Joe Klein taqkes a tripn memory lane and visits his glory days in the DLC

Joe Klein Takes A Trip Down Memory Lane

by digby

Wow, talk about misreading the zeitgeist. Joe Klein has been so immersed in the Third Way centrist babble on public employee unions for so long that he's completely lost the thread.

Revolutions everywhere--in the middle east, in the middle west. But there is a difference: in the middle east, the protesters are marching for democracy; in the middle west, they're protesting against it. I mean, Isn't it, well, a bit ironic that the protesters in Madison, blocking the state senate chamber, are chanting "Freedom, Democracy, Union" while trying to prevent a vote? Isn't it ironic that the Democratic Senators have fled the democratic process? Isn't it interesting that some of those who--rightly--protest the assorted Republican efforts to stymie majority rule in the U.S. Senate are celebrating the Democratic efforts to stymie the same in the Wisconsin Senate?

An election was held in Wisconsin last November. The Republicans won. In a democracy, there are consequences to elections and no one, not even the public employees unions, are exempt from that. There are no guarantees that labor contracts, including contracts governing the most basic rights of unions, can't be renegotiated, or terminated for that matter. We hold elections to decide those basic parameters. And it seems to me that Governor Scott Walker's basic requests are modest ones--asking public employees to contribute more to their pension and health care plans, though still far less than most private sector employees do. He is also trying to limit the unions' abilities to negotiate work rules--and this is crucial when it comes to the more efficient operation of government in a difficult time.

If I didn't know better, I'd think that Joe just dusted off an old column from 1993, changed a few names and just threw it on line. He clearly has not been following the changing debate on these issues over the past few years and certainly hasn't the vaguest clue about what Walker is really doing.

Klein has been schooled a lot over the years by his readers and, I would guess, some of his friends about his ossified, anachronistic political worldview. They need to stage another intervention. The next thing you know he'll be reviewing that hot new band Hootie and the Blowfish and talking about last night's Seinfeld episode. I liked the 90s as much as anyone, but they're over, Joe.