The unions have already agreed to eat the cuts they've been asked to take to help balance the budget — they just aren't willing to accept losing their collective bargaining rights. While they've certainly gone overboard in some ways, their problem with this is completely understandable.
Those who argue that taking these rights away is acceptable usually point to how the unions abuse this to get higher wages and benefits than states are able to afford, since they really do have an insane amount of power over the Democrats. But that isn't a reason to take their rights away, any more than it would be okay for the Democrats to take away the rights of business owners to donate to organizations that have a similar hold over the Republicans.
That Democrats have been giving unions compensation they can't afford, and that Republicans cut taxes they can't afford, is not reason to bar unions from their right to form an association and negotiate for what they believe to be fair compensation, or for business groups to try and lobby government to give them breaks. In our country, we have a right to free association. No matter who we are, or what issue we're fighting for, we have the inalienable right to gather and fight for what we believe as a group.
That people clearly abuse this right in no way makes it acceptable to take it away, or limit it. Democracy is messy.
The real solution is we need to take a look in the mirror and realize that we're enabling these jackals every time we vote for them.
We need to have higher standards. We need to stop supporting lesser evils, corrupt parties and crooked political organizations, and only give your vote, money and energy towards candidates who are genuine about getting work done, which requires compromise.
For Walker and these cowardly Democrats who've left the state, the best message Wisconsin voters can send to hacks like that is to voice your concerns now. Push them to stop acting so immature, pass this common sense compromise both sides are ignoring and when these jokers come up for election again, toss them out with the trash.
Solomon Kleinsmith is a nonprofit worker, serial social entrepreneur and strident centrist independent blogger from Omaha, Nebraska. His website, Rise of the Center, is the fastest growing blog targeting centrist independents and moderates. He is currently collaborating with other centrist independent and moderate bloggers on a news aggregation and social networking site, and is always looking for ways to help the independent groundswell as more and more people become disaffected with the two major parties.