Lord may already have provided it and the template. Along with other districts, we're looking at the new GOP in the image of Dan Benishek, plain spoken, a surgeon (and not a lawyer, fergodsakes!), a man who's spent his adult life in getting from here to there in the best way possible for his patients, not his own self-interests. When you find one of these, grab him.
Like MrRiggio, I'm optimistic. But I am also pragmatic, for many of us will be left on Mt Nebo, in part because of the things we did to usher in these bad times, but also just because we're old, and won't be there to see the new beginning. Like Moses, just knowing it's there will be victory enough.
But in the meantime, there are still Natzees to smite, and we're never too old for that. Right?