That’s what organizers do

Right now there is a major confrontation taking place in Wisconsin that will have an impact on the future of our nation. The public employee unions in the state of Wisconsin are disrupting the state legislature and the Democratic state senators have fled the state to prevent the governor of Wisconsin from enacting legislation which would attempt to correct the state’s budget deficit.

Wisconsin teachers have closed down the state’s schools to protest and state legislators are afraid to go home for fear of retaliation from union thugs. It is scary to see that happening in the United States of America but the scariest part of all to me is that the president of the United States of America is siding with the protesters against the duly elected representatives of the people of Wisconsin. 

According to the WashingtonPost:

President Obama thrust himself and his political operation this week into Wisconsin’s broiling budget battle, mobilizing opposition Thursday to a Republican bill that would curb public-worker benefits and planning similar protests in other state capitals.

Obama accused Scott Walker, the state’s new Republican governor, of unleashing an “assault” on unions in pushing emergency legislation that would change future collective-bargaining agreements that affect most public employees, including teachers.

The president’s political machine worked in close coordination Thursday with state and national union officials to get thousands of protesters to gather in Madison and to plan similar demonstrations in other state capitals.

I was not a fan of President Obama in the last election and I did not vote for him. I did not believe that electing a community organizer to be the most powerful man in the world was in the best interest of my family or our nation however I have tried to be respectful of Obama as my president. And while I couldn’t care less about Barack Obama’s race I do realize that the election of a black man as the president of the United States serves as an inspiration to millions of people. But President Obama’s support of  public union employees over the duly elected representatives of the taxpayers of Wisconsin is absolutely unconscionable and dangerous for our nation.

Before Barack Obama was elected I remember reading an article in National Review by Byron York. It is titled “What Did Obama Do As A Community Organizer? And is it really a qualification to be president?” and you can read the whole thing here. Mr. York’s piece was a thorough exploration of President Obama’s past as an organizer and as we watch the political upheaval taking place in Wisconsin it is well worth going back to see how prescient it was: 

Perhaps the simplest way to describe community organizing is to say it is the practice of identifying a specific aggrieved population, say unemployed steelworkers, or itinerant fruit-pickers, or residents of a particularly bad neighborhood, and agitating them until they become so upset about their condition that they take collective action to put pressure on local, state, or federal officials to fix the problem, often by giving the affected group money Organizers like to call that “direct action.”

Mr. York then does an excellent job of outlining Mr. Obama’s work in Chicago and showing that he did actually help some people in impoverished areas. Mr. York also points out that after accomplishing a few minor achievements over three years Mr. Obama was determined to organize from a position of more strength.

The solution, Obama felt, was to find a way to political power of his own.

“He was constantly thinking about his path to significance and power,” Mike Kruglik told me. “He said, ‘I need to go there [Harvard Law School] to find out more about power. How do powerful people think? What kind of networks do they have? How do they connect to each other?”

And two months before Barack Obama was elected as preseident Byron York concluded with these lines:

When he left for law school, Obama wondered what he had accomplished as an organizer. He certainly had some achievements, but he did not — perhaps could not — concede that there might be something wrong with his approach to Chicago’s problems. Instead of questioning his own premises, he concluded that he simply needed more power to get the job done. So he made plans to run for political office. And in each successive office, he has concluded that he did not have enough power to get the job done, so now he is running for the most powerful office in the land.

And what if he gets it? He’ll be the biggest, strongest organizer in the world. He’ll dazzle the country with his message of hope and possibility. But we shouldn’t expect much to actually get done.

I am disappointed that the President of the United States has chosen to support threatening protests against a sitting governor and legislature in the state of Wisconsin. I am disappointed but I’m not surprised. That’s what organizers do.