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Compare and contrast: Libya and Wisconsin

Posted by Richard on March 18, 2011

Like me, Daffyd was struck by the irony of public employee union protesters and their bused-in supporters in Madison, Wisconsin, using the slogan "This is what democracy looks like!" Unlike me, he thought to draw a parallel with events in Libya (and Egypt, and Iran), and to formulate a test for determining whether a protest movement is furthering democracy (emphasis in original):

I see a very simple test, derived from the rule enunciated by Ann Coulter anent the potential need for a union. Last month, the hot-right chick wrote:

The need for a union comes down to this question: Do you have a boss who wants you to work harder for less money? In the private sector, the answer is yes. In the public sector, the answer is a big, fat NO.

I understand the distinction the blonde bombard is making, though I still disagree with her formulation; if you have a boss who wants you to work harder for less money, your best bet is still Capitalism: Get some "hand" in the game by making yourself a more valuable employee, then negotiate a raise or promotion.

Still, the Coulterism is succinct and full of pith, easily adaptable to the distinction between Libya and Madison. Let's phrase it thus:

  • If you're protesting because neither election nor even dissent is allowed, then what you have is an uprising of freedom.
  • If you're protesting because you lost the election — then what you have is an anti-democratic, totalitarian front.

See? Politics needn't be abstruse or recondite. Betimes the most basic rules are best.

Just a reminder: Gov. Walker campaigned on the bill that the union protesters protested against, and he won. The Republicans elected to the legislature (in a massive state-wide wipe-out of Democrats) promised to support Walker's bill, and they won. So "what democracy looks like" is exactly what the union thugs objected to.

As Daffyd noted, the union protesters' effort was anti-democratic. In fact, given the numerous death threats against Republican state legislators — totally ignored by the MSM, of course — I'd call it fascism.

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