Friday, February 25, 2011

The labor debate, before the invention of lying

Not long ago, there was a Rickey Gervais movie called "The Invention Of Lying", which took place in an alternate universe in which people were incapable of telling anything but the unvarnished truth.

Let's superimpose that alternate universe on today's debate over public sector unions and their deathgrip on the public fisc. Our intrepid reporter is cruising labor demonstrations, statehouses, and Chicago hotels filled with Democrats subverting the legislative process in their home states.
SCENE: Big labor rally with lots of people dressed in red, waving their fists in the air.

Intrepid Reporter (to stout 40-ish woman): Excuse me, ma'am...are you a public school teacher?

Stout Woman: Yes, indeedy!

IR: And what are you demonstrating about today?

SW: Well, duh! Those terrorist Koch Whores who are trying to destroy our very way of life!

IR: Oh, you mean the Republicans?

SW: Exactly!

IR: And how are they doing that? Destroying our very way of life, that is.

SW: Well, they want us to work and contribute reasonable amounts of money to our medical benefits and retirement plans, without the right to dictate to the taxpayers how much is reasonable.

IR: Just like private sector workers, you mean?

SW: Exactly!

IR: Oh. So tell me...why did you become a teacher?

SW: Pretty obvious, really. I wanted employment for life, a decent salary, and a nice, fat pension when I retire at an absurdly young age.

IR: Just like private sector workers, you mean?

SW: Exa-- aw, I see what you did there! A regular comedian, you are!

SCENE: Cocktail lounge of a Chicago hotel.

IR (to a distinguished-looking 50-ish gentleman): Excuse me sir, but aren't you Senator Fleebagger from Wisconsin?

Sen. Fleebagger (glancing around furtively): Uh, yes...yes I am.

IR: Why are you here in Chicago instead of back in Madison representing your constituents?

SF: If I had any real interest in "representing my constituents", as you so quaintly put it, do you really think I'd be here? I can get martinis every bit as good as this one at home.

IR: Well, if you have no interest in representing your constituents, why did you run for election to the Wisconsin state senate?

SF: Stepping stone. You see where a state senate seat got our current president, don't you?

IR: Uh, OK. But aren't you just the least bit afraid that this stunt might jeopardize your reelection chances for the next term?

SF: Oh, hell no. I'll be running for the US Senate before this term is up, and my ill-informed and short-on-memory electorate won't let me down.

IR: Right, then. So tell me...why are you so strongly opposed to Gov. Walker's proposal to repair the state's budget?

SF: Look, I'm a Democrat, right? We Democrats depend on unions not just for campaign cash but for campaign workers. Without large, powerful unions that are flush with cash we'd never have a chance against Republicans in any election.

IR: So for you and your Democratic colleagues, this has nothing to do with workers' rights, then?

SF: Bwahahahaha! No.

SCENE: Wisconsin State House, hallway.

IR (to attractive, mid-30s woman): Pardon me, Senator Pachyderm...can you take a few questions?

Sen. Pachyderm: Sure, if you make it quick.

IR: What do you make of your Democratic colleagues' absence from debate on the Governor's budget repair bill?

SP: Well, clearly, they're subverting the democratic process for their own political ends.

IR: But don't you think they have the right to make their position known in the most forceful way possible?

SP: Of course, and the place do that is right here, on the senate floor. That's what they were elected to do.

IR: I assume you're in favor of the Governor's bill?

SP: Yes. We simply can't afford the continued high costs of pay and benefits and we have to prevent future extortion by the unions. And if it levels the playing field in the next election, then booyah!
And there you have it...the interviews we'll never see.


FIREBIRD said...

Excellent! I couldn't agree more

Ayrdale said...

It used to be the unions of the manual labouring class that had clout. Now it's the feminised teachers unions. Very scary.