The unions have long been unparalleled in their ability to organize and get the vote out during election time. The Tea Party has provided them with a new challenge, and they're rising to the occasion as best they know how: Astroturfing. They believe, according to Alexander Bolton in The Hill, that their "Tea Party" moment has come.
The first question that should be asked is what has changed to swing things in their favor? Do they believe that there is enough momentum behind the union supporters? What do they believe will be the galvanizing force? The reality is that there isn't any issue to unite the left right now.
Additionally, these union leaders and Democrat strategists don't understand the true nature of a grassroots groundswell. The major catalyst for Tea Party activists was ObamaCare - they flooded the health care Town Halls. This didn't take marching orders from anyone. Many were doctors who were legitimately concerned. There was a basic level of self organization through local Tea Party groups, but as much as the left hates to believe this, there was no coordination nationally. There was no GOP affiliation - in fact, the GOP was often the target of the Tea Party ire.
David Freddoso points out:
In this case, union members will be confronting their congressmen with demands that they preserve their piece of the pie. This could work, but only if the public comes around to their way of thinking about government spending.
There is nothing whatsoever to support the notion that a majority of Americans - or even enough to make significant waves - would rise up in support of more spending. Nothing can compete with the motivation of people who are passionate about their cause. Despite their best efforts, one thing the unions will never be able to manufacture is a mass of activists who are committed and focused and don't need to take orders from anyone to get things done.
The union and Democrat activist plan is to send them to town halls, arming them with "targets" (rhetoric!)and talking points about the evils of spending cuts. The major difference, as Freddoso starts to say, is that this isn't about public opinion or the good of the country. This is solely about promoting the agenda of the unions and organizations like MoveOn.org under a weak "grassroots" facade.
If this is enough to sway the masses into action, then there is no hope for our country. However, I have little faith that they will be able to recreate the incredibly synergy that the became the Tea Party.