The Obama Gang Has Miscalculated

As they did in the great legislative offensive of 2009, the Obama gang seeks to exploit an opening that is actually much smaller than it appears, while underestimating the soundness of their opponents' position in the battle over collective bargaining for public employee unions in Wisconsin. This miscalculation exposes the Democrats' weak fiscal management flank to a crushing blow from the opposition if the national Republicans and their eventual presidential campaign can manage and sustain it.

"I stand in solidarity with the Wisconsin workers fighting for their rights, especially for all the students and young people leading the charge."

The words were Nancy Pelosi's, but as Ben Smith tells us, she is merely a mouthpiece for an effort ordered by "the Democratic National Committee's Organizing for America arm -- the remnant of the 2008 Obama campaign."

Pelosi's aping  President Obama's February 10 sonorous pronunciamento on Egypt: "...We have seen young and old, rich and poor, Muslim and Christian join together ... In that effort, young people have been at the forefront..." is supposed to induce the fantasy that Wisconsin is Egypt. A new governor's fidelity to his campaign promises is supposed to equal the outrages of a sick, jaded Pharaoh, and the shambling, slack-jawed truants of Madison are to be cast as youthful heroes boldly confronting an oppressor.

There are so many things wrong with this strategy that it is difficult to know where to begin.

Poor Pelosi always seemed a few days behind any story, but never so much as this time. She does not appear to recognize that, after the assaults on Lara Logan and King Tut, and the inconvenient remarks of Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a lot of Americans are reconsidering the rosy picture that euphoric cable and network anchors and correspondents -- yes Mr. Ailes, including Fox -- painted of events in Egypt as they unfolded. Thus, attempting to draw the Egyptian or broader Jasmine parallel may very well prove counterproductive. 

Inviting any attention at all to the clueless pawns carted by the teachers' union to the Capitol at Madison was a horrible misstep. The Wisconsin students one saw and heard on TV did not appear to be very well prepared by their teachers to comprehend or discuss intelligently what is, after all, a very important issue in their state. And of course, the blatant cynicism of busing schoolchildren in to serve the teachers' union's interests made Pelosi's  familiar "for the Children" chirp seems less appropriate for the Madison scene than the late American Federation of Teachers'
Albert Shanker's truth telling: "When school children start paying union dues, that's when I'll start representing the interests of school children." Finally, the wholesale dispensing of medical excuses to demonstrating teachers in Madison also raises a troubling question about the hitherto unknown provision of ObamaCare that apparently allows the Secretary of HHS to declare a medical emergency wherever she deems public employee union collective bargaining rights are in jeopardy.

Switching the scene from Madison to Washington, another weakness of the Obama strategy is the unfortunate comparison it forces between a big talking President who pontificates about expenditures "we can't afford," or "unsustainable "entitlements, but hazards no concrete action to address them, even with the cover of a CYA Presidential Commission report, while one Republican Governor and his legislature, soon to be joined by others, is actually doing the heavy lifting. There is also the conventional wisdom regarding a mortal danger to Republicans if they   appear to cause the dreaded "government shutdown" over the budget. How much sting will there really be in a shutdown now?  Against the backdrop of deliberate sabotage of Wisconsin's legislative session by Democrats in the thrall of public employee unions, a federal "shutdown" precipitated by a presidential veto of Republicans' honest attempt to address the number one concern of voters  could be justifiable to Americans,  if the Republicans can find their voice.

For Republicans, Obama and his gang have handed you a victory, please oblige them, and us, by grasping it.